The University at Buffalo School of Law, the State University of New York’s only law school, offers a revolutionary cross-border curriculum within its academic framework. This New York State institution invites applicants with a first degree in law to enroll in its new and innovative Cross-Border Legal Studies LL.M. Program that exposes post-professional students to an extensive range of cross-border legal issues in an experiential learning environment.
The Evolution of Cross-Border Education
In today’s world, business and trade have become increasingly global. Attorney Douglas W. Dimitroff, a 1989 graduate of UB School of Law and a leading community partner in the program, explains that U.S. trading patterns with other countries are on the rise. “Mid-size and smaller US companies are increasingly doing business abroad. Most international businesses recognize that to compete effectively they need to expand to the U.S. market.” UB School of Law recognizes that this trend has created a growing need for attorneys who understand cross-border issues. Clients seek lawyers equipped with a global outlook and who can advise them about the economic issues of today and of the future.
UB School of Law Cross-Border Legal Studies LL.M. Program
In choosing the best location to pursue a cross-border legal education, it is helpful to know that Buffalo sits just 20 minutes from the Canadian border and is a hub for cross-border activity. This proximity to one of the U.S.’s largest trading partners, allows for collaborative ties with the some of the most prestigious law firms in Buffalo who engage in cross-border work, making this program the first of its kind in the entire United States. Students learn from experienced attorneys and faculty and acquire essential skills and knowledge that can be applied to cross-border work anywhere in the world.
To add to the advantages of studying at the UB School of Law, cross-border studies take place under the supervision of Professor Meredith Kolsky Lewis, Director of the Cross-Border Legal Studies Center and an established expert in the areas of international economic law and international trade law. Numerous other faculty experts offer a wide range of qualifying courses in immigration, tax, business/corporate, environmental, transactional, international and other subject areas. In addition, one-on-one academic advising and individual mentoring sessions with members of the School’s distinguished UB Law alumni network provide students with support throughout the program.
Buffalo’s low cost of living and the program’s affordable tuition add up to one of the best values for an LL.M. education in the country. In-state tuition is just $25,410 and out-of-state/international tuition is $29,500 (excluding additional fees and expenses). Partial merit scholarships are awarded to many applicants.
Cross-Border Student Community
A selection of UB School of Law students who have participated in some of the School’s many cross-border learning opportunities have expressed their gratitude by providing Study International with personal statements about their experience.
LL.M. student, Fidèle M., a native of the Democratic Republic of Congo, will soon graduate from the program’s inaugural cohort. Fidèle was recently recognized by the Bar Association of Erie County in Buffalo with their highest award, the 2018 Liberty Bell Award for his work with refugees and asylum seekers. He is pursuing the Cross-Border Legal Studies LL.M. in order to acquire the skills he needs to work with clients throughout the world. “Overall, acquiring a Cross-Border Legal Studies LL.M. degree further enhances my previous legal background and better prepares me for a promising career,” he says. “I’m effectively empowered to provide a wide range of multi-faceted solutions and high-quality legal services to any geographically dispersed clients and entities.”
J.D. student, Stan M., has participated in the School’s cross-border capstone course that exposes students to the types of transnational legal issues lawyers around the world address every day. He says, “Studying in Buffalo presents great opportunities to interact internationally. The law school provides students with avenues to explore and understand the relationships between the legal and business communities of Buffalo and Canada. Plus, by working with attorneys involved in these communities, I am developing a skill-set to address international issues in an increasingly interconnected world.”
Fellow J.D. student, Zach C., is also maximizing his experience at UB School of Law. As he explains, “My time spent studying cross-border law in Buffalo has granted me the opportunity to meet with senior attorneys from top local law firms, as well as travel to their international offices to discuss career options and tips. The class work is highly practical and we get to learn about current issues in the field. We are often assigned memos by experienced attorneys and their feedback helps us to understand what’s required from junior associates in the field, and it helps us to build up relationships with potential future employers.”
Alongside current students, Douglas W. Dimitroff, has a few wise words to share. As a partner in the leading law firm Phillips Lytle LLP, Dimitroff explains that the program’s “capstone course is a very hands-on class that develops assignments based on real-life scenarios.” Dimitroff adds, “In the capstone class, we put the students in a position of having to provide legal advice to a theoretical client. We treat the students as if they were associates at a law firm. The cross-border issues that we’re working with in the capstone class are similar to what we regularly see in practice.”
A cross-border legal education sets you apart in a growing pool of LL.M. graduates. Exposure to legal issues both in and outside the classroom in Buffalo’s unique location will give you the competitive edge you need to further develop your global career.