Law School Admissions News Roundup

  • USC Tax LL.M. On Hold- Finally, a law school taking a cue from the current legal market. USC Gould School of Law has decided to shelve its tax LL.M. program due to the recession, The National Law Journal reports. The program would have been the school’s first LL.M. offered to domestic students (it already offers one for international students). Although LL.M. programs are viewed as good “revenue generators” for schools, and ABA-approved law schools have conferred 65% more LL.M. degrees between 1999 and 2009, USC is taking the recession seriously, and won’t offer more degrees as just a money-maker scheme. The school still has ABA approval for the program and can “pursue [it] in the future if demand for the credential improves.”
  • Uniting Law and Business- As the world becomes more interconnected, law schools “are placing increasing emphasis on commercial law and business knowledge, often through innovative joint ventures with business schools,” the Financial Times reports. In fact, about 40 percent of this year’s FT Innovative Law Schools’ listing of LL.M. programs offer joint courses in conjunction with business schools. The University of Chicago has recently started its “Law and Economics 2.0 Initiative,” while the Reading University Law School in the U.K. has founded the Centre for Commercial Law and Financial Regulation together with Henley Business School, and the schools now collaboratively offer three LL.M. degrees.
  • Useful Advice for Law Applicants and Students- U.S. News and World Report offers five ways in which future or current law students can “maximize their opportunities.” For prospective students, try to get your application in as early as possible—ideally, by the end of November, and certainly by the end of December. Also, be wary of your online presence, but take advantage of social networking. When applying, consider schools’ specialties, and once a student, determine if you should focus your studies as well in a specific area. Once you’ve received financial aid offers from schools, leverage them to get more from the school of your choice—just make sure to be completely truthful in negotiations. It is best to get legal experience even before law school, to verify it’s the right path for you. But otherwise, pursuing these experiences as a law student is still worthwhile.
  • Sustainability Law Certificate Offered at John Marshall- John Marshall Law School in Chicago will now offer a certificate in sustainability law, which “allows J.D. students to center their sights on the hot topic of sustainability and its increasing importance in real estate, transactional and regulatory work,” reports the National Jurist. Courses in sustainability law were already offered at John Marshall, but now there is a specific program dedicated to the field.
  • Pace to Launch Solo Incubator- Pace Law School will open the Pace Community Law Practice, a solo incubator, in September 2012. A solo incubator is a “school-supported law firm geared toward helping recent graduates learn how to run their own practices,” according to The National Law Journal. Between five and seven recent Pace grads will work at the practice and will attend seminars while offering inexpensive legal assistance. The University of Maryland School of Law, the City University of New York School of Law, and The University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law have all recently opened solo incubators, and more schools are looking into it as well.

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