University at Buffalo Law School

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University at Buffalo Law School
University at Buffalo Logo
Established 1887
School type Public
Dean R. Nils Olsen, Jr.
Location Amherst, New York, USA
Enrollment
Faculty
Annual tuition
Website law.buffalo.edu

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Since its founding in 1887, the University at Buffalo Law School (also known as UB Law, State University of New York at Buffalo School of Law, SUNY at Buffalo School of Law and University of Buffalo Law School) is the State University of New York system's only law school. It has established an excellent reputation and is widely regarded as a leader in legal education. Its cutting-edge curriculum provides both a strong theoretical foundation and the practical tools graduates need to succeed in a competitive marketplace, wherever they choose to practice. A special emphasis on interdisciplinary studies, public service, and opportunities for hands-on clinical education makes UB Law unique among the nation's premier public law schools.

While the first-year program includes traditional legal courses in civil procedure, torts, contracts, property, criminal law, constitutional law, and ethics, in the second and third years students can choose from a dozen curricular concentrations that allow for in-depth study. Moreover, each student has the opportunity to craft a custom-made curriculum, beyond the selected concentrations, drawing from numerous offerings to build a personalized sequence of courses and experiences.

UB Law's nationally renowned clinics offer diverse and sophisticated practice opportunities for second and third-year students. Known for its groundbreaking approaches to skills training and public interest practice, UB Law's Clinical Education Program combines client service, impact litigation, and transactional planning. UB's Affordable Housing Clinic, for example, has been responsible for developing more than $60 million in affordable housing in the Western New York community.

High-quality faculty members are another important ingredient in UB Law's success. The school has a very low student-faculty ratio. Currently, more than 75 percent of its upper division courses comprise fewer than 40 students. Many of the 60 faculty members are nationally prominent and hold advanced degrees in the social sciences and other disciplines, in addition to their law degrees. Their scholarship is published widely, and they bring a wealth of practice and policy experience to UB Law.

A wide range of interdisciplinary and dual degree programs permit UB Law students to combine their legal studies with masters or doctoral programs through the Baldy Center for Law and Social Policy, as well as the UB School of Management, the School of Social Work, the School of Informatics and the School of Medicine. UB Law also offers a unique post-professional Master of Laws degree in Criminal Law, and a General LL.M. program designed exclusively for international students.

A beautiful Mission-style courtroom in John Lord O'Brian Hall offers students the opportunity to watch real lawyers and judges in action. It is one of the only law school courtrooms that is part of a state court system where real cases are tried. On-campus apartments, reserved exclusively for law students, opened in the fall of 2001.

Contents

Levin Institute

The Law School currently runs a joint program with UB's Business School each Spring at New York City's Levin Institute. The Institute is named after Neil D. Levin, the former Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey who was killed in the September 11, 2001 attacks.

The Institute which ran its first complete program in 2006 focuses on international finance. It allows approximately 20 students from UB's Law and Business school to spend a semester studying and working in New York City. Students are divided into five teams to work on semester-long projects sponsored by law firms and financial institutions. Each team receives instruction and feedback from its sponsor in person, by teleconference and/or e-mail, and each team produces a substantial product. As the semester ends, teams present their work to their sponsors, as well as to their peers and the deans of both the Law School and the School of Management. The projects are an invaluable opportunity for the students to get an idea of some of the work that is done by, and useful to, their sponsors.

2006 Project Examples:

  • Project Sponsor: CLSA - Find private companies in China that are ripe for IPO and investment banking services (The deal size for an IPO should be between $100M and $400M.)
  • Project Sponsor: UBS - Analyze the issue of “unbundling” of client commissions by broker/dealers. Study the potential effects of unbundling on UBS’s business, Identify possible changes to the company’s current commission structure/business model
  • Project Sponsor: Credit Suisse - Study Pepsico’s business model. Analyze its decision to enter the fast food business and its subsequent decision to spin-off its restaurant chains, Analyze Pepsico’s current market position and devise a strategy moving forward
  • Project Sponsor: M&T Bank Corporation - Investigate trade financing opportunities in Ukraine, Locate Ukrainian companies potentially interested in financing the purchase of U.S.-produced goods

Clinical Programs

UB Law's nationally renowned clinics offer diverse and sophisticated practice opportunities. Known for its groundbreaking approaches to skills training and public-interest practice, their Clinical Education Program combines client service, impact litigation, transactional practice, and public policy development. Students participate in clinics throughout the school year and are given classroom credit for their work. The Clinical Education Program includes:

  • Affordable Housing Clinic
  • Community Economic Development Clinic
  • Environment and Development Clinic
  • Environmental Law and Policy Clinic
  • Family Violence Clinic
  • Immigration Law
  • Securities Law Clinic
  • Public Service Field Placements
  • William and Mary Foster Elder Law Clinic

Law Journals and Publications

Students of the Juris Doctor (JD) program are involved in preparing and publishing the Buffalo Law Review, a generalist law review that publishes articles by practitioners, professors, and students in all areas of the law, as well as a number of other law journals and an independent student newspaper. The Buffalo Law Review was first published in 1951 and has been staffed and edited by some of the school's most notable alumni. It currently publishes five issues per year with each issue containing approximately four articles, one book review, and one member-written comment per issue. The student newspaper, The Opinion, has been published monthly since the 1950s, making it one of the oldest law school newspapers in the country.

The law journals are:

Baldy Center

The Baldy Center is an internationally recognized institute that supports the interdisciplinary study of law and legal institutions. Over 100 UB faculty members from 17 academic departments participate in Baldy Center research and teaching activities as do an increasing number of graduate students.

The center maintains cooperative ties to other interdisciplinary research centers and cosponsors a regional network of sociolegal scholars in New York and Canada. The Baldy Center hosts distinguished scholars from around the world as visitors, consultants, and conference participants. Baldy Center activities and accomplishments are highlighted in the 2004 - 2006 Biennial Report which can be downloaded here.

The Baldy Center and the Law School have renovated the fifth floor of O'Brian Hall to create a wonderful new shared conference facility, a Baldy Seminar Room, the editorial office for their journal Law & Policy, as well as a new faculty lounge and reading room.

Charles B. Sears Law Library

Named for the Honorable Charles Brown Sears, the Law Library occupies six floors in the center of the Law School. Their services and research collections are carefully tailored to meet the research instruction needs of UB Law’s students. The facility, often referred to as “the heart of the Law School,” provides a comfortable, modern setting that is very conducive to the study of law.

The library’s collection of more than 500,000 volumes and microform equivalents plus a wide array of online resources in legal and cross-discliplinary subjects is augmented by convenient access to the university’s three-million-volume research collection. The library’s instructional technology resources include a state-of-the-art computer classroom, thirty-three networked computer workstations offering a variety of software, numerous laptop connections, and extensive audiovisual curricular support.

The law-trained librarians answer legal reference questions, suggest research strategies, help students locate hard-to-find research material, and teach students how to use the online catalog, the Internet, CD-ROMs, Westlaw, and LEXIS-NEXIS, as well as how to perform traditional legal research. With the help of our Koren Audio-Visual Center staff, first-year students videotape practice presentations in order to perfect their oral advocacy skills for the Research and Writing course. The Koren A-V Center also makes available an unusually rich collection of audio and video tapes, which are in high demand for both course review and curriculum enrichment.

With its dedicated staff, outstanding research resources, comfortable carrels and conference rooms, and state-of-the-art computing resources, the Law Library is well positioned to help law students successfully create research projects that utilize the best of electronic and traditional research.

Administration

Student Bar Association

The Student Bar Association is the University at Buffalo Law School's student government. The Student Bar Association, through its committees and decision making ability, provides students with the opportunity to develop leadership and presentational skills. Student Bar Association decisions are made on a daily basis by the SBA Executive Board , elected by the entire student body every spring. It comprises the President, Vice President, Treasurer and Parliamentarian. Each fall 1L, 2L, 3L and LLM Class Directors are elected. They serve with the Executive Board and meet bi-weekly to represent student concerns.

Past Presidents:

Notable Alumni and Faculty

University at Buffalo

The University at Buffalo is New York's premier public center for graduate and professional education and the state's largest and most comprehensive public university.

A member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, the University at Buffalo stands in the first rank among the nation's research-intensive public universities. The university was founded as a private institution in 1846 and merged with the State University of New York in 1962.

UB's College of Arts and Sciences offers undergraduate and graduate study in the arts, humanities, social sciences, and physical sciences. The university also offers degree programs in schools of architecture and planning, dental medicine, education (graduate programs only), engineering, health-related professions, informatics, law, management, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, and social work. Total enrollment is 24,000: two-thirds undergraduate and one-third graduate and professional.

As a research-intensive university, UB supports and houses a wide array of research institutes, centers, and laboratories. These organized units, and the research projects of individual faculty members, expended $142 million in grants from federal and state agencies, foundations, and industrial research partners in the year 2000 making UB the thirty-fourth-largest research campus in the nation in total annual expenditure of external funds.

The university's public mission of outreach to community, state, and nation ties a significant portion of its research and education efforts to the needs of society.

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