A law school education incorporates both the theory of law and the real-world skills that new graduates need to succeed as lawyers.
The Juris Doctor is the basic U.S. law degree and is held by the vast majority of practicing U.S. lawyers, as well as businesspeople, policymakers, academics, and people in other walks of life.
A signature component of the J.D. program is the school’s exceptional Legal Analysis, Writing and Research Program that requires students to take three semesters of Research and Writing, including two in the first year, and to devote significant attention to the skills they will need to practice law.
The LAWR program, based on proven methodologies, was developed in consultation with education experts, judges, judicial clerks, and attorneys to produce a curriculum designed to prepare students to hit the ground running in their initial legal position. The University at Buffalo School of Law’s legal skills program also comprises moot court and trial technique experiences, published journals, professional development initiatives and service-learning opportunities.
Legal Skills Program
The Legal Skills Program is designed to teach practical lawyering skills, with the aim of turning out new graduates who are practice-ready. The program encompasses courses and experiences in legal research and writing; litigation and non-litigation skills, such as mediation; and professional development.
- Legal Analysis, Writing & Research Program (LAWR)
- Litigation Skills
- Non-Litigation Skills
- Appellate Advocacy Skills
- Academic Support and Professional Development
Concentrations & Curricular Programs
A comprehensive range of optional programs and concentrations will distinguish you in the marketplace.
Many students pursuing the traditional three-year Juris Doctor structure their upper-division curriculum around one of seven established concentrations and curricular programs that deepen their understanding of the work lawyers do and train them to approach complex legal problems. Students are thus equipped to work on major problems and transactions from the start of their legal careers.
Curricular Concentrations consist of a sequence of required and elective courses selected from a substantial menu of course offerings in the chosen field.
- The School of Law offers the following curricular concentrations:
- Criminal Law
- Cross-Border Legal Studies
- Family Law
- Intellectual Property and Privacy Law Concentration
- International Law
Curricular Programs are designated in fields in which the law faculty offers an unusual degree of strength and expertise and a rich variety of courses. Each program consists of a sequence of required and elective courses and incorporates substantial coursework with program faculty. Programs culminate in a small, intensive capstone or senior colloquium course designed to pull together students’ knowledge and experience. Completion of the requirements of a concentration or program distinguishes the graduate as someone with an unusual level of knowledge and mastery in the field.
Curricular programs are presently offered in the following areas:
- Environmental Law
- Finance & Development Program
Each year the Law School offers a variety of short courses, many of them in January, which gives students the option to study away from the Law School. In recent years, these learning opportunities have included short courses based in New Zealand, France, Thailand and Washington, D.C.
The Law School offers a unique system of four-week blocks of courses that are divided over the academic year. Blocks 1, 2 and 3 follow the typical fall semester schedule, while Block 4 consists of practice-oriented courses that are taught in January of the spring semester. Upper-level students may take Block 4 courses, which are taught primarily by accomplished attorneys and judges.
Many upper-division and LL.M. students enroll in two or three such courses during the January block. Ordinarily offered for one credit hour each, these courses bring a fresh dimension to legal education by providing a focused, inside view of a lawyer’s world. The remaining blocks (5, 6 and 7) conclude the spring semester.
Out of the 40 or 50 courses offered in Block 4, some typical topics include:
- Buying and Selling Businesses
- Choosing the Right Jury
- Commercial Litigation
- Direct and Cross-Examination of Expert Witnesses
- Discovery Strategies and Deposition Tactics
- Federal Tax Practice and Procedure
- Intellectual Property Litigation
- Managing Personal Injury Practice
- Outsourcing and Licensing Information Technologies
- Professional Sports Contract Negotiation
- Raising Money
- Sexual Harassment Mediation
- Social Security Disability Law and Practice
- Trial of a Death Penalty Case
- Worker’s Compensation
Admission to the J.D. Program
Our admission process is selective and based on both quantitative and qualitative criteria. In addition to your LSAT score and your undergraduate grade point average (GPA), the Admissions Committee considers other non-numerical factors in reaching decisions.
These factors include:
- Achievement or activities that indicate a high level of probability of scholastic excellence and intellectual contributions while in law school
- Achievements or activities emanating from work, life experience or community service that indicate a potential for contributing to the enrichment of the School of Law
- Special factors in your educational background that may have affected your academic career, including discrimination based on race, creed, gender, disability or national origin, and economic or social impediments
The University at Buffalo School of Law is committed to a nondiscriminatory admission policy and philosophy. We welcome applications from all people without regard to race, age, gender, disability, religion, national origin, family status or sexual orientation.
The Admissions Committee is composed of faculty members and uses a rolling admission procedure. Applications are reviewed after they become complete. Initial admission decisions are communicated to applicants throughout the fall semester depending on the degree program.
Applicants who are interested in Early Decision must have a complete application by Nov. 15. The School of Law will complete the review process by Dec. 15.
Successful Early Decision candidates may not initiate any new law school applications, must decline any acceptances they may have received prior to admission to UB and must immediately withdraw other applications once notified of their UB acceptance in December. Failure to honor these commitments will result in UB’s revoking its offer of admission.
Some Early Decision applicants not offered admission will be reviewed again as part of the regular applicant pool; others will be informed that their application for admission has been denied and will not be evaluated again that year.
Our priority application deadline is March 1. However, if you have taken the February LSAT, this will not delay the processing of your application. In addition, applications will continue to be accepted after March 1 and will be reviewed on a rolling basis.
Admitted applicants must notify the Office of Admissions of their intention to accept the offer by the deadline indicated in their acceptance letter or email except in the case of applicants who apply for Early Decision.
- The Law School Admission Test (LSAT)
- Letters of Recommendation
- Your Personal Statement
- The Application
- Character and Fitness
- Application and fees
Cost & Fees
Law School Tuition for 2017-2018*
- In-State: $25,410
- Non-NY Residents: $29,500**
*Does not include fees and additional expenses.
**Pending administrative action to finalize.
This school offers programs in:
Last updated January 18, 2018