In addition to the J.D., the law school offers the LL.M. Students may take relevant courses in other programs and apply credit toward the J.D.; a maximum of 9 credits may be applied. The following joint degrees may be earned: J.D./M.A. (Juris Doctor/Master of Applied Economics), J.D./M.B.A. (Juris Doctor/Master of Business Administration), J.D./M.L.S (Juris Doctor/Master of Library Science), J.D./M.P.H. (Juris Doctor/Master of Public Health), J.D./M.S.W. (Juris Doctor/Master of Social Work), J.D./M.U.P. (Juris Doctor/Master of Urban Planning), J.D./Ph.D. (Juris Doctor/Doctor of Philosophy in selected disciplines), and J.D./Pharm.D. (Juris Doctor/Doctor of Pharmacy).
The University at Buffalo Law School offers concentrations in corporate law, criminal law, environmental law, family law, intellectual property law, international law, labor law, litigation, tax law, health law, technology and intellectual property, affordable housing, and community. In addition, upper-division students may take clinical courses for 3 to 4 credit hours each semester for up to 4 semesters after the first year of law school. Topics include affordable housing; elder law; community economic development; securities law; mediation; environment and policy law; environment and development; and women, children and social justice. Upper-division students must take at least one 3-credit hour seminar. Numerous seminars are offered and students may enroll in multiple seminars. Externships are available in public interest, governmental, and international settings. Upper-division students may take individual research for 3 to 6 credit hours and may participate in any of several law school research centers. Field placements are associated with various courses including child welfare, criminal law, legislative externships, and judicial clerkships. Special lecture series include the Mitchell Lecture and Baldy Center Lecture Series. There are summer internships abroad with leading human rights organizations through the Buffalo Human Rights Center. There is also a semester long program entitled the University of Buffalo Law School’s New York City Program in International Finance and Law, which requires a student to live in New York City for one semester. Academic support is available to students in need. Special interest group programs include the Buffalo Public Interest Law Program, Domestic Violence Task Force, and Prison Task Force. The most widely taken electives are Corporations, Evidence, and Federal Income Tax I.
To earn the J.D., candidates must complete 90 total credits, of which 34 are for required courses. The following first-year courses are required of all students: an elective, Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal law, Legal Profession and Ethics, Property, Research and Writing (2 semesters), and Torts. Required upper-level courses consist of a seminar. The required orientation program for first-year students lasts 1 week and includes an introduction to faculty, administrators, and student organizations, as well as an introductory course on legal methods, reasoning, and argument, legal institutions, ethics, and the profession.
In order to graduate, candidates must have completed the upper-division writing requirement and 90 credit hours. Grades of A, A-, B+, B, B- or C must be earned in at least 80 hours. A 3 credit hour seminar is also required.
In the fall 2007 first-year class, 1516 applied, 580 were accepted, and 246 enrolled. Thirteen transfers enrolled. The median LSAT percentile of the most recent first-year class was 68; the median GPA was 3.45 on a scale of 4.0. The lowest LSAT percentile accepted was 29; the highest was 97.
Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and take the LSAT. Minimum acceptable LSAT percentile is 13 and minimum acceptable GPA is 2.0 on a scale of 4.0. The most important admission factors include writing ability, LSAT results, and academic achievement. No specific undergraduate courses are required. Candidates are not interviewed.
The application deadline for fall entry is March 15. Applicants should submit an application form, LSAT results, transcripts, a personal statement, TOEFL for international applicants, a nonrefundable application fee of $50, 2 letters of recommendation, and a resume. Notification of the admissions decision is as early as January. The latest acceptable LSAT test date for fall entry is February. The law school uses the LSDAS.
About 95% of current law students receive some form of aid. The average annual amount of aid from all sources combined, including scholarships, loans, and work contracts, is $20,500; maximum, $25,200. Awards are based on need and merit. Required financial statement is the FAFSA. The aid application deadline for fall entry is March 1. Special funds for minority or disadvantaged students include graduate tuition waivers based on participation in an EOP, HEOP, or SEEK program while an undergraduate. There is also a fellowship opportunity available to admitted applicants that have maintained an undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 or better and is either a member of an underrepresented minority or has overcome significant obstacles in the pursuit of their education. First-year students are notified about their financial aid application at time of acceptance.
In a recent year, about 55% of the student body were women; 16%, minorities; 6%, African American; 5%, Asian American; 4%, Hispanic; and 9%, Race/Ethnicity Unknown. The majority of students come from New York (71%). The average age of entering students is 24; age range is 20 to 54. About 39% of students enter directly from undergraduate school, 31% have a graduate degree, and 63% have worked full-time prior to entering law school. About 2% drop out after the first year for academic or personal reasons; 96% remain to receive a law degree.
Students edit the Buffalo Law Review, Buffalo Human Rights Law Review, Buffalo Women’s Law Journal, Buffalo Intellectual Property Law Journal, Buffalo Interest Law Journal, and the newspaper, The Opinion. Other publications include the New Criminal Law Review, Buffalo Human Rights Law Review, and the ABA Journal of Affordable Housing and Community Development Law. Moot court competitions include the Desmond Intramural held in November, the Mugel National Tax Moot Court held in the spring, and the Herbert Wechsler National Criminal Moot Court. Other competitions include Jessup International Moot Court Competition, First Year Moot Court Competition, and Buffalo-Niagara Invitational Mock Trial Tournament. Law student organizations, local chapters of national associations, and campus organizations include the Asian American Law Students Association, Black Law Students Association, Latin American Law Students Association, Sports and Entertainment Law Society, Alternative Dispute Resolution Group, Buffalo Criminal Law Society, Association of Trial Lawyers of America, Phi Alpha Delta, and American Civil Liberties Union.
The law school operates on a and 4-1-4 modified semester, other 3-1-3 basis. Courses for full-time students are offered both day and evening and with occasional evening classes and must be completed within 5 years. There is no part-time program. New students are admitted in the fall. There is a 7-week summer session. Transferable summer courses are offered.