About the College of Law
Craig M. Boise, Dean
College of Law
Malfitano Dean’s Suite, 408 Dineen Hall
Message from Dean Boise
Welcome to the College of Law. Here, we pride ourselves on providing students with a doctrinal understanding of the law and experiential learning opportunities to hone the legal skills they need to excel in today’s legal marketplace.
The College of Law is home to a number of interdisciplinary Centers that work in collaboration with others schools and colleges across Syracuse University to create comprehensive learning and research experiences. The Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism (INSCT), a partnership between the College of Law and the Maxwell School, is an international leader in graduate and legal education, research, and public service in the field of security and counterterrorism. The Innovation Law Center works with a number of our schools, student inventors and outside clients in bringing real-world new technologies to market through legal and regulatory analysis. The Burton Blatt Institute (BBI), a partnership with the School of Education, works to advance the lives of people with disabilities through program development, innovative research, and policy guidance and influence grounded in law and innovation. BBI is now fully housed within Dineen Hall, allowing for greater collaboration with law students.
Students who enroll at the College of Law have access to another unique advantage: the opportunity to pursue a joint degree at one of Syracuse University’s schools and colleges during their time here and at no additional cost. To better position yourself in what has become a highly specialized legal employment marketplace, explore the possibility of supplementing your J.D. with a Master of Science in Public Administration (Maxwell), Business Administration (Whitman), Cultural Foundations of Education (School of Education), Communications (Newhouse), Forensic Science (Arts & Sciences) and more. Visit our website for a complete listing of your options.
Our Externship Programs continue to grow and expand to meet the needs of students who wish to gain hands-on practical experience while establishing professional networks in key legal markets. This spring, we will host our first cohort of New York City Externship Program participants. While the New York program will expose students to working environments across the legal spectrum in a dynamic city, the D.C. Externship program enables students to learn how the legal community operates in our nation’s capital, and our Philadelphia program offers a number of legal settings within the city. We are also expanding offerings to include locations such as Atlanta, San Francisco, and other cities in California. We also offer the Central New York Externship program with placements in legal settings throughout the region, and for students who wish to gain international legal experience, we offer a summer semester of experiential learning in London, a unique program that celebrates its 40th anniversary this summer.
At the College of Law, you will work with faculty whose emphasis is on practice as well those who have distinguished themselves as noted scholars, and whose work influences the development of law and policy in the U.S. and around the globe. The practice of law is as vibrant as ever, with a proliferation of career paths across industry sectors, the government, the judiciary, and in our communities. Take a virtual tour of Dineen Hall online, and join us for an innovative and dynamic experience that will prepare you for the career of your choice.
Craig M. Boise
Dean and Professor of Law
Applicants to the College of Law are not required to present college credit in a particular subject area. A broad general education is helpful preparation for law study. Above all, prospective law students should be able to use language effectively. Applicants should have the ability to communicate ideas orally and in writing with precision and clarity.
The Admissions Committee at the College of Law considers School Admission Test (LSAT) scores and writing samples, transcripts showing records of prior academic performance, letters of recommendation, and any other documentation submitted by applicants indicating likely success in the demanding law school curriculum and legal profession.
The College of Law recognizes the racial and gender imbalance existing in the legal profession and the public interest in augmenting the number of lawyers from groups that have been traditionally underrepresented in the profession. Therefore, the College of Law encourages qualified members of these groups to apply for admission.
For further information, contact: Syracuse University College of Law, Office of Admissions and Financial Aid, Suite 100, Syracuse, NY 13244-1030; 315-443-1962. The College of Law’s web site is law.syr.edu
Academic Rules & Regulations
Academic Rules and Regulations may be found in the Law Academic Handbook.
Enrollment in Law Courses
On a space-available basis, matriculated Main Campus graduate students may enroll in a limited number of courses at the College of Law with special approval of the Associate Vice Dean for Academic Affairs. Matriculated Main Campus graduate students wishing to take law courses should follow the below procedures.
- Meet with an academic advisor in the Office of Student Affairs at the College of Law, Suite 220, prior to registration to complete the necessary forms.
- If space is available, get permission and signature from the law professor to enroll in the course.
- The approved forms will be submitted to the College of Law Office of the Registrar for processing.
Students should contact the dean of their home college to determine whether law courses can be applied toward their graduate degree.
The mere enrollment in a course offered by the College of Law does not constitute admission to the college. Students must be matriculated in the College of Law to receive law credit toward the J.D. degree. Consequently, law credits taken prior to admission to the College of Law will not be accepted toward the J.D. degree.
Joint Degree Programs
Joint degree study is an integral part of academic life in the College of Law to the extent that students who desire a greater degree of specialization may select from a number of interdisciplinary opportunities. Formal joint degree programs designed to fit career objectives are available in international relations, public administration, communications, business administration, accounting, library and information science, education, forensic science, history, philosophy, political science, and computer science as listed below. You can find more information here.
Joint degree programs are structured so that students can earn both degrees in substantially less time than required to earn each degree separately. Students in the joint degree programs must complete their first year of study in the College of Law prior to beginning coursework in the other graduate program.
Admission to Joint Degree Programs:
Those interested in enrolling in a joint degree program must apply and be admitted to both the College of Law and the other appropriate school or college of the University. Admission to the College of Law does not guarantee one’s acceptance into another graduate program. Admission to the joint degree program shall be open to all law students who have a GPA of 2.5 or higher at the end of the 1L year. A student’s eligibility for joint degree candidacy must be approved in advance by the Administrative Hearing Officer as meeting the qualification requirements for admission to the Joint Degree Program.”
The Office of Student Affairs shall conduct a semi-annual review of each joint degree candidate’s progress in the Joint Degree Program. A faculty advisor from the joint degree school or department will provide the Office of Student Affairs with data on the student’s progression that school, college or department. The Office of Student Affairs shall determine whether the student is making satisfactory progress under the following factors: (1) the number of and reasons for “Incompletes” in course work; (2) failure to maintain a cumulative grade-point average above the grade-point average of 35% of students in the Required Lower-Division Courses in the student’s class; (3) the student’s standing in the non-law degree program; and (4) progress made and plans for satisfying the writing and optional oral defense requirements of the joint-degree program.
Minimum Credit Hours:
Students enrolled in joint degree programs, other than the Master of Professional Studies in Forest and Natural Resources Management at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, must earn a minimum of 72 credit hours required for the J.D. at the College of Law. In addition, a minimum of 15 credit hours must be earned by successfully completing offerings outside the College of Law pursuant to the approved joint degree program.
Students enrolled in the Master of Professional Studies in Forest and Natural Resources Management in the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry program must take Environmental Law and must earn a minimum of 78 credit hours required for the J.D. at the College of Law. In addition, a minimum of 9 credit hours must be earned by successfully completing offerings outside of the College of Law pursuant to the approved joint degree program.
Current College of Law students: please contact the College of Law Office of Student Affairs, Suite 220, Syracuse University College of Law, Syracuse NY 13244-1030; 315-443-1146, law.syr.edu/student-life/
For admissions information, please contact the College of Law Admissions Office, 315-443-1962, law.syr.edu/admissions
For financial aid and scholarship information, please contact the College of Law Financial Aid Office, 315-443-1962, law.syr.edu/financial-aid
Students with general questions and inquiries concerning procedures regarding joint degrees should contact the Director of Student Affairs.
J.D./M.S. in Cultural Foundations of Education
The joint degree program in law and education, with a concentration in disability studies, offers students the opportunity to earn a J.D. and an M.S. in Cultural Foundations of Education. Eligible joint degree students may also earn a certificate of advanced study (CAS) in disability studies, which is a New York State-approved concentration. Disability studies applies legal, social, cultural, historical, and philosophical perspectives to the study of disability in society. Students may obtain the J.D. and M.S. in three years instead of the four necessary to earn both degrees independently. Because a joint degree program involves reciprocal application of electives, students are not awarded either degree until the requirements for both degrees are completed.
J.D./M.S. in Computer Science
The Juris Doctor and Master’s of Science are combined degrees which may be conferred by the College of Law and Syracuse University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science (ECS). A J.D./M.S. in Computer Science could significantly enhance the scope of a student’s legal education in areas such as computers, technology and intellectual property law. M.S. in Computer Science could significantly enhance the scope of a student’s legal education in areas such as computers, technology and intellectual property law. Students enrolled in this joint degree program may obtain their J.D. and M.S. degrees in substantially less time than would be necessary if the two programs were pursued separately.
J.D./M.B.A. and J.D./M.B.A in Accounting or Finance
Business and industry must take public and private law into account in all decisions. The College of Law and the Martin J. Whitman School of Management have responded by creating joint degree programs in business administration and accounting. Students may obtain a J.D. and M.B.A. or J.D. and M.B.A. in accounting or finance in four years instead of the five years necessary when both programs are pursued separately. These programs are particularly appropriate for students with career objectives in corporate law, tax law, or labor law. J.D./M.B.A. students generally complete program requirements in four academic years. Program structure for the J.D./M.B.A. in accounting or finance varies substantially depending on the student’s accounting and management background and desire for certification. Because a joint degree program involves reciprocal application of electives, students are not awarded either degree until the requirements for both degrees are completed.
J.D./M.S. in Library Science
The Juris Doctor/Master of Science in Library and Information Science is a combined degree which may be conferred by the College of Law and School of Information Studies. Students admitted to this program have the opportunity to obtain both the Juris Doctor and the M.S. in Library and Information Science in substantially less time than would be required were the two degrees obtained independently. Because a joint degree program involves reciprocal application of electives, students are not awarded either degree until the requirements for both degrees are completed.
J.D./M.S. in Forensic Science
For those entering the legal profession, an understanding of the scientific analysis of evidence can greatly contribute to their effectiveness both in and out of court. Both forensic science methods and their handling in court proceedings have undergone marked changes over recent years, and knowledge of both aspects will best prepare students for their future encounters with forensic evidence.
The Juris Doctor/Master’s of Science in Forensic Science (General Forensic Track or Forensic Laboratory Track) are combined degrees which may be conferred by the College of Law and the College of Arts and Sciences. A student who is admitted to this joint degree program has the opportunity to obtain both the J.D. degree and the M.S. Forensic Science degree in substantially less time than would be required were the two degrees to be obtained independently.
J.D./Master in Public Administration
Students may earn a joint J.D./Master of Public Administration through the College of Law and the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. The public administration program educates individuals to work in government agencies and in organizations that conduct substantial business with government agencies. Because a joint degree program involves reciprocal application of electives, students are not awarded either degree until the requirements for both degrees are completed. Students may obtain the J.D. and M.P.A. in three years instead of the four necessary to earn both degrees independently.
J.D./M.A or M.S. in Communications
The Juris Doctor/Master of Science or Master of Arts in Communications are combined degrees which may be conferred by the College of Law and the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. A student who is admitted to one of these programs has the opportunity to obtain both the J.D. degree and the M.S. or M.A. in communications degree in substantially less time than would be required were the two degrees be obtained independently.
Joint degrees in communications prepare students for careers in communications law and media public policy. Students may matriculate into one of a number of programs including advertising, arts journalism, documentary film and history, magazine, newspaper and online journalism, media studies, photography, public relations and television, radio and film. The duration of the joint program in communications varies according to the program chosen and the student’s prior coursework.
J.D./M.A. in History
The Juris Doctor/Master of Arts in History is a joint degree which may be conferred by the College of Law and the Syracuse University Department of History. Students enrolled in this program may obtain their J.D. and M.A in History in substantially less time than would be necessary if both programs were separately pursued. Candidates for admission to the joint degree program must first gain admission to the regular program of each participating academic unit.
J.D./M.A. in Economics
The Juris Doctor and Master of Arts in Economics joint degree program is designed to educate lawyers in the basics of economics so they can practice in areas of law that rely on economic information and understanding. Students interested in the J.D./M.A. in Economics program may individually arrange a joint degree program with the College of Law and the Syracuse University Department of Economics. Credit hours and other degree requirements for joint degree candidates would be discussed with the Economics Department; the College of Law allows 15 credit hours toward the J.D., taken in Economics.
J.D./M.A. in International Relations
The Juris Doctor/Master of Arts in International Relations is a combined degree which is conferred by the College of Law and the International Relations program in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. This joint degree program offers students a unique opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to enter into a career in the international field, including a basic social science understanding of international relations as well as contemporary features of international affairs. The student may specialize in a specific area of interest such as: international economics, finance and trade; peace, security and conflict; governance, diplomacy and international organizations; democracy, development and humanitarian assistance; and regional concentrations.
J.D./M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science
The Juris Doctor/Master of Arts and Juris Doctor/Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science are joint degrees which may be conferred by the College of Law and the Syracuse University Political Science Department. Students enrolled in these programs may obtain their J.D./M.A. or J.D./Ph.D. in Political Science in substantially less time than would be necessary if both programs were separately pursued.
J.D./M.A. in Philosophy and J.D./Doctor of Philosophy
The Juris Doctor/Master of Arts in Philosophy and Juris Doctor/Doctor of Philosophy are joint degrees which may be conferred by the College of Law and the Syracuse University Department of Philosophy. Students enrolled in these programs may obtain their J.D. and M.A or Ph.D. in Philosophy in substantially less time than would be necessary if both programs were separately pursued.
J.D./Master of Social Work
The Juris Doctor/Master of Social Work is a joint degree which is conferred by both the Syracuse University College of Law and the Syracuse University School of Social Work. Students enrolled in this program may obtain their J.D. and M.S.W. in substantially less time than would be necessary if both programs were separately pursued.
Master of Laws (LL.M.)
Syracuse University College of Law LL.M. Program
The Master of Laws (LL.M.) for foreign students at Syracuse University College of Law is a 24-credit hour graduate Law program designed to offer students with a foreign law degree or its equivalent, advanced study in American law. ourses are offered mainly in the Fall (August - December) and Spring (January - May) semester. A few courses are offered in the summer. In the first semester, LL.M. students are required to enroll two courses specifically designed for the LL.M. program: Introduction to the American Legal System (3 credits), and Legal Writing for LL.M. Students (3 credits). Before the end of the program, students must fulfill the Writing Requirement by producing a research paper with a minimum of 25 pages. The Writing Requirement can be completed as part of a course assignment for which the student also receives a grade or through an Independent Study directed by a member of the College of Law faculty.
This program is exclusively available to graduates in law from foreign academic institutions or those who are otherwise licensed to practice law in their home jurisdictions. We seek people from diverse legal backgrounds, including corporate, government, private practice, judicial and academic. In this residential program, each student will take two basic foundational courses together. One to introduce the students to basics of the American Legal system and a second in Legal Writing with a third required research seminar of their choice. The remainder of the program allows the student to tailor their own experience in the LL.M. from among the superb and diverse courses offered at the College.
Train with London’s Leading Legal Practitioners
Syracuse University College of Law proudly offers one of the nation’s longest-running Law in London programs, where students learn from London’s leading legal practitioners. During an eight-week summer experience, students gain international exposure to clients, partner with professionals for personalized mentoring, and enjoy boundless cultural opportunities-in one of the world’s most dynamic cities.
Who is eligible?
Any full-time or part-time American or Canadian law student who is in good standing at his or her current institution is encouraged to apply. The program is approved by the ABA and is offered as part of the fully accredited curriculum of Syracuse University College of Law.
Will this impact my career?
Rigorous coursework and hands-on learning experiences cultivate a student’s ability to pursue a career in international law. Individuals who attend the Law in London program are supervised by American faculty who assist with housing, internships, and mentoring. Students engage in a variety of organized internship placements in criminal law and trial law, at financial and governmental institutions, and in corporate settings.
More information regarding the Law in London program may be found at:
Law in London program (http://law.syr.edu/uploads/docs/law-in-london.pdf)
February 15 is the deadline to apply for the summer Law in London experience. For more information, contact Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Chris Day at email@example.com or Associate Dean for International Initiatives Aviva Abramovsky at firstname.lastname@example.org.
JDinteractive in an ABA-Approved online law degree program that is taught by Syracuse University College of Law faculty to the same high standards as Syracuse’s residential JD program. JDinteractive is a flexible online law degree option designed for talented students who cannot relocate to law school because of work or family commitments. The program combines real-time, live online class sessions with self-paced instruction, on-campus courses, and experiential learning opportunities. For more information, visit jdinteractive.syr.edu
Clinical & Experiential Education
Clinical & Experiential Education may be found by clicking on the link below:
Centers & Institutes
Centers & Institutes may be found by clicking on the link below:
Cultural Foundations of Education, JD/MS/CAS
Law and Arts Journalism, JD/MA
Law/Computer Science, JD/MS
Law/Forensic Science, JD/MA
Law/International Relations, JD/MA
Law/Magazine, Newspaper & Online Journalism, JD/MA
Law/Media Management, JD/MS
Law/Media Studies, JD/MA
Law/Political Science, JD/MA
Law/Political Science, JD/PhD
Law/Public Administration, JD/MPA
Law/Public Relations, JD/MS
Law/Social Work (Licensed Clinical), JD/MSW
Law/Television, Radio & Film, JD/MA
Library and Information Science, JD/MS
Certificate of Advanced Study