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 Syracuse University College of Law, where we pride ourselves on providing a forward-leaning curriculum that augments doctrinal understanding of the law with hands-on, experiential learning opportunities that hone your legal skills and prepare you to excel in today’s legal marketplace.
Among our applied learning opportunities, Syracuse Law is home to interdisciplinary research institutes and centers that collaborate with other schools and colleges across Syracuse University, providing comprehensive learning and research experiences.
- The Institute for Security Policy and Law-a partnership between Syracuse Law and the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs-is a leader in teaching, research, and public service addressing the complex and growing field of national and international security.
- With a focus on intellectual property-and collaborating with the Whitman School of Management and College of Engineering and Computer Science-students in the Innovation Law Center work on legal and regulatory analyses for entrepreneurial clients who are nurturing new technologies from lab to market.
- The Burton Blatt Institute (BBI)-a partnership with the School of Education-works to advance the lives of people with disabilities through grant-based program development, innovative research, and legal and policy guidance.
For students who wish to gain practical experience while establishing professional networks in geographically diverse legal markets, there is our growing Externship Program. Established in Central New York, New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC, externs explore the working environments of these dynamic markets by working at law firms, government agencies, law courts, public interest firms, and non-profits.
Moreover, we are expanding externship offerings to include Atlanta, San Francisco, Boston, Los Angeles, South Florida, and elsewhere. For students who wish to gain international legal experience, we offer an immersive introduction to the UK’s legal landscape through LondonEx. Plus, the Third Year Away program allows students in their 3L year to fulfill graduation requirements while at an externship placement by taking online classes through our JDinteractive program.
Offering students flexibility in location and courses, JDinteractive is the nation’s first fully interactive, ABA-approved, online J.D. degree program. Designed for students who cannot relocate because of work or family commitments, JDi offers the same degree and high-quality standards as our residential J.D. program, with a year-round schedule of live online and self-paced courses, as well as six short residencies.
Syracuse Law students also can take advantage of a unique offering: pursuing a joint degree at another of the SU’s schools and colleges at no (or little) additional cost. To better position yourself in highly specialized legal markets, supplement your J.D. with a Master of Science in Public Administration or International Relations (Maxwell School); Business Administration (Whitman School), Cultural Foundations of Education (School of Education), Communications (Newhouse School), Forensic Science (Arts & Sciences), and more.
Students who wish to develop their advocacy skills find ample opportunity through the Advocacy Program, ranked #11 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. The program combines academic courses with multiple intra- and intercollegiate competitions and three Syracuse-hosted national and international tournaments. Over the years, Syracuse students have won numerous national and regional awards at national and international competitions.
At Syracuse Law, you work with student-centered faculty who have practice experience and whose world-renowned scholarship influences the development of law and policy around the globe. The academic centerpiece of Syracuse Law’s international programs is the two- or three-semester Master of Laws, a residential advanced degree program for foreign practicing lawyers, academics, and judges that focuses on the American legal process.
Our College is fully committed to fostering a campus community that is free from discrimination and that celebrates the diversity of its community members within a supportive and inclusive learning environment. Extending this commitment to our curriculum, students can discover a spectrum of diversity, equity, and inclusion subjects, from Criminal Justice Reform, Voting Rights, and Asian Americans and the Law to Immigration Law, Refugee and Asylum Law, and Disability Rights.
The practice of law is as vibrant as ever-with a proliferation of career paths across multiple sectors-and Syracuse Law has a spectrum of academic and applied learning offerings to match. Take a virtual tour of Dineen Hall online, and join us for an innovative and dynamic experience that prepares 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) or the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) 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.
Academic Rules & Regulations
Academic Rules and Regulations may be found by clicking on the link below:
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, 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 2.9 or higher in all Required Lower-Division Courses at the College of Law. 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 College of Law 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 College of Law with data on the student’s progression that school, college or department. The College of Law 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 of (GPA) of 2.9 or above; (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 Registrar’s Office, Dineen Hall, Syracuse, NY 13244-1030; 315-443-1146. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For admissions information, please contact the College of Law Admissions Office, 315-443-1962, http://law.syr.edu/admissions
For financial aid and scholarship information, please contact the College of Law Financial Aid Office, 315-443-1962, http://law.syr.edu/financial-aid/
Students with general questions and inquiries concerning procedures regarding joint degrees should contact email@example.com.
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 normally required 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 normally required 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 normally required 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 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 normally required to earn both degrees independently.
J.D./M.A or M.S. in Communications
Joint degrees in communications - offered with the renowned S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications - prepare students for careers in communications law and media public policy. Students may matriculate into one of several programs including advertising (M.A.); arts journalism and communications (M.A.); magazine, newspaper and online journalism (M.A.) and television, radio and film (M.A.). 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 normally required 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 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 normally required to begin 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 J.D./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 normally required 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 normally required 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 normally required 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. Courses 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 Academic Writing Requirement by producing a research paper with a minimum of 25 pages. The Academic 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.
Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.) in Law
Syracuse University College of Law S.J.D. Program
The College of Law’s Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.) in Law is a research doctorate, comparable to a Ph.D. in other disciplines. Based primarily on legal research, S.J.D. students will work under the supervision of a College of Law faculty member to produce an original dissertation that makes a substantial contribution to legal scholarship.
The College of Law offers unique academic and research opportunities and resources to S.J.D. students through its renowned fields of study in domestic, international, and comparative disability law, national security and counterterrorism law, intellectual property and technology transfer law, and other disciplines. S.J.D. students also have the ability to pursue interdisciplinary coursework and academic engagement with our 13 academic units, including the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, the School of Education, the Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics, the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication, and the Whitman School of Management.
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. We also offer the nation’s first online joint J.D./M.B.A. degree program in the Whitman School of Management. For more information, visit jdinteractive.syr.edu.
Clinical & Experiential Education
Clinical & Experiential Education may be found by clicking on the link below: http://law.syr.edu/academics/clinical-experiential/
Centers & Institutes
Centers & Institutes may be found by clicking on the link below:
Certificate of Advanced Study
- Cultural Foundations of Education, JD/MS/CAS
- Law and Arts Journalism and Communications, JD/MA
- Law/Advertising, JD/MA
- Law/Computer Science, JD/MS
- Law/Forensic Science, JD/MS
- Law/History, JD/MA
- Law/International Relations, JD/MA
- Law/Magazine, News & Digital Journalism, JD/MA
- Law/Media Studies, JD/MA
- Law/New Media Management, JD/MS
- Law/Philosophy, JD/PhD
- Law/Political Science, JD/MA
- Law/Political Science, JD/PhD
- Law/Public Administration, JD/MPA
- Law/Public Relations, JD/MS
- Law/Television, Radio & Film, JD/MA
- Library and Information Science, JD/MS