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Syracuse University (College of Law)




The College of Law is a pioneer in trial advocacy programs. Its numerous awards in this area include the Emil Gumpert Award for the best law school advocacy program in the United States and the New York State Bar Association's coveted Tiffany Cup.

Each law student undertakes an exciting and rigorous journey. This journey expands analytical skills, knowledge in a professional discipline that informs all aspects of society-locally, nationally and globally. Law graduates are distinctly capable of engaging the issues most critical to any community. More than ever in our history, every area of endeavor has some legal overlay-the law informs every issue. The law and the policies it drives interconnect with the environment, technology, media, foreign policy, architecture, the family, human rights and medicine. In fact, the list is as long as your imagination takes you. These limitless connections make a legal education so compelling and so important. The agenda you create, the path you take, the intellectual interests you bring with you and the ones you generate through out your life, will be profoundly enhanced by an outstanding legal education. It would be difficult to find something the law doesn't influence. Legal education prepares you for meeting the challenge of an increasingly complex world. A law degree has value whether you choose to practice law or to join the foreign service; whether you start your own company or serve as counsel to a college or university; whether you work in the technology industry or in a hospital; whether you write a novel or edit a newspaper; serve as a public defender or work in the justice department. You name the career and law applies.

Syracuse University College of Law provides every opportunity you need to create your future. This website will give you a preview of what you can anticipate as a law student here. Read about our outstanding faculty, our wonderful facility and law library, the wide range of courses and the excellent programs, clinics and joint degree opportunities designed to provide you with the skills you need to make full use of your education. We start with a firm grounding in courses you need to build on, and then you choose your direction, with the advice and assistance of faculty and staff who really care. All of this on the campus of a great University with all it has to offer, at a law school with a long history and an eye on the future.

At Syracuse University College of Law we understand that the pursuit of excellence is a challenge that has to be met everyday. That is why we promote a rigorous, dynamic, and interdisciplinary approach to the study of law.

The College of Law prepares students for the challenges and opportunities of the future by educating them in the legal foundations of civil society. Students learn the skills and doctrines of the law while exploring its history and theory. They participate in clinics and externships where they represent real clients, they do trial and appellate court training and competitions, and they edit and contribute to legal scholarship by participating on legal journals. Our interdisciplinary focus enhances student understanding of law and of legal institutions in a global context. Through research, course work, joint degree programs, and interdisciplinary Centers, students and faculty engage the broader community in a collaborative process of discovery and learning.

In the pursuit of excellence we look for students committed to the idea of legal education as a public good. A public good is not an ordinary market or consumer good. A public good is one that produces positive benefits to society in general. As participants in the creation of a public good, students are actively engaged in the process of learning, professionalism, and service. Students are not treated as mere consumers or customers. A legal education is not something you buy, and an excellent law school is not simply a collection of capital goods. Legal education is a process of engagement; engagement with classmates, faculty, the community, and the world.

At the Syracuse University College of Law students are engaged in a professional relationship of learning, discovery, and service. We have assembled an outstanding faculty and developed a curriculum informed by a careful consideration of the needs of lawyers in the twenty-first century. Our programs are developed with a sense of trust and of stewardship, and they are designed to challenge and prepare students for the rigors of the law. While our programs are dynamic and cutting edge, we do not simply respond to consumer tastes. In understanding legal education as a public good we take seriously our responsibility for developing sound academic programs, and for establishing high standards of ethics and conduct.

We encourage you to explore our academic programs, and we invite you to join us in the pursuit of excellence.

Syracuse University College of Law is proud of the personal attention students receive beginning in their first year. The faculty considers interaction between student and teacher to be essential to a strong legal education. Students find their instructors committed to excellence in teaching and legal scholarship. Students in their first year are provided with at least one small class in order to facilitate collaborative learning between students and professors.

During the first year of study, students learn the basics of public and private law. Because the first year provides necessary grounding in fundamental legal concepts, the following first year courses are required for all first-year students: civil procedure, constitutional law, contracts, criminal law, Legal Communication and Research I and II, property, legislation and policy, and torts. All courses taken in the first year are one-semester courses. Our first year students are now afforded the opportunity to select one of between six to eight substantive areas for their required Legislation and Policy courses. Syracuse University College of Law is proud to offer students an elective choice in their first year. Other than choosing their Legislation and Policy course substantive area of study, though, students may not enroll in or audit elective courses, seminars, or other offerings for academic credit during their first year.

Following the first year, students have only four prescribed course requirements to fulfill: Constitutional Law II, taken in the fall semester of the second year; Professional Responsibility, taken sometime during the second year; Legal Communication and Research III, taken in either the Fall or Spring semester of the second year; and a writing requirement, usually completed in the third year. The remaining coursework toward the degree is completed through elective upper level courses, clinical and externship experiences for credit, co-curricular activities for credit, and/or graduate-level coursework approved for credit toward the Juris Doctor degree. In addition, law students may take as many as six credits in graduate coursework to apply toward the Juris Doctor degree from other Syracuse University colleges with prior approval.

Syracuse University College of Law awards the Juris Doctor degree to students who successfully complete a minimum of 87 credits of prescribed and elective coursework taken during a period in residence equivalent to six full-time academic semesters. Each student must earn a cumulative grade point average and a final-year grade point average of 2.2 on a 4.0 scale to satisfactorily complete the course of study. Degree requirements are different for students pursuing a joint degree.

The College of Law is committed to the inclusion of students with disabilities in all aspects of law school life and is committed to providing accommodations to these students. The College of Law believes that the promise of diversity within the law school community requires the inclusion of students with disabilities. The "multiplicity of voices" exchanging intellectual ideas from various backgrounds, perspectives and experiences enables students to develop valuable insights about themselves and others. Over the last decade, the number of students with disabilities attending universities or colleges has increased significantly. As a postsecondary institution, the College of Law is committed to ensuring equal access to its programs and facilities.

Services for students with disabilities at Syracuse University are provided through the Office of Disability Services. It is the responsibility of the student to initiate the process of accessing services from the appropriate sources as early as possible, preferably prior to the beginning of the academic term. Once the student has contacted the Office of Disability Services, the student should then make an appointment with Keith Sealing, Associate Dean of Student Services at the College of Law, to discuss the procedures for implementing the appropriate accommodations within the College of Law.

Syracuse University College of Law was honored with the Emil Gumpert Award for the best law school advocacy program in the United States by the American College of Trial Lawyers.

The New York State Bar Association cited Syracuse Law as the best trial skills law school in New York State 10 times in recent years by awarding the College its coveted Tiffany Cup.

Trial practice courses are popular elective offerings among College of Law students. In beginning and advanced courses, experienced trial lawyers, judges, and college faculty members teach elements of trial process and techniques. Simulated trials take place in the college's state-of-the-art practice courtrooms. Advanced trial practice courses concentrate on the communicative aspects of litigation, including jury selection, expert witness examination, direct and cross-examination, and summation. Trial practice courses culminate in simulated jury trials, with students demonstrating skills learned during the semester.

A strong moot court program is an important part of legal training at Syracuse University College of Law. The student-run Moot Court Honor Society selects problems for the many intraschool competitions and invites students to compete in briefing and oral argument. Students who are selected for the competitions must prepare both sides of the case because a flip of the coin decides who argues each side in the actual competition.

The Lionel O. Grossman Trial Competition, held each fall, culminates in a championship moot court trial presided over by a distinguished jurist and a jury of the area's leading trial attorneys. In the spring the appellate advocacy program culminates in the Mackenzie Lewis Competition, in which finalists argue an appellate problem before a distinguished panel of nationally noted jurists and lawyers.

Because of its extensive advocacy skills program, Syracuse dominates national moot court competitions. In the past 16 years, its teams have won 3 national trial championships, 15 northeast regional first place awards, and 5 best-advocate-in-the-nation awards. In 1997 the college's National Trial Team tied for fifth in the nation in two national championships. In each competition Syracuse met the ultimate champions and defeated them. Five times in the past 9 years Syracuse Law has been invited to the National Invitational Tournament of Champions, featuring the nation's 12 best teams. Syracuse has won other national awards in appellate, minority rights, and international tax competitions during the past two decades.

Syracuse law students participate annually in a host of international moot court competitions. Working closely with faculty coaches, year after year the select group of students continues to uphold the quality reputations of previous classes.

Students can choose to specialize in international law as early as their first year by being selected for a special section of the Legal Communications and Research course. Eight students from this course participate in an interschool moot court competition. In 1993 Syracuse University College of Law students won first place at the international law competition in Toronto. In 1996 the team placed second and one team member was named best oral advocate among the 48 participants. Syracuse won first place in 2003 with one of the team's oralists winning a best oralist award; and Syracuse placed second in 2005.

A team of second and third-year Syracuse law students compete annually at the Jessup competition in international law. The Jessup Moot Court Competition is an intercollegiate event held under the aegis of the American Society of International Law. The Jessup team has won awards at the Regional rounds for its Memorials each year for the past four years, and in two of those years took first place for its Memorials. In 2006 the team not only won first place for its Memorial, but a member of the Syracuse team won the best oralist award at the Regional rounds. Teams compete at regional and international levels on a significant international law problem. A two person team of second or third-year Syracuse law students competes annually at the Inter-American Competition in international human rights law. The Inter-American Moot Court Competition is an intercollegiate event held at the American University. Teams competeat the international levels on a significant international human rights problem. Syracuse Law is one of a small number of U.S. law schools which participates with law schools from South America. The participants argue in English, Spanish and Portuguese. Syracuse took the award for best oralist in English in 2005. A four person team of second and third-year Syracuse law students competes annually at the Willem C. Vis International Sales and Arbitration Competition. The Willem C. Vis Moot Court Competition is an intercollegiate event held in the spring each hear in Hong Kong and in Vienna. Teams compete at the international levels on an international sales problem before an arbitral tribunal. Syracuse students have an opportunity to compete against students from all over the world, including teams from Australia, India, Germany, and China, as well as the United States. While the team has previously traveled to Vienna for the competition, in 2006 the team traveled to Hong Kong to compete.

The H. Douglas Barclay Library strives to offer you the best in information access and retrieval services. A skilled and dedicated library staff, supported by numerous student assistants, will assist you in discovering, obtaining, and understanding the complex research tools of the legal profession. The library pledges to offer convenient and timely access to our information resources. We welcome your comments and suggestions in our effort to reach our goal of excellence.



School name:Syracuse UniversityCollege of Law
Address:E.I. White Hall Suite 340
Zip & city:NY 13244-1030 New York
Phone:315-443-1962
Web:http://www.law.syr.edu
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