Boston University School of Law offers one of the finest legal educations in the nation, attracting students from all over the country and abroad. A pioneer in American legal education, the school was founded in 1872 on the principles that legal education should be open to all men and women of ability without regard to background or beliefs, and that it should balance theory and analysis with practical training. Today, the school's innovative curriculum combines theoretical courses, clinical training, and specialized offerings—including concentrations, dual degrees, and semesters abroad. The full-time faculty of distinguished scholars and teachers ranks among the most productive of the nation's law schools and is known for its superb teaching. The students represent a range of educational backgrounds, ethnicities, races, age groups, and employment histories.
The city of Boston is an exciting place to study law and launch a career. BU Law's location presents students with enormous opportunities. They can gain invaluable experience through the myriad job and internship opportunities that flow from Boston's status as a major business, financial, and legal center. Boston is home to many high-tech and start-up companies, as well as leading institutions in health care, finance, and many other fields. In addition, Boston is a major government center. It is both the state capital and the home of numerous federal institutions such as the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, making the city a laboratory for clinics, pro bono volunteering, and externships.
At BU Law, our faculty members make the difference—to our students, as teachers; to the law, as scholars; and to the local and global community, as advocates. Our students routinely cite the faculty's excellence in teaching as one of the chief virtues of the school. BU Law faculty members come from a range of backgrounds, and include six US Supreme Court clerks and representatives of such diverse intellectual movements as law and economics and feminist legal theory. Twelve faculty members have doctoral degrees in various disciplines, and dozens have extensive experience shaping public policy and representing clients. They have authored texts in key fields, such as securitization, labor and employment, federal courts, contracts, copyright, and administrative law, among others. Impassioned advocates who frequently lend their expertise to pro bono causes—locally, nationally, and internationally—BU Law faculty members take pride in sharing these experiences inside and outside of the classroom.
BU Law offers one of the widest ranges of academic opportunities available at any American law school. At BU Law, students can explore virtually any area of law from among the school's 190 classes and seminars. They can concentrate and focus their studies, if they choose, in any of five important fields—international law, health law, intellectual property law, business organizations and finance law, or litigation and dispute resolution—and thus design a curriculum around courses that prepare them for exciting work in specific areas of interest.
Students can pursue any of 14 dual-degree programs, combining law study with graduate coursework in a program that leads to a JD and a master's degree. Those dual degrees include a JD/MA in International Relations, JD/MS in Mass Communications, JD/MA in English, JD/MA in History, JD/MBA, JD/MBA in Health Sector Management, JD/MA in Preservation Studies, JD/MA in Philosophy, and JD/MPH in Public Health. Students interested in tax or banking can earn a combined JD/Master of Laws (LLM) degree in these fields on an accelerated basis. BU Law offers 3 three-year, international dual-degree programs, leading to a JD from Boston University simultaneously with an LLM in European Law from the Université Panthéon-Assas (Paris), an LLM in International and European Business Law from Universidad Pontificia Comillas (Madrid), or an LLM in Asian Legal Studies from the National University of Singapore.
Students at BU Law can immerse themselves in a foreign legal culture for a semester, studying international and comparative law in one of BU Law's 14 semester-long study-abroad programs. Programs offered in 2012–2013 include Oxford University (United Kingdom); Université Jean Moulin, Lyon III (France); Universidad Pontificia Comillas de Madrid (Spain); Leiden University (the Netherlands); Bucerius Law School, Hamburg (Germany); Université Panthéon-Assas, Paris II (France); University of Florence (Italy); University of Hong Kong (China); Tsinghua University (China); University of Buenos Aires (Argentina); Tel Aviv University (Israel); National University of Singapore (Singapore); University College London (United Kingdom); and the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva (Switzerland).
For hands-on practical training, BU Law has long been recognized as having some of the finest clinical offerings in the country, enhanced by an ever-growing collection of externships. Students can gain valuable experience through the Criminal Clinical Program (Prosecution, Adult and Juvenile Defense); the Civil Litigation Program (Housing, Employment, Family, and Disability Clinic; the Asylum and Human Rights Clinic; and the Employment Rights Clinic); various legislative clinics (the Africa i-Parliaments Clinic, and the clinic in American Legislative Practice); the Immigration Detention Clinic; the Human Trafficking Clinic; and the Wrongful Convictions Clinic. For experience beyond the clinics, students can take advantage of BU Law's many Boston-based Externship Programs, or they can go even further afield in the Semester in Practice Program, with established programs in Government Lawyering in Washington, DC; death penalty litigation in Atlanta, Georgia; human rights work in Geneva, Switzerland; and independent placements designed by students and faculty.
A new transactional training program provides BU Law students with knowledge of substantive business and financial law, as well as the practice skills to deliver informed services to clients. The program provides an integrated skills curriculum, in a sequence of three courses, to train commercial lawyers and corporate dealmakers in drafting, structuring, and negotiating agreements. BU Law students finish their education with a sophisticated understanding of the work of deal lawyers and with skills that make them valuable team members from day one.
BU Law has a long tradition of training public service leaders. The BU Law Career Development and Public Service Office runs an in-house Pro Bono Program and helps provide pathways to public interest employment. While still in school, students have participated in any number of pro bono projects. In 2012, students participated in eight spring break pro bono trips to such locations as New Orleans, Louisiana, to provide necessary civil and criminal legal services as the city continues to rebuild; Harlingen, Texas, to assist with the South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project; Kansas City, Missouri, to work with the Death Penalty Litigation Clinic; Detroit, Michigan, to provide legal services to the country's poorest urban residents; and Oklahoma City to provide assistance to low-income Native Americans through Oklahoma Indian Legal Services. The Public Interest Project (PIP) provides grants through fundraising efforts to support students working in summer public interest jobs.
Students are encouraged to engage in student organizations, extracurricular activities, and community service. BU Law supports six nationally recognized law journals run by students. The Dean hosts lunches and town hall meetings with students to provide updates and solicit feedback. The school frequently organizes brown bag lunches for students with faculty speakers. The Student Government Association (SGA) and the numerous active student organizations work on projects initiated by students. The Live Well, Learn Well program helps law students find ways to maintain healthy lifestyles consistent with their busy lives. The Academic Enhancement Program features workshops on issues such as work/family balance, law school exam-taking strategies, and time and stress management. A comprehensive diversity program features varied cultural events and numerous speakers on topics of particular interest to diverse communities. Events take place throughout the year and culminate in a multifaceted Diversity Week each spring.
The BU Law Office of Career Development and Public Service Office (CDO) is committed to helping each law student see all the possibilities that a BU Law degree affords them. The CDO offers a comprehensive program of services to students and alumni, including personal advising, instructional workshops and events, and print and online resources. Students benefit from the expertise of a diverse range of attorney career advisers, participate in numerous workshops to hone job search skills, and learn strategies for choosing a career that fits the student's interests and talents. Alumni assist students in the Mock Interview Program and the First-Year Mentoring Program, and participate in panel discussions, receptions, and individual advising sessions. BU Law offers an extensive on- and off-campus recruiting program. Our graduates pursue careers throughout the US and around the world in large, midsize, and small law firms; federal, state, and local government; nonprofit organizations; business; and academia. BU Law remains committed to preparing all of its graduates with the substantive knowledge, practical legal skills, networking opportunities, and job search strategies to meet today's challenges in the legal employment market.
A top-quality legal education is a significant investment, and Boston University School of Law is committed to making the expense manageable. We support our students both through direct and indirect financial assistance and through professional financial aid counseling before, during, and even after your three years of law school. BU Law invests more than three million dollars of scholarship aid in each entering class. Typically, more than 65 percent of our students receive institutional scholarships, averaging about $17,000 per year and ranging from $5,000 to full tuition. Scholarship awards come in categories of merit-based and need-based aid, as well as aid reserved for students with a demonstrated commitment to public service. All scholarships are automatically renewed for the full three years. Our graduates who are employed in government or nonprofit organizations can qualify for up to $10,000 per year through our Loan Repayment Assistance Program.
Each year Boston University School of Law enrolls a class of students characterized by extraordinary academic achievements and diverse life experiences. LSAT scores and undergraduate GPAs are important components of an application, but numbers alone never determine an admissions decision. The Admissions Committee carefully evaluates each applicant's essays, transcripts, letters of recommendation, and any other information that helps us to understand the applicant's potential. BU Law's founding commitment to diversity, starting in 1872, continues to inform our admissions decisions today. We encourage each applicant to share with us how they might contribute to BU Law's vibrant learning community.