Set in the heart of the city of Boston, the Boston University School of Law (BU Law) is one of the most highly regarded law schools in the country with particular expertise in the areas of health and tax law. The law school is the second oldest in Massachusetts and one of the first law schools in the country to admit women and minorities to their incoming classes. Admission to BU Law is highly competitive with almost 6,000 prospective students competing each fall for less than 300 seats in the each first year class. In 2014, BU Law officially moved into its current facility–a state of the art five story building and a renovated 17 story tower. In its storied history, the Boston University School of Law has produced numerous governors, judges, and US Congressman and Senators. The law school campus overlooks the Charles River and is a few short blocks from Boston’s famed Fenway Park.
The first year class at Boston University School of Law is divided into three sections that share the same schedule and courses through their first year. In addition, each group is broken down in a small section for one of their first year courses. The reduction of the incoming class into sections promotes unity and close connections among first year students. In their first year, students take the traditional six courses of civil procedure, constitutional law, contracts, criminal law, property, and torts. First year students also take a class in legal writing, research and advocacy as well as a “lawyering lab” which covers transactional legal skills such as the drafting of a contract. First year students also participate in BU Law’s award winning moot court program.
Upper class students can create their own curriculum from one of the most complete course offerings in the country (over 200 upper level courses) or follow one of BU Law’s concentrations: Health Law, Intellectual Property, International Law, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Risk Management & Compliance, and Transactional Law. The programs in Health Law and Intellectual Property are both considered to be one of the best in the country. Prior to graduation, students must complete a senior level writing assignment, six credits in experiential education, and one course in professional responsibility. The law school also offers over 20 options to study abroad for a semester.
Boston University School of Law offers five specialized Masters of Law (LL.M) degrees with concentrations in taxation, banking and finance, intellectual property, international business, and the US legal system (intended for students with a foreign law degree). The LL.M in taxation is considered to be one of the top programs in the country. Most LL.M degrees are intended to be completed in two semesters of course and practical work. BU Law does offer a two-year LL.M degree for international students which includes an additional year to help English language fluency. The law school also offers unique programs to earn an LL.M online in either taxation or international business.
BU Law also offers students 17 different established dual degree programs which pair the juris doctor degree with virtually every other graduate degree offered at Boston University. In most cases, students complete both degrees in 7 semesters which saves times and money. Some degrees–such as the joint J.D. and M.D. program–require additional semesters. Finally, students may also participate in dual degrees offered in conjunction with one of five different international universities.
Career and Career Placement
Recent statistics from the class of 2018 show that graduates of BU Law are overwhelmingly employed within 10 months of graduation (93.8%). Of those find jobs, close to 90% accepted positions requiring a law license, most of those in law firms of various sizes (70%). Almost 25% of graduates started careers in public interest, government roles, or accepted judicial clerkships. Most students remained in Massachusetts while New York and California were also sizable destinations for recent graduates.
BU Law’s Career Development and Public Service Staff has a team of almost 10 counselors (most of who were former attorneys) that offer students a full range of services for finding their first (or second) careers. The office arranges a large on-campus interview program each fall that attracts the best law firms from around the country. Additionally, the staff participates in resume collections throughout the year as well as off campus job fairs and programs targeted as diversity. Students interested in public interest careers will also find a host of services including the annual public interest retreat where students can connect with other students interested in using their degree so serve their communities.
Experiential Learning/Distance Education
BU Law’s curriculum shows a deep commitment to experiential, practical education starting with their first year “lawyering” program. In their second and third years, students build on their first year foundation through a range of hands-on, real world opportunities. BU Law offers students the opportunity to work under direct supervision of faculty either in a legal clinic or a practicum. The legal clinics are generally two semesters and allow students to represent real clients in real legal situations. In practicums, students work for a semester with a professor to manage a simulated legal problem in one of four practice areas.
Although the juris doctor degree requires residential coursework, BU Law does offer two graduate degrees that have online options.
BU Law encourages a well rounded, fully immersed student life which encourages student to expand their intellectual boundaries and make connections with their classmates. The law school is the home of numerous academic conferences throughout the school year which allow for additional networking with students and professionals from around the country. The school boasts over 35 active student run organizations and journals. First year students also receive mentorship from upper class students.
The campus of Boston University offers students access to a range of student services including a state of the art wellness and health facility and close proximity to all that the bustling metropolis of Boston has to offer. Student housing is available in walking distance of the school or in one of Boston’s many surrounding communities. Boston’s robust public transportation makes travel to the law school affordable and convenient.