In addition to the J.D., the law school offers the Foreign Trained Lawyers Certificate Program. The following joint degrees may be earned: J.D./M.A. (Juris Doctor/Master of Arts in law and in political science), J.D./M.B.A. (Juris Doctor/Master of Business Administration), J.D./M.S. (Juris Doctor/Master of Science in library and information science), and J.D./M.U.P. (Juris Doctor/Master of Urban Planning).
Students must take 55 credits in their area of concentration. The Brooklyn Law School offers concentrations in corporate law, criminal law, entertainment law, family law, intellectual property law, international law, juvenile law, litigation, media law, securities law, sports law, tax law, torts and insurance, international business, public interest, and human rights. Any student who has completed the first year of study may take clinics in bankruptcy, community development, and criminal practice. Seminars range from 1 to 2 credits. All students who have completed their first year of study may enroll in internships with judges, criminal justice agencies, and a wide range of organizations in areas such as environmental law, children’s rights, business regulation, and intellectual property. Up to 3 credits may be earned by any upper-level student who, under the supervision of a faculty member, researches and writes a paper of publishable quality. The Media and Society Lecture Series brings new members from around the country to address current issues involving the media. The Abraham L. Pomerantz lectures focus on corporate or securities law topics and related professional responsibility issues. Summer study sponsored by the Law School in Bologna, Italy and Beijing, China is available. There is an exchange program with Buceris University in Hamburg, Germany. Upper-level students may also pursue study abroad through other law schools if they demonstrate, in writing, special need and obtain the written approval of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. First-year students may take advantage of year-long support services offered through the Academic Success Program. A summer Legal Process course and various tutorial programs specifically target affirmative action students. Special interest groups include the Edward V. Sparer Public Interest Fellowship Program; the Center for the Study of International Business Law Fellowship Program; the Center for Law, Language, and Cognition; Center for Health, Science, and Public Policy; and the International Human Rights Fellowship. The most widely taken electives are Corporations, Evidence, and Criminal Procedure.
To earn the J.D., candidates must complete 86 total credits, of which 31 are for required courses. They must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 in the required courses. The following first-year courses are required of all students: Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law, Legal Process, Legal Writing, Property, and Torts. Required upper-level courses consist of an upper-class writing requirement and Legal Profession. The required orientation program for first-year students is held a week before classes begin where students receive faculty and student advisers, start the Introduction to the Study of Law course and the First-Year Legal Writing Program, and participate in workshops.
In order to graduate, candidates must have a GPA of 2.3, have completed the upper-division writing requirement, and pass the Legal Profession course.
In the fall 2007 first-year class, 4763 applied, 1441 were accepted, and 493 enrolled. Twenty-two transfers enrolled. The median LSAT percentile of the most recent first-year class was 90; the median GPA was 3.46 on a scale of 4.0. The highest LSAT percentile was 99.
Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and take the LSAT. The most important admission factors include college attended, GPA, and LSAT results. No specific undergraduate courses are required. Candidates are not interviewed.
The application deadline for fall entry is April 1. Applicants should submit an application form, LSAT results, transcripts, a personal statement, a nonrefundable application fee of $65, 2 letters of recommendation from faculty, transcripts (via LSDAS), and Dean’s Certification Form. Notification of the admissions decision is on a rolling basis beginning January. The latest acceptable LSAT test date for fall entry is June. The law school uses the LSDAS.
About 83% of current law students receive some form of aid. The average annual amount of aid from all sources combined, including scholarships, loans, and work contracts, is $33,600; maximum, $60,166. Awards are based on need and merit. Aid takes the form of grants, loans, and work-study. Required financial statements are the FAFSA, the Need Access Form, and the IRS Form 1040 for the applicant as well as their parents’ Forms 1040. Also required are the school’s financial assistance application forms. No application is required for merit-based awards. The aid application deadline for fall entry is April 30. Special funds for minority or disadvantaged students include the Geraldo Rivera Scholarship; MLK, Jr. Scholarship; Judith Bregman Scholarship; William Randolph Hearst Scholarship; Edgardo Lopez Scholarship; James McClendon Jr. Scholarship; Lark-Barranco Scholarship; and the opportunity grant. First-year students are notified about their financial aid application at time of acceptance for merit scholarships. Need-based award notification is during the late spring or early summer prior to enrollment.
About 48% of the student body are women; 25%, minorities; 6%, African American; 13%, Asian American; and 7%, Hispanic. The majority of students come from New York (57%). The average age of entering students is 25; age range is 20 to 40. About 33% of students enter directly from undergraduate school, 6% have a graduate degree, and 65% have worked full-time prior to entering law school. About 5% drop out after the first year for academic or personal reasons; 95% remain to receive a law degree.
Students edit the Brooklyn Law Review; Brooklyn Journal of International Law; Journal of Law and Public Policy; Brooklyn Journal of Corporate, Financial and Commercial Law, and The Docket. Moot court teams annually compete in 15 to 18 tournaments including the ABA’s National Moot Court Competition; Phillip C. Jessup International Law Moot Competition; and the National First Amendment Competition, co-sponsored by Vanderbilt University and the Freedom Forum. Other competitions include the Texas Young Lawyer’s Association National Trial Competition, College of Trial Lawyers, the Dominick L. Gabriella Family Law Competition, and the Ruby R. Vale Interschool Corporate Moot Court Competition. Law student organizations, local chapters of national associations, and campus organizations include the Association of Trial Lawyers of America; National Lawyers Guild; Legal Association of Women; Brooklyn Law Students for the Public Interest; BLS Students Against Domestic Violence; Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Society; Student Bar Association; and Asian, Black, and Latin American Law Student associations.
The law school operates on a traditional semester basis. Courses for full-time students are offered both day and evening. Electives may be taken in the evening division and must be completed within 4 years. For part-time students, courses are offered evenings only. Periodically, a part-time day division is created and must be completed within 5 years. New full- and part-time students are admitted in the fall. There is a 6 to 7-week summer session. Transferable summer courses are offered.