UB Law School to Offer Master’s Program in Criminal Law

By Sue Wuetcher

Release Date: July 30, 1999

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The University at Buffalo Law School this fall will offer a post-professional master of laws (LL.M.) program in criminal law, the only program of its kind in the nation.

The program, which has enrolled eight students from the U.S. and abroad for its initial semester, will combine practical, hands-on courses with a variety of other offerings that will allow students to devote themselves to the in-depth study of a wide range of topics in American, comparative and international criminal law.

Designed for students with a law degree (J.D.) or the equivalent, the program is administered by the Buffalo Criminal Law Center, one of the nation's premier research institutes in criminal law. The center is headed by Markus Dubber, UB professor of law.

"The master of laws program provides American and foreign law graduates with a unique opportunity to develop and strengthen their expertise in criminal law," said R. Nils Olsen, Jr., dean of the UB Law School. "It further energizes an area of excellence in the UB Law School curriculum."

Added Dubber: "The LL.M. program in criminal law forms part of the center's effort to assign criminal law its rightful place in American legal education. If we want to improve the quality of criminal justice in our country, we need well-trained and well-rounded prosecutors and criminal defense attorneys."

Students design their own individualized curriculum from a wide variety of courses, including "Advanced Criminal Procedure," "Comparative Criminal Law," "Criminal Forensic Evidence," "Death Penalty Law and Practice" and "White Collar Crime." They must complete 24 credit hours of course work, either on a full- or part-time basis.

One of the courses offered, "Advanced Criminal Law Clinic," will provide students with the opportunity to work on actual cases and interact with clients under the supervision of an experienced attorney.

Students also will participate in the Buffalo Criminal Law Center's projects and activities. These include:

o An annual criminal law conference that brings leading experts to the UB Law School to tackle a central criminal-law issue of topical interest. Past conferences have dealt with the role of victims in the criminal law, the reform of federal criminal law and the reinstatement of capital punishment in New York State.

o The Buffalo Criminal Law Review, one of the leading criminal-law journals in the country. Recent publications have included symposium issues on federal criminal-law reform and special issues on criminal-law theory and new developments in criminal procedure.

o The Herbert Wechsler National Criminal Law Moot Court Competition. The annual competition, named after the drafter of the Model Penal Code, focuses on topics in substantive criminal law, including the constitutionality and interpretation of federal and state criminal statutes. The only national moot court devoted specifically to substantive criminal law, the Wechsler competition is hosted by the center in collaboration with the Buffalo Criminal Law Society, an organization of UB law students with an interest in criminal law.

o The Buffalo Criminal Law Center's Web site , which hosts one of the most comprehensive online collections of materials on American and foreign criminal law.

Founded in 1996, the Buffalo Criminal Law Center is dedicated to the study of American, comparative and international criminal law. It provides state and federal legislatures with in-depth analyses of criminal-justice issues to encourage the development of long-term approaches to the problem of crime and punishment, serves as a forum for innovative research to reinvigorate the study of criminal law in the U.S. and offers students in the UB Law School the opportunity to conduct advanced research on criminal law under close faculty supervision.

For further information on the center and the master of laws program in criminal law, visit the center's Web site at or contact the center at 716-645-3407 or via email at criminal-law@acsu.buffalo.edu