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FPLC, a private, ABA-accredited school, was founded in 1973 by Robert H. Rines "in reaction to two shortcomings in U.S. legal education: its failure to effectively teach professional skills and its neglect of intellectual property law." Since that time, the intellectual property program at FPLC has become one of the most prestigious and well-respected in the country and is consistently ranked among the top 10 intellectual property programs in the country.
Students interested in studying intellectual property (IP) are provided with an abundance of classes, programs, and options to utilize. According to the law school's IP website, FPLC "offers the most extensive selection of intellectual property courses in the country, exposing students to a wide variety of current intellectual property issues."
The law center offers a joint degree in intellectual property—the J.D./M.I.P. (Master of Intellectual Property)—and a J.D./Certificate of Health Policy program, which is run in conjunction with the University of New Hampshire and allows students to study the key elements of health-policy development. In addition to the two joint degrees offered, there are several concentrations in which students can study while earning their J.D.s: commerce and technology, criminal law, general practice, health law, intellectual property, and social justice.
The school also offers a Master of Intellectual Property in Commerce and Technology and a Master of Laws in Intellectual Property, Commerce, and Technology. The M.I.P. in Commerce and Technology program is a first-of-its-kind course of study designed to train IP professionals, lawyers, administrators, entrepreneurs, and engineers from all over the world to specialize in and understand the practice of intellectual property law and licensing. The LL.M. in Intellectual Property, Commerce, and Technology program allows students to earn postgraduate law degrees and learn more about the business and transactional areas of intellectual property.
Other academic resources for the IP enthusiast include the Intellectual Property Library, the IP Mall (a website that gives students access to IP research), the Intellectual Property Law Review (IDEA), and the Kenneth J. Germeshausen Center.
The law center hosts several summer programs for its students. There are four summer intellectual property programs available: the Criminal Law and Justice Seminar (held in Washington, DC), the Intellectual Property Summer Institute (held in Concord), the China Intellectual Property Summer Institute (which takes place in Beijing and Xi'an), and the eLaw Summer Institute (which takes place in Cork, Ireland).
Students interested in social reform can hone their interest through several social justice projects. The Pierce Law Innocence Project is affiliated with the New England Innocence Project and provides legal assistance to men and women who have been wrongly incarcerated. Street Law, a program for 2L and 3L students, allows students to teach 10-class courses on the rights and responsibilities of law to local high school students. Other programs at the school include the Public Interest Coalition, the Public Interest Summer Fellowship Program, the Student Pro Bono Project, and the High School Mentor Program.
Since opening its doors 24 years ago, the school has graduated several notable alumni, including U.S. Representative Tim Ryan; Maryland politician Roger Manno; and Bing Wang, Vice Dean of Tsinghua University and China's first patent agent.
FPLC is located in New Hampshire's capitol, Concord. Thus, students at FPLC have a wide array of opportunities within the city. Concord is the official seat of the state government and is home to the oldest state house in which members of the legislature still meet in their original chambers.
Concord is also home to several other notable buildings, including the Eagle Hotel, where former presidents wined and dined, and the Walker-Woodman House, the oldest house in Concord. Another major point of interest in the city of 40,687 is the Christa McAuliffe Planetarium named after the Concord teacher who perished in the 1986 Challenger explosion.
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