SUNY Buffalo Law School

John Lord O'Brian Hall
Buffalo, New York 14260-1100

An Overview

Founded in 1887, the SUNY Buffalo Law School - the only law school in the State University of New York (SUNY) system - draws on a long tradition of achievement and excellence. It is widely recognized as the leading public law school in the Northeast, providing a strong foundation and advanced skills that law graduates require to succeed in a competitive legal marketplace. The law school's full-time faculty draws upon a broad range of educational and work experiences. Low tuition fees, combined with financial aid for the deserving, makes a law degree from SUNY Buffalo Law accessible to students from various backgrounds.

Special emphasis placed on interdisciplinary studies, public service, and legal skills makes SUNY Buffalo Law School unique among the nation's premier public law schools. Its dual degree programs combine legal studies for a J.D. with concurrent studies for a Ph.D., M.B.A., M.S.W., M.P.H., M.U.P., and Pharm.D. or other master's degree.

Several interdisciplinary legal research centers energize the law school's intellectual environment and serve as catalysts for law reform. These centers include the Baldy Center for Law & Social Policy; Jaeckle Center for State and Local Democracy; Buffalo Human Rights Center and the Center for the Study of Business Transactions.

Degrees Offered
  • General LL.M.
  • Criminal Law LL.M.

Admission Information

Requirements Details
Eligibility Applicants are eligible to apply to the LL.M. programs if they have a first degree in law from a regionally accredited college or university by the date of intended enrollment in SUNY Buffalo Law School.
Transcripts The Admissions Committee takes a broad view of law school performance. They evaluate transcripts of applicants based on courses taken, increasing levels of difficulty, and academic rigor of the course of study. The academic reputation of the institution is not weighed, as heavily as the student's academic performance. The Admissions Committee will also accept addenda to an application that explain any anomalies in the applicant's academic performance. If applicants have experienced an unexpected event that resulted in an inconsistent academic performance, they can provide a one-page explanation to the Admissions Committee.

NEED TO KNOW: Applicants with non-U.S. academic documents must have them evaluated and if necessary translated. If an application is made through LSAC, the LL.M. Credential Assembly Service (CAS) can be used. If an application is made through Gradmit, the World Education Services (WES) can be used. Upon acceptance and enrollment, students must provide official copies of all academic documentation, including transcripts and proof of degree.
Letters of Recommendation Letters of recommendation help to complete the academic profile of each applicant. Applicants are encouraged to ask faculty members to write these letters. The recommendation should stress an applicant's ability to think and write critically and analyze large volumes of text as well as explain the level of responsibility the applicant held in the classroom. The Graduate Admissions Committee highly values letters from faculty members who know the applicant well.

If applicants are returning to the academic environment after some time away, letters of recommendation from employers are acceptable. They should be encouraged to stress the applicant's academic ability as much as possible.
Personal Statement The Graduate Admissions Committee uses the personal statement to learn about each applicant. They are particularly interested in knowing what motivates applicants to pursue an advanced law degree. They are also interested in learning about the life experiences of prospective students in addition to their family background, academic experiences and academic accomplishments, which make them uniquely qualified to pursue an advanced degree at SUNY Buffalo Law School.

The personal statement should be an excellent example of an applicant's writing skills. It is recommended that the statement is proofread at least once prior to submission. Ideally, this statement should be tailored to SUNY Buffalo Law School. It should not be more than 2½ typewritten pages.
Proof of Competency in English Applicants, whose first language is not English, must demonstrate English proficiency by taking the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). TOEFL scores must be dated within two years of prospective enrollment at the law school.
Application Fee $75
Law School Admission Test N/A
Curriculum Vitae Applicants must complete all questions before submitting their application. If any question is omitted, the application will be considered incomplete and consequently, delay the review of the application submitted

If an applicant answers "yes" to any of the questions related to character and fitness, an additional statement requires to be submitted to support the response. Responding in the affirmative to the character and fitness questions does not disqualify prospective students from admission. The Graduate Admissions Committee considers the seriousness of the event, how recently it occurred, whether someone was harmed, and whether this was an isolated incident or a pattern of behavior.

Other Information

Criteria Details
Nature and Tenure of Courses Offered One year degree program
Application Procedure/Time to apply/Application deadline The deadline for submitting all supporting material is1 April.
LL.M. Degree Requirements Applicants should have a first degree in law from a regionally accredited college or university by the date of intended enrollment in SUNY Buffalo Law School. Applicants whose first language is not English must demonstrate English proficiency by taking the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). TOEFL scores must be dated within two years of prospective enrollment at SUNY Buffalo Law School.
To earn an LL.M. degree in the Specialized Programs, students are required to get:

Course Requirement
General LL.M. Applicants possessing a J.D. degree or an equivalent foreign law degree (LL.B.) are eligible to get enrolled in the General LL.M. Program.
Criminal Law LL.M. Applicants possessing a J.D. degree or an equivalent foreign law degree are eligible to get enrolled in the LL.M. Program in Criminal Law.

Details of Courses Offered

Students pursuing the General LL.M. program, create a one-year degree program around their particular research interest. If they are lawyers educated outside the United States and want to use the LL.M. to qualify to sit for the New York Bar Examination, they are encouraged to pursue a specially designed General LL.M. Professional program. The Law School will take into consideration the familiarity of these students with other legal jurisdictions, and do their best to facilitate their transition into the U.S. legal system.

The Criminal Law LL.M. is one of the only post-professional programs in the United States devoted exclusively to the study of criminal law. In this unique program, students create an individual program of study in U.S., international and comparative criminal law.

Financial Aid

Applicants must document their ability to meet all educational and personal expenses for the entire period of study and identify specific sources of funds for the first year of study. All financial documents must be e-mailed directly to the Law School Admissions Office.International applicants are eligible for merit scholarships in the first year of law school, and departmental assistantships and fellowships after completing the first year of law school, but not for state or federal financial aid.

Cost of Attendance

Law School Costs (2013-2014):

Tuition $21,970
Comprehensive Fee $1,583
Student Activity Fee $160
Academic Excellence Fee $150
Housing $10,906
Board Allowances $3,439
Books/Supplies $1,352
Personal $2,755
Transportation $2,240
Total for New York State Residents $44,555
Additional Cost for non-New York State Residents +$16,070

Career Development/Services Offered

SUNY Buffalo Law's Career Services Office (CSO) provides students and alumni with the assistance, encouragement and support necessary to enable them to discover and pursue paths toward career development and advancement.

CSO helps students learn about career options and develop the necessary skills to pursue a successful and satisfying career. CSO is a source of information and assistance for planning and pursuing summer, academic year and post-graduation opportunities.