UNH Law School Seeks Approval to Launch Online Degree
NEC member the University of New Hampshire (UNH) School of Law in Concord, NH, recently forayed into the online-education industry. With permission from the American Bar Association, UNH will create the nation’s first specialized law degree.
If given the approval to proceed, the online law degree from UNH will focus on intellectual property, covering topics from patents and trade secrets to privacy. The degree will take three and a half years to complete, and will likely start in the fall of 2019. The school would require the students to be in Concord only three or four weeks each year, and most classes will be taught online. The hope is that the American Bar Association will make an exception to their rule, which says law degrees can offer at most one third of total credit hours through distance learning, with the rest taking place on campus. Only three of the accredited law schools in the country, including Syracuse in New York, Southwestern in Los Angeles, and Mitchell-Hamline in Minnesota, have applied for and received approval to offer an online JD degree.
Dean Megan Carpenter said in a statement that, “Intellectual property is a perfect area for this. It is the law of innovation, so we should think about ways to innovate in legal education while teaching it. . . It’s satisfying to use a technology when you’re learning about law that supports that technology.”
The NEC congratulates UNH on this exciting new initiative and commends them for working to make law school more accessible.