Cornell Tech, Law School announce new degree program

Cornell Tech and Cornell Law School announced Oct. 27 the launch of a Master of Laws (LLM) degree in law, technology and entrepreneurship, which will be offered at Cornell Tech’s New York City campus. The one-year, full-time LLM degree is designed to provide practicing attorneys and recent law graduates with specialized skills to support and lead technology companies in the digital economy. The first students are expected to enroll in 2016.

“The digital economy has raised huge societal, policy and legal questions that traditional law programs simply aren’t designed to address,” said Cornell Tech Dean Dan Huttenlocher. “This groundbreaking LLM program is the first of its kind to give lawyers the tools to be entrepreneurial thinkers, supporting technology startups, product development and the fast-paced growth that is driving the economy. And for Cornell Tech, the introduction of legal scholars and students to our ecosystem of technical students, MBAs and researchers will enrich the learning environment for everyone as we prepare our students for real-world success.”

Said Cornell Law Dean Eduardo Peñalver: “The rapid pace of innovation driving the technology sector today requires a new generation of lawyers with expertise in law, technology and entrepreneurship. The goal of the LLM will be to educate this new generation with the cutting-edge lawyering skills and the business acumen necessary to become first-class attorneys working at the forefront of an entrepreneurial economy. With virtually every modern company relying on technology and the law to further its business model, Cornell is the only university that offers an integrated program designed to equip talented lawyers with the tools for entrepreneurial success. The Law School looks forward to educating a new class of pioneering legal leaders.”

The LLM program will be an integral part of the new academic model at Cornell Tech, where education and research are tied closely to creating and growing companies and products. All LLM students will participate in the studio curriculum in which cross-program teams of students develop new products and services in response to challenges posed by companies and develop startup ideas. In this context, LLM students will be exposed to the real-world challenges that relate to entrepreneurship, early-stage enterprise and established businesses in the technology sector. They will develop expertise in the evolving regulatory environment around the digital economy, as well as structuring deals and agreements for the sector.

By combining an interest in law’s relationship to technology and entrepreneurship, and innovative and integrated teaching, the new program is expected to benefit a wide spectrum of practitioners and students. It is designed to synergize the legal principles and practical business applications that relate to entrepreneurship, early-stage enterprise and established businesses in the technology sector.

LLM classes will be taught at Cornell Tech’s temporary Chelsea campus through mid-2017, after which the program will move to its new home in the Bloomberg Center on the Roosevelt Island campus.

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Melissa Osgood