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Law School Launches Online Intellectual Property Program

A law school has released the nation’s first online-residential hybrid law program that focuses on intellectual property.

The University of New Hampshire School of Law announced that the JD program began last Wednesday with an orientation and five-day session of courses. The program is aimed towards working professionals, from age 25 to 71, and takes 3.5 years to complete.

“This one-of-a-kind program allows JD students to complete required coursework online with minimal residential requirements,” according to the law school. “Because relocating or leaving your job isn’t always an option—but getting the education you’ve dreamed of should be.”

RISE OF ONLINE

The program highlights an important moment in law school education. Over the past few years, a number of law schools have announced online programs to try and reach a wider applicant base.

Last year, for example, we reported how the ABA proposed a new rule that would almost double the number of distance learning credits students are eligible to take before graduation.

For UNH Law, the new program reaches far and wide. According to the Concord Monitor, more than one-third of the program’s students are from outside New England, with six coming from Texas and three from California. Moreover, the student body is made up of diverse backgrounds with nine students holding Ph.D.’s and three holding medical degrees.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY EMPHASIS

Intellectual property has long been a focus at UNH Law.

“From its earliest days, founded in 1973 as the Franklin Pierce Law Center, IP has been a big part of the school’s emphasis. It already offers a certificate in the field, but this is the first full degree,” David Brooks, of the Concord Monitor, writes.

UNH Law hopes the new program will prepare students for a world that increasingly relies on IP.

“Earning a JD focused on IP and technology enables students to deep dive into a particular subject matter that is substantially relevant in more than one-quarter of all industries nationwide,” according to UNH Law. “There is an increasing need for legal education related to IP and technology as new and emerging digital technologies transform the private and public sectors at lightning speed.”

Sources: UNH Law, Tipping the Scales, Concord Monitor