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October 29, 2015

Cornell Tech, Law School Launch New Degree Program

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A rendering shows the planned Cornell Tech campus, currently under construction on Roosevelt Island. (Courtesy of Cornell University)

Cornell Tech and Cornell Law School announced the creation of a new Master of Laws degree program on Tuesday, which will give current attorneys and graduates the skills to “support and lead technology companies in the digital economy,” according to the University.

The one-year LLM degree in law, technology and entrepreneurship is full-time and will be offered at Cornell Tech in New York City, according to a University press release. Officials say they expect students to begin enrolling in 2016. Classes will be taught at Cornell Tech’s temporary home in Chelsea until mid-2017, when the school moves to Roosevelt Island.

As part of the academic model at Cornell Tech — where “education and research are tied closely to creating and growing companies and products” — students of the new program will have the opportunity to work their creative muscles through developing products and other solutions in response to “challenges posed by companies,” according to the release.

Through this kind of work, students will confront real-world situations that can be found in the realms of entrepreneurship and business in the technology sector. They will also gain the skills needed to navigate the “evolving environment around the digital economy.”

Dan Huttenlocher, dean of Cornell Tech, said in a statement that typical law programs have not been designed to address the evolving nature of the digital economy as well as its societal, policy and legal implications.

“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,” Huttenlocher said.

Eduardo Peñalver ’94, dean of the law school, said that with today’s “rapid pace of innovation” in the tech sector, there exists a need for lawyers who are trained 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,” Peñalver said. “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.”

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