Dean's Message

Message from Dean Maureen O'Rourke:
Welcome to Boston University School of Law

Maureen O'Rourke

View this message in Chinese.

Welcome to BU Law’s website. Throughout the site, you’ll find news and information about the School’s activities and resources. You’ll also learn why BU Law is not only a great school but also a great community. Our faculty, alumni, and student body are unmatched in intelligence, energy and ability—and they make BU Law a rich and rewarding place to learn.

BU Law’s faculty members are often recognized for their excellence—they are exceptional scholars who love to teach. The Princeton Review and the Leiter Law School Ranking consistently rank us at or among the top law schools for teaching quality in the nation. BU Law also enjoys one of the best reputations for excellence in legal scholarship in the United States and, indeed, the world. We prize scholarship and teaching quality—and our faculty excel at both.

At BU Law, you can prepare for the future you want. Few schools match the breadth and depth of our curriculum. You can design your course of study by choosing from more than 200 courses, 20 areas of legal study, and 18 study abroad opportunities. You can choose to participate in clinical programs that will teach you real-world skills under the close supervision of experienced professors and practitioners. You can cross-register in other BU graduate schools, pursue a dual degree by combining law study with other BU graduate programs or pursue a combined J.D./LL.M. degree in either tax or banking and financial law on an accelerated basis. You can work on one of six journals or join one of our many diverse student organizations. And our location in Boston gives you access to some of the best internship and employment opportunities in the nation.

Today, our graduates find rewarding legal careers at top law firms, in public interest organizations, at all levels of the judiciary, in state government, in Congress and the White House, and at some of the largest corporations and entertainment affiliates in the world. While we continue to rank as a Top 25 school for placing students in large practices, according to the National Law Journal, in this unsettled economic climate, we’ve redoubled our efforts to help our students build compelling résumés and strong career paths in many legal fields.

Since 2009, students in our Semester-in-Practice program have earned academic credit while working full time for a semester under the supervision of on-site mentors and BU Law faculty in government agencies and other legal settings across the U.S. and overseas. As student participation has soared, recent graduates have been hired as full-time attorneys and selected for postgraduate fellowships by the organizations where they completed their semester-in-practice.

In 2010, we began awarding fellowships to members of the graduating class to serve as judicial law clerks, allowing them to work full time for ten months. We expanded the program in 2011 to include more graduates and broadened the scope to nonprofits and government agencies around the country and abroad. Of the fellows from both classes, all are now employed as attorneys, and half of the 2011 fellows are now working for the organizations where they completed their fellowships.

We also introduced a Transactional Law Program in 2011, headed by a former partner at Skadden, one of the nation’s leading mergers and acquisitions firms. In this program, students learn drafting, analysis and negotiation of contracts, as well as various other practice skills required of transactional practitioners.

Of course, we’re also very mindful of the financial burdens law graduates walk away with along with their degrees. With the recent launch of The Campaign for Boston University, the School of Law is seeking to raise $15 million for additional student scholarships.

At BU Law, you’ll find a strong community where each of our members is valued and supported. Since we opened our doors in 1872, we have accepted students of ability, regardless of their race, background or gender. We are a community that values and respects one another. We encourage collegiality, openness, and respect for differing points of view. And we have a strong focus on helping our students succeed—while you’re in school and after you graduate. I invite you to explore our remarkable community through this site—and I look forward to seeing you in person on campus.