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Syracuse University College of Law

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Syracuse University College of Law
Established 1895
School type Private non-profit
Dean Hannah R. Arterian
Location Syracuse, NY, US
Faculty (See List)
Annual tuition
Outlines 0 (See List)
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Syracuse University College of Law is located in Syracuse, NY

Syracuse University College of Law (SUCOL), founded in 1895, is a professional school of Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York. It is one of only four law schools in Upstate New York (the other three being Albany, Buffalo, and Cornell). Syracuse was accredited by the American Bar Association in 1923 and is a charter member of the Association of American Law Schools. As of the 2005-2006 academic year, 768 students were enrolled in the College of Law.

The College of Law offers joint degree programs with, among others, the top ranked Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and the highly regarded S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. It offers a special first year program in international law and summer internship/externship opportunities in London, Amsterdam, and Geneva. The College of Law is well known for its trial and appellate advocacy program and is one of the few privileged law schools that edits an official American Bar Association publication, The Labor Lawyer. It is also home to the New York State Science & Technology Law Center and the New York Prosecutors Training Institute.

The College of Law is located on the edge of the Syracuse University Hill adjacent to the Carrier Dome in Ernest I. White and Winifred MacNaughton Halls. Its library is called the H. Douglas Barclay Law Library. The library is a congressionally designated depository for federal materials and also houses a collection of former Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson's artifacts and documents.

Notable alumni and faculty

Syracuse University College of Law's notable alumni includes

Honorary law degree recipients

The College of Law's faculty includes

  • Internationally recognized constitutional law and national security expert William C. Banks
  • Noted constitutional scholar, author, and historian William M. Wiecek
  • Labor and employment law expert Robert J. Rabin
  • Tort and constitutional law expert Leslie Bender

Both Professors Wiecek and Bender have been cited by the United States Supreme Court.

Advocacy skills training

The College of Law was honored with the Emil Gumpert Award for the best law school advocacy program in the United States by the American College of Trial Lawyers. The New York State Bar Association cited Syracuse as the best trial skills law school in New York State 10 times in recent years by awarding the College its coveted Tiffany Cup.

Syracuse has received the highest award that the American College of Trial Lawyers gives to law schools based on the school's trial advocacy record and the strength of the school's trial training programs. In 2002 U.S. News & World Report rated the College of Law's trial advocacy program in the top 10 in the United States.

Moot court and trial team

Because of its extensive advocacy skills program, the College of Law has won numerous national moot court competitions. In the past 16 years, its teams have won 3 national trial championships, 15 Northeast regional first place awards, and 5 best-advocate-in-the-nation awards. Five times in the past 9 years the College of Law has been invited to the National Invitational Tournament of Champions, featuring the nation's 12 best teams. Syracuse has won other national awards in appellate, minority rights, and international tax competitions.

In 2006 a team of three students won the national championship at the second annual Sexual Orientation Moot Court Competition at the University of California, Los Angeles. The competition included 16 law school teams from across the country.

In 2002 a team of four students finished second in the National Civil Trial Competition and a second year student won overall best advocate. In 2002 and 2003 the College of Law participated in the 3rd Annual Quinnipiac University School of Law's Northeast Regional Criminal Justice Trial Advocacy competition. Another event was the 12th annual Cat Bennett Criminal Trial Advocacy competition, as sponsored by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

From 1998-2001, Syracuse was the first place winner in three Sojourner Truth National Appellate Competitions, and won the Best Brief Award each year. In 2000, the College of Law was the national champion in the Thomas Tang Moot Court Competition and regional champions in 2001. The Tax Team won the Oral Competition in the 2001 National Tax Moot Court Competition.

From 1977-2001, Syracuse's National Trial Team achieved the best record in Region II competition, winning 15 Regional Championships, two National Championships, one National Championship Runner-Up Award, three National Best Advocate Awards, and numerous Regional Advocacy Awards. From 1989-2001, the College of Law was invited to participate in the Tournament of Champions fall competition. The competition is only open to the 16 law schools with the best trial team records over the preceding three years. From 1983-2001, Syracuse's ATLA Trial Team won one National Championship, plus numerous regional awards.

From 1998-2001, the National Appellate team won the Region I competition with the Best Brief Award and was named a Quarter-Finalist in the 1999 National Finals. Each year, teams of first year students take part in an International Law Moot Court Competition held in Toronto, Canada. Syracuse's team won the championship in 1993 and 2003.

In addition thereto, Syracuse has also excelled in the Phillip C. Jessup International Moot Court Competition. In fact, the 2004 team beat such schools as Harvard University College of Law and Boston College, taking home the trophy for Best Brief and finishing Second overall.

Rankings and reputation

The College of Law is currently ranked as a tier 3 school for 2007 by U.S. News & World Report in its annual rankings of American law schools. [1] For 2006, 2005, and 2004 it was ranked 95th, tier 3, and 97th, respectively. In previous decades, however, it had been ranked as a top 50 law school. The College hopes to restore its ranking through a series of initiatives which includes, but is not limited to

  • The aggressive recruitment of distinguished faculty
  • More stringent admissions policies
  • Extensive networking to create stronger ties with regional and national employers
  • Building its financial endowment and making key improvements to law school facilities

Given the immense resources of Syracuse University, a major research university and member of the Association of American Universities, an increase in the College of Law's ranking seems to be a very realistic goal.

Symposia and conferences

On October 26-27, 2006, the Syracuse Law Review and the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism co-sponsored a symposium entitled, "A Nuclear Iran: The Legal Implications of a Preemptive National Security Strategy." Participants included a number of legal scholars that specialize in preemption, use of the military (including the legality of covert operations), the role of international organizations, and use of diplomatic options (such as sanctions), as well as experts in Iranian, Israeli, and Middle Eastern politics and history. They discussed such issues as why Iran wants to be a nuclear power, the regional and international security ramifications of Iran acquiring nuclear weapons, the domestic and international legal and political framework governing nuclear proliferation, and the legality and impact of various U.S. and international actions to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power.

The symposium opened with keynote remarks drafted by Dr. Robert Joseph, Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security and the principal State officer for non- and counter-proliferation matters. It concluded with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Seymour Hersh, who gave a keynote address and moderated a panel discussion on the legality and effectiveness of various U.S. responses to a nuclear Iran. Articles written by the panelists will be published by the Syracuse Law Review in its spring book, which will be dedicated solely to the symposium.

In October of 2005, the College of Law, along with the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, and the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications collaborated to host a two-day symposium in Washington, D.C. called "Bench Press: The Collision of Media, Politics, Public Pressure and an Independent Judiciary." [2] The symposium on judicial independence aired live on C-SPAN and brought together more than 30 judges, journalists and scholars to address attacks on the judiciary. Participants included Second Circuit Judges John Walker and Rosemary Pooler, Alabama Supreme Court Justice Harold See, The New Yorker's Jeffrey Toobin, professor and journalist Jeffrey Rosen, former New York Times columnist Anthony Lewis, and National Public Radio's Nina Totenberg.

Building history and renovations

The building is named for Ernest I. White, a Syracuse lawyer, businessman, and major contributor to the structure's 1947 fund drive. It was the ninth building completed in Syracuse University's $15 million postwar construction program. The College of Law, since its inception having moved to five different locations around the city of Syracuse, at last had a permanent home on campus.

The building contains a library, classrooms, faculty and administrative offices, lounges and practice court rooms. White Hall is situated on a hill and has two levels; the west side has four stories and the east has three.

The Arnold M. Grant Auditorium was completed in April 1967. It is attached to the southern end of White Hall and provides the College of Law with a 400 seat auditorium and extra classroom space.

The 1981-1985 renovation of White Hall added the Barclay Library to the northern end of the structure, and provided for new administrative and faculty offices, new classrooms, a student activities area and more computer space. The $4.5 million construction and refurbishment effort culminated, on March 22, 1985, in a rededication ceremony for the improved White Hall.

Syracuse University began an expansion project for White Hall in early 1997. Plans called for the addition of a cafe and construction of a new building (MacNaughton Hall), which includes classrooms, practice courtrooms, and student offices.

There are currently preliminary plans to relocate the College of Law by either constructing a new building or purchasing an existing one. One of the proposed locations is in downtown Syracuse. If that becomes the case, the existing law school building will be used by the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.

Student publications

In-House Clinical Programs

Applied learning centers

Student organizations

College of Law traditions

External links