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UCLA School of Law to Reopen LL.M. Program Application Process for 2009-10 Academic Year in Response to Changing Employment Situation for Law School Graduates

Expanded LL.M. curriculum will include program to enhance practice skills of new lawyers

Lauri Gavel                                                                  APPLICATION FOR ADMISSION                                                                  
Director of Communications
UCLA School of Law
(310) 206-2611

LOS ANGELES, April 16, 2009 - In response to the changing employment situation for graduates of U.S. law schools, UCLA School of Law announced today that it is reopening its LL.M. program application process for the 2009-10 academic year, and will accept up to 20 additional students who are graduates of U.S. law schools, including deferred hires.

The newly admitted LL.M.s will have the option of participating in the new Transition to Practice program, which will focus on enhancing the practical skills and development of the new lawyer. The program will replicate significant parts of the learning that comes in the first year of practice, but in a controlled learning environment. 

"These challenging economic times have affected young lawyers in surprising ways. In response to the current economic climate, UCLA School of Law is reaching out to recent law school graduates, whether from our law school or not, to help them in their transition from law school to practice," Dean Michael H. Schill said. "Through the new Transition to Practice program, which will focus on experiential learning and skills, law school graduates and deferred hires will be able to expand on their legal education and develop additional legal skills during this transition period."

A core component of the Transition to Practice program will be capstone courses that will draw heavily on practice-oriented projects in addition to substantial research and written work. Capstone courses will include part-time externships within corporate legal departments, as well as clinical simulations, where students work with real legal problems in a controlled environment that permits reflection and generalization of lessons learned. The Transition to Practice program will also include a required workshop series designed to introduce students to the practical issues that confront new lawyers, ranging from how to define a work-product to understanding a client's business and goals, and handling practical problems of ethics and confidentiality.   Capstone classes will be taught both by the core faculty of the law school and prominent practicing lawyers.  The law school expects to develop curriculum in conjunction with leading law firms and corporate legal departments and to draw on the expertise of the Los Angeles legal community. 

According to Stephen Yslas, corporate vice president and general counsel of Northrop Grumman Corporation, "Northrop Grumman is pleased to work with this innovative program and looks forward to a mutually beneficial relationship with an extern from the new UCLA Law specialization.  Our business provides valuable learning opportunities for a new lawyer seeking direct client experience."

"UCLA School of Law's Transition to Practice program is an outstanding option for recent law school graduates, deferred hires and employers," said James D. C. Barrall '75, head of Latham & Watkin's Global Benefits Compensation Group. "This unique training will replicate much of the experience of a new associate, which will allow recent graduates to hit the ground running when they start their jobs. Employers also gain new lawyers with practical legal training under their belt."

About UCLA School of Law
Founded in 1949, UCLA School of Law is the youngest major law school in the nation and has established a tradition of innovation in its approach to teaching, research and scholarship.  With approximately 100 faculty and 970 students, the school pioneered clinical teaching, is a leader in interdisciplinary research and training and is at the forefront of efforts to link research to its effects on society and the legal profession. For more information, visit http://www.law.ucla.edu.