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IU Maurer partners with Oxford for new program

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The Indiana University Maurer School of Law has signed an agreement with the Oxford Internet Institute, a department of the University of Oxford, creating a new program that will allow students to earn a certification in information law and policy from the British university and a Master of Laws degree from IU Maurer School of Law.

Aimed primarily at international students, the new program will give students with an American law degree or non-U.S. equivalency the opportunity to take 14 to 16 credit hours of existing regular law courses in the broad area of information and intellectual property law.

Students admitted to the program will spend the fall semester in Bloomington and the spring term at Oxford, where they will take specialized courses and complete a 10,000-word thesis. The thesis provides students the opportunity to apply the methods and approaches covered during their coursework and carry out a substantive piece of academic research on an information law and policy-related topic of their choice.

Students who complete 24 credit hours from IU or the equivalent and an acceptable thesis will receive a Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree from the IU Maurer School of Law and a Certificate in Information Law and Policy from the OII.

A faculty member from the Bloomington law school will spend most, if not all, of the spring semester in Oxford overseeing the students' work. Students are expected to complete the program within one year.  

Distinguished Professor Fred H. Cate, who directs IU’s Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research, and Oxford’s Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, professor of Internet governance and regulation, will lead the program, which has an initial term of three years beginning in the fall of 2012.

In 2001, the University of Oxford founded the OII as a department for the study of the societal implications of the Internet. The Institute's faculty members are engaged in a variety of research projects covering social, economic, political, legal, technical and ethical issues of the Internet in everyday life.
 

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  1. The fee increase would be livable except for the 11% increase in spending at the Disciplinary Commission. The Commission should be focused on true public harm rather than going on witch hunts against lawyers who dare to criticize judges.

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  5. From the perspective of a practicing attorney, it sounds like this masters degree in law for non-attorneys will be useless to anyone who gets it. "However, Ted Waggoner, chair of the ISBA’s Legal Education Conclave, sees the potential for the degree program to actually help attorneys do their jobs better. He pointed to his practice at Peterson Waggoner & Perkins LLP in Rochester and how some clients ask their attorneys to do work, such as filling out insurance forms, that they could do themselves. Waggoner believes the individuals with the legal master’s degrees could do the routine, mundane business thus freeing the lawyers to do the substantive legal work." That is simply insulting to suggest that someone with a masters degree would work in a role that is subpar to even an administrative assistant. Even someone with just a certificate or associate's degree in paralegal studies would be overqualified to sit around helping clients fill out forms. Anyone who has a business background that they think would be enhanced by having a legal background will just go to law school, or get an MBA (which typically includes a business law class that gives a generic, broad overview of legal concepts). No business-savvy person would ever seriously consider this ridiculous master of law for non-lawyers degree. It reeks of desperation. The only people I see getting it are the ones who did not get into law school, who see the degree as something to add to their transcript in hopes of getting into a JD program down the road.

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