CoL launches New York Bar programme

The College of Law (CoL) is making its first foray into the US legal market with radical plans to offer the New York Bar Exam to its Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) students.

Full-time GDL students who go on to complete CoL’s Legal Practice Course (LPC) or Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) will be eligible to sit for the New York Bar Exam following an additional 22-week study programme. This will be available to those students who start their GDL with CoL in September 2010 and can be completed in one block or spread over a longer period of time.

Though the programme is principally targetted at domestic students CoL is hoping to attract graduates from overseas universities particularly from the US and south-east Asia.

CoL chief executive Nigel Savage said: “This is really putting London at the centre of global education. Attracting the best talent to the UK will be great for London and help sustain it as a legal services and legal education hub.”

Previously UK non-law graduates would first need to qualify as a lawyer in the UK and then complete an LL.M Masters degree in the US before being able to sit the New York Bar Exam.

The additional 22-week study programme, following completion of the GDL and then either the LPC or BPTC, includes electives in US business and securities law.

Students can take these additional electives in the UK or, subject to the outcome of current negotiations, at a top ten US law school.

Those who successfully complete the extended course will be awarded a US-style CoL Juris Doctor (JD) professional degree in law.

In a related move CoL has also announced a partnership with Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago. Northwestern is assisting CoL in designing and ultimately delivering the additional electives that are required to enable students to sit the New York Bar Exam.

Separately, CoL has entered into a similar relationship with IE Law School in Madrid.