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School of Law | Susan Wawrose Named Director of Grad Law Programs

Susan Wawrose Named Director of Grad Law Programs

Dean Lisa Kloppenberg announced September 13 that Professor Susan Wawrose has been named director of the School of Law's graduate law programs.

The School of Law offers graduate degrees, a Master of Law (LL.M.) and a Master in the Study of Law (M.S.L.), in Intellectual Property and Technology Law to lawyers and non-lawyers from the United States and abroad. The LL.M., an advanced law degree for anyone who already has a J.D., combines a foundation in traditional legal theory with contemporary legal issues examining how technology is commercialized and rapidly integrated into our society. The M.S.L. degree is designed for anyone who possesses an undergraduate degree in an area other than law but wishes to acquire advanced knowledge of the law within a particular area.

Eleven students have enrolled in the program this year, including one from China and another from Kenya. They are the first students not from the United States to join the program. About half of the students are Dayton Law graduates. Of the 11, eight are pursuing LL.M. degrees and three are working on M.S.L. degrees.

The program was launched in 2007 under the direction of Professor Cooley Howarth. Two students have graduated in the program, Aziz Ahmad in 2008 and Francis Sweeney this year.

Wawrose, who joined the School of Law as a faculty member in the Legal Profession Program in 1998 and will continue to teach courses in that area, has an interest in global legal education and experience teaching international students both in the U.S. and abroad. Before attending law school, she taught English as a Second Language at the City University of New York. She has also worked with international students both in Cairo and, more recently, in Luxembourg, where she worked with students preparing take the English portion of the International Baccalaureate exam. She also recently agreed to cochair the Legal Writing Institute's Global Legal Skills Committee for the 2010-12 term.

"As we continue to populate our graduate law programs, Professor Wawrose's experience and passion will be instrumental, particularly in integrating our students from abroad into the law school environment," Kloppenberg said.

Wawrose said she's excited to take on the new challenge. "International education is a strong interest of mine," she said. "It's good to be back in that world."

Wawrose said she plans to spend time reviewing the graduate law program, and will work with administrators and faculty to determine the program's long-term goals. It's important to "understand what's best for the law school and what's best for students coming in, how to serve their needs and the existing J.D. program," Wawrose said.

One challenge for the program will be working with students who are not from the United States. "This is a new experience for us," she said. "We can draw to some extent on the experience of other law schools. We need to make sure we can provide the academic support students need, but we won't know fully what that is until we have students in place taking part in the programs."

In recent years the School of Law has been increasing its international outreach. More students from abroad have enrolled in Dayton Law, and, this year alone, about a third of the faculty have taught or presented in other countries, including in China, the Czech Republic, England, Germany, Greece, India, Ireland, Israel and Italy.

"It's an exciting opportunity for the law school to become involved in the global community," Wawrose said.


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