Schools with Copyright Law Programs: How to Choose

Dec 09, 2019

Students interested in copyright law could pursue a J.D. degree with a corresponding certificate in intellectual property, alternatively, practicing lawyers seeking additional training in copyright law could also pursue a Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Intellectual Property. Both are available at various law schools throughout the country.

Top Ten Intellectual Property Law Schools

These twelve postsecondary institutions were ranked highest by U.S. News & World Report in 2019:

College/University Location Institution Type Tuition (2019-2020)*
University of California - Berkeley Berkeley, CA Public $49,235 (in-state), $53,276 (out-of-state)
Stanford University Stanford, CA Private $62,373
New York University New York, NY Private $66,422
Santa Clara University Santa Clara, CA Private $50,624 (full-time), $37,968 (part-time)
George Washington University Washington, DC Private $60,790 (full-time), $44,940 (part-time)
University of New Hampshire School of Law Concord, NH Public $37,405 (in-state), $43,305 (out-of-state)
University of Houston Houston, TX Public $32,093 (in-state), $47,128 (out-of-state)
American University Washington, DC Private $56,724 (full-time), $39,614 (part-time)
Boston University Boston, MA Private $55,076
Duke University Durham, NC Private $64,722
Texas A&M University Fort Worth, TX Public $31,000 (in-state), $38,100 (out-of-state)
University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA Private $65,804

Source: *U.S. News & World Report

School Selection Criteria

You may want to think about the following considerations when choosing a copyright law program:

  • Look for a school that offers student groups and activities like copyright competitions, law clinics, and colloquiums, providing the opportunity to interact with professionals and obtain field experience.
  • Research the faculty to determine their experience and reputation in the arena of intellectual property law, as well as learning about their published works, alma mater, and legal specialty.
  • If you want to study law in a distance learning format, find out if the program offers online study options.
  • If you have daytime obligations, look into whether evening classes are available.

J.D. with Certificate in Intellectual Property

Applicants to a J.D. degree program must have a bachelor's degree and pass the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). Schools offering certificate programs in intellectual property typically include courses that explore Internet and video game copyright laws. Certificates require up to 20 credit hours in addition to the J.D. degree.

LL.M. in Intellectual Property

LL.M. programs are available for practicing lawyers who have already earned a J.D. degree. These programs are often highly selective and can usually be completed within one year. Most schools offer programs part-time, during the evening or online. Courses cover the enforcement of copyrights and trademarks. Typically, students must complete a publishable thesis relating to intellectual property.

Aspiring and experienced lawyers who are interested in copyright law can find relevant degree programs. They can make the most of their training by enrolling in a school that is well-known for intellectual property law and offers a variety of academic opportunities.

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