Georgia State University’s law school next fall will launch a master’s degree program to help lawyers trained in overseas jurisdictions gain eligibility to practice law in the United States.
The move will coincide with the first semester in the College of Law’s new $82.5 million building, which will house the Atlanta Center for Commercial Arbitration and Mediation on its fourth floor.
The arbitration center provides a physical focal point for years of efforts by local attorneys to build Atlanta into a greater center for dispute resolution, a growing discipline in international law. The center counts access to legal scholars and budding attorneys as one of the primary advantages of being located within the college.
Douglas Yarn, a professor who lobbied to put the center within the school, told Global Atlanta in a July interview that many of the foreign master’s students would likely specialize in dispute resolution and could bring their expertise to bear on the arbitration center.
Though most cases would be closed, there would likely be opportunities for the students to gain additional real-world experience, fitting with the school’s rationale for hosting the center.
“It’s not just the international cachet associated with it,” said Mr. Yarn, who is also executive director of the GSU-housed Consortium on Negotiation and Conflict Resolution. “We see it as part of our service mission and our connection to the bench, the bar the business community and the state of Georgia broadly.”
Shelby Grubbs, director of the arbitration center, has said in previous interviews that it would be as “ecumenical” as possible as it works to build capacity in this field and is open to working with law schools from around the area. This fall, Mr. Grubbs is co-coaching a moot team from the University of Georgia.
The GSU degree, an LL.M., will include two tracks: bar preparation, which will focus on getting attorneys ready for state exams in Georgia, New York and elsewhere; and flexible studies, which is to include specialties like health law, intellectual property, land use and urban growth.
“Business and law are interconnected today more than ever, and attorneys must have global competency to succeed in an international business environment,” L. Lynn Hogue, professor emeritus, said in a news release. “Foreign-trained lawyers with an LL.M. from Georgia State Law will be ready to integrate seamlessly with attorney counterparts anywhere in the world to advance their clients’ needs.”
For more information on the arbitration center, read: Atlanta Arbitration Center Looks Abroad for Models
To learn more the GSU master’s or to apply for the fall 2015 semester, click here.