is the director
Law. She can be reached at wolfer@
Seattle University School of Law’s Sullivan Hall.
the LL.M. program provides a depth
that can’t be found by just learning on
the job. “Rather than picking up conventional wisdom and lore, these students
will be grounded in all the relevant
statutes and regulations — really, the
underpinnings of the technology sector,” Tapia says.
As the tech industry moves from
adolescence to adulthood, it’s time
— some might say past time — for
lawyers to be more involved.
Privacy and security regulations have long been in place
for restaurants, hotels, and
taxi services. The sharing
economy, made possible by
entrepreneurs who know code
but not necessarily the law, is
now grappling with some of
the problems that made those
“When you’re collecting
customers’ information, when
you’re taking their money, you
have certain responsibilities,”
Law for non-lawyers
Aside from the technology
and innovation, the law school
is expanding other education
options. Along with the LL.M.
program is a new program for
students who don’t have a J.D.
degree — and don’t want one.
The law school launched a master’s
degree in legal studies (MLS), the
first degree the law school has offered
specifically for non-lawyers. Because
knowledge of the law intersects with a
wide variety of fields, the MLS degree
is directed at educating students seeking to enhance their knowledge in a
specific field while gaining a comprehensive understanding of how the law
applies to their field.
These students may never take the
bar exam, but still want to learn about
the law and how it works with other
disciplines. This degree will improve
their professional position and give
them the expertise they need to alert
their employers or firms to legal issues
as they arise.
The program curriculum offers a
Meeting a need
general or tailored program of study,
as well as three concentrations: inno-
vation and technology law, tribal law
and governance, and business devel-
opment. Students take two required
courses and four core courses related
to their program of study, with the re-
maining credits chosen from approved
electives and independent study.
The goals and dreams of incoming
students show exactly how a degree like
this can be useful. One is an engineer
knowledge in the areas of access to
health care coverage, income mainte-
nance and retirement planning, financ-
ing the high cost of long-term care,
protection from abuse and neglect,
consumer protection, guardianship,
age/disability discrimination, housing,
and estate and incapacity planning.
“Legal education is what we do best,
so it just made sense to offer more of
it,” said Dean Clark. “Our faculty are
who plans to patent his own invention.
Another is a human resources manager
interested in business and employment
law. And another is a paralegal for a
tribe who would like to become a leader
in a tribally chartered corporation.
And for the law school, it’s a chance
to meet a need in the community in a
way that takes advantage of existing
strengths. Seattle University School of
Law has the largest Indian and tribal
law program in the United States, so
the LL.M. and MLS degrees in that field
were a natural extension.
The program provides lawyers with
both academic and practical training
in the areas of tribal law, federal Indian
law, traditional forms of governance,
and policy within the federal, state, and
tribal structures through a rigorous
program of study.
The LL.M. in elder law, planned for
2017, will emphasize building skills and
amazing teachers and scholars, and we
have a great deal to offer students who
want to go even deeper in their legal
Find out more about Seattle University School of Law’s new programs at
www.law.seattleu.edu/gradlaw or email