Georgia State Law Adds Concentrations in IP, Environmental and Land-Use

Staff Report From Metro Atlanta CEO

Tuesday, December 12th, 2017

Georgia State University College of Law is adding two concentrations, Intellectual Property Law and Environmental and Land-Use Law, to its master of laws program in August 2018.

These concentrations join the Health Law, General Studies and Foreign-Trained Lawyer tracks in the LL.M. program. Since its introduction in fall 2015, the LL.M. program has provided more than 75 foreign-trained lawyers the opportunity to spend a year studying U.S. law.

“Our new domestic LL.M. concentrations are tied to significant and growing areas of the U.S. economy that demand highly educated attorneys,” said Wendy F. Hensel, dean and professor of law. “These advanced degrees will provide graduates with the expertise they need to solve highly complex problems in specific areas and lead to broader employment opportunities.”

“Now we are offering American-trained lawyers similar opportunities to further their legal training through the program,” said Roy Sobelson, program director and professor of law. “Students may pursue General Studies, allowing them to bolster their prior legal education and focus their studies on matters that enhance their knowledge and/or skills. Alternatively, they may pursue concentrations in Health Law, Environmental and Land-Use Law or Intellectual Property Law, all areas in which we have strong faculty and multiple courses.”

Through the concentration in Environmental and Land-Use Law, students will be prepared for practice in this interdisciplinary field, learning how to work with professionals such as planners, engineers, developers and government officials.

“This is an exciting field that encompasses development, transportation, housing, air quality and management of natural resources—issues that affect all of us,” said Karen Johnston (J.D. ’08), assistant director of the college’s Center for the Comparative Study of Metropolitan Growth.

With Atlanta on pace to be the sixth largest metropolitan area in the country by 2040, Georgia State Law is an ideal setting to study environmental and land use laws, Johnston said.

“As a city grappling with rapid growth and development,” she said, “Atlanta provides a living laboratory for students to examine solutions to pressing issues such as transportation and affordable housing challenges, inequality, pollution and pressures on natural resources.”

The Center for the Comparative Study of Metropolitan Growth offers innovative courses and study abroad opportunities to help students understand the larger picture and interconnected nature of the area of work.

In the Intellectual Property Law concentration, students will learn how to apply foundational legal concepts in diverse intellectual property settings, including litigation, transactional work and prosecution.

“The LL.M. will open up our robust IP curriculum to practitioners who want to expand their understanding in this growing field of law,” said Yaniv Heled, associate professor of law and co-director of the college’s Center for Intellectual Property. “We have 15-20 courses offered regularly in our IP program.”

Through its programs and initiatives, the Center for Intellectual Property is a knowledge incubator for education and service and a link between the academic and professional communities in intellectual property law.

The new programs join the concentration in Health Law for graduates of domestic juris doctor programs. The concentration, which began in August, offers classes across a range of topics in a complex field. The health law program is ranked nationally in the top 10. Its Center for Law, Health and Society has 12 full-time faculty and additional affiliated and adjunct faculty with expertise in areas spanning all aspects of health law.