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The first ever exchange program between U.S. and United Kingdom law schools has been created by the Columbia University Law School in New York and the University of London. The Columbia London Law Institute’s (CLLI) plans include a double degree program, a legal research partnership and continuing legal education courses. The initiative will combine numerous colleges of the University of London and its postgraduate body, the Institute for Advanced Legal Studies (IALS), with New York’s Columbia Law School. Both universities have a tradition of comparative legal education. Professor Barry Rider, director of the IALS, says: “Columbia has been looking at the U.K. as the gateway to Europe for a long time — we’re delighted that they approached us. “What’s really exciting for us is the Columbia/IALS research center, which will involve the presence of several senior Columbia academics in London.” As part of the London meeting of the American Bar Association (ABA) conference, the CLLI will be inaugurated next week. It will be based at the IALS in Russell Square and will start its programs at the beginning of the next academic year. Professor George Bermann of Columbia’s Law School says: “Over the next two decades, the demand for international law specialists will be among the highest for all legal professionals � the lawyer who lacks a firm understanding of the international environment risks irrelevancy. The CLLI will prepare lawyers for the law of the future.” The CLLI will offer three different programs. One will be a double degree program between Columbia and King’s College, LSE and University College London, whereby students spend two years in New York and two in London. They will graduate with a J.D. from Columbia and LL.B from the University of London. A dual postgraduate program is also being developed. Further plans include a legal research partnership between Columbia and the IALS, as one of the largest and most comprehensive law libraries in Europe. A continuing legal education program, taught by visiting Columbia professors, will allow practicing lawyers to expand their knowledge of current American and global legal issues. London’s Professor Terry Daintinth will be Research Director, while Hamish Tristram will be a tutor and mentor for students — the Dean of Students.

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