St. John’s University School of Law announced plans for two new master of laws programs, one in International and Comparative Sports Law and the other in Transnational Legal Practice.

The programs are intended to expand the law school’s global focus and leverage its location in New York City — a hub for international business. The programs will be open to both U.S. and international students beginning next fall.

“With these initiatives, St. John’s School of Law is charting new pathways to the practice of international law in its many forms at a time when the legal profession is becoming more and more globalized,” said Jeffrey Walker, assistant dean for transnational programs.

Marquette University Law School offers an LL.M. is sports law, but that program is open only to international students. St. John’s will offer a joint degree with the Instituto Superior de Derecho y Economia in Madrid, which has offered an international sports law program for close to a decade, Walker said.

The curriculum will cover a broad array of issues in the international sports world, including contracts, dispute resolution, anti-doping, eligibility issues, Olympics and World Cup bids and the International Court of Arbitration for Sport.

“It’s really going to be focused on international sports,” Walker said. “Only about 25 percent of the academic curriculum will be U.S. sports law. A lot of students are interested in this area.”

Students will spend one semester of concentrated academic study, then spend a second semester in a practice placement at a sports-related entity, such as a sports law firm, a sports agent firm, or a sports league, team or regulatory body, Walker said.

St. John’s expects to enroll between 12 and 15 students in the program next year, with as many as 30 students a year down the road. The school anticipates that about half the class will be from the United States.

Like many other law schools, St. John’s already has an LL.M. program in U.S. Legal Studies that is open only to international students. The new LL.M. in Transnational Legal Practice will have a much more practice-oriented focus and will have both international and U.S. students, Walker said.

“Our view is that something is missing from the many international LL.M. programs,” he said. “We want this to be the “how-to” transnational practice program.”

The school anticipates that one-third of the enrollment will be U.S. students, with international students making up the rest.

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