The Franklin Pierce School of Law at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) is shining in this digital age. It was one of the first in the US to develop an online law school, allowing it to deliver a world-class graduate education to individuals living in all corners of the world.
Dean Megan Carpenter explains that the law school’s online programs offer its students the same education they would receive in a physical UNH classroom. “As a technology-forward law school, we’re different from other law schools in that we embraced online learning years ago. We serve as a model for other law schools in this space,” she proudly says.
Classes are taught in a blended format: “That means professors aren’t just delivering information — they’re also leaving time for discussion between students, which contribute to their grade. When reviewing participation, we’re not just looking for how many times a student comments, but how meaningful their contribution is,” explains Leah Plunkett, who is the Associate Dean for Administration, Associate Professor of Legal Skills, and Director of Academic Success.
The Franklin Pierce School of Law ranks fifth in the nation for the study of IP law according to the 2020 US News & World Report rankings. It has been in the top 10 since rankings started 29 years ago. Today, the Top 5 IP law school offers courses in Patent Law; Trademarks and Deceptive Practices; Technology Licenses; Copyright Law; and Mining Patent Information in the Digital Age.
Master’s graduate Jeremy Berger is now Senior Cyber Security Solutions Engineer at Liberty Mutual Insurance. Recalling one of his assignments, he explains how he modelled an independent study on data privacy and trade secrets on his own company. This allowed him to recommend better ways to protect privileged data. “I was amazed by how great the professors are; their in-depth knowledge was incredible,” he says.
Expert faculty aside, a Franklin Pierce School of Law degree opens many doors career-wise — just ask master’s graduate Saket Sankhla, who is now working as a Senior Business Unit Patent Officer at Schneider Electric. “So many famous personalities have graduated from here. They help with networking, job interviews, or anything regarding patent skills,” he explains.
As an IP powerhouse, the law school has accumulated a network of influential alumni from over 80 countries, working at global tech giants, top law firms, and national IP offices. These enthusiastic alums helped the school organise and host their first immersive classroom experience in Silicon Valley earlier this year, showcasing the continuing evolution of legal education. “Long gone are days where a lone professor addresses a class. Now we’re bringing classrooms to industry, and facilitating a dialogue between students, practitioners, and scholars,” shares Carpenter.
“I look forward to facilitating the real-world interactions students need to get ahead while also fueling growth in our IP programmes to match marketplace demands,” added Micky Minhas, Executive Director of the Franklin Pierce Centre for Intellectual Property, and former Vice President at Microsoft.
This programme addresses fast-paced developments in the globalisation of commerce, terrorism, human rights, and criminal law, with a keen focus on domestic crimes with international implications. This exciting roster of programme interests includes courses in Human Trafficking; Drugs and Weapons Trafficking; Piracy and Terrorism; Cybercrime; and International White Collar Crime. UNH Law also offers one of the only fully online programmes in the emerging field of transnational crime.
Master’s graduate Heather Hille describes her online law school journey as “incredibly rewarding.” She added, “I learned a tremendous amount and my instructors were top-notch experts in their field. The content was substantial and incredibly comprehensive. Also, the online aspect really worked well for my family’s schedule. As soon as I started my first courses, I knew it was the right decision.”
UNH’s online learning environment is designed to enable meaningful and constructive interactions, according to LLM graduate Natalie Tackaberry. “The faculty members engage with students on discussion boards and check in regularly via calls,” she explains. They make excellent advisers too, and were instrumental in helping her career reach new heights.
“Thanks to my advanced knowledge of international law, I have started working with The Advocates for Human Rights on United Nations submissions and other rule of law issues. In addition, I am frequently contacted by other professionals on LinkedIn pursuing me due to my ICLJ degree from UNH Law,” Tackaberry added.
In the words of Chair of the ICLJ Programme Professor Albert “Buzz” Scherr, “Our students are often already professionals in the field they’re looking to become experts in; their knowledge is what makes teaching these courses so rewarding. I can have in-depth conversations with them and help them get to the next level in their careers.”
Upgrade your career with online courses at a leading law school
All online courses in the graduate law programme at this technology-forward law school are offered asynchronously; this means you can complete them anywhere and anytime, progressing and paying at your own pace. It’s perfect for professionals who want to balance their graduate education with work and life commitments.