International LL.M. students are a vital part of our community! - Sarah Dorner, UNH Law

Over the years, the University of New Hampshire's Franklin Pierce School of Law has built a network of leading IP professionals from over 80 countries
International LL.M. students are a vital part of our community! - Sarah Dorner, UNH Law
UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law

Sarah Dorner is the Associate Director of Admisisons and International Outreach at the University of New Hampshire's Franklin Pierce School of Law.

In this interview with Bar & Bench, she explains why UNH FP is consistently ranked as one of the best law schools for Intellectual Property law, the university's partnerships with Indian law schools, and more.

Sarah Dorner
Sarah Dorner

So, the big news is of course the visa restrictions imposed by the US government – has this impacted UNH FP’s student population? Any changes introduced by the law school to help mitigate any potential fall out?

UNH Franklin Pierce was quick to take a stand against the recent policies, calling them “unfair and hurtful” and making a commitment to work on creative solutions and advocacy at all levels.

I think Dean Carpenter said it best went she wrote to the community to say, “Our law school has a long and vibrant history of welcoming international students, and we must do everything we can to protect their interests.”

We all rejoiced when the policy was rescinded, but we still remain vigilant. Our dedicated Immigration Advisor is in constant communication with our international students and scholars and Dean Carpenter continues to collaborate with other law school deans to address these issues.

The law school will be open for in-person instruction this fall, but we are relieved to know that international students who are unable to attend in-person courses for health reasons can remain in the U.S. and continue to pursue their dreams.

Franklin Pierce is ranked the #5 law school in the U.S. for Intellectual Property (IP) by US News & World Report and is often referred to as the “IP Powerhouse.” What makes the law school an IP Powerhouse?

Franklin Pierce was specializing in IP and technology law long before it became an established part of the legal arena. With more than half our full-time faculty specializing in IP, we continue to be the IP experts.

Our curriculum offers the most expansive list of IP and technology law courses, ensuring the curriculum balances legal theory with practice-ready skills. In addition to our experiential learning IP Clinic and International Technology and Transfer Institute, we recently launched an immersive course in Silicon Valley that brought students to companies like Google, Uber, Dolby, Microsoft, Sony and more. In the future, we plan to continue these immersive courses in additional locations like New York and Las Vegas.

This summer we welcomed our new Executive Director of the Franklin Pierce Center for Intellectual Property, Micky Minhas.

Micky is a JD/LL.M. alum and former Vice President and Chief Patent Counsel of Microsoft. With Micky’s leadership, we relaunched a virtual version of our Intellectual Property Summer Institute (IPSI) for students, alumni, and legal professionals from around the world. IPSI brought industry leaders from Fortune 500 companies and Am Law 100 firms to join our world-renowned faculty and teach courses with an insider’s look at today’s IP issues and the future of IP.

We look forward to continuing the IPSI tradition in the years ahead!

UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law
UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law

UNH FP has been taken an active interest in India, entering into MoU’s with Indian law schools. Could you tell us how they work, and how Indian LLM applicants stand to benefit from them?

We are very proud to have partnered with some of the top law schools in India. These agreements encourage cooperation and academic exchange and develop collaborations in both faculty and student programs.

Students at our partner schools benefit from a special tuition scholarship for our LL.M. and other graduate law programs in Intellectual Property and Commerce and Technology, as well as our advanced standing JD program.

This scholarship is guaranteed to all admitted students from our partner schools in India.

So, the MoU’s also cover alumni from your partner Indian law schools?

Yes, we are pleased to extend this special scholarship to recent alumni of our partners schools! When completing the application, we encourage students to submit at least one letter of recommendation from a professor at their law school.

Another recent introduction at UNH FP has been the Hybrid JD program that was launched last year. What have been some of the learnings made over the past year? Could you tell us a bit about the cohort profile?

Our Hybrid JD, with a specific focus in Intellectual Property, Technology, and Information Law, is the very first program of its kind! The program was created for professionals working in IP, technology, and related fields to prepare them for legal careers in the modern global economy.

Our students represent a diverse cohort from throughout the U.S.

We are in the process of securing approval for international students to enrol as well, and hope to welcome international students to the program in Fall 2021.

Also Read
High-quality research requires 'top down' & 'bottom up' commitment- Prof Jon Cavicchi, UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law

Lastly, is there anything that prospective LL.M. candidates at UNH FP ought to know about?

Our international LL.M. students are such a vital part of our community! With the pandemic, this has been a challenging year as many students who had hoped to come this fall have had to defer to next year.

We are eager to welcome them next fall where they will join our network of IP professionals leading IP law and policy in over 80 countries. We will be accepting new applications for Fall 2021 beginning on August 15.

I would be delighted to answer questions about our programs, eligibility requirements, and the process. Students can learn more on our Graduate Admissions webpage, by contacting or messaging us on WhatsApp at +1-603-513-5300.

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