Law School Courtroom

UB Leading the Nation



Some of the most valuable educational experiences occur only in professional settings. A medical school, for example, would be incomplete without its residency program. By the same token, the geographical divide between Buffalo courthouses and the University at Buffalo Law School hindered previous classes of students from obtaining the real world experience crucial to keeping abreast of the ever-changing legal field.

But the tides have turned. UB Law is now home to the nation's only working courtroom located on a university campus. Its recently constructed, fully functional state court commenced its first proceedings Friday. Up to 100 students are now able to witness state and federal trial and appellate level hearings without leaving O'Brian Hall. There, UB Law students will be able to study the aspects of legal processes that don't make it into law books. Trials - unfolding just across the hallway - can now be incorporated into courses, providing a realism of instruction otherwise unattainable.

The courtroom's proximity will also benefit students by bringing legal professionals into the Law School. Students will be able to interact with experienced justices and attorneys, hopefully contributing to the school's job placement rates.

The value of firsthand experience in courtrooms is what motivated many alumni to help fund the initiative. Its largest donor, 1931 graduate Norman Pecora, attended the Law School when it was located downtown near the county and city courts.

The new courtroom is also an asset to the Buffalo community. State and federal judicial systems will also gain access to a state-of-the-art facility, one equipped with the latest technology including Internet ports.

Possessing the only on-campus courtroom in the country bolsters the Law School's prestige and enhances its ability to draw more high-caliber students. Additionally, it improves the reputation of the university as a whole, and may entice current UB students applying to law school to consider remaining in Buffalo for the next three years.

The Law Courtroom is a commendable addition to the university. The project represents the fusion of the greater Buffalo legal community with UB's crop of future attorneys, thus simultaneously providing a service to UB students and society at large. In stark contrast to numerous planned on-campus capital ventures which are mired in controversy and pit local community leaders against UB administrators, the Law Courtroom is a resounding victory for all affected by its presence.

While the courtroom walls may soon resound with objections, the project itself warrants none.