Saturday, August 29, 2009

LL.M. Program in Agricultural and Food Law

I am pleased to announce that we received the final administrative approval for our name, and we can now officially describe ourselves as

The LL.M. Program in
Agricultural and Food Law

This change does not affect what anyone's degree is - those who have their LL.M. degree proudly mounted on their office wall note that the degree conferred is a Masters of Laws degree. That remains the same. What will change is our ability to expand our outreach to those interested in food law - recruiting candidates and assisting in career placement. For while agricultural law has always been intertwined with food law, not everyone has understood the connection.

It is interesting to recall that when former Dean and Distinguished Professor Emeritus Jake Looney started the LL.M. Program, Professors Neil Hamilton and Rob Leflar taught Food & Drug Law as part of the initial curriculum.

Over the years, the LL.M. curriculum has shifted to address the needs and interests of the times, and with food law emerging as a significant area of focus in both practice and popular culture, our curriculum has expanded in that direction. We now offer Introduction to the Law of Food & Agriculture, Food Law & Policy, Emerging Issues in Food Law, and Selected Issues in Food Law. Agricultural Biotechnology, Agricultural Perspectives, and Agricultural Labor Law all have significant food law related components. Indeed, the production of food is one of the most significant reasons why agricultural law as a special discipline exists.

We hope that by changing the way we identify ourselves, we can explain connections that have too often been missed - farming is largely about the production of food, and food law is about the path that food takes, as they say, from the farm to fork. And, we can further our course offerings and opportunities to include more work in the area of international food law, global trade in food, and world food security issues.

Food law as an area of legal study, policy development, and legal practice is an exciting and emerging emphasis - with an increasing need for legal expertise.

Please join us in spreading the word about The LL.M. Program in Agricultural and Food Law. We are the only advanced legal degree program in either agricultural law or food law.

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