Saturday, November 23, 2013

2014 Recruiting Begins - With a New Distance Option on the Horizon

Our new flyer for 2014 and a new recruiting poster are just back from the printer.

This year's theme is, "Practice what you eat."

To me, this sums up a lot of the interest in agricultural and food law studies. We all need food; we all eat; we all should care about our food system -  from the farm that produced it to the table that its served on.

Law plays a critical role in agriculture and throughout our food system.  Agricultural and food law attorneys - whether in practice, policy positions, executive positions, or teaching - all make an important impact on our food system.

We're proud of that.

We are also proud to announce that we have applied for approval to offer a distance degree option beginning with the Fall 2014 semester.  This option is being designed to accommodate a small number of experienced attorneys who cannot move to Fayetteville, but who want to be part of our network of students and alumni.

As an example of the types of attorneys that a distance option will serve, we are proud to have two particularly accomplished attorneys who are helping us to experiment with online delivery this year. As reported in the post, Welcome to the New LL.M. Class, Brian Mathison and Kelvin Stroud video-conference into my Food Law & Policy class this semester.  Brian is a Chemistry Instructor in the Department of Chemistry and Life Sciences at the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York, and Kelvin is a Legislative Assistant for Senator Mark Pryor in Washington, D.C.

Video conferencing allows a fully interactive classroom experience including the ability to ask and respond to questions. Outside of class, interaction is furthered through email, chat, discussion forums, and phone conversations. This year is our time to experiment, and we thank Brian and Kelvin for helping us initiate and improve our technology.

Ultimately, we will have a mix of classes -  synchronous classes with additional opportunities for online interaction; some courses that are primarily online, with interactive exercises and regular interaction with the professor; and, our condensed courses. The condensed courses, with one credit earned over 2-3 days of intense study, will be a time when we hope distance and in-residence students can meet in Fayetteville for face-to-face interaction.

We will, of course, continue to have our signature small-class experience in Fayetteville for 10-15 students. Living in Fayetteville and interacting with the other students in the class each year was a big part of the LL.M experience for many of our alumni. That tradition continues. Our distance students will enhance that tradition by sharing their practice experience and policy expertise with the class.

We have rolling admissions and accept applications until the class is filled.  We anticipate that demand will be strong for the 2014 class though, so if interested, please apply soon.

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