MOSHE COHEN-ELIYA 370.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The College of Law & Business in Ramat Gan will be offering a first-ever
first degree in law (LLB) that is half in English, starting in February
Law school Dean Moshe Cohen-Eliya said that the college has “always
been a pioneer” in education and in programs for English speakers and is part of
a trend of overcoming traditional biases against teaching law strictly from a
“local perspective” as opposed to “a global one.”
He said that the
college was the first school to apply to the Council of Higher Education three
years ago for permits to open first-degree law programs with a greater emphasis
The idea of the program is to open up the doors of Israeli
law to people making aliya from the US, England and other foreigners who speak
English fluently, and to cater to students whose families have already moved to
Israel but who still are more comfortable with English.
primary focus is to “prepare students to become Israeli lawyers,” consistent
with the college’s Zionistic commitment, but its English and global components
“preserve the option to practice law” in English-speaking countries, said
Next, Cohen-Eliya noted that such a balance of options was
“more attractive for how people now view the world more globally.”
added that the half-and-half model would push students to learn Hebrew, while
giving them a slightly softer landing than if they had to take all of their
classes in Hebrew from the start.
Cohen-Eliya said that graduates could
apply to take the New York bar exam, once they are approved by the New York
Board of Bar Examiners, and that the college already had former students even
from its regular Hebrew-language law program who had become New York
He added that the law degree would also be transferable to
various other English-speaking countries.
Out of a total of 140 credits,
70 credits will be taken in English, with the program running three-and-a-half
The program also has a signed agreement with Iowa Law School, for
certain students who want both Israeli and American credentials, to get an
American law degree in only two years, allowing students to complete both
degrees in only five-and-a-half years.
Another program connected to the
school allows certain students to get an LLM at Chicago Kent Law School along
with the Israeli law degree in only four years total, including one year at
Chicago Kent which counts partially toward the Israeli degree.
opens possibilities for students to become lawyers in US jurisdictions besides
Finally, the program also has study abroad opportunities at
Harvard, in Paris and at Oxford.
A law degree at the college costs NIS
30,000 (approximately $8,500) per year, far below the $37,000 per year which
some websites estimate as the average cost for a law degree at a US law school,
with some top schools running in the $40,000 to $50,000 range.
to Cohen-Eliya, the Iowa program is discounted from $40,000 to $20,000 for
students who work as research assistants, and the Chicago Kent LLM program is
Cohen-Eliya also discussed the program’s language guidance
component, which he said was a “breakthrough” and would include faculty
available in each class in Hebrew to explain at the end of class any Hebrew
words or concepts that native English speakers did not understand.
added that students could submit tests in English even in the “Hebrew half” of
The program’s initial goals are modest, with a hoped-for
20-25 student enrollment, so that the college can “get a feel for the lay of the
land” in this new arena of education, said Cohen-Eliya.
out hope that the school might even host a full English program in October 2014,
subject to approvals by the Council on Higher Education, and as planned by the
Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) of Herzliya.
Many other law schools
throughout the country have partial or full LLM programs in English and elective
courses in English, but at press time, the college and IDC were the only schools
who had confirmed new jumps in first-degree law school programs in
Danielle Ziri contributed to this story.