University of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce Launches Innovative Hybrid JD Program

“This program is the first hybrid JD approved by the ABA in a specialized area of law, [and] the entire program is carefully curated to train the IP leaders of tomorrow.”


In the digital age, it’s curious that so many online educational opportunities exist, yet very few provide a legal education. To meet this growing need, The University of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce School of Law just launched its Hybrid JD Program for professionals interested in intellectual property, technology, and information law.

“Some IP professionals who are working full-time are not in a position to quit their existing jobs and move to New Hampshire, but I believe that they should still have access to a top-ranked program in IP,” said Megan Carpenter, Dean of UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law. “Through this program, we are making a legal education in IP accessible to those who would not otherwise be able to get it…. This program is the first hybrid JD approved by the ABA in a specialized area of law, [and] the entire program is carefully curated to train the IP leaders of tomorrow.”

Franklin Pierce Law Center, or Franks to some of the earliest graduates, or FPLC to the second generation of graduates, became synonymous with the best intellectual property legal education available in the world, according to Gene Quinn, founder and CEO of IPWatchdog, Inc., and a graduate from the class of 1995. “People would come from all over the world to Concord, New Hampshire to study patents, copyrights, trademarks, and during summers it was a festival of international intellectual property education with students and instructors from all over the world. What Dean Carpenter is doing with the newly branded UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law will make Concord and Franklin Pierce accessible to everyone,” Quinn added.


Franklin Pierce

Located in Concord, New Hampshire, Franklin Pierce has a legacy in the legal industry as an IP-powerhouse and pioneer for the study of law in the information age, routinely drawing in large numbers of students interested in intellectual property law from across the world. To put it in perspective, STEM students make up roughly 3% of law school classes nationwide, while STEM students comprised 30% of this year’s incoming class at Pierce—10 times the national average. The class also includes highly accomplished students interested in copyright, trademarks, and trade secrets. Students are exposed to intellectual property classes as early as their first semester of law school and continue to have exposure to all areas of IP throughout their legal education, with classes including Fundamentals of IP, Law & Biotechnology, Patent Practice, and Trademarks, to name a few. Students also have opportunities to participate in two IP-focused clinics, IP moot courts, the Patent Law Forum, and IDEA®: The Law Review of the Franklin Pierce Center for Intellectual Property. Pierce also has a vast array of JD and LLM students who attend the program from all areas of the globe.

Making IP Education Accessible

Technology and IP professionals work across vast array of fields such as education, healthcare, engineering, entertainment, licensing, technology development, new ventures, finance, and other industries. In recognizing the need and desire for a location-flexible legal education by busy professionals in the technology sector, Franklin Pierce decided to launch its innovative, ABA-approved Hybrid JD program in the fall of 2019. The program’s main goal is to prepare students for legal careers in the modern global economy, while providing them with the same resources and admission standards as residential students. The program is designed to be completed in 3.5 years, with classes taking place year-round for a period of 10 semesters. Hybrid students take the same law school required courses including such subjects as torts, contracts, and civil procedure. The biggest difference is that students only have limited residency requirements, with the program only requiring them to come to campus for select and well-planned periods each term for 3-5 days. Students also have the opportunity to complete a legal residency during their final year in the program.

An overview of the Hybrid JD Program at UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law can be found here.


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Join the Discussion

2 comments so far.

  • [Avatar for Anon]
    September 25, 2019 01:12 am

    Despite the great features of this article, I still do not believe UNH has enough patent law resources. It needs to have more, but I don’t know what’s stopping that.

  • [Avatar for Maxwell]
    September 24, 2019 05:40 pm

    I hope this is a new trend for law schools. Are there other schools setting up online JD programs?

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