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RISMEDIA, Nov. 11, 2008-New York Law School, one of the oldest independent law schools in the nation, has announced that it will offer an LL.M. degree in Real Estate Law, the only program of its kind in New York City and one of only four in the nation, to begin in the spring 2009 semester.

“The program will allow our students the opportunity to learn about real estate in the real estate capital of the United States,” Dean and President Richard A. Matasar said. “With the launch of the Law School’s Center for Real Estate Studies last year and the addition of four wonderful real estate experts to our faculty, New York Law School is developing a leading presence in the area of real estate law.”

According to law school, the degree will initially offer two concentrations: one in Finance and Development and the other in Public Policy and Regulation. The program will help students develop the skills needed to excel in transactional practice or governmental affairs related to real property development, and provide them with a rich understanding of the interrelated legal issues, business principles, and policy concerns involved in real estate transactions, development, and financing. The LL.M. is designed to be flexible, allowing full-time students to complete the 27-credit program in one year, while part-time students can be enrolled in the program for up to four years.

The program will be directed by Professor Marshall Tracht, a real estate expert who was recruited from Hofstra Law School to develop the LL.M. degree at New York Law School. Along with Professor Tracht, the Law School has hired three other leading property and real estate professionals to help develop the School’s real estate programs: Professor Richard H. Chused from Georgetown University; Professor Gerald Korngold from Case Western Reserve University; and Professor Elise Boddie from Fordham Law School.

New York Law School’s LL.M. program will offer a wide array of courses taught by a mix of full-time faculty and leading practitioners from the New York City bar, and will emphasize business knowledge and skills such as contract negotiation and drafting, as well as more traditional study of legal principles. In keeping with its focus on the challenges and opportunities of practice in the real world, it is the only program in real estate law to require a course in the complex ethical issues surrounding real estate practice, business, and regulation.

“The LL.M. in Real Estate is part of New York Law School’s continuing emphasis on developing innovative programs that prepare students to excel in the practice of law,” said Professor Tracht. “By allowing students to study advanced topics in law, business, and regulation, and to develop their professional skills through close instruction from leading members of the real estate industry, the LL.M. curriculum will provide the tools needed to practice law at the highest levels, or to make the transition from legal practice to a career on the business side of real estate.”

The creation of the new LL.M. degree comes a little more than a year after the Law School launched its seventh specialized academic center, the Center for Real Estate Studies, dedicated to the study of both the private practice of real estate law and the public regulation of real estate. The Center is led by Professor Andrew R. Berman. The Center and the LL.M. program will be integrated, providing real estate opportunities for J.D. and LL.M. students, as well as events for alumni and the real estate community at large. The LL.M. program will also draw on the offerings of the law school’s Center for New York City Law, run by Professor Ross Sandler, which offers unique courses and programs on governmental policy and land use in NYC.

The primary faculty members affiliated with the new LL.M. program are Professors Berman, Boddie, Chused, Korngold, and Tracht.

Professor Berman, formerly a partner with Sidley Austin Brown & Wood’s New York Real Estate Group, spent nearly 15 years in private practice prior to joining the Law School. He has represented clients in all aspects of commercial real estate finance, including complex financing transactions such as mezzanine loans, preferred equity, and financings intended for securitization markets. He has extensive experience in real estate development projects, the sale and acquisition of real property and mortgage loan portfolios, and complex commercial leasing. He has been teaching at New York Law School since 2002. Some of the courses he teaches are Landlord-Tenant Law, Cooperatives and Condominiums Law, and Real Estate Transactions and Finance.

Professor Elise Boddie joined New York Law School this past year. Most recently, she was Visiting Assistant Professor of Law at Fordham Law School. Her expertise includes land use planning and state and local governmental law. Prior to joining Fordham, she was an Associate Director of Litigation at the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund. She also worked at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, where she practiced corporate litigation.

Before joining the New York Law School faculty this past fall, Professor Richard H. Chused was Professor of Law at the Georgetown University Law Center. He is an expert on an expert on property law, law and gender, copyright law, and cyberlaw. His recently published work includes a work on the treatment of the poor in American landlord-tenant law, a lengthy history of the famous landlord-tenant case Javins v. First National Realty Corporation, and a history of landlord-tenant court in New York City at the turn of the twentieth century.

Professor Gerald Korngold also joined the Law School this past fall, from Case Western Reserve University, where he was a professor and served as Dean from 1997 to 2006. He was a professor at New York Law School from 1979 to 1987 and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs from 1984 to 1986. In addition to many articles, he is the author of Private Land Use Arrangements: Easements, Covenants, and Equitable Servitudes (2004); co-author of two casebooks, Real Estate Transactions (2004) and Cases and Text on Property (2004); and co-editor of Property Stories (2004).

Professor Marshall Tracht will direct the LL.M. program. He teaches Bankruptcy, Real Estate Transactions and Finance, and Advanced Real Estate Financing. He is co-author of a leading textbook on real estate law, a member of the editorial board of The Banking Law Journal, a contributing editor to the Real Estate Law Report, and has written extensively in the areas of real estate development and construction financing, workouts, and bankruptcy. He is also the co-author of Land Transfer and Finance: Cases and Materials. Before going into academia, Professor Tracht practiced in the real estate and bankruptcy groups at Arnold & Porter LLP in Washington, D.C., and clerked for the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Columbia.

For more information about the LL.M. in Real Estate Law, please visit

About the Center for Real Estate Studies

The Center for Real Estate Studies (CRES) at New York Law School provides students with a unique educational opportunity to study both the private practice and public regulation of real estate. Leveraging the School’s location in the prime real estate market of New York City, the Center enables students to gain practical experience in the real estate community and make contacts for future employment. Launched in 2007, the Center offers an extensive selection of classroom courses, advanced seminars, and independent study projects, as well as externships in governmental offices and real estate firms. It also sponsors conferences, symposia, and continuing legal education programs on a broad spectrum of issues. The Center for Real Estate Studies aims to help bridge the existing gap between the private practice and academic study of real estate, and is becoming one of the premier research centers in the country for the study of real estate.

About New York Law School

Founded in 1891, New York Law School is an independent law school located in lower Manhattan near the city’s centers of law, government, and finance. New York Law School’s renowned faculty of prolific scholars has built the School’s strength in such areas as constitutional law, civil and human rights, labor and employment law, media and information law, urban legal studies, international and comparative law, and a number of interdisciplinary fields. The School is noted for its eight academic centers: Center for International Law, Center for New York City Law, Center for Professional Values and Practice, Center for Real Estate Studies, Center on Business Law & Policy, Center on Financial Services Law, Institute for Information Law & Policy, and Justice Action Center. New York Law School has more than 13,000 graduates and enrolls some 1,500 students in its full- and part-time J.D. program and its Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Taxation program.