With fashion being a $400 billion industry with same business structures and legal issues as other creative sectors, it was only a matter of time when aspiring LLM students will start taking interest in fashion-related intellectual property, finance, and similar areas of law.
But it wasn’t until Susan Scafidi launched the world’s first Fashion Law Institute almost a decade ago that these students had a chance of honing their legal skills in the context of clothes and runways. Even then, no one from the legal community took Susan’s academic venture seriously.
Not only is today the Fordham’s Fashion Law Institute one of the highest in demand law schools in the US, supported by the Council of Fashion Designers of America and fashion icon Diane von Furstenberg, but it’s also a role model for many others to follow.
Various fashion LLM courses in intellectual property law, business, and finance are now being offered to postgraduate students in a range of respectable NY law schools, most prominent of which are New York University Law School and the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University.
It appears that these courses provide a master class in diversity as well - almost half of LLM students currently studying in NY law schools come from countries like France, Japan, Venezuela, and Canada, and few of them carry Italian and Chinese passports.
Side by side with their US colleagues, they tackle a range of legal issues within the fashion industry, including areas such as real estate, employment law, and investment. To the most successful of them, NYU and other law schools from the area offer exciting internships.