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Jun 23, 2015 12:07 AM EDT

Fordham To Offer First Academic Degrees In Fashion Law

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Fordham Law School has launched two first-of-its-kind academic degree programs in fashion, school officials announced Monday.

Susan Scafidi, the director of Fordham University's Fashion Law Institute, along with Diane von Furstenberg, one of the world's most successful fashion designers, and Fordham Provost Stephen Freedman, announced that students will be able to enroll in a Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Fashion Law program and/or the Master of Studies in Law program, which is a program for "non-lawyers," and industry professionals "who want to learn more about laws pertaining to fashion and retail," Fashionista reported.

"We've all heard that ignorance of the law is no defense, but law schools have done everything they can to make sure that everyone but lawyers are ignorant of the law," Scafidi said at a press conference Monday morning, according to Fashionista. "It's time in a new era of transparency to open that up and to allow people to have the legal knowledge they need to make important business decisions."

The Master of Laws in Fashion Law program, which was designed for those who have already completed a law degree, will focus on topics like "financing, fashion modeling law, fashion licensing and sustainability," according to Bustle.

The Master of Studies in Law program was designed for industry professionals who want to learn more about the law side of the fashion and retail industry.

von Furstenberg  "firmly believes this program will become a powerful tool in the fashion world and beyond, and help us all as an industry -- lawyers or not -- better understand, grow, and protect our businesses," Racked reported.

Scafidi also emphasized that it is important for the fashion industry to have its own "specially trained lawyers," Racked reported.

"There are plenty of big law firms in the city that hire lawyers who have knowledge in the background of fashion," Scafidi said. "Why wouldn't they hire lawyers who are actually trained in the field of fashion?"

Tuition for the 2015/2016 academic year is $53,440 for the LL.M. The M.S.L. program will about $40,000. 

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