Law and Business


The intersection of law and business offers opportunities with unprecedented intellectual and practical implications. In transactional space, knowledge of legal and business regimes provides a significant advantage in structuring private equity investments, negotiating international business transactions, arranging mergers and acquisitions, and designing new financial instruments. In litigation, counsel who have a sophisticated appreciation of a client’s business operations and of underlying industry practices also have a significant advantage in developing trial strategy and in negotiating effective settlements of “bet-your-company” lawsuits.

Business leaders with legal expertise and lawyers with business expertise are, unsurprisingly, increasingly central to the high-level functioning of many of the world’s largest business enterprises. Indeed, the entire notion of “corporate governance” exists at the intersection of the legal and business regimes. Intellectually, the rapid pace of innovation in financial markets, in business structuring, in regulatory regimes, and in the internationalization of capital flows creates a rich laboratory for empirical research and for the development of more robust theoretical frameworks capable of explaining increasingly diverse observable phenomena. As significant as these opportunities are in today’s world, they are certain to become even more robust in the future—and a JD/MBA from Stanford prepares students to seize them.

Stanford’s JD/MBA program is among the nation’s oldest and most successful joint degree programs. It prepares students to function at the highest level either as business executives, investors, transactional counsel, litigators, or scholars. The program’s expertise spans a broad range of subject matter and integrates practical knowledge with advanced theory. The program also offers many opportunities to explore entrepreneurial activity, venture capital, private equity investment, international business transactions, intellectual property, securities and corporate litigation, and other subjects that are of particular significance to the local Silicon Valley business community. Stanford’s close links to major international corporations, investors, and law firms helps enrich the JD/MBA curriculum and provide a broad array of individualized educational opportunities.

JD/MBA Handbook


Law and business are intimately relate both academically and in professional practice. The joint degree program provides an opportunity for students to develop deep expertise in both business and law, strong preparation for academic positions related to both fields.

Course Requirements

Broad pieces of each curriculum are relevant to the other field. The Law School shall approve courses from the Graduate School of Business program that may count toward the J.D. degree, and the Graduate School of Business shall approve courses from the Law School that may count toward the Ph.D. degree in Business. In either case, approval may consist of a list applicable to all joint degree students or may be tailored to each individual student’s program.

Note to applicants: The Knight-Hennessy Scholars program awards full funding to Stanford graduate students from all disciplines, with additional opportunities for leadership training and collaboration across fields. Joint Degree applicants are encouraged to apply to the KnightHennessy Scholars Program.  Please be aware that the Knight-Hennessy Scholars applications are due in early Autumn one year prior to enrollment. View dates and deadlines:

My classmates in both law and business schools have exceeded my highest expectations. At Stanford, you find people with a variety of backgrounds, but a common desire to learn from each other, even across disciplines.

Keia Cole, JD/MBA '09