Law and Education


Knowledge of the law is imperative to crafting educational policy and school reform strategies. Educational policymakers, administrators, and practitioners increasingly turn to lawyers as they negotiate an ever-more complex policy environment, in which state and federal agencies are involved in local decision making in unprecedented ways. In turn, lawyers must understand how schools function as complex organizations and must master the basic tools policy analysts use when tackling social problems. Stanford’s JD/MA in Education, offered by the schools of education and law, prepares leaders and scholars to address these challenges.

Beginning with its first-rate schools of law and education, Stanford provides unparalleled opportunities for those interested in pursuing a joint degree in law and education. Legal and educational faculty, respected for their research, are routinely involved with policymakers and others who seek to reform education in the United States.

Students who pursue a JD/MA in Education may go on to work as attorneys for state and federal agencies, school districts, and educational/civil rights organizations. They also may pursue careers as analysts for state and federal agencies, think tanks, educational advocacy organizations, and policymakers, or may become educational entrepreneurs, lead charter school organizations, or direct other educational service providers.

Course Requirements

As many as 45 quarter units of approved courses may be counted toward both degrees. No more than 31 quarter units of approved courses that originate outside the law school may count toward the law degree. Up to 9 quarter units of law school courses may count toward the MA in Education. Cross creditable courses must be pre-approved by the faculty advisor. All courses must be at the 100 level or above and 23 units must be at or above the 200 level. At least 15 units must be taken for a letter grade. A 3.0 GPA must be maintained for all courses applied to the MA in Education.

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: