Recognizing that lawyers must be versed in multiple disciplines to better solve today’s complex legal problems, Stanford Law School has added 11 new joint degree programs to its roster, bringing to 25 the number of formal joint degrees students can seek under the auspices of 18 formal joint degree programs. Joint degrees allow law students to take advantage of the unparalleled number of internationally top-rated graduate programs at Stanford University. Students interested in environmental litigation, for instance, can complement their JD with an MS in environment and resources. Likewise, aspiring patent lawyers can deepen their expertise with an MS or PhD in bioengineering or management science and engineering.
“Our students should take courses outside the law school in order to develop the broad intellectual capital they need to practice law in the world today,” says Larry Kramer, Richard E. Lang Professor of Law and Dean. “With our joint degrees and ability to offer students courses in other parts of the university, we can graduate students who think like lawyers and who have additionally valuable skills and analytical abilities that are applicable to modern legal practice and public service.”
Other joint degree programs open to Stanford Law students include business; economics; education; health research and policy; history; international, comparative and area studies (African; East Asian; international policy; Latin American; Russian, East European and Eurasian); philosophy; political science; psychology; public policy; and sociology. Students also have the option to customize a joint degree program with other graduate departments at Stanford or any other university. And for students who do not wish to pursue a joint degree, they have broad access to Stanford University courses that offer diverse learning opportunities outside of the law.
“For our students, the task is simple: Figure out what you want to do—based on your academic or career goals—and we’ll help you make it happen,” says Jeff Strnad, Charles A. Beardsley Professor of Law, who oversees the law school’s joint degree programs.