Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Northwestern law school graduates inaugural class in masters of science law program

The one year masters degree program launched last fall and is aimed at students with STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) backgrounds who'd like to some exposure to the law to advance in their careers but are not interested in obtaining a JD.  According to the Legaltech News story below, Northwestern just graduated its inaugural class of 30 students and expects to enroll as many as 50 this coming fall.  I can't say whether this was Northwestern's motivation but certainly many law schools these days are looking for new markets and creative ways to market their educational product. No doubt will see a lot more of these masters of law programs spring up in the next couple of years. More details about Northwestern's program from Legaltech News:

Northwestern Law Rolls Out Program for STEM Students: The university’s masters of science in law degree is one-year program for students with STEM backgrounds.


A new program offered by Northwestern University—designed to bridge the gap between law, business and technology—just graduated its first class from the law school and a larger class will be starting the program in the fall semester.


The university’s masters of science in law degree is one-year program for students with STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) backgrounds. It had 30 students enrolled in 2014-15 and that number is expected to be about 45 or 50 students in 2015-16.


It provides a focus on STEM and lets students learn about law and business as they develop into multi-disciplinary professionals without attending a JD or MBA program, which are longer programs and have different goals. For instance, JD programs often prepare students to practice law. Students at the MSL program do not want to practice, but have personal goals that often relate to current demand in the marketplace.


The students do not attend JD classes, but have their own required courses and electives tailored for the students’ particular interests. Among the required classes are such topics as fundamentals of intellectual property, topics in contract law, liability, risk insurance, ethics, writing and the legal regulatory process. Electives touch on such fields as IP and patent design, business and entrepreneurship, and regulatory strategy.

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