Emory University School of Law is launching a year-long juris master degree program for professionals, undergraduates and graduate students who want an introduction to the law.
About a dozen law schools have similar programs — most notably Yale Law School’s master of studies in law degree for journalists and Pepperdine University School of Law’s master of dispute resolution — but Emory’s program aims to be larger than most of the others, said Vice Dean Robert Ahdieh.
“What’s notable, I think, is that the overwhelming majority of these programs don’t grant many degrees. They are on the books, but they don’t have a lot of people,” Ahdieh said. “We are looking at a fairly robust program.”
The program is slated to launch next fall with 10 to 15 students, and could eventually enroll as many as 50, Ahdieh said.
“It is important to think of law schools as not simply training lawyers, but as providing a broad legal education to both lawyers and non-lawyers,” said interim Dean Robert Schapiro. “An understanding of legal principles is increasingly important in a growing number of fields.”
Administrators envision the program being of interest to professionals in technology, engineering, health care and business. Undergraduates, graduates, doctoral and post-doctoral students may view the program as a way to further their expertise in their areas of study.
The law school plans to establish partnerships with other graduate schools and universities including the Georgia Institute of Technology, to encourage engineering and computer science students to enroll, Ahdieh said.
The J.M. students will take an introductory law course specifically designed for them and two courses from the J.D. core curriculum. They will take elective classes pertaining to their specific area of interest.
Tuition will be similar to that for the J.D. program, which costs about $45,000 a year.
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