A Healthy Mix of Approaches - An Interdisciplinary Approach to Law School
January 28, 2014
As law becomes an increasingly interdisciplinary field, the importance of an interdisciplinary approach to law school cannot be understated. Your three years will be an incredible time to broaden your intellectual horizons, develop expertise in non-legal fields that interest you, or simply mix things up a little bit. Since schools often exist within larger university systems, they can provide their students with access to all sorts of opportunities, including an interdisciplinary approach to law school. Think about whether you are interested in any of the following opportunities and tailor your search accordingly before you fill out your LSAC:
Languages: many law schools allow you to enroll in language classes offered by their affiliated undergraduate institutions. These classes are a great way to maintain fluency, learn a new language altogether, and take an interdisciplinary approach to law school. While classes may be time-intensive, language skills are invaluable in an industry that is experiencing rapid international growth. Do the schools you are looking at make it easy for you to take language classes?
Other graduate programs: some students apply to law school with specific interests in mind; entertainment, real estate, human rights, business, etc. Classes applicable to these fields may be scattered across a university and its various programs. Fortunately, many law schools may have relationships with other graduate programs, making it easy to cross-register, adding depth and breadth to your law school experience. Do the schools you are looking at grant you access to other programs in the university?
Joint degrees: universities may offer the opportunity to obtain two degrees simultaneously in less time than you could earn them otherwise. Popular joint programs include JD-MBA, JD-MD, and JD-MPA programs. If additional graduate school is appealing, check to see whether schools allow for joint degree enrollment. These programs can be selective - requiring admission to both programs separately - but can also provide an amazing opportunity to maximize your graduate schooling. Do the schools you are looking at offer joint degree programs?
Many students excel in law school and their subsequent careers by focusing exclusively on a legal curriculum. But, if you are a student with specific non-legal interests or one who just wants to explore, looking at a law school’s relationship with a broader university ecosystem should be part of your admissions search. This will allow you to take an interdisciplinary approach to law school. Envision your ideal academic experience - as multi-faceted and idiosyncratic as you want - and find out which schools make that dream a possibility.