Challenging Intellects, Broadening Perspectives
Preparing students for careers in public policy is a long law school tradition. Stanford Law takes this tradition into the 21st century with a joint degree program in law and public policy and an evolving curriculum designed to enable every student to add a public policy dimension to his or her legal education.
Stanford’s joint degree programs blend studies designed to build policy analysis skills—such as economics, statistics, research design, and data analysis—with coursework in the student’s area of special interest, whether it be health policy, environmental policy, science and technology policy, or myriad other possibilities. Courses in political science, law, philosophy, organizational behavior, cognitive psychology, and ethics round out the Stanford public policy student’s perspective.
Stanford Law also offers other special academic programs that concentrate on areas of law with important policy overlap. For example, students interested in the intersection of law, business, and public policy can pursue that specialty through Stanford Law School’s programs in law, economics and business, thereby adding public policy–related courses to their studies. Stanford Law also offers concentrated academic programs in law, science, and technology, international law, environmental law, public service and public interest law, and the rule of law. Two additional programs—the Gould Negotiation and Mediation Program and the John M. Olin Program in Law and Economics—offer specialized learning opportunities.
Law students who seek policy analysis skills but do not wish to pursue a joint degree may take many of the same courses as JD/MPP and JD/MAPP candidates (so long as they have fulfilled the prerequisites). Students who do not have the requisite training in quantitative methods and economics—or who just need to brush up on their skills—can take special intensive courses to prepare for policy analysis coursework.
Environmental and Natural Resources Law & Policy Program
Stanford’s Environmental and Natural Resources Law & Policy Program is recognized as a leading center for education and research in one of the most rapidly changing fields in the legal profession. Taught by a nationally renowned faculty praised for cutting-edge research and practice, students develop skills in analyzing and solving problems through situational case studies that reflect real-life issues in environmental and natural resources law. In Stanford’s Environmental Law Clinic, students learn effective teamwork and how to integrate legal, social, business, ethical, and scientific considerations in tackling clients’ problems. Students also master mediation and multiparty negotiation techniques through in-class simulations. The program integrates multidisciplinary perspectives and materials and provides students with access to a broad spectrum of practitioners, regulators, and academics in Silicon Valley and beyond.
As a summer intern in the Natural Resources Defense Council’s energy program, I worked on California’s bold new measures to slow global warming. I couldn’t have asked for better exposure to the pressing legal and policy questions at stake and the creative roles for lawyers hoping to resolve them. As part of a fast-paced, interdisciplinary team, I drafted legal analyses and comments for proposals that are literally matters of ‘first impression’-for example, the constitutional implications of a state carbon ‘cap-and-trade’ market. It was a one-of-a-kind experience
Jacek Pruski, JD/MPP ’10