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Law and Public Policy


Across the United States and around the world, law is a major instrument of public policy. With a focus on domestic policy issues (including but not limited to the United States), Stanford's JD/MPP program provides training in essential skills for lawyers interested in shaping public policy, either as advocates for public or private clients or as elected or appointed public officials.

Stanford's interdisciplinary, experience-based JD/MPP program reflects the way policymakers and lawyers work in the world today. Designed collaboratively by faculty members from across the Stanford campus, the program blends 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—for example, health policy, environmental policy, or science and technology policy.

A distinctive feature of the program is the opportunity to integrate law and public policy coursework, providing a better understanding of how lawyers can use policy analytic tools to represent public and private sector clients and how policy is constrained and enabled by law. A practicum in which student teams apply their legal and policy analytic skills to a real policy problem caps the JD/MPP curriculum.


Students who would like to acquire the core public policy analytic skills may pursue the 3 year JD/MAPP joint degree program. JD/MAPP candidates take the first year public policy courses (some of which may be counted as well towards their JD degree) and subsequently complete a policy analysis thesis under the direction of a law school faculty member.