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11 Joint Degree Programs Offered To Law Students

Publication Date: 
May 24, 2007
Stanford Daily
Salone Kapur

The "Stanford Daily" quotes Professors Mark G. Kelman and Mark A. Lemley in an article about Stanford Law School's joint degree program:

"Law Prof. Mark Kelman said such programs will help future lawyers learn necessary background in their respective areas of law."

“One can’t help frame good environmental policy with nothing but pure legal skills,” he said in an email to The Daily. “One simply must understand some of the environmental science, some economics. Doing effective human rights advocacy without a strong background in IR theory, without a comparativist’s knowledge of the cultures [in which] one might intervene, is simply very difficult.”

“Whether it is environmental lawyers and policy makers working with people from earth sciences or lawyers involved in high tech IP who work with bioengineers, top-flight lawyers often bridge disciplines,” Kelman said, “We hope that Stanford will be a leader in producing lawyers most capable of building these bridges.”


Law Prof. Mark Lemley ‘88 said that the new programs were most relevant to scientific fields like biotechnology.

“Part of working in high-tech legal areas like patent law is understanding the science,” he said. “And one of the biggest areas of scientific change is biotechnology. So it was natural that we work with the bioengineering department on a joint degree program. We hope that this will be the first of several collaborations between law and science.”


Kelman anticipated that the programs would be popular and successful.

“Putting the programs together has required the cooperation of people throughout the University and has required overcoming some technical glitches,” he said. “My feeling is that we’ve gotten superb cooperation and that the technical glitches can all be overcome.”