Juris Doctor UT School of Law

The University of Texas Schools of Information (iSchool) and Law offer a dual degree program leading to two graduate degrees, the Master of Science in Information Studies (MS) and the Juris Doctor (JD). The dual degree program responds to an increased need for specialists trained in both of these fields who are thus positioned to help address the increasingly complex and changing world of legal information use, retrieval, and storage. The program enables students to earn both degrees simultaneously in three academic years, including one summer. While the length of the degree program is streamlined, students will still satisfy all of the existing requirements of both programs.

The University of Texas at Austin has a long history of academic excellence in information studies and in law. Both programs' recognized leadership in their respective fields offer a sound foundation for students to join expertise in an area of information studies with expertise in legal affairs.  At any one time, there are five or more holders of the JD degree enrolled in the master’s or doctoral program in the School of Information.  These students, as well as others, often take coursework in the iSchool’s law librarianship program, rated by the U.S. News & World Report in fall 2007 as the second best in the nation.  Additionally, graduates of the iSchool master’s and PhD programs often take professional positions in institutions in governmental and other organizations that integrate expertise in the law with that in information studies, e.g., the Congressional Research Service, federal mission agencies such as the Department of Defense, the Library of Congress, and state libraries in Texas and elsewhere.  Students with such ambitions are particularly well served by the dual degree program.

Admissions

Students must meet the separate admissions criteria of each school and must be separately admitted to both schools before they can be approved for admission to the dual degree program. Applicants applying to both programs at the same time should submit a written statement of interest in the dual degree program as part of the separate application to each program. Students who begin work in one of the schools and then apply for admission to the other program will submit a written statement of interest in the dual degree program as part of their application to the second program; they should submit the same statement of interest to the advisor for the dual degree program in the school in which they are already enrolled.

Graduation Requirements

To complete the MS/JD dual degree program, students must meet all of the requirements of the dual degree program. The degrees will be awarded simultaneously when the student has completed all of the dual degree program requirements. These requirements include 34 hours of iSchool courses (25 hours required include the Professional Experience and Project + 9 of electives) and 68-70 hours of law school courses (36 hours required + 26-28 of electives + 6 in intellectual property courses.) The Professional Experience and Project required in the iSchool Master’s degree can be completed by JDs doing the equivalent work in one of the law school’s clinical education programs. Two of the iSchool courses are already cross-listed with the Law School.

SAMPLE PROGRAM OF STUDY:  JD/MSIS

 

                                                                 Course Types

RL: Required for core Law School       RD:       Required for Dual Degree

RI:  Required for core iSchool             RD/CL: Required for Dual Degree, cross-listed

EL: Elective Law School                      RD/IP:  Required for Dual Degree, intellectual property

EI:  Elective iSchool

 

Year 1

 

Semester

Course Type

Course Number

Course Name

iSchool hours

Law hours

TOTAL HOURS

Fall

RL

LAW 423

Criminal Law

 

4

4

 

RL

LAW 534

 

Constitutional Law

 

5

5

 

RL

LAW 421

Contracts

 

4

4

 

RL

LAW 132

Legal Research and Writing

 

1

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring

RL

LAW 431

Property

 

4

4

 

RL

LAW 427

Torts

 

 

4

4

 

RL

LAW 433

Civil Procedure

 

4

4

 

RL

LAW 132

Legal Writing and Research

 

1

1

 

EL

LAW xxx

Law School Elective

 

2-4

2-4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer

RI

INF 380C

Info in Social and Cultural Context

3

 

3

 

RI

INF 397C

Understanding Research

3

 

3

 

EI

INF 3xx

iSchool Elective

3

 

3

 

EL

LAW xxx

Law School Elective

 

3

3

 

 

 

 

9

33

42

 

 

Year 2

 

Semester

Course Type

Course Number

Course Name

iSchool hours

Law hours

TOTAL HOURS

Fall

RI

INF 380E

Perspectives on Information

3

 

3

 

RD/CL

INF 382H/

LAW 379M 

Legal Information Resources

  3*

 

3

 

EI

INF 3xx

iSchool Elective

3

 

3

 

RL

LAW 385

Professional Responsibility

 

3

3

 

RL

LAW 381C

Constitutional Law II

 

3

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring

EI

INF 3xx

 

3

 

3

 

RL/RD/CL**

INF 382L/

LAW 379M

Law Librarianship/Legal Informatics

 

  3*

 

 

3

 

RD/IP

LAW xxx

Intellectual Property Course

 

3

3

 

EL

LAW xxx

Law School Elective

 

3

3

 

EL

LAW xxx

Law School Elective

 

3

3

 

 

 

 

15

15

30

 

Year 3

 

                 

 

Semester

Course Type

Course Number

Course Name

iSchool hours

Law hours

TOTAL HOURS

Fall

EI

INF 3xx

iSchool Elective

3

 

3

 

RL

LAW xxx

Writing Seminar

 

3

3

 

RD/IP

LAW xxx

Intellectual Property Course

 

3

3

 

EL

LAW 385

Law School Elective

 

3

3

 

EL

LAW 381C

Law School Elective

 

3

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring

RI

INF 388L

Capstone Project

3

 

3

 

RI

INF 181E

Electronic Portfolio

1

 

1

 

EI

INF 3xx

iSchool Elective

 

3

 

 

3

 

EL

LAW xxx

Law School Elective

 

3

3

 

EL

LAW xxx

Law School Elective

 

3

3

 

EL

LAW xxx

Law School Elective

 

3

3

 

 

 

 

10

21

31

 

TOTAL                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         34                                69                               103

 

*Asterisked courses are cross-listed in both schools, but are single-counted in the iSchool column alone.  Note that the 34 and 69 total credits in each academic unit, and the 103 total credits, include cross-listed courses only once – they are counted only on the iSchool side of the ledger.

**This course also satisfies the law school’s upper class skills requirement.