Master's Degree Programs in Law & Economics
Degree programs are available at several schools that allow students to study both economics and law at the graduate level. Read on for more information on the schools that offer these programs.
Stanford Law School has a Master of Laws (LLM) in International Economic Law, Business & Policy that begins with a series of core courses in topics like legal writing, professional responsibility, and the American legal system. Elective courses allow students to explore more unique areas such as international tax, global litigation, climate law, and European Union law.
New York University
New York University Law School combines with other departments at NYU to offer three JD/MA dual degree programs, one of which is in economics. Students in this program benefit from the advantages of NYU's Law School, including an alumni network with more than 40,000 professionals and a convenient location in New York City that affords access to international law firms, government agencies, and corporate headquarters for multiple high-profile companies. On the economics side, the program offers an advanced practical training option, wherein students gain real-world experience through internships or other professional opportunities.
University of Kansas
In recognition of the growing convergence between law and economics, Kansas offers a joint JD/MA in Economics program that equips students with advanced knowledge of both knowledge areas. The robust 120-credit curriculum is spread over three years and begins by focusing on legal topics such as civil procedure, constitutional law, and criminal procedure. Economics courses, which typically begin in the second year, concentrate on key areas and the program concludes with a written comprehensive examination.
George Mason University
GMU offers a Master of Laws (LLM) in Law and Economics that includes day and evening courses that cater to the busy schedules of working professionals, along with part- and full-time tracks that allow students to control the pace of their education. Students typically take 26 credits in courses such as financial theory, the economics of private law, and international trade law. Students who already possess a JD degree can waive the Introduction to United States Law course and complete the program in only 24 credits.
Georgetown offers an LLM degree program with a focus on International Business & Economic Law that aims to equip students with an advanced understanding of the global marketplace and the laws that regulate it. Candidates in this program will explore a thorough curriculum that covers topics such as international arbitration, antitrust economics, aviation law, and legal policies specific to geographic regions like China and Latin America.
University at Buffalo
Buffalo also offers a JD/MA in Economics dual degree program that consists of 108 credit hours, 24 to 27 credit hours through the Department of Economics, and 81 to 84 credit hours through the School of Law. The exact credit load is up to the discretion of students, who have the option to choose from several elective offerings in topics such as regional economic development, public health law, and technology management. Regardless of which individual courses students choose, all candidates must pass a comprehensive exam to satisfy the MA in Economics requirement of the degree program.
University of Missouri
Missouri offers a JD/MA in Economics joint degree that allows students to earn both degrees in less time. The JD program normally takes three years to complete and the master's in economics requires two years, but students who enroll in the joint program can finish in just four years. Required courses focus on topics like microeconomic theory, econometric methods, and professional responsibility, while electives delve into nuanced topics such as antitrust law, employment discrimination, and land use controls.
Southern Methodist University
SMU's MA in Applied Economics has a Law and Economics track that is custom-made to provide legal students with an understanding of economic matters. The program makes exceptions for current and former law students, as those who are already pursuing a JD degree can substitute nine credit hours of prior coursework as electives. Required courses in this program include applied econometric analysis, strategic behavior, and new approaches to managerial economics.
Syracuse has a Juris Doctor and Master of Arts in Economics degree program that aims to equip lawyers with a fundamental grasp of economic concepts so that they can practice economic law. The program features 30 credits of economics course work, 24 of which must come through the Economics Department. The program also contains 72 credits in legal coursework, providing a balanced education that is more effective than simply pursuing the two degrees separately (96 credits for the joint program as opposed to 117 if they were taken individually).
University of South Carolina
The University of South Carolina School of Law partners with the Department of Economics to offer a dual degree program that awards both a Juris Doctor and Master of Arts in Economics degree. Legal courses focus on contracts, legal writing, and civil procedure, while economics courses study applied microeconomics, investment management, and financial statement analysis.
|School Name||Degree Offered||Tuition (2018-19)*|
|Stanford University||Master of Laws (LL.M.) in International Economic Law, Business & Policy||$52,479|
|New York University||JD/MA in Economics||$33,408|
|University of Kansas||JD/MA in Economics||$9,989 (in-state) $23,951 (out-of-state)|
|George Mason University||LLM in Law & Economics||$12,144 (in-state) $33,456 (out-of-state)|
|Georgetown University||LLM in International Business & Economic Law||$51,336|
|University at Buffalo||JD/MA in Economics||$11,310 (in-state) $23,100 (out-of-state)|
|University of Missouri||JD/MA in Economics||$9,264 (in-state) $25,363 (out-of-state)|
|Southern Methodist University||MA in Applied Economics, Law and Economics specialization||$40,896|
|Syracuse University||JD/MA in Economics||$38,880|
|University of South Carolina||JD/MA in Economics||$13,373 (in-state) $29,760 (out-of-state)|
*Source: National Center for Education Statistics
Many schools offer joint programs that award graduate degrees in law and economics. These degrees provide in-depth training in both legal and financial topics and prepare lawyers to practice law in areas that require advanced economic knowledge.