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Planning an Interdisciplinary Curriculum

Interdisciplinary education is central to developing thoughtful, critical, and creative lawyers who serve clients and the larger community well. Such education is practically important because lawyers often work at the cusp of law and other fields and solve problems with other professionals. For example, environmental lawyers frequently work with environmental engineers, scientists, and health professionals. The interdisciplinary curriculum prepares graduates to work with non-legal professionals and helps them to think flexibly about varied career opportunities.

A particular interdisciplinary course might be vital to a given educational plan. For example, an aspiring corporate lawyer might take Accounting and Business Fundamentals, Moral Philosophy for Professionals, and Law and Economics. Or, a student could prepare to be an international lawyer by taking Comparative Law and Culture and Environment. Some interdisciplinary fields, for example, jurisprudence and professional ethics, inform law comprehensively and thus are relevant to all legal study.To take the greatest advantage of interdisciplinary offerings, students must plan their curriculum. Graduation requirements include the perspective requirement that many interdisciplinary courses satisfy. In planning, students should:

  • Determine career objectives by exploring alternative legal careers and their narratives.
  • Select interdisciplinary courses that complement long term goals and values.
  • Discuss objectives with advisors, other faculty, the Office of Career Services, and practitioners in the chosen field.
  • Consider courses over a full three-year span.