In order to encourage the study of legal history and to attract able students into the field, the School of Law, in conjunction with the Corcoran Department of History, offers a combined J.D.-M.A. degree program. Law students interested in the program may apply during the Fall semester of the first or second years. (Graduate School deadline is December 1 annually.) Eight courses are required for the M.A. degree, which is generally awarded simultaneously with the J.D. at the end of the third year of Law School.
Students typically take two history courses per semester during the second and third years of law study. Five of these are courses in legal history offered by the law faculty. Two other courses, drawn from the general offerings of the Corcoran Department of History, are chosen in consultation with the law-history program advisor. Of these seven courses, at least one must be a colloquium (700-level) and at least one must be a research seminar (800-level). The paper produced in the seminar forms the basis of the Master’s essay, which is submitted in the spring of the third year. Other requirements for the M.A. degree include proficiency in a foreign language (two years of college-level study or satisfactory performance on a translation examination), and a creditable performance in a one-hour oral examination administered in the Spring semester of the third year. The eighth course, for which credit is awarded toward the M.A. but not toward the J.D., is a readings course taken in the Spring semester of the third year in preparation for the oral examination.
The Law School faculty advisors for the program are Professors Barry Cushman, Charles McCurdy, G. Edward White, and Michael Klarman.