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IU McKinney to offer degree for non-attorneys next year

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Professionals who want to better understand the law, but not practice it, will be able to earn a Master of Jurisprudence degree from Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law beginning next year, the school announced Thursday. Valparaiso University Law School will also begin offering a similar degree.

“Knowledge about the law and regulations is becoming increasingly important as it affects more and more disciplines, such as the life sciences; social work; human resources; business and corporate affairs; the environment; and real estate development, to name a few," said the program's director,  professor Deborah McGregor. "The focus of the M.J. degree is on those professionals who are interested in learning about the law as a way to enhance and potentially advance their careers."

The degree requires 30 credit hours, which can be taken full or part time. Master of Jurisprudence students will work one-on-one with a faculty advisor to create an individualized curriculum focused on the area of law that will most help their respective careers. IU McKinney says the students will be able to enroll in more than 150 courses that cover substantive areas of the law, but will not be allowed to take hands-on law classes reserved for students enrolled in the law school.

Valparaiso University Law School’s Master of Professional Studies program launches in January 2014 in Chicago and will offer three concentrations: business, health and criminal law. It is the first master of professional studies program offered by the law school and participants will take classes in-person and online.
 

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  1. The fee increase would be livable except for the 11% increase in spending at the Disciplinary Commission. The Commission should be focused on true public harm rather than going on witch hunts against lawyers who dare to criticize judges.

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  4. My daughter was married less than a week and her new hubbys picture was on tv for drugs and now I havent't seen my granddaughters since st patricks day. when my daughter left her marriage from her childrens Father she lived with me with my grand daughters and that was ok but I called her on the new hubby who is in jail and said didn't want this around my grandkids not unreasonable request and I get shut out for her mistake

  5. From the perspective of a practicing attorney, it sounds like this masters degree in law for non-attorneys will be useless to anyone who gets it. "However, Ted Waggoner, chair of the ISBA’s Legal Education Conclave, sees the potential for the degree program to actually help attorneys do their jobs better. He pointed to his practice at Peterson Waggoner & Perkins LLP in Rochester and how some clients ask their attorneys to do work, such as filling out insurance forms, that they could do themselves. Waggoner believes the individuals with the legal master’s degrees could do the routine, mundane business thus freeing the lawyers to do the substantive legal work." That is simply insulting to suggest that someone with a masters degree would work in a role that is subpar to even an administrative assistant. Even someone with just a certificate or associate's degree in paralegal studies would be overqualified to sit around helping clients fill out forms. Anyone who has a business background that they think would be enhanced by having a legal background will just go to law school, or get an MBA (which typically includes a business law class that gives a generic, broad overview of legal concepts). No business-savvy person would ever seriously consider this ridiculous master of law for non-lawyers degree. It reeks of desperation. The only people I see getting it are the ones who did not get into law school, who see the degree as something to add to their transcript in hopes of getting into a JD program down the road.

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