In a new joint degree program with the University of Cambridge law faculty in Cambridge, England, up to six Harvard Law School (HLS) students each year may spend their third year in England to pursue that school’s LL.M. degree. After earning an LL.M. at the end of the academic year, students would then be eligible to return to HLS for a single semester to complete their J.D. degree. The joint program will start during the 2004-05 academic year.
“We are excited about this new program, which is a first for both universities, given Cambridge’s reputation and its strength in many fields,” said William Alford, vice dean for the Graduate Program and International Legal Studies, in a statement to students.
Calling the program “part of the Law School’s further internationalization,” Alford noted that the arrangement also encourages faculty interaction between the institutions and offers S.J.D. candidates the option of using the University of Cambridge for research.
Jamie Lynn Bartholomew, a 1L who attended an informational session on the program, credited the Law School for expanding international opportunities for students. Having already earned a master’s degree at Oxford University in England, she touted the benefits of a study abroad experience. “I think it’s cool to have a broader perspective and a more international perspective,” she said. “They definitely are trying to open the doors for people.”
With the new program, students will now have two options to study abroad and earn law school credit. Up to 10 students may also receive a semester’s credit for approved study abroad during either semester of their second year or the first semester of their third year. During the fall semester, for example, students are studying in locales ranging from the Netherlands to Ghana.
In recent years, HLS has added more joint degree opportunities for its students. In addition to its longstanding J.D./M.B.A. program with Harvard Business School, last year joint degrees with the Kennedy School of Government and the Harvard School of Public Health were formalized.
Students may also pursue concurrent degrees with any of Harvard’s graduate schools and, according to Howell Jackson, vice dean for administration and budget, the Law School is currently working with the Faculty of Arts and Sciences to better coordinate a J.D./Ph.D. option for students.
The Cambridge University program is not the first time HLS has partnered with an institution beyond Harvard University. In the past, some students have pursued concurrent degrees with the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.