Certificate in Legal Studies

Offered in conjunction with Southwestern Law School

PRGS students have the opportunity to complement their PhD degree program with a unique understanding of the interplay between the law and public policy. PRGS, in conjunction with Southwestern Law School, offers a "Certificate in Legal Studies." Commencing in 2011, qualified students at PRGS can take courses at Southwestern covering many areas of law. This is not a joint degree program, but is instead intended to provide participating students with a basic knowledge of law and an understanding of relevant tools and frameworks.

Currently, few public policy programs offer courses in legal studies. While this gap is addressed to some extent in MPA/MPP-JD programs, they do not meet the needs of policy Ph.D. students who wish to gain substantial exposure to law school course work without the requirement of an additional degree. No other policy PhD program offers students this opportunity to address a major gap in policy and legal education.

Over its 100-year history, Southwestern has earned a reputation for the continuing involvement of its graduates in leadership positions in law and policy, particularly within California. At present, for instance, Southwestern alumni account for more than 75 sitting Superior Court judges, 175 district attorneys, 100 public defenders, and 2 federal district court judges in Los Angeles. The partnership between the two schools provides greater access to the LA community and expands the curriculum at PRGS. The certificate program will be small and highly competitive. Tuition will be covered through a reciprocity agreement between the two schools.

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