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Dual Degree Program in Law & Public Affairs

Program Purpose

The School of Law and the LBJ School of Public Affairs offer a Dual Degree program leading to the degrees of Doctor of Jurisprudence (JD) and Master of Public Affairs (M.P. Aff.). The program is designed to prepare qualified law and public affairs students for careers at any level of government and in public-policy related areas of the private sector or legal profession.

Alumni currently hold positions in the offices of U.S. Congressmen, federal district judges, regulatory agencies, city attorneys, and district attorneys, and are partners or associates in law firms dealing with such issues as EEO, international law, criminal justice, and environmental law.

Program Structure

The program is structured so that students can earn the JD and M.P.Aff. degrees simultaneously in four years rather than the five years the two degrees would otherwise require. Degrees are awarded when the required course work in both schools is completed. In general, Dual Degree program students progress through the curriculum as follows:

  • Year I: Full academic year in either school.
  • Year II: Full academic year in the school not attended in Year I, followed by a required summer internship with a governmental agency or other organizations with a substantial public policy interest.
  • Year III and IV: Course work in both schools, including the preparation of a Master's Professional Report.

To satisfy the requirements of the program, students must complete a minimum of 33 LBJ School credit hours and 70 credit hours at the School of Law, including all the first-year core courses in each school.

Law School Curriculum

The Law School's first-year curriculum includes six one-semester four-unit substantive law courses: Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law I, Contracts, Criminal Law, Property, and Torts. One of these six courses will include a writing component, which adds a unit of credit to the course. The rest of the first-year curriculum includes two semesters of Legal Research and Writing – two units of credit per semester – and an optional elective course of 2-3 units in the spring semester. The first year program in the law school usually totals 29 units of credit.

The upper-class curriculum includes the following requirements: Professional Responsibility, Constitutional Law II, a writing seminar, and a Professional Skills course. The remaining hours at the Law School are elective.

LBJ School Curriculum

The first-year curriculum in the LBJ School normally consists of required core courses. For more information, see the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs website.

Applications

Students must meet the separate admission criteria of both the School of Law and the LBJ School in order to be considered for admission to the Dual Degree program.

A prospective Dual Degree program student should apply as follows:

  1. To the School of Law: Information on admissions may be obtained from the Admissions Coordinator, The University of Texas at School of Law, 727 E. Dean Keeton St., Austin, TX 78705. This information is also available on the Law School web site. The following steps must be taken:

    • Carefully read all Law School admissions information.
    • Take the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) no later than February.
    • Complete and submit an application for admission no later than March 1.
  2. To the LBJ School: Information regarding admission may be obtained from the Office of Student and Alumni Programs (OSAP), LBJ School of Public Affairs, UT Austin, Drawer Y, University Station, Austin, Texas 78713-7450. Also, see http://www.utexas.edu/lbj/degreeprograms/mpaff/admissions. Contact Admissions Records Coordinator John Yeary at (512) 232-4013, lbjadmit@uts.cc.utexas.edu.
  3. To the Dual Degree program:
    • Application to the program may be made by applying simultaneously to the Law and LBJ Schools as indicated above.
    • Presently enrolled law students may apply for admission to the program during their first year of law school by following the procedures detailed in Step 2, above, and including when possible any transcript of law school grades.
    • Presently enrolled LBJ students may apply for admission to the program during their first year of public affairs school by following the procedures detailed in Step 1, above.
    • Applicants should be sure to indicate, in writing, to both admissions office, interest in the Dual Degree program.

Financial Aid

The LBJ School has limited funds for qualified students who merit financial assistance and who can show need by completing the ACT Family Financial Statement. Dual Degree program students in law and public affairs may apply to the LBJ School for such assistance in their first full year in the LBJ School.

Advisors

  • School of Law
    Professor Sanford Levinson
    The University of Texas School of Law
    727 East Dean Keeton St
    Austin, TX 78705
    (512) 232-1351
    slevinson@law.utexas.edu
  • LBJ School
    Professor Michele Deitch
    Faculty Coordinator
    Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs
    The University of Texas at Austin
    P.O. Box Y
    Austin, TX 78713-8925
    (512) 328-8330
    mydeitch@aol.com