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=April 13, 2010


University of Texas School of Information and School of Law launch new joint degree in Legal Information Studies

In the fall 2010 semester the University of Texas at Austin’s School of Information and School of Law will admit the first cohort of students for a new three-year MSIS/JD dual degree program.

The dual degree program responds to an increased need for specialists trained in both of these fields and thus positioned to help address legal issues arising from the increasingly complex and changing world of information use, retrieval, and storage in the twenty-first century. Several years in the planning, the program results from shared recognition that not only is digital information changing the practice of law, but that increasing reliance on digital information is changing our understanding of ownership, copyright, creativity, and privacy. The dual degree will enable students to take a concentrated set of coursework in both degree programs and to tailor their programs to specific areas of interest.

“The legal aspects of information are evolving and complicated,” said Dean Andrew Dillon of the School of Information. “As the world’s information supply is increasingly born digital, the international and intellectual challenges facing us need to be tackled by professionals who understand people and contexts of use as well as they understand the law.”

The School of Information is home to an intellectually diverse faculty with expertise in librarianship, user psychology, social informatics, computer science, and archival and preservation studies. Close links with the School of Law’s Tarlton Law Library offer students unique opportunities to engage in projects and gain practical experience in all aspects of legal informatics. The Law School is a top-tier law school with specific strengths in the areas of constitutional, intellectual property, energy, and international law. The Law School is also home to a nationally honored trial advocacy program, seventeen legal clinics, and over a dozen special centers and institutes that facilitate interdisciplinary studies.

Graduates of both programs are in high demand nationally and the new joint degree formalizes and builds on the tradition of legal librarianship courses offered at University of Texas over the last two decades.

More information on admissions and a sample program of work can be found on the School of Information’s Dual Degree Programs webpage.

Program contact:

Dr. Mary Lynn Rice-Lively, Associate Dean, University of Texas School of Information,, or 512-471-2371

Media contact:

Amy Crossette, Director of Public Affairs, University of Texas School of Information,, or 512-573-1078