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Penn Law and Wharton Creating Three-Year JD/MBA Program
September 23, 2008 , Volume 55, No. 5

The University of Pennsylvania’s Law School and Wharton School are launching an accelerated three-year program leading to both the JD and MBA degrees.

“As the world becomes more complex, leaders must be able to integrate financial, legal, political and cultural issues like never before,” Penn Law School Dean Michael A. Fitts, said. “From corporate scandals and globalization to crises in the housing and credit markets, there is an obvious need for people with advanced training in the law to be highly skilled in business, and there is no better place anywhere to study business and finance than the Wharton School.”

Students in the new program will spend the first year in the Law School and the following summer in four Law and Wharton courses designed specifically for the three-year JD/MBA. The second and third years will include a combination of Law and Wharton courses, including capstone courses in the third year and work experience in law, business, finance, or the public sector in the summer between the second and third years.

“Success in business requires thorough knowledge of legal and regulatory environments,” Wharton Dean Thomas S. Robertson, said. “Penn Law has nine PhDs in economics and two MBAs on its faculty. This three-year program and its demanding curriculum will be irresistible to top students, who also will have access to the exceptional networking and career opportunities that both Penn Law and Wharton provide.”

Penn’s three-year JD/MBA is the country’s first fully integrated three-year program offered by elite law and business schools. The new program will target potential applicants with typically two years of work experience, especially in finance, who are entrepreneurs or are planning careers in investment banking, private equity and related fields.

“We expect that all sorts of people with business experience will apply,” said Edward Rock, co-director of Penn’s Institute for Law and Economics, a professor of law and an architect of the three-year program. “All of them will be able to navigate and lead in the worlds of business and of law because this is the best way to prepare tomorrow’s business lawyers.”

Applicants must be admitted by both schools in order to enroll in the three-year program. Students in the joint program will be required to meet the Law School’s mandate to perform 70 hours of supervised legal work in a pro-bono setting in order to graduate.

Penn Law already offers 10 other three-year joint degree programs that combine a law degree with master’s degrees in bioethics, international studies, education and other disciplines. In total, Penn Law offers more than 30 joint- and dual-degree and certificate programs.

Wharton is the largest business school in the world, with more than 200 standing faculty in 11 departments, including finance, accounting, real estate, and health care.

The three-year JD/MBA program is expected to enroll about 20 students each year, beginning in September 2009. Additional information is available at www.law.upenn.edu/crossdisc/study/jointdualdegree/mba.html.



Almanac - September 23, 2008, Volume 55, No. 5