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Cleveland-Marshall College of Law Offers Masters of Law Degree

The very first “risk-free” juris doctor program is being launched by the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, according to The National Law Journal.

Students who complete one year of legal studies, but who do not want to continue their legal education, can receive a master of legal studies degree with this new program. Those who hold this degree will not be permitted to sit for the bar exam. It has been created as a foundation in law without preparing the students to practice.

“There are many good reasons why a law student may decide not to continue to pursue a J.D.,” dean Craig Boise said. “They might have financial concerns, family or personal issues, or they may realize that though they still have an interest in law, a career in traditional legal practice is not right for them.”

Boise said that the program means students will not have wasted a year of their time and the degree will also interest employers. The school began offering a master of legal studies degree this year and it seems as though it is the first school to offer a ‘convertible’ J.D.



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“This new opportunity removes at least some of the financial and personal risk inherent in a large educational undertaking, and comes at a time when people appreciate more guarantees,” Boise said. “It represents yet another positive innovation for our law school.”

Alan Weinstein, the director of the masters program, said that students can complete their core 1L curriculum and then leave the school. They would not be required to complete any additional courses.

“Obviously it’s a much more competitive environment for bringing in qualified students, and I think schools are looking for ways to distinguish themselves,” Weinstein said.

What are your thoughts on quitting law school after one year and still receiving a degree? Think it is fair? Let us know your thoughts in our comments section below.

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