Intellectual property law has become a major field of law practice in the recent past and continues to grow in importance. The major areas of intellectual property law, patent copyright, trademark, and trade secrets, have experienced explosive growth due to the rapid pace of scientific and technological developments. The need for lawyers with expertise in both general and specialized scientific disciplines has grown as well. Along with an increased demand for lawyers with the expertise to protect commercial interest in scientific intellectual property, has come an increased need for lawyers with expertise to represent clients who own such property in other areas of law practice.
This joint degree program is intended principally for law students who desire to specialize in an area of law in which expertise in chemistry would be a clear asset. Such areas include intellectual property law, energy law, environmental law, natural resource law, and business law. A full understanding of the legal problems in these areas increasingly requires a solid grounding in underlying scientific issues, a facility in dealing with scientific or technical literature, and the ability to communicate with scientists. Students electing the joint degree option will select a major area of emphasis within chemistry that complements their chosen area of legal emphasis. Each student must develop and gain approval of a coherent, focused plan of study that draws upon related course work in both law and chemistry.
The JD/MS program involves interdisciplinary work and a flexible plan of study. The MS in Chemistry consists of 32 semester hours of course work, including 12 semester hours of 500 level courses, two of which must be in chemistry. Students will also complete 90 hours of Law course work, up to 12 hours of which may be fulfilled by course work taken in Chemistry or otherwise pursuant to a course of scientific study leading to the MS degree in chemistry. Students will consult with a faculty advisor in selecting courses. While enrolled in the Department of Chemistry, students have the opportunity to hold an assistantship with a tuition and service fee waiver. It is possible that joint degree students may accelerate their programs by attending summer sessions over one or more summers and complete the requirements for both the MS and the JD degrees in three years.
In order to enter the joint program, students must be admitted separately to both departments. Each program's application requirements and deadlines for admission must be met. For more information, contact both departments:
Chemistry Graduate Admissions
Department of Chemistry
300 A&B Noyes Laboratory
505 S. Mathews Avenue
Urbana, Illinois 61801