The Georgetown University Law Center and HEC Paris have partnered to create two dual degrees — a Master of Business Administration/Master of Laws and a Grande Ecole Master in Management/Master of Laws — with the first incoming class to begin fall 2016 and graduate in spring 2017.
The degrees were created in response to discussions among professors, students and the Alumni Board. Primary facilitators of the program include GULC adjunct professor Alberto Alemanno, HEC professor Dorothy Mayer and Chair of the European Alumni Board Delphine Addlard.
After initial discussions, the European Alumni Board formally presented the idea to GULC.
GULC Dean William Treanor said the creation of these mixed business and law degrees came as a response to increased interest in programs that combine the two fields.
“At a time in which so much business practice and so much legal practice is global, you’re getting a U.S. LL.M. from a great American law school and an MBA from a top French business school,” Treanor said. “You’re very prepared for a global business practice and a global legal practice. … I think it’s going to be very powerful and very appealing.”
Students will spend the first year studying at HEC Paris, ranked the No. 2 business school in Europe by the Financial Times in 2014, studying core degree requirements. The second and final year for both programs will be completed on GULC’s campus and include more specified curriculums.
“The first year is the general year. So, you would typically do quantitative methods and statistics and organizational behavior,” Treanor said. “The second year, the year in which you specialize, rather than taking some specialized courses at HEC, you’re taking legal studies at Georgetown. So it’s essentially, the year of legal study at Georgetown substitutes for the year of specialization at HEC.”
The MBA/LL.M. program requires students already have a law degree and at least three years of professional experience, while applicants interested in the MiM/LL.M. program must already have a bachelor’s degree in law. Both programs require applicants are fluent in English.
Assistant Dean of Graduate Programs Caryn Voland explained the standards for language and experience that will determine admission to the program.
“We will be looking for people that have done well academically,” Voland said. “They will need to show language fluency at the same level we require of all of our students which is generally a full score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language. … So, strong academic background, professional is required for the MBA and English fluency.”
Voland also emphasized the degrees as a way for graduates to distinguish themselves in the competitive legal industry.
“There are some law firms that send their associates to be trained with an LL.M. in the U.S. because they want more business-savvy lawyers,” Voland said. “All over the world, lawyers are looking to become more competitive and distinguish themselves, so I think that this is an opportunity if they want to show their commitment and understanding of business concepts.”
The degrees do not incur any extra charge or financial change, since students pay HEC Paris tuition for their first year and Georgetown fees for their second one.
Georgetown also offers dual degrees with Tsinghua University in China and provides study abroad opportunities in various universities, including Yonsei Law School in South Korea, Amsterdam Law School, Keio Law School in Japan and ESADE Law School in Spain. Georgetown’s dual-degree program with Sciences Po in Paris for a master’s of international affairs served as model for the HEC collaboration, according to Voland.
Additionally, Treanor indicated that the GULC is interested in expanding its current dual degree offerings.
“We’re actually in the process of looking at other schools around the world that have similar dual degree programs,” Treanor said. “We’re open to expanding this structure.”
HEC Paris Director for International Affairs François Collin also highlighted the dual degree as an opportunity for both the universities and the students to expand their perspectives.
“Students come to HEC with a variety of academic backgrounds, and we look forward to expanding the number of lawyers who will bring their previous legal experiences and perspectives to their study of business here,” Collin said in a GULC press release.
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