Curricular Programs

Students enrolled in the J.D. Program may choose to focus their studies in a particular interest area and begin developing a specialty within the law.

Berkeley Law’s curriculum gives students the opportunity to study one subject in a sustained manner and at a more advanced level than is usually possible in general law school courses. When students elect this concentrated study, they may take two to four prerequisite courses during their second year and then spend a significant portion of their third year taking more specialized courses, sometimes including a research seminar that addresses advanced issues in the concentration field.

These specialized curricular programs are designed to:

  • Give students an opportunity to pursue an area of interest and, by carrying out a major research project, to take a more active approach to their own education. In many cases, the research leads to publishable papers. Thus, the programs are designed to be valuable as a style of learning, even if students do not pursue careers in their particular area of interest.

  • Integrate the Jurisprudence and Social Policy (JSP) Program and the J.D. Program. The format of third-year seminars focuses on interdisciplinary techniques and alternative methods of analysis. In some cases, the seminars are co-taught by J.D. and J.S.P. faculty members.

  • Integrate the law school program with current developments in law, business, and public policy through advanced seminars. In addition, research involving field interviews, unpublished sources and previously unexplored issues is encouraged and assisted.

  • Develop closer working relationships between students and faculty. Because of the concentrated two-year involvement and the research-oriented format of the advanced coursework, students develop a more collegial relationship with seminar leaders. This is amplified by the goal of encouraging students to produce publishable work and make a significant contribution to their area of interest.