A person educated both in the law and in social work is equipped to understand personal, social and community problems, programs, and policies that affect human lives and is prepared to utilize legal and institutional resources. The dual degree program in law and social work is a valuable preparation for careers in the administration of human service organizations or in executive, legislative or judicial branches of government concerned with problems such as child welfare, family law, services to disabled persons, family violence, corrections and social justice. The program exposes students to issues and methods of social work and to the relationships between social work programs and the legal system.
The dual program makes it possible to earn MSW and JD degrees within a span of four years. Study during one of the summers will ordinarily be required.
Interested students must apply separately to both schools, meeting application and deadline requirements of each school. In most cases, students who anticipate pursuing the dual degree apply to both schools simultaneously. If admitted to both, they defer admission to one school and begin taking the foundation/core curriculum in the school of their choice. It is also possible for students in the foundation/core curriculum of either school to apply to the other program and begin there the following year.
The 24-credit Foundation Curriculum is the same for all students. As part of the 36-credit Advanced Curriculum, the School of Social Work accepts 6 credits from the law school. These courses must be selected in consultation with Corey Shdaimah, PhD, LLB, LLM.
Dual-degree students have access to the full range of social work field instruction. Most dual-degree students want to do some of their field work in legal or forensic settings where social workers and attorneys interact, where clients have legal and social problems or where legislation is advocated or drafted.