Northwestern law school announces new program for STEM professionals

Joseph Diebold, Campus Editor

The Northwestern School of Law announced Monday that it is offering a new Master of Science in Law (MSL) program aimed specifically at professionals in science, technology, engineering and math fields.

The program, which can take two to eight semesters to complete, will offer students the opportunity to concentrate in three areas: patent and intellectual property, business law and entrepreneurship, or regulatory analysis and strategy.

Graduates of the program will not be licensed to practice law; instead, the program will aim to “contextualize the complex web of intellectual property, regulatory, business contracting and licensing issues that scientists, engineers, medical practitioners and other STEM professionals around the world face.”

“Technical people increasingly have seats at the business table, and more and more of them are being called upon to lead — to sit at the head of the table,” Emerson Tiller, the law school’s senior associate dean of academic initiatives, said in a news release.

The announcement comes on the heels of reports that law schools, including NU’s, are cutting their incoming class sizes to divert more resources toward a smaller number of students.

“In an increasingly interconnected world, where law and regulation is profoundly important, top law schools cannot think of legal training as solely for lawyers,” School of Law Dean Daniel Rodriguez said in a news release. “This program illustrates the law school’s ambitious effort to address a growing industry need to build meaningful, practical bridges across the fields of law, business and technology.”

— Joseph Diebold