New dual degree program
combines journalism, law
Study includes torts, criminal law, and a stint in the Medill Washington,
Five graduate students are enrolled in the first class to participate in
a new two-degree program offered by the School of Law and the Medill School
The unique program is the only one in the country where students
completed bachelor’s degrees enroll in a two-degree journalism-law program.
The program of study begins and ends at Medill (and includes a stint as a working
reporter in Medill’s Washington, D.C., newsroom or an international residency
through Medill’s Global Journalism Program). Students last summer took
a Journalism Methods (reporting and editing) course and an Ethics and Law (for
journalists) course at Medill.
The students take two semesters of work at the law school in the first year
of the program, studying torts, criminal law, civil procedure, legal writing
electives of the student’s choice. Upon completion of the program, students
will earn both a Master of Science in Journalism and a Master of Legal Studies.
The degrees will enable them to examine and report legal nuances involved in
many news stories today.
“Understanding the law and being able to explain it well are skills increasingly
essential to many of the issues journalists cover — from government to
sports, business to civil rights. Medill has always been dedicated to turning
out exceptional young reporters, and this partnership with Northwestern’s
law school enables us to raise the bar on that commitment,” said Loren
Ghiglione, dean of Medill.
“The degree program is fashioned to provide journalists with intensive
immersion in legal thinking so that they are better able to educate their readers,
viewers or listeners,” said David Van Zandt, School of Law dean.