Law and Business Schools Propose Joint Degrees

The Business and Law Schools are considering a proposal for a new four-year program leading to both an MBA and an LLB degree. The proposal must be approved by the faculties of both schools at meetings within the next two months.

At present, completion of both degrees takes five years. A student is awarded an MBA after two years at the Business School, and must complete three years of Law School to be awarded an LLB, the ordinary law degree. Students in the proposed program would spend one year taking the prescribed first-year courses at each school, with the last two years devoted to combined studies.

The plan was devised by Detlev F. Vagts '49, professor of Law, and Malcolm S. Salter '62, assistant professor of Business Administration. Similar programs are in operation at Columbia, Stanford, and other universities.

Approval by both faculties is expected. "The question is can you get a faculty to say they will give a degree for less than the usual number of courses," George P. Baker '25, dean of the Faculty of Business Administration, said last night. Each faculty will have to feel that courses in the other school compensate for courses missed in its won school because of the shortened schedule, he added.

As currently planned, between thirty and fifty students in each class would take part in the four-year program. Applicants would have to pass the entrance requirements of both schools, Vagts said yesterday.

"Law School admission is very much based on a person's record, but the Business School gets a more individual view of the person. The Business School sometimes favors a person who has been out of school for a while, and they try to get a sense of a man's motivation for going into business," Vagts said.

No decision has been made on a common application form, he said. "Many people would decide on this program only in their first year here," he added. "Both schools will admit people now on the assumption that a favorable decision will be made," he said. Neither school plans to increase enrollment, Vagts said.

Thomas A. Graves, associate dean of the Faculty of Business Administration, said yesterday the schools anticipated no financial problems if the program is approved. The students' tuition would be divided between the schools, he said. But some students might have financial difficulties. "One aspect that is a little discouraging for law students is that the Business School is not as liberal about scholarships," Vagts said.

Vagts said the law faculty had been surprised by the quantity of student interest in the new program. The idea for the program came from an agenda suggested to the Committee on the Relation of the Law School and the University by Derek C. Bok, dean of the Faculty of Law, Vagts said. Vagts said he consulted with a student subcommittee in preparing the plan.

Both Bok and Baker have expressed interest in further involving their schools with the rest of the University. Graves and Vagts said their schools do not want to preclude the possibility of joint degree-granting programs with other graduate schools.

The Law School is currently studying the possibilities of a joint LLB-PhD in History program with the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and a separate program with the Kennedy School of Government, Vagts said.

Baker said last night that the Business School participated with the Yale Law School just before World War II in a four-year program. Participants in that program were awarded LLB degrees but not MBA degrees. "They were simply able to say they had spent a year here," he added

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