Proposal for the Development of a
J.D./MSIS Combined Degree Program
School of Law
Leavey School of Business
Santa Clara University
Donald J. Polden, Dean
Barry Posner, Dean
Professor Manoochehr Ghiassi
MSIS Faculty Director
Professor Eric Goldman
High Tech Law Institute
February 4, 2009
J.D./MSIS Combined Degree Program
The faculties of the Santa Clara University School of Law and the Leavey School of Business
propose creating a J.D./MSIS degree program, to begin in Fall 2009.
Modeled upon the highly successful J.D./MBA joint degree offered at Santa Clara University
since 1976, the J.D./MSIS combines the strengths of two nationally recognized professional
programs to develop uniquely qualified leaders for emerging disciplines such as technology-
related intellectual property, digital forensics, and cyber-security. The program will leverage
existing resources to enhance revenue as well as our reputation as an innovative educational
leader in technology and the law.
The J.D./MSIS combined degree program is designed to permit students interested in obtaining
both the J.D. degree and the MSIS degree to complete both degrees in less time than if they were
earned independently. This can be accomplished because certain course work taken at the School
of Law can be transferred for credit toward the MSIS degree, and, conversely, certain course
work taken in the MSIS program at the Leavey School of Business can be transferred toward the
The J.D./MSIS degree allows students to develop a deep technological understanding of the legal
issues in the Information Technology industry and to learn how to use technology effectively in a
law practice. The joint degree may be especially useful for:
in-house lawyers for technology companies
attorneys representing computer software and hardware companies in technology license
agreements or in litigation
information security lawyers
litigators who plan to develop expertise in complex e-discovery
PURPOSE AND CENTRALITY
Part of Santa Clara University’s mission is to demonstrate a commitment to the development of
graduate students, many of them working professionals in Silicon Valley, who seek advanced
degree programs that prepare them to make significant contributions to their fields. The
combined J.D./MSIS program will allow students to develop a deep technological understanding
of the legal issues in the Information Technology industry, one of Silicon Valley’s largest
industries, and teach them how to use technology effectively in a law practice here.
Furthermore, this program fulfills the aim of both the Law School and the Business School to
educate its students to meet the challenges of a society that is increasingly technologically
Just a few select institutions across the U.S. offer a combined advanced degree program such as
this, among them the University of Michigan, the University of North Carolina, and
Pennsylvania State University. However distinguished these institutions may be, only Santa
Clara University can offer graduate students rigorous academic preparation grounded in its Jesuit
heritage of social justice and ethical decision-making. Graduates of the Santa Clara University
J.D./MSIS combined degree program will be equipped to lead government agencies, private
sector companies, and non-profit organizations, bringing reason and humanity to the technical
aspects of law and information technology.
Our alumni expertise will be unquestionable, given the well-regarded preparation provided by
the School of Law and the Leavey School of Business, but the reputation of these leaders will
extend beyond their mastery of these disciplines, as they make significant contributions to
policy, national discourse, and innovative industry directions. All Santa Clara University law
students are required to take a course in professional responsibility/ethics that focuses their
attention on service to the community and to the legal profession. The course supplements the
many opportunities that the students will have in the Business School and Law School to engage
in meaningful public and social justice service.
EVIDENCE OF INTEREST
This program will be among the first such combined degree offered in the western United States
and will take full advantage of our location in the global technology center, dominated by Santa
Clara University alumni, friends, and mentors in both legal and high tech organizations.
Interest in digital forensics, legal aspects of cyber privacy, and intellectual property rights grows
daily, and the demand for qualified leaders in these areas is high. According to the U.S.
Department of Labor, these jobs fall into the top 30 occupations with the largest growth in
openings through 2016 (U.S. Department of Labor Employment Projections, December 2007).
In preparation for this program, professors from Law and Business conducted focus group
discussions with existing Law and Business school students and selected legal and business
executives from Silicon Valley. The feedback received was very positive and are used in the
design of the joint degree program. In particular, on February 12, 2008, a focus group was held
in the law school to discuss the program. The students were invited based on their membership
in the student-operated Intellectual Property Association, and the agenda also included
discussion about the law school's High Tech Law Certificate. About 20 students attended the
discussion, many of whom came principally to learn more about the certificate. After a brief
description of the program from Professors Eric Goldman (Law) and Manoochehr Ghiassi
(MSIS), the students were invited to ask questions and provide any feedback. The general
feedback was uniformly positive. When surveyed by hand if any would be interested in learning
more about the joint program, a few hands were raised. This expression of interest was
consistent with the 3-5 students/year projection."
To participate in the J.D./MSIS Program, students must first be admitted to the School of Law, as
required by the American Bar Association (ABA), the official accreditation agency for American
legal education. During the first year of the J.D. Program, students apply to the MSIS Program,
following the regular MSIS admissions procedures, including taking the GMAT or GRE.
Students must be in good standing in the Law School to be considered for admission into the
MSIS program as required by the American Bar Association. A limited number of these law
students will be admitted into the program, and no additional sections in either the School of
Law or the Leavey School of Business will be required. We expect enrollment for the 2009-
2010 academic year to be no more than a handful and to grow slowly. We project the total
enrollment to peak at no more than 15 (that is, that at any point in time there will be 15 or fewer
joint degree students enrolled in Law/MSIS courses) within the next five years. This estimated
pattern of program enrollment growth is suggested by the two schools’ experience with their
IMPACT ON OTHER PROGRAMS / RESOURCE REQUIREMENTS AND
Because of the expected number of students, little or no impact on our other programs is
anticipated. Rather, we expect an enhancement of the learning environment by introducing
students of diverse interests and backgrounds into the program. By using existing courses and
faculty, the combined J.D./MSIS program will provide more effective use of our current
resources. To the extent that the joint program induces students to pay 3½ or 4 years of tuition
instead of just 3 years of tuition for the law degree alone, we anticipate the program will generate
some modest additional revenue for the University.
There are no plans to offer any new specific courses for this program. At the present, the MSIS
classes are below full capacity; therefore addition of the JD/MSIS students would not require
new courses or sections. Due to the modest number of joint students, we do not anticipate any
noticeable effect on law school admissions or enrollment in specific law courses and we do not
expect any fiscal effect on revenues or expenditures.
PROMISE OF QUALITY
The excellence of this combined program is a given as we connect two outstanding academic
programs, the J.D. and the MSIS degrees. Each degree provides rigorous and comprehensive
preparation; by combining study in both Schools, we offer students the best of each, creating a
fresh, exciting new approach to the disciplines and helping students obtain relatively unique and
highly specialized expertise. Specifically, while enrolled in the program, students must:
1. Satisfy the academic requirements of each school
2. Complete the same number of quarter units of credit (business) and semester units of
credit (law) as other recipients of the respective degrees, including all courses
required by each school
3. Plan a specific, individualized academic program with, and approved by, both the
School of Law J.D./MSIS program advisor and the Leavey School of Business
J.D./MSIS program advisor.
Since the JD/MSIS program is part of existing JD and MSIS programs it benefits from existing
assessment plans for these two schools that are currently in place. The JD/MSIS program will be
monitored to ensure its quality is consistent with the Law and Business school standards.
Specifically, we will assess this program by measuring the following attributes:
1. The first indicators of quality will be measures of input. In particular, we will review
whether or not we are attracting the number and quality of students we desire. This
aspect will be conducted by admissions professionals in the Law School and Business
School and will be periodically reviewed by the Enrollment Management Group in the
2. The second indicators of quality will be process measures. Major elements will include
the extent to which Law students believe they are enhancing their knowledge and their
abilities to incorporate and utilize information systems and technology know-how in their
3. The final indicators of quality will be outcome measures. In a very real sense, the
ultimate measure of the quality of any educational program is the contribution its
graduates make. For a new program, these cannot be assessed for years; however they
will certainly be part of the long-term assessment of the program. So, for example, the
Law School continuously monitors and analyzes its graduates success rate on the
California Bar Examination and the rates as which they are hired by employers. This
information is annually provided to accreditation and academic membership groups and
For all programs in the Business School, a key point of assessment will be our AACSB
accreditation process and for Law it will the requirements of the American Bar Association’s
Section on Legal Education (the official accrediting agency for American legal education). The
MSIS program is part of this process and it will be evaluated by AACSB in terms of the extent to
which it has a clear mission, the resources to accomplish that mission, and a process to assess its
success. We will include the JD/MSIS program as part of the same evaluation process. Finally,
the MSIS program benefits from periodic internal reviews. We just completed and issued the
first review of the program (June, 2008). We plan to continue periodic reviews and we will
include JD/MSIS as an integral part.
May 2009 : Admission of first-year law students
Fall 2009 : Program courses begin
Spring 2013 : First cohort graduation
Spring 2014 : Program assessment submitted to Provost
LIST OF COURSES / COMBINED CURRICULUM
1. 86 units are required to graduate.
2. Under ABA rules, a student has five years to receive his or her J.D.
3. Students must be enrolled in at least 8 semester units each semester.
Specific J.D./MSIS Requirements:
1. A student may transfer 12 quarter units from the business school to the law school.
Twelve quarter units translate to 8 semester units. Thus, a J.D./MSIS student must take
78 semester units at the law school. However, the business school units will not transfer
over to the law school until the student is within two business school classes of
graduating from the business school. MSIS units must have a grade of C or better and
will transfer to the law transcript as Credit/No Credit grades.
2. The first year is spent exclusively in the School of Law. During the second year, students
are required to take mostly MSIS classes. Thereafter, work is taken concurrently in the
business school and the law school.
1. The SCU MSIS curriculum consists of 18 courses (for a total of 54 quarter units)
comprising waivable required courses, non-waivable required courses, and electives.
Specific J.D./MSIS Requirements:
1. A student may transfer 8 semester units from the law school to the business school
(Approved courses are listed below). Eight semester units translate to 12 quarter units.
Thus, a J.D./MSIS student will take 42 quarter units of MSIS courses specified as below:
a) Pre-program Proficiency (Applicants must have successfully completed one
course in each of the following areas)
A Programming Language
b) Core Business Knowledge (3 courses - waivable)
ACTG 300 Financial Accounting
FNCE 451 Financial Management
MGMT 503 organizational Analysis and Management (non-waivable)
c) Core Information Systems (6 courses)
MSIS 601 Object-Oriented Analysis and Programming
MSIS 602 Information Systems Analysis and Design
MSIS 603 Database Management Systems
MSIS 604 Information Systems Policy and Strategy
MSIS 605 Telecommunications and Business Networks
MSIS 606 Software Project Management
d) Specialization (4 courses; equal to 12 quarter units)
MSIS 621 Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing
MSIS 622 ERP Systems
MSIS 623 Financial Information Systems
MSIS 696 Emerging Topics in IT Management
IDIS 705 Leadership for Justice and Prosperity (1 unit)
COEN 250 Information Security Management (2 units)
COEN 252 Computer Forensics (4 units)
e) Capstone (1 course)
IDIS 612 Management of the High Technology Firm Seminar
f) Approved Law School Courses (8 semester units; 12 quarter units)
Law 388 Intellectual Property (3 units).
Law 228 Technology Licensing (2 units)
Law 429 Mass Communication: Television, Cable, Satellite Video and
Convergence (3 units)
Law520 Mass Communication: Telephone, Broadband Networks and
Convergence (3 units)
Law 533 Broadband Regulatory Clinic (3 units)
Law 539 E-Discovery (1 unit)
Law 793 Cyberspace Law (3 units)
One or more of Patents/Copyrights/Trademarks/Trade Secrets courses
With the approval of the Law School J.D.-MSIS program advisor, other Law
School courses may also be selected.
In no event will any such individualized academic program include more than 12 quarter units at
the business school for which credit is also obtained at the law school, or more than 8 semester
units at the law school for which credit is also obtained at the business school.
Under a typical schedule, students complete the program and receive both degrees in three and
one-half or four years.
Note 1: Students who withdraw from the J.D. Program will not be granted transfer credit toward
the MSIS degree for courses taken in the School of Law.
Note 2: Students may choose other Law School courses with the approval of the Law School
J.D.-MSIS program advisor as part of the courses listed in section “f”.
LIST OF FACULTY
Manoochehr Ghiassi (MSIS faculty director)
In addition, other faculty members will offer business core and MBA electives that will be a part
of MSIS option including:
Law School Faculty Teaching Courses Relevant to J.D./MSIS
Colleen V. Chien
Dorothy J. Glancy
Eric Goldman (Director of High Tech Law Institute and Law School Liaison to J.D./MSIS
Allen S. Hammond IV
Anna M. Han
Tyler T. Ochoa
Catherine J. K. Sandoval
Some of the J.D./MSIS-qualified law courses are typically offered by adjunct instructors. For
example, E-Discovery has been taught by David Dolkas, an attorney at a local law firm.
Checklist of Possible Resource Requirements or Implications
Does the proposed program change entail any of the following? Please check the appropriate box
for each item below and include with proposal:
□ X Increase, decrease, or reallocation of revenue from tuition or fees. If yes, consult University
□ X Increase, decrease, or reallocation of existing budgets. If yes, consult University Finance
□ X Reassignment of endowment income or designated gift accounts. If yes, consult University
□ X Increase or decrease in faculty or staff positions or costs. If yes, consult University Finance
□ X Financial impact on another University program or service, including but not limited to a
requirement for increased support from that program or service. If yes, consult affected program
□ X New or modified office, instructional, or support space. If yes, consult Planning and
□ X Building modifications or infrastructure changes (examples: HVAC, increased power,
telecommunications, deionized water, parking). If yes, consult Planning and Projects
□ X New environment requirements (examples: hazardous waste treatment, exhaust treatment,
biological or radiological monitoring and reporting). If yes, consult Planning and Projects
□ X Increased physical plant operating expenses (examples: electricity, water, natural gas, waste
water, custodial services, building maintenance). If yes, consult Planning and Projects
□ X New library or media services collections, programs, or services. If yes, consult Library or
□ X Additional computer, network, or telecommunications equipment, capacity, or service. If
yes, consult Information Technology.