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J.D/M.L.S. Dual Degree Tech Concentration


tech hybrid 2

J.D./M.L.S Tech Concentration Concurrent Degree.

Students who matriculate into the J.D. program may request to enroll in the dual J.D./M.L.S. degree program  with teach concentration after completing the second-year courses.

The  J.D./M.L.S. Tech Concentration is designed to bridge the gap between traditional legal studies and the ever-growing need for lawyers in the workforce to understand and apply the law in tech-focused industries. This concentration will give law students a competitive edge in an increasingly tech-dominated world and advance their careers into an industry that offers many new innovative career opportunities. The goal of this concentration will be to understand the specifics of applying legal principles, including contracts, legal writing, negotiations, and business organizations, into the framework of a technology-focused industry. This will include understanding the ins and outs of intellectual property, corporate governance, patents and trademarks, and venture capital.
This concentration aligns with Monterey College of Law’s goal to offer serious, highly motivated students the opportunity to seek a career change, re-enter the workforce, or advance their current professional careers by obtaining a legal education. The tech-focused concentration is especially relevant due to the continued exponential growth of the tech industry and its mainstay in California’s vital economy. This course study will offer a pathway for students eager to jump into the world of tech and open the door for them toward a solid foundational legal education and a network of tech-focused legal professionals.
The concentration continues the tradition of Monterey College of Law’s mission to focus on legal skills and professional responsibility by offering courses that require a clinical skills-based component and tackle ethical and legal issues that are specific to tech companies and their legal advisors. The small cohort size gives our students the opportunity to interact more personally with their faculty and build networks with other students and alumni throughout their legal education.
Upon successful completion of the 90-unit program, the student is granted both the J.D. and M.L.S. degrees. Completion of the J.D./M.L.S. program requires successful completion of the program requirements of BOTH the M.L.S. degree and the J.D. degree. Students should carefully review the separate program requirements of both degrees prior to electing to concurrently enroll in the J.D./M.L.S. Tech Concentration program.
To receive the Tech Concentration M.L.S. degree, a student must complete 6 units of tech- specific elective courses and a graduate-level thesis.  The Tech Concentration M.L.S. degree will be awarded at graduation.   

In accordance with Rule 4.25(A) of the Admissions and Educational Standards, the California Committee of Bar Examiners requires applicants to have completed 60 semester units or 90 quarter units of college work to be eligible to apply.  The completed units must be equivalent to at least half of what is required for a bachelor's degree from a college or university that has degree-granting authority from the state in which it is located and completed with a grade average adequate for graduation. 

Applicants who have not completed at least two years of college work in accordance with Rule 4.25 (A) and Section 6060(c)(1) of the California Business and Professions Code may still apply but must satisfy the general education requirements prior to beginning law school by attaining a score of 50 or higher on a series of College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) exams administered by the College Board

Additionally, students who have been accepted into the JD program by completing the CLEP examinations MUST take the First-Year Law Student Exam (FYLSX) after completing their first year of studies.  The student must pass the exam within the first three administrations after becoming eligible in order to move forward in the JD program.

More information about College Equivalency Education requirements can be found on the State Bar of California website

The LSAT is not required to apply.

[Please note: The following are subject to periodic faculty review and modification.]

  1. To qualify for the M.L.S. Degree with Tech Concentration, students must complete 36 units of legal studies, six of which are tech-specific courses, and a required writing requirement. (A minimum of 18 units must be completed in residence at Monterey College of Law.) The 36 units of the M.L.S. will also be credited towards the 90 unit requirement for the J.D. degree.
    1. Required Courses for the M.L.S. degree: The following 24 units of required courses must be completed from the regular J.D .curriculum – Contracts (6), Torts (6), Criminal Law (3), Constitutional Law (6), Legal Research (3).
    2. Elective Courses: The 12 units of electives may be selected from other courses that are offered as part of the regular JD curriculum (subject to prerequisites for certain advanced law courses).
  2. Writing Requirement: To be eligible for the M.L.S./J.D. concurrent degree with Tech Concetnration, the M.L.S. writing requirement must also be met. The writing requirement is the completion of a 5,000 to 7,500 word Note or Comment on a contemporary tech law specific legal issue. The writing requirement is a mandatory, non-credit degree requirement. The writing requirement may be completed at any time prior to graduation. The law school will provide a non-credit M.L.S. writing workshop for students who need assistance in the preparation, outlining, and writing of the M.L.S. writing project. Workshop faculty will also provide editing assistance for students enrolled in the M.L.S .writing workshop.
  3. Attendance Requirement: J.D./M.L.S. students are required to meet the same attendance requirements and are held to the same standards for class preparation and participation as regular law students.
  4. Compliance with Student Policies: J.D./M.L.S. students are subject to all administrative policies, including the Student Honor Code, exam procedures, registration, payment of tuition and fees, academic disqualification, and grade appeals that are contained in the Student Handbook.
  5. Grading Standards: During their course of study, J.D./M.L.S. students are not identified separately from regular JD students in courses, examinations, or the grading process. All papers, assignments, and exams are graded using the MCL system for assigning student or exam ID numbers that protect student identity and ensures anonymous grading.
  6. Administration and Student Advising: The J.D./M.L.S. concurrent degree program with tech concentration is under the academic direction and supervision of the law school Dean and the Assoc. Dean for Academic Support. The regular departments of MCL provide all other administrative services.
  7. Faculty: Since all J.D./M.L.S. courses are regular J.D. courses, the faculty members for the MLS degree are the same as for the J.D. program.
  8. Graduation and Conferring of Degrees: Upon completion of the J.D./M.L.S. degree program, graduates shall be eligible to participate in the MCL annual graduation ceremony and receive both their J.D. and M.L.S. diplomas.  The Tech Concentration is for the M.L.S. degree only.