College and Schools / School of Law

Academic Specializations for JD Degree

Business Law and Policy Specializations

The Business Law and Policy specializations are designed for students who wish to focus their schooling in a particular area of business law and ultimately earn a certificate of completion with their degree. Students may choose from two specializations: business law and taxation. Approximately 70 courses and seminars are offered. In addition, there are two recommended tracks: corporate law and bankruptcy, which offer additional guidance to students in course selection for the business law specializations. Business law materials are integrated to varying degrees in the law school’s first-year curriculum, typically in property, contracts, and torts. The second- and third-year curricula in the specialization include courses covering a wide variety of legal and business issues, ranging from regulation of markets to the design of business transactions.

Critical Race Studies Specialization

UCLA School of Law is the only American law school to offer an advanced curriculum that fosters students’ systematic and rigorous study in the area of critical race studies. With many faculty members who have been instrumental in pioneering and advancing critical race theory, the Critical Race Studies specialization is essential to promoting insightful, intelligent public conversation about race relations. It is appropriate for law students who seek advanced study and/or practice in race and the law, critical race theory, civil rights, public policy, and other legal practice areas that are likely to involve working with racial minority clients and communities or working to combat racial inequality. The course of study emphasizes mastery of five areas: history (centered on the Constitution but focused as well on a variety of other legal documents and experiences); theory (critical race theory, jurisprudence, and theoretical advances outside the legal academy); comparative subordination (understanding of the multiracial nature of American race relations, as well as how racial inequality is affected by discrimination based on gender, sexual orientation, and disability); doctrine (case and statutory law and its interpretation); and practice (including legal practice, community service, and lawyers’ use of social science inquiries and methods).

International and Comparative Law Specialization

The International and Comparative Law program is one of the best in the nation. An expansive law faculty, course offerings, colloquia and symposia, student-edited journals, externships, foreign exchange offerings, and a broad community of interested students from around the world constitute a rich milieu in which to learn about the field. The International and Comparative Law specialization builds on these strengths, and directs students to coursework that may range from international business to comparative constitutional law to international human rights.

Law and Philosophy Specialization

The Law and Philosophy specialization is designed for students who want to supplement their legal studies by exploring more theoretical issues concerning the philosophical foundations of law. It is invaluable to those students interested in attending graduate programs or exploring a career in academia. The specialization exposes students to material on the nature of law and legal systems, legal methodologies, and the theoretical underpinnings and justifications of particular doctrinal areas such as constitutional law, criminal law, and contract. Students need not have any prior background in philosophy, but a strong interest in the subject is recommended.

Media, Entertainment, Technology, Sports Law Specialization

Los Angeles is the center of the entertainment industry. Recognizing the unique ability to offer a specific program in that arena, the school launched the Media, Entertainment, Technology, and Sports Law specialization in 2005. The specialization is the most comprehensive, advanced, and innovative approach to the study of entertainment and media law in the country. Students who fulfill the requirements have a solid grounding in the law, customs, theory, and policy in the motion picture, television, music, and other industries involved in creative and artistic matters. The program also prepares students who choose to work in nonprofit institutions, government, or academia in the area of entertainment, media, and intellectual property law.

Public Interest Law and Policy Specialization

Recognizing the considerable debate about the proper role of the law in creating and sustaining a just society, the Public Interest Law and Policy specialization strives to offer its students an innovative and intellectually ambitious curriculum that prepares them to engage in sophisticated representation of traditionally underserved clients and interests. The specialization, one of the nation’s top such programs, has a competitive admissions process. Students represent a broad range of political and ideological perspectives, and often pursue additional specializations and joint degrees. Graduates have received prestigious public interest law fellowships. They work in a variety of settings, with focus on social justice issues ranging from immigration, labor, and international human rights to health care, welfare and poverty, and civil rights. Faculty members are leaders in their respective fields, and have distinguished themselves by the quality of their scholarship and teaching. They represent a broad cross-section of interests on social justice issues, and bring to the classroom a depth of knowledge from a wide range of experiences and research perspectives.