Dual Degree in Law and LACIS

The dual degree program established by the Law School and LACIS allows students to complete a J.D. and an M.A. in a minimum of seven semesters. The dual degree arrangement reduces the total amount of time required for the two degrees because a limited number of credits for each degree can be applied to the other.

Why a dual degree in Law and LACIS?

Many of our most pressing problems, such as those relating to the environment, human rights, and trade, are increasingly dealt with in a global context and through interdisciplinary analysis. Complex legal issues are often integral to those problems and require the expertise of well-trained lawyers. U.S. legal education, however, often provides an insufficient foundation for lawyers to understand the multifaceted political, social, cultural and economic context in which those problems are embedded. Lawyers with an international specialization also need a minimum level of foreign language skill. For the United States, problems in Latin America continue to be of paramount importance. The region remains a primary U.S. partner in trade and investment, it is the main sender of migrants and refugees, and it continues to be of critical concern for U.S. foreign policy. Growing linkages between the U.S. and Latin American nations increases the need for lawyers with a background in Latin America. At the same time, dramatic political and economic changes in Spain and Portugal, and their integration into the European Community .have increased the need for U.S. legal expertise on the Iberian Peninsula. Lawyers with international interests may find work in a number of areas, including employment in the federal government or international agencies, or providing legal advice for companies doing business abroad, for individuals who work abroad or for firms employing foreign workers. Other employment opportunities might include human rights work, assistance to refugees and migrants, and work on the legal aspects of development such as land tenure, international trade and finance, and environmental and natural resource management.

Financial Aid

Law/LACIS students are eligible for the Title VI Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships and for summer research grants to conduct field work in Latin America, Spain, and Portugal. FLAS fellowship holders must be enrolled full-time in the Graduate School (8-12 credits).


For further information or questions regarding the Law/LACIS Dual Degree Program, please contact LACIS Associate Director, Alberto Vargas (avargasp@wisc.edu).