SANTA BARBARA, Calif. and VENTURA, Calif., April 11, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Responding to rapid changes in the legal services industry, The Santa Barbara & Ventura Colleges of Law has launched its new Master of Arts in Law program. Recruitment is underway to enroll an inaugural cohort in a pioneering online program that intersects cross-disciplinary studies with a legal curriculum.
The Colleges of Law dean and chief academic officer, Jackie Gardina, J.D., first proposed the program to the college’s Board of Trustees in 2019 to address emerging trends in the practice of law. “Our field is being disrupted,” says Gardina. “Technology is transforming how people access services and how lawyers perform their jobs. While there will always be a need for competent and ethical attorneys, those with knowledge of where the field is going next will be poised to help lead the change.”
The Master of Arts in Law program was designed for entry-level master’s students seeking knowledge of law applied to specific areas of expertise. The program is also applicable to professionals currently working in the legal industry—including those with a J.D. degree—in order to access new areas of expertise and apply them to their practice, effectively providing opportunities for upskilling to meet a changing job market.
Jeannette Eicks, a recognized expert in the legal field who joined The Colleges of Law in 2021 to lead the Master of Arts in Law initiative, developed the curriculum and ushered the program through WASC Senior College and University Commission review.
“As has been the case for many other sectors, technology is transforming the legal industry. This transformation brings new opportunities for legal professionals at all levels and will address the demand of underserved legal markets,” says Eicks. “To better prepare students and alumni for this transformation, the school’s curriculum has expanded to addresses the cross-disciplinary needs of this growing legal marketplace. We have dedicated ourselves to bringing the knowledge driving the legal industry’s transformation to students at all graduate levels.”
The Master of Arts in Law program is the latest venture of a college that has staked its future in modernizing legal education.
“The bar is high for this project,” says The Colleges of Law President Matthew Nehmer, Ph.D. “Nearly three years in the making, it is our follow-up to delivering the first accredited Hybrid J.D. program in California. From the beginning it was conceived to be something new and different. We wanted to go beyond just offering a new master’s degree. We wanted to create a learning experience with multiple applications with high value to learners and the legal services industry at large.”
The Master of Arts in Law program launches this fall, delivering 30 units of academic content across 21 months of study. Students can specialize in one of four concentrations—Business Operations, Entrepreneurship, Emerging Law, and Technology—and will complete a capstone project. Courses will also be available as electives for The Colleges of Law’s J.D. population, opening up the college’s J.D. curriculum to new career pathways.
About The Colleges of Law
Established in 1969, The Colleges of Law (COL) was founded to expand opportunities and broaden access to legal education. COL is dedicated to a student-centered approach that affords students of diverse backgrounds the opportunity to pursue careers in law or legal-related fields. COL’s faculty advances a real-world perspective and practicality on the application of law and includes practicing attorneys, judges, public servants, and leaders in business and nonprofit organizations. An accredited nonprofit institution, COL offers a Juris Doctor (J.D.) and a Master of Arts in Law (MAL) program. Additionally, in the fall of 2018, COL became the first accredited law school in California to offer a Hybrid J.D. degree. COL is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). The Juris Doctor program is accredited by the Committee of Bar Examiners (CBE) of the State Bar of California. COL is a part of TCS Education System, a national nonprofit system that works collaboratively to advance institutional sustainability, student success, and community impact.
For more information, visit www.collegesoflaw.edu.
SOURCE The Santa Barbara & Ventura Colleges of Law