September 20, 2011/MLive.com
By Brandon Howell
LANSING -- Thomas M. Cooley Law School and Western Michigan University are partnering to offer a program that allows students to earn a master's degree in social work and a Juris Doctorate simultaneously.
The schools on Monday announced their third dual degree partnership; the program begins in the fall of 2012.
In the dual degree program, students can attend anyWMU campus for master's classes in social work and any of Cooley's campuses for law classes. Upon successful completion, students earn their master's in social work from WMU and their Juris Doctorate fromCooley.
"Both schools are focused on providing students with the knowledge and skills that will make it easier for them to succeed quickly when entering professional employment," said Nelson Miller, associate dean of Cooley’s Grand Rapids campus. "We believe that combining these two degrees can provide the competitive edge executives and attorneys need in the marketplace."
The pairing allows student to combine interests in issues such as:
•Family law and family wellbeing
•Social processes related to prisoner re-entry into communities
•Social welfare policy and legislation related to poverty
•Social processes related to child protection, parent rights and immigration issues
"This is an example of a program designed to fulfill the needs of students who have unique career objectives that can be best met by completing two degrees instead of one," said Linwood Cousins, director of the School of Social Work at WMU. "The partnership will facilitate the education of students with an interest in both law and social work."
The two other degree partnerships offered by Cooley and WMU are J.D./master of business administration and J.D./master of public administration.