Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs

Increasingly, careers in the federal, state, and local governments as well as nonprofit organizations and private sector businesses require an understanding of public administration, policy analysis, and public affairs, as well as law. Many students choose to pursue the dual law and public affairs degree (Master of Public Affairs [MPA] or Master of International Public Affairs [MIPA]) because of their interest in employment in government agencies, government relations law practice, or in other policy-oriented firms and organizations.

A total of 75 credits at the Law School plus 36 credits at the La Follette School of Public Affairs are required for the dual-degree program. For most students the dual-degree program will add about a year of study to the three years it takes to complete law school, but will save approximately one year of study compared to doing the two programs separately.

Admissions

Application for admission must be made separately to La Follette School of Public Affairs and to the Law School. Acceptance by one program does not imply acceptance by the other program. Most students apply to both programs before they begin either; however, students enrolled in the Law School may apply to the MPA or MIPA program during their first or second year in law school, and La Follette students can apply to the Law School during their first year.

La Follette School Admissions

Law School Admissions

Graduate School Admissions

Course of Study

Students who are admitted to MPA or MIPA program and the Law School can choose to start their studies either at the La Follette School of Public Affairs or the Law School. Students notify both admissions departments of their plans.

General Plan for Law School Start

First year: First-year required law courses
Second year: La Follette School core and some law school requirements
Third Year: Law School and policy electives
Fourth Year: Law School, policy electives, and La Follette Workshop in Public Affairs

General Plan for La Follette School Start

First year: La Follette School core and some law school requirements
Second year: First-year required law courses
Third Year: Law School and policy electives
Fourth Year: Law School, policy electives, and La Follette Workshop in Public Affairs

Dual JD & MPA Degree Requirements

Students must meet the degree requirements of both programs:

  • A total of 75 credits at the Law School plus 36 credits at the La Follette School of Public Affairs are required.
  • 15 credits from La Follette core courses at an average of B or better will apply to the 90-credit J.D. degree.
  • Core courses for the MPA degree are Policy Making Process, Introduction to Public Management, Introduction to Statistical Methods for Public Policy Analysis, Microeconomic Policy Analysis. All students take the culminating Workshop in Public Affairs in the final spring semester in their fourth year for a total of 18 core credits.
  • Policy electives can be chosen from public affairs elective courses or policy-related law courses offered at the law school. Any electives chosen from law school that apply to the public affairs 36 credits cannot be part of the required 75 Law School credits.
  • Students applying 15 La Follette credits to the law degree may not apply other credits from outside Law School to the law degree. The total number of law credits required for students in the dual degree program is 75.
  • 36 credits will be required for the MPA for La Follette students who have completed at least 30 credits in the Law School with a weighted average of 77 on all law courses. The 36 La Follette credits will include 18 credits in core courses and 18 in an area of concentration.
  • Students must receive their law degrees and master's degrees simultaneously to receive the full benefits of the dual-degree arrangement.

J.D. & MIPA Requirements

  • A total of 75 credits at the Law School plus 36 credits at the La Follette School of Public Affairs are required.
  • 15 credits from La Follette core courses at an average of B or better will apply to the 90-credit J.D. degree.
  • Core courses for the MIPA degree are Introduction to Statistical Methods for Public Policy Analysis, Microeconomic Policy Analysis, International Governance, and Macroeconomic Policy & International Financial Regulation. All students take a culminating Workshop in International Public Affairs in the final spring semester in their fourth year for a total of 18 core credits.
  • Policy electives can be chosen from public affairs elective courses or policy-related law courses offered at the Law School. Any electives chosen from the Law School that apply to the public affairs 36 credits cannot be part of the required 75 Law School credits.
  • Students applying 15 La Follette credits to the law degree may not apply other credits from outside Law School to the law degree. The total number of law credits required for students in the dual degree program is 75.
  • 36 credits will be required for the MIPA for La Follette students who have completed at least 30 credits in the Law School with a weighted average of 77 on all law courses. The 36 La Follette credits will include 18 credits in core courses and 18 in an area of concentration.
  • Students must receive their law degrees and master's degrees simultaneously to receive the full benefits of the dual-degree arrangement.

Law School Advising

For Law School course advising please contact Sarah Davis at for for MPA/Law and Jason Yackee for MIPA/Law.

Dual Degree Law & Public Affairs Alumni

A sample of La Follette School & Law School dual-degree alumni positions

  • policy analyst, Wisconsin Legislative Audit Bureau
  • Fellow, Civic Consulting Alliance, Chicago
  • attorney with Oneida Nation of Wisconsin
  • environmental innovation coordinator, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
  • presidential management fellow, Washington, D.C.
  • attorney, Wildman Harrold Allen & Dixon LLP, intellectual property
  • assistant district attorney, Milwaukee County, WI
  • attorney, U.S. District Court/Southern District NY
  • attorney, Board of Veterans Appeals
  • associate attorney, McGuire Woods LLP, New York, NY
  • clerkship for Honorable Robert D. Martin, Cheif Bankruptcy Judge, Western District of Wisconsin

For More Information

Mary Treleven, Student Services Coordinator, La Follette School of Public Affairs
1225 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
608-262-3582
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