Master of Legal Studies:
Law and Economics Concentration

The Freedom Center partnered with the James E. Rogers College of Law to offer a concentration in Law and Economics for the Master of Legal Studies (MLS) degree.

The MLS is a one-year degree program pursued on a full-time or part-time basis. The Law and Economics concentration will give students an enhanced understanding of law and regulation, economic theory and empirical methods. Students will build a strong foundation in contemporary legal issues as well as knowledge of economic theory and empirical economic methods.

In this concentration students will:

  • Gain both general and specialized knowledge of economic theory and empirical economic methods;
  • Learn how to apply basic economic concepts, as well as empirical tools, to assess legal and political issues from both a positive and normative perspective;
  • Further their ability to develop a functional analysis of institutions aimed at addressing relevant policy issues;
  • Gain familiarity with concrete applications of the law and economics method across several private and public law fields;
  • Develop expertise that builds on economics, political theory and philosophy to explore and subject to critical analysis key normative concepts such as rationality, efficiency, justice, welfare and virtue.

This concentration is only available online.

 

Freedom Center - MLS Inaugural Scholarship

Master in Law and Economics Track in the Master of Legal Studies Program

The Freedom Center is pleased to be able to provide scholarships to students enrolled in the Law and Economics concentration of the James E. Rogers College of Law’s Master of Legal Studies program (“MLS-L&E Program”).  As co-founders of this program, we at the Freedom Center are excited about its potential contribution and impact, and committed to supporting the first classes of enrolling students.

At present we are able to offer 100% tuition support for all students accepted into the program, covering all your coursework until graduation.  After your first semester, you must maintain satisfactory academic progress and good standing (defined as a “B” cumulative average in your coursework) to continue to receive aid for the rest of the MLS-L&E Program. Please also note that all financial offers are also contingent on the availability of funding at any given time.

You must apply for the scholarship program when you apply for admission.  With your application, please include the following materials: (i) Resume, (ii) Letter of support from a supervisor or colleague, (iii) Essay (250 – 500 words). Please tell us why the MLS with a concentration in Law & Economics appeals to you.  How will the degree help you in your career? Submit resume, letter and essay to Kerry Montano, kdmontan@email.arizona.edu

As a scholarship student you may be asked to participate in a limited number of events, e.g., seminars or forums, in conjunction with your participation in the MLS-L&E program.

This program, as described, applies to students applying to and accepted into the program before May 1, 2021For students accepted after this time, support levels may be lower, and availability may be limited.  Any such changes to the program will be announced on this site and will not affect support for those students accepted before May 1, contingent upon their satisfactory academic progress and good standing in the MLS-L&E program and continued availability of funding.

 

Concentration Courses

The law affects every aspect of human behavior, both in the private and public sphere. For this reason, the study of law is by its nature interdisciplinary: the understanding of legal problems almost always requires to cross boundaries and think across a vast range of social science fields. Economics is perhaps the most important among these fields. Whether the subject is a country’s social and political structure, contracts or torts, the functioning of free markets or corporations, the combined knowledge of law and economics is vital for a full assessment of the underlying problems.  It is thus unsurprising that the application of the economic method to the study of law and the legal process has increasingly grown into an established interdisciplinary field.  Nowadays, economic theory is used in almost all areas of law to assess legal issues from a normative perspective.  At the same time, there is a growing recourse to empirical economics as a method to evaluate the positive impact of existing legal rules.The aim of this course is threefold.  First, it aims at providing students with the methodology and tools – both theoretical and empirical – of law and economics to better understand legal institutions. This methodological part will empower students with the ability to develop a functional analysis of institutions aimed at addressing relevant policy issues.  Second, the course will expose the students to concrete applications of the law and economics method across several private law fields, including property, torts and contracts. Third, the course will pay special attention to the law and economics of corporate law, focusing, in particular, on issues such as shareholder and stakeholder conflicts, executive compensation and corporate social responsibility.

The Ethical Entrepreneur studies commercial society from the perspectives of philosophy, economics, business, and law. We start from a simple premise that Ethics concerns how to live in such a way that your community is better off with you than without you, coupled with a simple premise that whatever the conflict is between moral and economic success, such conflict is not a matter of necessity.  The central questions that will explore in this course include: (i) Why do some societies grow rich while others remain poor? (ii) What constitutes a good life and how can one achieve? (iii) What role do entrepreneurs play in a commercial society? (iv) How can I prepare to succeed in commercial society?

Experimental Economics is a field that began with the proposition that economic theory can be testable in a controlled laboratory setting. Experimental work has been conducted in all fields of economics including Industrial Organization, Game Theory, Public Finance, General Equilibrium Theory and even Macroeconomics. Students will be introduced to the methods of experimental science, explore major subject areas that have been addressed through laboratory experiments, and learn of some of the major personalities at the intersection of economics, politics, and philosophy and law. Topics included reflect the current split in the field: behavioral economics is more closely linked to psychology, while the main branch, experimental economics, tries to learn about individual and group behavior given economic institutions and questions. Both, however, are used to examine creative policy and legal solutions to societal problems. Most importantly, this course has many carefully selected “hands-on” simulations of markets and interactions. Those experiences are conducted online, synchronously and asynchronously. Many simulations are exactly the same experiments used in research. Typically, students will participate in the simulation, observe their own behavior and the behavior of others, read the underlying theory, and discuss the results. 

This course revolves around two clusters of questions.  1st, there are philosophical questions about the nature of value: what sorts of things have rights, what has value, what kinds of values there are, whether value presupposes the existence of valuers, and whether there are objective as well as subjective values.  2nd, there are practical questions about what kinds of social and legal arrangements are actually conducive to preserving and promoting of environmental values. The first part of the course emphasizes the theoretical cluster while the second emphasizes the practical cluster, but the difference will be a matter of degree, since in theory and in practice it is hard (and probably unwise) to treat the two clusters as entirely separate. Cases around which discussions will be organized may include ongoing litigation in the Deepwater Horizon case, Massachusetts v. EPA, Aguinda v. Chevron Texaco, Spur v. Del Webb, Euclid v. Ambler, Ghen v. Rich, Keeble v. Hickeringill, etc. 

This course introduces students to the study of law and law’s relation to politics and economics in both theoretical and practical terms. We will begin with a discussion on the nature of law, economics and politics, and proceed to investigate how different interpretations of these three terms lead to remarkably different conclusions regarding the proper relationship between and among them. We will begin by asking “What is law?” This will be followed by “What is economics? and “What is politics?” Is law divinely ordained? Is it a human invention? What is the role of reason in the realm of law? We will ask similar questions regarding the nature of both economics and politics.  Ultimately we will try to situate a complex understanding of both law, economics and politics into the larger framework of American social and political life.

The interrelated issues of economic growth, poverty, inequality, education, and health have always been the central focus of economic development discourse. Not surprisingly, life is better now than almost any time in history. People are wealthier and healthier. Today fewer people live in poverty and lives are longer. Yet millions still live in extreme poverty. While lives are longer, they are longer only for some people and in some countries. While poverty has declined, the gaps between poor and rich have increased. While today economic development is more inclusive, some people are excluded. While some developing countries have transitioned out of poverty into modern economic juggernauts, some find themselves in low- and middle- income traps. While the ideas and resources have spread across countries, policies that are effective in generating economic development are often not adopted, are poorly implemented, or end up backfiring over time. While we know more about what policies and interventions are needed to generate better development outcomes, we know much less about why those approaches succeed so well in some contexts but fail in others. Over the past 200 years, economists have made significant advances towards providing a better, systematic understanding of these and related questions. The aim of this course is to provide students an overview of this progress in economic development thinking and practice. The goal is to allow students to analyze development issues and policy debates from the lens of economic theory, supported by rigorous evidence. 

Required Core Courses

This course explores the legal process and procedures followed in our systems of civil and criminal justice. Topics will include the components of due process, adversarial legalism and the roles of attorneys, judges, prosecutors, and professional ethics, and the core elements of civil and criminal systems.

The American Common Law System I is one of two courses which conveys what is distinctive about the common law approach as a legal methodology and as a reflection and commentary on the history and politics of the American experience, from the early colonial period to the 21st century world of globalized commerce, human rights concerns and environmental and social justice. The course examines the history and sources of the common law, common law modes of legal rhetoric, argument, and communication skills and transformation and adaptation of the common law achieved through social justice and law reform movements.  The weekly discussion sections will focus on the development of legal writing, research and critical reasoning skills necessary to solve legal problems, particularly in the context of predictive written communications to various audiences.  The American Common Law System I course will focus primarily on Contract Law and Tort Law in the American legal system.

The American Common Law System II is one of two courses which conveys what is distinctive about the common law approach as a legal methodology and as a reflection and commentary on the history and politics of the American experience, from the early colonial period to the 21st century world of globalized commerce, human rights concerns and environmental and social justice. The course examines the history and sources of the common law, common law modes of legal rhetoric, argument, and communication skills and transformation and adaptation of the common law achieved through social justice and law reform movements.  The weekly discussion sections will focus on the development of legal writing, research and critical reasoning skills necessary to solve legal problems, particularly in the context of predictive written communications to various audiences.  The American Common Law System II course will focus primarily on Property Law and its intersections with Torts and Contract Law in the contemporary American legal system.

The American Common Law System II is one of two courses which conveys what is distinctive about the common law approach as a legal methodology and as a reflection and commentary on the history and politics of the American experience, from the early colonial period to the 21st century world of globalized commerce, human rights concerns and environmental and social justice. The course examines the history and sources of the common law, common law modes of legal rhetoric, argument, and communication skills and transformation and adaptation of the common law achieved through social justice and law reform movements.  The weekly discussion sections will focus on the development of legal writing, research and critical reasoning skills necessary to solve legal problems, particularly in the context of predictive written communications to various audiences.  The American Common Law System II course will focus primarily on Property Law and its intersections with Torts and Contract Law in the contemporary American legal system.

This course will teach Masters of Legal Studies students how to find legal authorities relevant to legal problems; how to analyze a legal issue using facts and law; and how to communicate legal analysis logically and concisely.  This course consists of research exercises; writing exercises, including letters and legal memoranda; and more complex research and writing assignments.  Students will work in groups and individually to learn the fundamentals of good writing and editing skills.