Skip to main content area Skip to institutional navigation Skip to search Skip to section navigation

Cross-Disciplinary Paradigm

BOLD AMBITIONS recognized the need for even greater cross-disciplinary excellence. Today’s problems can only be analyzed and solved by thinking broadly. To meet this challenge, we have dramatically expanded the opportunities to graduate with a joint degree and inspired more students to study and think across disciplines.



For students who want a JD/MBA joint degree, a new three-year program offers a time-effective option with fresh opportunities to integrate both sides of their education. In their final semester, students design capstone projects that tackle real-world problems. 

“It’s our equivalent of a graduation concert,” says Edward Rock L’83, Saul A. Fox Distinguished Professor of Business Law. “After three years of the pedagogically finest JD/MBA curriculum, students show us what they can do.” Projects aim high. The first group tackled subjects as diverse as European investment opportunities arising from the sovereign debt crisis, social venture investing, potential Google antitrust issues, and a business plan that has since become a start-up called CommonBond, which provides lower-cost loans to students in top-tier MBA programs. 

Nearly half of Penn Law faculty members hold a joint appointment at another Penn school. Dorothy Roberts became Penn Law’s first Penn Integrates Knowledge (PIK) professor— and the 14th at the University—when she was named the George A. Weiss University Professor of Law and Sociology and the Raymond Pace and Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander ED’18, GR’21, L’27 Professor of Civil Rights.



 The IP LawMeet was uncharted territory for Lauren Saltiel L’14 and Christina Wong L’14, just weeks into their 2L year. Facing off against 3L teams from law schools across the country, they won the national championship. While proving their mettle handling a complex cross-license agreement, they affirmed Penn Law’s cross-disciplinary expertise in intellectual property law. “I was so proud of how Lauren and Christina used not only legal analytical skills but also business savvy, interpersonal skills, and general problemsolving to succeed. That multifaceted approach is at the heart of successful transactional lawyering,” says professor and coach Cynthia Dahl, inaugural Director of the Detkin Intellectual Property and Technology Legal Clinic, funded by a gift from Peter Detkin EE’82, L’85. The Detkin Clinic expands students’ opportunities to develop and apply the skills that show how lawyers can help companies commercialize innovation. Interacting with Penn’s Center for Technology Transfer and classes out of Wharton and the Schools of Engineering and Medicine, the Clinic is creating a unique platform for excellence. “I love the intellectual fire in these Penn Law students,” says Dahl, “and I am thrilled that they are so excited.”


Being Bold Testimonials