From the start UCI Law has embraced an interdisciplinary approach, where faculty and students are engaged in work at the very cutting edge of legal scholarship and legal practice. Law is inherently shaped by other disciplines. Attorneys in many areas of business and tax practice need to know law and economics, for instance, and those practicing criminal law often need to know about law and psychology. These interdisciplinary perspectives are integrated into the law school curriculum, and also are part of the scholarship of many faculty members.
This interdisciplinary orientation will better prepare students for the practice of law. For example, we plan to create an intellectual property clinic where a law student is paired with a business student and an engineering student, and together they will develop a plan for the development and marketing of an undeveloped patent. Similarly, we have created a Community and Economic Development clinic where a law student will learn business skills in order to provide assistance to a small business.
The interdisciplinary strength of the law school is bolstered by drawing from well-established scholars in law-related fields across the UC Irvine campus. A number of our founding faculty enjoy joint appointments in related disciplines at UCI: Elizabeth Loftus, with a joint appointment in Psychology and Law; Kerry Vandell, with a joint appointment in Business and Law; Joseph DiMento, with a joint appointment in Planning and Law; Linda Cohen, with a joint appointment in Economics and Law; and Henry Weinstein, with a joint appointment in Literary Journalism and Law.
And UCI Law continues to increase the number of joint-appointment faculty. Please go to the Faculty pages for detailed information about our interdisciplinary professors.
Moreover, numerous specializations and concurrent degrees are being created to reflect not only the invaluable resources of the University of California, Irvine community but, more importantly, the intrinsic interrelation between law and so many other disciplines.
Finally, UCI School of Law has the distinct advantage of being located on a university campus that already has strong interdisciplinary programs with law and related fields that law students can take advantage of. These include the Center in Law, Society & Culture; the Center for Psychology and Law; and the School of Social Ecology, which combines the study of law with the social, behavioral, environmental, and health sciences.
Prof. Elizabeth Loftus (center) enjoys lunch with students at a UCI Law event.
Prof. Joseph DiMento talked about the importance of environmental law in a promotional video for an environmental law and health symposium organized by UCI Law and Newkirk Center for Science & Society.