J.D./MS in Government Organization and Leadership Dual Degree Program

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The J.D./M.S. in Government Organization and Leadership (GOAL) joint degree program from Creighton University School of Law will prepare you for leadership positions with government entities and the organizations that work closely with them.

You’ll gain an invaluable mix of career-driven legal experience and professional subtleties that can’t be learned from a textbook. You’ll see the inner workings of our nation’s capital.

What You’ll Learn

The GOAL program prepares law students to be leaders in governmental agencies or legislative bodies at both the state and federal levels. The program offers a bridge between theory and practice and provides graduates with:

  • Enhanced employment opportunities as lawyers in government service upon graduation
  • A comprehensive understanding of the role of professional ethics in government settings, including a focused examination of the specific standards of ethical conduct applicable to lawyers in government service and to generic ethical principles arising from both the core values of society at large and the Jesuit tradition
  • Skills to facilitate and improve strategic planning, creativity, collaboration and consensus building
  • A set of core competencies to promote the capacity to assume leadership roles
  • An understanding of the role of attorneys within large and diverse governmental organizations

Curriculum

In addition to a full array of law courses, you’ll take courses in government law and case-study regulatory programs. No later than the second year, you’ll be expected to master the refinements of administrative processes.

While in the nation’s capital as a third-year law student, you’ll take 2 courses to enhance your practical experiences: One examines issues of leadership and features speakers in top leadership positions throughout D.C.; the other examines specific ethical issues encountered by attorneys in public service.

You’ll also attend seminars on practical aspects of a Washington, D.C., career—everything from maximizing networking opportunities, to the value of nuanced communication and even proper attire for success. Because of Creighton’s Washington connections, you’ll be invited to receptions and events where you’ll meet professionals in your area of interest. Our students have visited the White House and the Pentagon, met with both U.S. senators from Nebraska and attended Creighton law alumni gatherings at prominent D.C. law firms.

The degree requires completion of at least 35 credits of study, 12 of which may be satisfied by successfully completing a list of courses taken for law school credit.

In sum, to secure both degrees, you must assemble a total of 109 credit hours. The receipt of a J.D. degree is a necessary prerequisite to receipt of the Master of Science degree in the GOAL program.

Externship

In the GOAL program, you’ll spend the first semester of your third year of law school living in Washington, D.C., immersed in a full-time externship with a federal agency, Congressional committee or office of a member of Congress.

You’ll attend hearings and conferences, join in strategy sessions and accompany federal government attorneys to formal and informal gatherings and meetings. You’ll research law, prepare memoranda, draft federal rules and otherwise engage in the day-to-day professional lives of your externship host. You could extern at the:

  • Department of Agriculture
  • Department of Energy
  • Department of Justice
  • Department of State
  • Department of the Treasury
  • National Indian Gaming Commission
  • National Mediation Service
  • Peace Corps
  • Senate Agriculture Committee
  • Senate Banking Committee
  • Senate Finance Committee

The full-time, semester-long externship experience in Washington, D.C., provides 11 credits toward the GOAL degree. During the externship, you will secure 5 additional credits. These 5 credits may go toward the Juris Doctor degree.

Admission

Applications for the GOAL program must be completed no later than the spring semester of your first year of law school at Creighton. Contact goal [at] creighton [dot] edu for more information. You must be a student enrolled at Creighton University School of Law to participate in the GOAL program.