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John Jay College and New York Law School Launch New Joint Degree Program in Forensic Psychology and Law

November 28, 2011, New York, NY – John Jay College of Criminal Justice and New York Law School (NYLS) announced today the creation of a dual-degree M.A.-J.D. program in forensic psychology and law to train attorneys with a specialization in mental disability law, and train psychology graduate students in the legal system. The program will begin in the fall 2012 semester.

The new dual-degree brings together two fully-developed programs at each institution: the Master of Arts degree in forensic psychology at John Jay and the Juris Doctor degree in law at NYLS. Qualified students will have the opportunity to earn both degrees within four years.

"This new program is a perfect fit between our two institutions, as it combines the strongest law program specializing in mental disability law in the country, with the strongest forensic psychology program in the country," said Dr. James S. Wulach, Director of the MA Program in Forensic Mental Health Counseling at John Jay. "Our graduates will be well-trained lawyers for people with mental disability issues and have the potential to become legal advocates, work on public policy, or become law professors in this unique niche."

Students will have the opportunity to specialize in mental disability law at NYLS, through course offerings that represent the most comprehensive mental disability law curriculum of any law school in the world, while John Jay's M.A. program in forensic psychology specializes in psychology as it relates to law and the courts. John Jay's psychology department includes more than 35 full-time faculty members who specialize in forensic areas, including six professors who are both attorneys and psychologists.

The 128-credit program allows students to count 12 law school credits toward their M.A. degree and 12 M.A. credits towards their law degree, allowing them to graduate with both degrees in four years instead of five. Required courses include Survey of Mental Disability Law; Mental Health Professionals, Social Science, and the Law; Criminal Psychological Assessment; Criminal Law; and Legal Practice. Electives include such courses as Mental Disability and Criminal Law; Race, Gender, Class and Mental Disability; Forensic Reports, the Role of Experts and Forensic Ethics; and Custody Evaluations, Juvenile & Family Law, and Mental Disability.

"I'm very excited about the joint program because it highlights the interdisciplinary nature of what we are trying to do through our Mental Disability Law Program," said Professor Michael Perlin, the program's Director as NYLS. "We created our courses very specifically to appeal to both lawyers and mental health professionals. This program helps create a synergy that ensures, as best as we can, that graduates will have a deep understanding of the others discipline."

To be admitted into the program, students should apply separately and be accepted into both NYLS and John Jay. Students will have the option of beginning their first year in either of the two degree programs.

For more information about the Dual-Degree M.A.-J.D. Program, click here.

About John Jay College of Criminal Justice

An international leader in educating for justice, John Jay College of Criminal Justice of The City University of New York offers a rich liberal arts and professional studies curriculum to upwards of 15,000 undergraduate and graduate students from more than 135 nations. In teaching, scholarship and research, the College approaches justice as an applied art and science in service to society and as an ongoing conversation about fundamental human desires for fairness, equality and the rule of law. For more information, visit

About New York Law School

Founded in 1891, New York Law School is an independent law school located in lower Manhattan near the city's centers of law, government, and finance. New York Law School's renowned faculty of prolific scholars has built the School's strength in such areas as constitutional law, civil and human rights, labor and employment law, media and information law, urban legal studies, international and comparative law, and a number of interdisciplinary fields. The School is noted for its nine academic centers: Center on Business Law & Policy, Center on Financial Services Law, Center for International Law, Center for New York City Law, Center for Professional Values and Practice, Center for Real Estate Studies, Diane Abbey Law Center for Children and Families, Institute for Information Law & Policy, and Justice Action Center. New York Law School has more than 13,000 graduates and currently enrolls some 1,350 full-time students and 400 part-time students in its J.D. program and its four advanced degree programs in financial services law, real estate, tax, and mental disability law studies.