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INSEAD to Partner with Top French Law School for New LLM Degree Program

Leading international business school INSEAD will enter the legal world beginning in 2011, providing business education as part of a masters-level law degree in partnership with Paris 2-Panthéon-Assas, the law school of the Sorbonne, the Financial Times reports.

INSEAD, which has campuses in Paris and Singapore, will contribute classes in leadership and globalization to the program in both of its locations, INSEAD marketing professor Hubert Gatignon told the FT. The new LLM is part of the Sorbonne University International Law School, a project intended to combine the strengths of France’s top law school and a top global business school, Paris 2-Panthéon-Assas President Louis Vogel told the FT.

According to the FT report, the new program is part of a growing trend of masters-level LLM degrees focused on business, especially as the boundaries between business and law become blurred around issues like competition, negotiation and regulation and intellectual property.

“The LLM is going to be more like the MBA in the global market,” José Maria de Areilza, dean of IE Law School in Spain, told the FT. “Law schools are talking more to business schools.”

Other business-focused LLM degree programs include an LLM in law and entrepreneurship at Duke University and a joint LLM and MBA program at American University’s Washington School of Law and Kogod School of Business, the FT reports.

In France, the trend toward combining legal and business studies is supported by a plan by President Nicolas Sarkozy to encourage universities and business schools to work more closely together. As part of this plan, diverse academic institutions that agree to collaborate become eligible for a share of $10.5 million in funding that will be distributed between five and 10 initiatives d’excellence in 2011.

INSEAD has chosen to participate by becoming part of a center or pôle of research in higher education – les pôles de recherche d’enseignement supérieur – together with Paris II (law), Paris IV (humanities and classical studies) and Paris VI (science and medicine). Meanwhile, the University of Lyon 2 (Lyon Lumière) has joined with EMLyon, an entrepreneurship-focused business school. Bids for the funding must be submitted by the pôles in December, the FT reports.

Patrice Houdayer, EMLyon vice president of graduate programs, told the FT that there is a huge market for graduates with both legal and business education. “Both law firms and companies are constantly expressing their will to hire lawyers that not only master the legal science but are also able to understand the strategic issues of the business world,” he said.

For the complete Financial Times article, click here.

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