Yale, Knight Foundation end journalism law program

New Haven-AP, Mar. 20, 2004 -- Yale Law School says it will end a 28-year program that put journalists through the rigors of law school to improve coverage of legal issues. 

The John -S- and James -L- Knight Foundation will no longer fund the Knight Fellowships in Law for Journalists. 

Reporters received stipends to study for a year at Yale Law School and earn a master of studies in law degree. Yale gave free tuition to journalists under the program. 

 Larry Meyer is the vice president of communications for the Knight Foundation. He says the foundation decided to pull the funding after a review of its mid-career programs. 

The fellowships began at Yale in 1976. The program's famous alumni include Linda Greenhouse, who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1988 for her coverage of the U-S Supreme Court for the New York Times. 

From Yale's Website:

The Degree of Master of Studies in Law (M.S.L.)

The Law School has established the Master of Studies in Law degree program for a small number of non-lawyers who want to obtain a basic familiarity with legal thought and to explore the relation of law to their disciplines. It is a one-year terminal program designed for those who do not desire a professional law degree, but who are interested in a more formal relationship to the Law School and a more rigorous curriculum than that offered by the visiting scholar program. Candidates in the M.S.L. program are ordinarily experienced scholars with research or teaching objectives in mind, or mid-career journalists seeking an intensive immersion in legal thinking so that they are better able to educate their audiences upon their return to journalism. Those who have completed a professional law degree are not eligible for the program.

Candidates for the M.S.L. degree are required to complete the first year of the J.D. program (27 units), including a small group. There are four required first-term courses (Constitutional Law, Contracts, Torts, and Procedure); the M.S.L. candidate may substitute an elective for one of those courses. Typically no more than 6 units of credit for courses outside the Law School can be counted toward the degree. The second term is entirely elective and affords opportunities for independent research and clinical experience in addition to regular courses and seminars. In the second term, students must take at least 10 graded units of the 12 units required. Students will be disqualified as M.S.L. candidates if they accumulate more than one Failure in the first term, or more than a total of two Low Passes or two Failures for the academic year. Participants in the M.S.L. program are not eligible for subsequent admission to the J.D. program.