The joint JD/MA program in law and East Asian Studies combines the Law School's regular curriculum and its strengths in international and Asian legal studies with the interdisciplinary offerings of the master of arts program in East Asian Studies. The joint program offers an integrated curriculum, with students permitted to take both law and East Asian Studies courses starting from the students' third semester at Washington University.

The East Asian Studies program faculty specialize in China and Japan, and they have trained students for careers in scholarship, diplomacy, and business for more than three decades. The international and East Asian legal programs at the School of Law benefit from a nucleus of specialists on Asian legal systems, decades of exchanges with Asian universities, and an active international law society. The combined resources of the School of Law and the East Asian Studies program allow Washington University to take a leading role in the interdisciplinary study of East Asian legal cultures.

The JD/MA program is normally completed in seven semesters. The JD requires a total of 86 degree credits, including 9 cross-counted credits taken in Arts & Sciences; the MA degree requires a total of 30 degree credits, including 9 cross-counted credits taken in the School of Law.

JD/MA students may undertake language work during their first year, but substantive study of East Asia begins with the core seminar during the third semester (when offered). Students must take Chinese Law or Japanese Law (they are encouraged to take both and also to take International Law or Comparative Law), write a research paper on an East Asian law topic, complete two writing seminars in East Asian studies, and prepare for their MA exit examination and oral defense in two academic fields. For JD/MA students, one of those fields is typically East Asian law. Students are required to complete at least the third level (or the equivalent) of one East Asian language, with no more than 12 credits of language applying toward the degree. Courses are cross-counted between degrees upon approval of the student's adviser and the School of Law's coordinator for the JD/MA program.