A Master of Legal Studies (MLS) is a specific degree available for students and working professionals. It's designed to further those persons that could benefit from advanced legal knowledge and training, but don't ultimately want to become practicing attorneys. The degree could benefit paralegals, legal support personnel, and legal assistants. The question of whether an MLS is right for you and your career will depend on your job and your professional and career goals.
What do you Learn?
Students working towards an MLS are taught and trained on the fundamentals of the United States legal system. Yes, this is very broad. But, the great thing about Master of Legal Studies programs is that they also allow students to specialize in certain areas of study.
Some examples include:
- Criminal justice
- Intellectual property
- Medical malpractice
- Constitutional law
- Personal injury
- Corporate law and financial transactions
Students can specialize in studies that fit their particular background so that they can align their MLS with their specific career goals.
Who are the Typical MLS Candidates?
Candidates can vary, but some common candidates for an MLS include:
- Legal support personnel
- Patent agents
- Business executives
- Human resource professionals
- Office managers
- Government employers
- Teachers and professors
Are Part-Time MLS Programs Available?
Both full-time and part-time programs are available. This is advantageous because you can go the full-time route and earn your degree as quickly as possible. Or, you can choose the part-time option and earn your degree while maintaining a full-time job and juggling family obligations.
Can Students Earn an MLS Online?
Online MLS programs are offered. Some school's MLS programs are 100% online, while others involve both online and classroom studies. If you're interested in an online MLS, a great resource is the Online Master of Legal Studies Program (OMLS).
The OMLS Program is a non-profit site that was created to provide a resource for students who are pursuing a masters in the field. It's the only online resource that gives students all the information they'd need regarding online MLS programs in one place. The site includes lists of schools, career guides, information about different program types, and many other resources.
What Careers Can You Pursue?
Given the fact that students can specialize in so many different fields when earning an MLS, graduates that earn this degree are ready to succeed in a variety of industries. Some of these include:
- Non-lawyer legal professions
- Human resources
- Social work
An MLS is not right for everyone. As we stated above, the question of whether this degree is optimal for you will depend on your current situation and job, as well as, your professional and career goals. If it works, an MLS could undoubtedly open new career doors and provide a whole new field of networks. If you're considering an MLS and have questions, please contact us and let us help!