Online Master’s Degree in Legal Studies

A masters degree in legal studies allows individuals to learn about the law without having to commit to the three-year, arduous course of study required by law school. While online masters degree in legal studies students will not be able to practice law, they will learn about the underlying theory and the practical applications of the law. It is ideal for professionals whose work often intersects with law. Candidates will develop their analytical skills as they gain an in-depth understanding of the foundation of U.S. law, the evolution of legal theories, and the role of law in our society.

Classes for an Online Masters Degree in Legal Studies

Master of Legal Studies (MLS) students will develop a thorough understanding of U.S. law. They will receive an introduction to legal reasoning and may complete some of the same foundational law classes that law students take in their first year. Students will also have the opportunity to select electives that complement their career interests and goals. Concentrations may include areas such as dispute resolution, environmental law, and legal administration. The curriculum of a legal studies student may include the following classes:

  • Constitutional Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Intellectual Property
  • Torts
  • U.S. Law and Legal Analysis

Several legal studies masters degree programs are also available online. While master’s candidates in legal studies are not usually required to write a thesis, they may need to complete an internship or a research project. Online master degree programs, as well as their traditional counterparts, will allow individuals to study legal theory and law in American society. As such, assignments may require students to complete legal research and writing and develop their interpersonal skills.

A Career as a Graduate with an Online Masters Degree in Legal Studies

Many MLS students have or plan to pursue careers related to law and the legal system. Many enter the workforce as paralegals, but others pursue legal studies simply to understand how legal regulations affect business. Paralegals, who conduct a variety of tasks to support the lawyers they work with, earned mean annual wages of $49,960 in 2011, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Their responsibilities may include conducting legal research and drafting documents. The BLS expects employment rates of paralegals and legal assistants to increase by 18% between 2010 and 2020, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations.


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