Master of Legal Studies
MASTER OF LEGAL STUDIES (M.L.S.)
Even if you’re busy raising a family or working full-time, a law degree is still within your reach. Our accessible online M.L.S. program enables working professionals to become informed, innovative problem-solvers in fields that intersect with law.
M.L.S. PROGRAM OVERVIEW
Our online Masters of Legal Studies (M.L.S.) program is designed for those who work—or aspire to work—in fields that routinely intersect with law, such as business, education, healthcare, human resources, and law enforcement. By studying the legal system and its workplace implications, working professionals can better understand and navigate the legal challenges that arise in their chosen field.
THE M.L.S. ADVANTAGE
Get a first-class law degree without the debt
Our M.L.S. is among the most affordable offerings of its kind, reflecting our commitment to high-quality, cost-effective education.
Learn from well-connected faculty
The M.L.S. faculty includes practicing judges, lawyers, and elected officials working within the local community. They bring real-world experience straight into the classroom.
Benefit from a diverse student body
Our students come from all walks of life, with a variety of backgrounds and perspectives that energize and diversify the classroom and the legal profession.
Join an engaged, vibrant community
M.L.S. students actively participate in campus events through Facebook Live feeds and contribute to lively ongoing conversations through our public-facing blogs.
M.L.S. DUAL DEGREE OPTIONS
In partnership with The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, we offer three dual-degree programs combining our Master of Legal Studies degree with an M.A. in Forensic Psychology or an M.A. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. As the field of psychology becomes increasingly interwoven with the U.S. legal system, these dual degrees offer graduates an opportunity to stand out, by combining the foundations of law with the clinical expertise of a psychology education.
All courses are delivered online (except optional residencies).
REQUIRED DISCLOSURES FOR PROFESSIONAL LAW DEGREE PROGRAMS
Except as provided in rule 4.30 of the Admission rules (Legal education in a foreign state or country), completion of a professional law degree program at this law school other than for the Juris Doctor degree does not qualify a student to take the California Bar Examination or satisfy the requirements for admission to practice law in California. It may not qualify a student to take the bar examination or to satisfy requirements for admission to the practice of law in any other jurisdiction. A student intending to seek admission to practice law should contact the admitting authority in the jurisdictions where the student intends to qualify to sit for the bar examination or to be admitted to practice for information regarding their legal education requirements.
Our Admissions Committee considers applicants for our M.L.S. program holistically. For those who do not meet the GPA requirement, professional or other related experience can be weighed in favor of the applicant. Applicants are expected to show the ability and drive to succeed at a graduate-level institution.
REQUIREMENTS AT A GLANCE
- A bachelor’s degree with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.3
- Official college or university transcripts
- At least one letter of recommendation
- A three-page, typed, double-spaced personal statement detailing your motivation, skills, and suitability to pursue a M.L.S. degree at the Colleges of Law
- Students for whom English is the second language: TOEFL scores or transcripts showing a completed English composition class with a grade of “C” or better (if proficiency is not otherwise demonstrated)
Applicants for the M.L.S. program will not be required to take the LSAT, GRE, GMAT, or any other graduate admissions test. Applicants with a cumulative GPA of less than 2.0 are not eligible for admission.
To be considered for admission, M.L.S. applicants must submit the following:
- Completed online or mailed application form
- Nonrefundable application fee of $50
- A three-page, typed, double-spaced personal statement
- At least one letter of recommendation
- Official college or university transcripts showing degree conferral and appropriate GPA
- Students for whom English is the second language: TOEFL score or transcript showing a completed English composition class with a grade of “C” or better (if applicable)
All applicants are required to submit certified transcripts in a sealed envelope from the school(s) where coursework was attempted. Transcript requirements depend on where, and to what level, degrees have been taken:
- Applicants with a bachelor’s degree: Submit a certified transcript from the school awarding the degree OR a current LSDAS report.
- Applicants without a bachelor’s degree: Submit a certified transcript from each college or university attended.
- Applicants educated outside the United States: Submit an evaluation from a Credential Evaluation Service that is a member of the National Association of Credential
Evaluation Services. This must be a detailed report providing a categorized listing of courses with individual grade equivalents and overall grade point average.
Unofficial transcripts can be used to make a preliminary evaluation of your qualifications until certified transcripts are submitted. If you have completed our education prerequisites, but need more time to obtain certified transcripts, contact the Admissions Office.
Please contact our admissions staff if you have any questions regarding your application.
All sessions are 8 weeks in length.
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The curriculum consists of required courses and elective courses. To graduate, students must complete 18 units of required courses, including each of those listed below, and 12 units of elective courses. The Capstone is designed to be taken as the student’s last course, prior to graduation.
- MLS 410 – American Legal System
- MLS 415 – Legal Fundamentals
- MLS 430 – Litigation and Its Alternatives
- MLS 435 – Research and Advocacy
- MLS 440 – Administrative Process
- MLS 445 – Capstone course
Courses are scheduled in a mixed cycle of required and elective courses and must be taken during the cycle or postponed until offered again. Advisors will inform students of the planned cycle of courses. Postponement will likely delay graduation. Students are expected to complete the mixed cycle of required and elective courses, prior to taking the Capstone course.
A student must complete an introductory course (American Legal System, Legal Fundamentals, or Litigation and Its Alternatives) during his or her first session of enrollment. Thereafter the student will complete one course in each subsequent session in which the student is enrolled, following the cycle of mixed required and concentration elective courses until s/he completes all required courses other than the Capstone course and sufficient elective courses to have earned 9 elective units. A student may enroll in the Capstone course when the student is within 6 units of completing the program.
ELECTIVE CONCENTRATION COURSES
In addition to 18 units of required coursework, students must complete an additional 12 units (4 courses) in elective concentration coursework in their chosen concentration to graduate.
Frontiers in Law
The Frontiers in Law concentration provides an in-depth look at privacy rights, the legal rules surrounding the hiring, treatment, and termination of employees, various legal mechanisms used by governments to respond to emerging security threats, and the legal issues that arise from biomedical research and the use of medical technologies.
- MLS 501 – Bio Legal Issues
- MLS 503 – Emerging Threats
- MLS 504 – Emerging Threats with Residency
- MLS 502 – Global Relationships
- MLS 500 – Privacy Dilemmas
During the Spring 1 term of each academic year, a multi-day MLS Residency program will be held during which students will have the opportunity to engage in discussions with faculty and leaders in the legal profession, government, or other fields. Each student will have the option of participating once while enrolled, by choosing when it is offered the elective concentration course designated “with Residency” in that student’s concentration. Students who choose not to participate in the residency program will take the corresponding elective without the residency designation. Students in the Frontiers of Law concentration will choose between Emerging Threats with Residency and Emerging Threats.
Regulatory Compliance/Legal Risk Management
The Regulatory Compliance/Legal Risk Management concentration examines legal requirements applicable to data security, explores liabilities faced by modern businesses and governments, provides insight into the challenges for litigants in the digital age, and reviews various types of compliance requirements such as compliance audits, document retention policies, and data security.
- MLS 512 – Data Security & Breach
- MLS 513 – Data Security & Breach with Residency
- MLS 511 – Liability, Risk, and Insurance
- MLS 514 – Litigation Operations
- MLS 510 – Regulation and Compliance
During the Spring 1 term of each academic year, a multi-day MLS Residency program will be held during which students will have the opportunity to engage in discussions with faculty and leaders in the legal profession, government, or other fields. Each student will have the option of participating once while enrolled, by choosing when it is offered the elective concentration course designated “with Residency” in that student’s concentration. Students who choose not to participate in the residency program will take the corresponding elective without the residency designation. Students in the Regulatory Compliance/Legal Risk Management concentration will choose between Data Security & Breach with Residency and Data Security & Breach.
M.L.S. DUAL DEGREE OPTIONS
In partnership with The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, we offer two dual-degree programs combining our Master of Legal Studies degree with an M.A. in Forensic Psychology or an M.A. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. As the field of psychology becomes increasingly interwoven with the U.S. legal system, these dual degrees offer graduates an opportunity to stand out, by combining the foundations of law with the clinical expertise of a psychology education.