Masters in Legal Studies

A legal studies program is the study of law, legal processes and legal institutions in a broader sense. Those interested in the field may pursue it in college both at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

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Clearing the Air

A degree in legal studies is neither a J.D. (Juris Doctor) nor an LL.M. degree. It is an interdisciplinary degree which is often offered by law schools and schools of arts and sciences, all across the US. You will not become a lawyer right after graduation, neither will you be able to transfer credits to a law school.

For Whom is it For?

It is easier to answer for whom a legal studies program is not for. It is not for professional lawyers with, say, JD degrees. Some universities may not even enroll them in the program in question. However, on the other hand, others may welcome applicants who are qualified lawyers.

Legal studies are pursued by those who want to become proficient in the legal system of their society. They are also interested in knowing how to apply their legal knowledge at work to become better professionals. It is therefore said that researchers, teachers and journalists may benefit the most from legal studies. A degree in legal studies may also serve as a terminal degree; graduates may go on to enroll in a JD program or other professional legal degrees.

Some of the following professionals may benefit from a degree in legal studies:

  • Law Enforcement Officers
  • Investigators
  • Human Resource Managers
  • Hospital Administrators
  • FBI Agents
  • Court Clerks
  • Court Administrators
  • Consultants
  • Lobbyists
  • Social Workers

What can you do with it?

For beginners, you can pursue some of the careers mentioned above. But do not overlook the real purpose of obtaining a degree in legal studies which is not just to help you in increasing your prospects of getting a job but also to make your understand:

  • What the legal system is
  • How it works
  • How it assists citizens in asserting their rights
  • How it interrelates with social change

More specifically, graduates have gone on to become:

  • Directors of a nonprofit agencies
  • Nurse Practitioners (NPs)
  • Pediatricians
  • University police officers
  • Managers in trucking companies
  • Health system tax specialists
  • Owners of retail businesses
  • Employees of firms searching for lost children
  • Research assistants in bioterrorism projects
  • Political strategists
  • Foreign-qualified filing administrators with patent and trademark law firms

Needless to say, the abovementioned professionals have not gained employment solely based on the legal knowledge acquired through the degree. The degree in fact enhanced their chances of gaining employment.

Master of Legal Studies (MLS)

It is a one-year post-grad degree; although some universities may offer it as a two-year program and student’s actual date of graduation will depend upon his/her enrollment status.

Degree Duration and Credit Hours

As mentioned earlier, some universities offer this degree as a one to two-year program for full-time students. Part-time students may be allowed more time to complete. An MLS may be offered as a 30-credit program in some universities.


Like other degrees, MLS degree is divided into core and elective courses. Some of the core or required courses may be titled as:

  • Torts
  • Introduction to Law and Legal Reasoning

Electives may be titled as:

  • Property
  • Legislation and Regulation
  • Criminal Procedure
  • Criminal Law
  • Contracts
  • Constitutional Law
  • Civil Procedure


MLS degree may be offered as a general degree or with the following specializations:

  • Sports and Entertainment Law
  • Regulatory Law
  • Personal Injury and Civil Litigation
  • Jurisprudence
  • International and Comparative Law
  • Intellectual Property and Technology Law
  • Health Law
  • Family Law
  • Environmental Law
  • Real Estate Law
  • Energy Law
  • Employment and Labor Law
  • Elder and Estate Planning Law
  • Education Law
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Disability Law
  • Criminal Law and Justice
  • Constitutional Law

Admission Requirements

The following should serve as general guidelines only:

  • Official transcripts from all institutes of higher education ever attended
  • 2 letters of recommendation
  • An essay on how this degree would help you professionally

How will you be Graded?

Some universities have the grading system based on alphabets, with ‘A’ being the highest and ‘F’ being the lowest grade. Others follow an Honors/Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading system, in which you will be graded accordingly, with some universities requiring that you maintain a grade of Satisfactory or better.

Objectives and Benefits

  • To gain a better understanding of the US legal system
  • Learning the process of legal analysis by making proper use of statutes, case laws, and regulations
  • Applying newly acquired legal knowledge to advance forward in careers
  • Learning how to use the newly acquired legal knowledge in writing and in oral conversation
  • Learning how to conduct legal research
  • Learning the practical implications of the law
  • Becoming familiar with the latest legal developments
  • Learning how to think and communicate critically about legal issues


Frequently Asked Question(s)

Q:What are the contents of the course on Statistical Analysis in the Master in Paralegal Studies?

A:The Master in Paralegal Studies have dedicated course on Statistical Analysis. This course is worth 2 credits in total. It is designed to provide students with ample understanding of the foundations of the basic level statistical analysis. Students are also provided with the concepts of measure location and dispersion. Students are also provided with ample hands on experience.

Q:My search for master degree in paralegal studies mentioned a course on legal analysis. What is the premise of this course?

A:Course on legal analysis would be mentioned when searching for master degree in paralegal. This course primarily deals with legal rules, facts and issues. Students with the help of this course also learn about legal analysis and procedure of applying opinion to legal situation and clients. Students interested in this course are advised to search our website for more information.

Q:AAfPE was mentioned when searching for Master in Paralegal degrees. What is purpose of this organization?

A:AAfPE would be mentioned when searching for Master in Paralegal degrees. This organization is responsible for promoting quality paralegal education in the United States. The organization accomplishes by acting as an information portal that guides students about paralegal institutions. Students also get an opportunity to learn about different institutions and the importance accreditations.

Q:What is the duration of the master in paralegal studies?

A:The Master In Paralegal Studies is a two year degree program when opted in a traditional campus based institute. The duration for the program can differ if the degree is chosen in a different type of program such as accelerated, executive, and online program. It can be completed in the accelerated program in 18 months, executive in 3 years or more, and online in as much time as the student sees fit.

Q:How quickly can I complete my masters degree in paralegal studies?

A:The Masters Degree In Paralegal Studies can be completed in 2 years typically. However, it can be completed in as much time the student wants when opted in an online program. Students get to make their own schedules and take the class at a time of their own. Online programs are also considered cheaper in monetary terms when compared to campus based programs.

Q:The masters degree paralegal studies offers what type of courses?

A:There are two types of courses being offered in the Masters Degree Paralegal Studies. These include the core and the elective courses. The core courses include basic introductory courses which are compulsory for all students to complete. Once the core courses are completed, only then can the student take the elective courses and get done with the degree.

Q:Which school offers the paralegal master degree?

A:The Paralegal Master Degree is a professional level degree offered by a number of schools. Interested students can browse through our website and find various schools offered the degree. It can be opted in a campus based institute and an online school. Students can fetch admission details by requesting them via our website.

Q:What is the benefit of taking the paralegal masters degree online?

A:The online Paralegal Masters Degree offers a number of benefits over the campus based degree in paralegal studies. The online program allows students to complete the course at a pace of their own and take as much time as they see fit. They get to make their own class schedules and take the class from anywhere in the world with just a single internet connection.

Q:What will be the learning outcomes of a master in legal paralegal studies program?

A:By the end of your masters you will be able to conduct research with the help of relevant resources, prepare documents on the basis of factual investigation, analysis and legal research; use legal terminology, concepts of law, and rules of ethical legal practice to the performance of paralegal services; perform as a professional and effective member of the legal services deliver teams; carry out extensive legal work under the direction and supervision of an attorney, as permitted by law.

Q:How long are master of legal studies programs?

A:A master's course will typically take two years of study, however with online masters you can set your own pace of study and can shorten or lengthen the course duration based on your preference. A master of legal studies can be undertaken part time or full time, on-campus or online. The duration of the masters will vary according to all the above mentioned factors along with the directives of the school you will be studying at.

Q:What admission requirements do I need for a master in legal studies?

A:Admission requirements for a legal master degree will vary from school to school. However, in most cases, to pursue a master degree the student must hold a bachelor's degree from an institute recognized by regional accreditation agencies. Most universities will require an application form, resume, statement of purpose and transcripts of prior education. These requirements are standardized for online and on-campus degrees.

Q:What are the program objectives of a masters in legal studies?

A:The master's in legal studies degree program focuses on several areas of the law, in addition to providing various concentrations such as sports law, corporate law, criminal law, tort law, real estate law, banking law, health law, international law and family law. The program also introduces you to legal reasoning and law in general, regulations, legislation, criminal procedures and civil procedures.

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