Back to Blog Master of Legal Studies Alumni Spotlight: Amanda R. Blog Share Share on FacebookFollow us on LinkedInShare on PinterestShare via Email A Voice for Advocacy: Creating Change in Healthcare with Legal Knowledge Today’s ever-evolving healthcare landscape is laced with legal intricacies. This means healthcare professionals with legal knowledge, like Amanda R., are ideally positioned as a voice for advocacy while creating positive, lasting change. Amanda is a licensed independent social worker in Columbus, OH, currently serving as a clinical supervisor at the Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging, which administers the Ohio Department of Medicaid’s Specialized Recovery Services (SRS) program. Amanda says SRS helps people get Medicaid who are over the income limits and provides them with a recovery manager for regular check-ins and support. At its core, social work is all about helping people in need, which often translates to advocating for them and serving as a voice for the unheard. When giving voice to the health needs of others intersects with legal challenges, licensed professionals like Amanda find themselves treading on sacred ground where their support and guidance can dramatically affect lives. Growing Need for Advocacy in Healthcare UC graduate Amanda R., MLS, MSW, LISW, is passionate about reproductive rights and community advocacy. She’s an enthusiastic traveler who finds joy in walking her two rescue dogs. As a licensed healthcare professional in a leadership role, Amanda has a front-row seat for witnessing healthcare disparities and assessing the need for change. She leads her team to navigate complex legal concerns every day. One of the most effective ways to enable change at the intersection of health and law is by mastering legal knowledge. Instead of going to law school for three years to earn the Juris Doctor (JD) degree held by practicing attorneys, Amanda decided to further her education by adding a master’s degree to her curriculum vitae through the University of Cincinnati’s (UC) Master of Legal Studies (MLS) online program. Amanda chose the master of legal program not as a substitute for law school but for a more tailored and personal approach to understanding the law. Making the Case for Legal Knowledge and Finding the Best-Fit Solution Like many established career professionals, Amanda knew that equipping herself with a mastery of the legal system could pave the path to career advancement. In her case, it would lay the foundation for becoming a pivotal voice in healthcare. She chose UC’s fully online program to bridge her knowledge gap in a way that would help her make impactful decisions throughout her career. Amanda says, “I thought UC’s College of Law was the perfect place for the program because it provides a deeper understanding of how lawyers work.” Key Course and Meaningful Project Overall, Amanda says her experience in the program was smooth and enjoyable. She says she felt well prepared for every course as the program progressed and says every faculty member she interacted with was pleasant and knowledgeable. Of all the courses in the MLS curriculum, Amanda found employment law to be one of the most meaningful. The course explained how state and federal statutes work together to create guidance for individuals (think: human resources) and groups (think: collective bargaining). Amanda says the employment law course provided practical, immediately applicable knowledge and insight she could use immediately in her supervisory role. This was especially useful since she intends to continue working in a leadership capacity throughout her career. “This course provided me with so much critical information about how to manage and lead my team in an equitable way,” she says. Amanda chose a topic for her capstone project that has significant potential for creating change in her area of healthcare. She conducted research to understand what it would take to ensure that individuals with felonies have equal opportunities for employment in social work. Amanda discovered that currently, there are many barriers preventing anyone with a felony from getting a social work license and, therefore, getting a job. She reviewed current laws and regulations on this topic and created risk management recommendations to help decrease recidivism and increase self-worth. Looking Forward to the Future Amanda can now approach any leadership role with more confidence from her greater understanding of employment law. She gained new skills from completing UC’s program, boosted her confidence in professional decision-making, and mastered the tools needed for providing inclusive leadership. Beyond academic knowledge, Amanda’s journey through the program translated to other real-world impacts. She is now an advocate for employees and patients and is empowered with new legal knowledge she can use to help these groups. Amanda’s experience stands as a testament to what is achievable when passion is paired with the proper education. She intends to apply her learnings to her passion — reproductive rights advocacy. And she’s ready to make lasting changes in her field and beyond. As Amanda strides forward, championing causes that help shape a more equitable society, she symbolizes the new voice of advocacy, merging healthcare and law to create lasting change. Amanda can now approach any leadership role with more confidence from her greater understanding of employment law. She gained new skills from completing UC’s program, boosted her confidence in professional decision-making, and mastered the tools needed for providing inclusive leadership. Experience That Inspires Others Amanda’s experience in our university’s the University of Cincinnati’s online MLS program serves as a source of inspiration for other professionals who may be considering a master’s degree in legal studies. Her transformative experience offers a glimpse into the potential benefits of combining healthcare and law. If you’re considering whether an MLS is right for you, Amanda says, “Do it! It’s a great way to expand your legal knowledge without making the huge commitment of law school. The material was interesting and can be applied to many different situations.” Ready to Expand Your Legal Knowledge? Our 100%-online Master of Legal Studies program can add game-changing legal expertise to your knowledge base, no matter what industry you work in. Learn more today about the application process and get your questions answered by connecting online with an Enrollment Services Advisor. To speak with someone right away, call (833) 556-7400 Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern.