Back to Blog Master of Legal Studies Alumni Spotlight: Edreece R. Blog Share Share on FacebookFollow us on LinkedInShare on PinterestShare via Email Educational Operations Leader Boots Career Confidence with Legal Expertise In the area of educational operations, experienced career professionals like Edreece R. of Indianapolis, IN, solve problems every day that involve legal considerations. UC Master of Legal Studies graduate Edreece R. enjoys spending time with his family and being outdoors, whether it’s going for a run, taking a bike ride, mowing the lawn, or playing cornhole — a game he enjoys so much he claims to be addicted to it. While working as the Chief Operating Officer for a non-profit providing support for charter schools, Edreece often spoke with colleagues about legal matters. But he says those conversations were always at a surface level. Topics like school safety, building construction, Internet security, contracts, and transportation came up daily on the job. Each required Edreece’s expertise and brought sophisticated legal challenges. Desire for Career Advancement For established working professionals in education and other industry sectors where legal considerations intersect daily deliverables, understanding the law can make a crucial difference between just getting by and truly excelling on the job. Although Edreece had worked successfully in educational operations for several years, he yearned for further knowledge. His successful career had already given him an up-close view of the ever-evolving landscape of education, particularly for charter schools. Edreece knew a more complete understanding of legal frameworks would give him an added advantage. He says, “It’s one thing to be aware of legal subjects, but a whole different challenge to delve into their nuances and intricacies.” How Edreece Leveled Up at UC The in-depth academic approach to law offered by the University of Cincinnati’s (UC) Master of Legal Studies (MLS) program embodied the focus and scope Edreece sought to grow his understanding of the law. Even better, the structure and pace of UC’s 100% online program and its prestige and high rankings were ideal. The MLS program ended up being a great choice for Edreece. Because all courses were online and he could study when it was convenient, Edreece knew he could progress through the course material while working and spending time with his family. The pace of the 30-credit hour program, with two courses back-to-back during each academic term, allowed Edreece to approach each class with a dedicated focus. With five academic terms to complete, the time commitment offered him a reasonably expedient path to earning his master’s degree. Edreece learned the master of legal studies program is an extension of UC’s College of Law, and this credibility was an important factor in his ultimate decision to enroll. Edreece says, “The fact that this program is part of the College of Law gave it more weight and relevance.” Logical Progression of Coursework and Outstanding Faculty UC’s master of legal studies program offers a well-structured curriculum tailored for working professionals like Edreece, who want to see practical applications from their new knowledge immediately. From his very first course to his capstone project, Edreece’s journey through the MLS program was filled with growth, insights, and enhanced professional capabilities. The program began with foundational courses that laid the groundwork for more advanced topics. “The Intro to Law course was essential,” Edreece says. “Professor Nora Wagner prepared us for the legal jargon and gave us a broader understanding of the U.S. Government.” Throughout the program, other faculty members, including Professor Sean Mangan (Contracts) and Professor Janetta Brewer (Administrative Law), stood out for Edreece. Specific courses on Business Law, Contracts, and Administrative Law were particularly transformative, aiding him in his professional role and prepping him for future opportunities. In fact, Edreece discovered he is potentially interested in contract creation and understanding the impacts of new legislation, thanks to the coursework in the program. Edreece appreciated the UC faculty’s prompt responses to his specific questions and their eagerness to share real-world insights. He says these interactions made the online learning process seamless and practical. His capstone project, a 30-minute professional presentation on student rights and school safety, embodied the depth of Edreece’s new expertise. He says, “This project allowed me to look at three primary subjects — Due Process, Search/Seizure, and Freedom of Speech — and provide recommendations based on case law of how schools can legally create policies while balancing school safety needs.” New-Found Professional Confidence Ultimately, Edreece got what he wanted from UC’s MLS program — career advancement. He now understands more complex legal topics, which he only touched upon before the program. And now that he’s earned his legal studies master’s degree, Edreece says he’s better equipped to delve deeper into legal discussions, but he’s interested in advocating for legislative improvements. “I now feel confident going into much deeper detailed discussions with colleagues,” Edreece says. He acknowledges a broader appreciation for the nuances of different legal topics and how this positions him to become more involved in contract creation and research new legislation at local, state, and national levels to understand how it will affect his clients. Ultimately, the MLS program helped Edreece uplevel his career. “I’m 100% confident I’m a better professional because of the program,” he says. Now that Edreece has graduated, he plans to continue integrating his legal knowledge into his educational operations role. Take the Next Step to Learn More Edreece’s confidence and readiness to take on more responsibilities is a testament to his professional growth and greater understanding of the law. Are you ready for a career confidence boost? UC’s Master of Legal Studies program offers invaluable legal knowledge and insights to help you move confidently forward in your career. So, why not take the next step now? Get your program questions answered and learn about the application process by connecting online with an Enrollment Services Advisor from UC. Or you can reach an advisor by phone Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern, by calling (833) 556-7400.