Back to Blog Master of Legal Studies Alumni Spotlight: Kirk B. Blog Share Share on FacebookFollow us on LinkedInShare on PinterestShare via Email Meet a Procurement Professional and Graduate of the University of Cincinnati’s Master of Legal Studies Online Program Navigating the intricate legal pathways of government procurement can feel like traveling with an incomplete roadmap, even for experienced professionals. If you’re a public procurement officer securing goods and services for government projects, consider the complexity of your job: You navigate multiple regulatory frameworks to ensure the relationships you build and the deals you negotiate are legitimate, ethical, compliant, and consistent with quality standards. On top of that, you must ensure every contract, purchase agreement, and fulfillment procedure abides by local, state, national, and even international laws, with a full understanding of the unique legal language and potential pitfalls in each jurisdiction and industry. And if that’s not enough, the complexity is further complicated by the speed at which regulation, policy, and law can change and evolve. Where Legal Knowledge Is Valued Meet Kirk B., FNIGP, NIGP-CPP, CPPO, C.P.M. MBA, MLS. Each credential showcases Kirk’s zest for life and love of learning. Off the clock, he’s passionate about CrossFit and often finds himself on travel adventures. Working in procurement or in a similar role where you must stay attuned to business legalities, it can be tempting to think, “I’ve been doing this for years. I’ve got this.” But what’s your backup plan when regulations, policies, or laws change suddenly? At any given moment, the best route forward can remain hidden thanks to incomplete, inaccurate, or inaccessible legal information. No matter how experienced you are, working in a role where you need a deep understanding of the law, you can be left to wonder whether there’s a crucial nuance you’re missing. But if you can arm yourself with the right knowledge at the right time, you can successfully navigate most legal situations. Today, for an increasing number of roles, legal expertise isn’t just nice to have — it’s essential. For procurement professionals and others who deal with the legal side of the business, working with contracts, compliance matters, and employee issues, understanding where business decisions intersect with the law is paramount. Meet UC Master of Legal Studies Graduate Kirk B. Kirk is a retired procurement professional living in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He’s no stranger to legal complexities and challenges. He embraced them throughout his career. While enjoying retirement’s relative calm, he remains deeply engaged as a consultant and instructor for the National Institute of Governmental Procurement. Reflecting on his past roles, Kirk recalls many instances of balancing state and federal laws with procurement goals as daily challenges that ultimately led him to seek a more comprehensive understanding of the law. His experience, paired with new responsibilities for teaching and advising others, gave him more reason to pursue deeper legal knowledge. Benefits of a Legal Studies Master’s Degree For Kirk, the University of Cincinnati’s (UC) Master of Legal Studies (MLS) program, which is 100% online, was attractive because it offered a deep dive into relevant legal areas that include: Legal research and communication Administrative law and business law Contracts (negotiation, formation, etc.) Compliance and risk management Kirk’s personal interests and professional necessity spurred him to enroll in a program that’s not meant for people who want to be an attorney. He says, “If you’re interested in the law and legal concepts but don’t see law school in your future, UC’s program is an excellent option. I found the progression of the program very beneficial.” Everything Kirk learned at UC was seamlessly integrated into his consulting and teaching roles, enhancing his delivery and consultative insights, especially in pivotal areas like administrative law, contracts, and risk. Immediate Practical Application Not only was UC’s legal studies master’s program content practical and immediately useful to Kirk in his work, but he also acquired an enhanced understanding of law and legal best practices that were pivotal to his work — and sharpened his expertise in a way that actively benefited his consulting and teaching ventures. “Given I provide consulting services to governmental procurement agencies,” he says, “I found Administrative Law, Contracts, and Risk to be very relevant — and I actively use what I learned.” Kirk says our program faculty are well-informed professionals and effective. He was especially impressed by the teaching methods championed by Professor Sean Mangan, whose interactive activities and projects instilled students with negotiation acumen and the importance of teamwork. It was something Kirk found inspiring as a fellow instructor who teaches others. Capstone Project Refines Existing Knowledge Kirk’s end-of-program capstone project dealt with Florida’s Sunshine Law. He describes it as an intricate piece of legislation that concerns public access to government meetings and records and says, “This statute was one I had to follow to assure compliance by my agency. This statute also has a lot of litigation, in part, because of the way it is written.” Now that Kirk is a UC MLS graduate, he sees no limit to where he’ll go next. He plans to continue being a procurement consultant and, as a lifelong learner, is likely to take on new educational challenges in the future. Ready to Grow Your Expertise in the Legal Landscape? If you’re considering UC’s fully online Master of Legal Studies program, Kirk calls the experience extremely rewarding and says it will challenge you. It’ll help you rise to new heights in your career in procurement or in another role where understanding the law adds significant value to what you do. Does this sound like something you’re interested in? If so, here’s how to take the next step: Contact a UC Enrollment Services Advisor to get your questions answered and learn about the application process. To speak with someone right away, call (833) 556-7400 Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern.