Master of Legal Studies: Is it Right for You?

There has been a recent increase in the business world for those with advanced knowledge of legal concepts, but there is a shortage of those with that knowledge who are not lawyers. As surprising as it may seem, many employers are looking for legal experts who are qualified, but not lawyers. This is where the demand for different avenues in law has skyrocketed. Many law schools, including the University of Cincinnati, have begun to add new programs to meet that demand. UC in particular, has added a Master of Legal Studies to their list of online programs.

What is a Master of Legal Studies?

So, you may ask what exactly is a Master of Legal Studies? This degree program equips individuals with legal skills and expertise necessary to advance in their careers. What your career goals are determine whether or not a Master of Legal Studies degree is right for you. Your career aspirations are the best determinant of which (Master of Legal Studies or Juris Doctorate) would be the best choice for you.

Differences Between a Juris Doctorate (JD) and Master of Legal Studies (MLS)

While a Master of Legal Studies will equip you with advanced legal knowledge, it does not prepare you to sit for the bar nor represent clients in an official capacity. Master of Legal Studies degrees are meant to further legal expertise to be used in other areas outside of the courtroom. A Master of Legal Studies degree can also be obtained in two years, while a JD typically takes three and requires you to sit for the LSAT upon admission into law school.  LSAT and GRE scores are optional for admission into the MLS program at the University of Cincinnati Online.  The shorter time commitment may be more beneficial for working professionals. The Master of Legal Studies program also offers online options, which creates a more flexible schedule. Many candidates for the Master of Legal Studies program need flexible schedules to coincide with their normal day-to-day schedule. Especially those in careers such as business management, paralegal, real estate, social work, human resources, and intellectual property. All of which are careers most aligned with a Master of Legal Studies, but not the only careers compatible with this degree.

However, if you happen to be a paralegal, for example, a Master of Legal Studies degree would be extremely beneficial to your career. A paralegal with a Master of Legal Studies degree makes almost $7,000 more than a paralegal without one. The need for paralegals and legal assistants is projected to grow 10 percent from 2019 to 2029 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employment in legal occupations in general is projected to grow 5 percent from 2019 to 2029. Both statistics show great odds for job security regardless of the chosen career path.

A Master of Legal Studies Degree Provides Career Advancement or New Career Opportunities

A Master of Legal Studies degree would be very useful for government professionals/officials, especially those who are looking to further their influences and reach. Knowing more about laws and other legal matters would open many more doors in the political and corporate world. Those who are already in their careers can take advantage of the online classes as well. We all know working professionals need more flexibility since they already have busy lives. It is especially difficult for those with familial obligations, as that is another job in itself. Even for those whose only obligation is themselves and their career, scheduling can be hectic. Online classes can be arranged around a working professional’s schedule. They are also convenient for those who cannot adhere to regular class times and regimens. Online classes make it easier for those who are unable to attend in person (or who would prefer not) while still maintaining proper priorities in other facets of their lives. It also gives the freedom to work at your own pace. All of which is important, especially when shifting the projection of your career.

There may be some people who want to further their education in legal studies, but do not actually want to practice law. The Master of Legal Studies degree at The University of Cincinnati can make that a reality. A Master of Legal Studies degree opens more pathways to success in your current professional role, as well as other potential careers. For example, someone who works in human resources, who has a Master of Legal Studies, will have the tools to make more informed decisions regarding human resources and legal matters.  They may transition into human resource management and serve as an intermediary for issues between staff or staff and administration, before there is a need for actual legal counsel.

Getting a Master of Legal Studies degree does not mean you have to change your career in any way. There may be some people who simply want to be better equipped for their role, and advanced legal knowledge would do exactly that.  For those in business analysis, with advanced legal knowledge and a master’s degree, a transition to senior business analyst becomes more than possible. With the many avenues achievable through obtaining a Master of Legal Studies degree, there are multiple lanes for advancement within a current career. Advanced legal knowledge is helpful in any career field, even intellectual property professionals which could be anyone from patent agents to IP consultants.

Get Your Master of Legal Studies Degree with the University of Cincinnati Online

All in all, a Master of Legal Studies degree gives the option to expand into other roles parallel with your current career, or options if you want to pivot your professional career in another direction.  A Master of Legal Studies degree does in fact give you options! As you can see, there are many advantages to getting an online Master of Legal Studies degree from the University of Cincinnati. While a Juris Doctorate degree may certainly be the right choice for some, a Master of Legal Studies may be exactly what you are looking for. If you want to gain more legal knowledge, but do not want the time commitment, and expense of law school, a Master of Legal Studies is for you.  For more information on obtaining a Master of Legal Studies degree from UC Online, please connect with an advisor today!

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