You Don’t Have to Be an Attorney to Enjoy a Law-Focused Career

Becoming an attorney is the dream of many. With more than 1.3 million attorneys in the U.S., there’s no shortage of people living out their dreams of practicing law. Major metropolitan cities have hundreds of attorneys. A specific practice area, such as personal injury law, can be a crowded field to enter as a newly minted JD (Juris Doctorate).

But what if you love all things legal but don’t want to be an attorney? Here’s some good news: There are a surprising number of legal-focused careers you may not know about.

Working in Legal Without Being a Lawyer

The corporate, nonprofit and education worlds offer numerous positions where having legal education and expertise is valued. The biggest driver for this is today’s complex business environment. Organizations seek to hire qualified staff to work in Human Resources (HR), compliance departments, management and in sales or customer service.

A quick search on LinkedIn proves this out. You can find people working in a variety of industries with a legal background and without a JD.

The LinkedIn profile descriptions include these keywords:

  • Content strategist
  • Team leader
  • Self-employed entrepreneur
  • Recruiting professional
  • Corporate paralegal
  • Legal researcher

“The Master of Legal Studies is the perfect fit for my career in Criminal Justice … this formal education is adding so much depth and breadth to my knowledge base that I have no doubt this program and degree will take my career to the next level in Criminal Justice Administration. Additionally, with the fantastic reputation of the University of Cincinnati, it indicates to other professionals that I have the skills and knowledge to be an asset to their organization.” – Hope Keller (graduates in 2023)

Companies Seek Both Legal Education and Expertise

If you’re someone who can learn about the legal field on the job with your current employer and without education, consider yourself fortunate. Most employers need specific expertise in this area. This is why many people choose to further their education by earning an advanced degree before making the career leap into legal work.

University of Cincinnati (UC) Online’s Master of Legal Studies degree is a highly rated, fully online program. The graduate-level coursework and interactions with our instructors can benefit what you do today for work — or a future career change you plan to make. With your expanded skills in specialized areas of the law and a greater understanding of how they intersect with critical business needs, you grow your expertise and enhance your resume.

Our legal studies master’s degree is especially applicable for people who work in business management, HR, real estate, social services, intellectual property and highly regulated industries. (Think healthcare, finance, technology and government contracting.) UC program graduates might also choose to work in a law firm as a legal clerk or paralegal. Exciting careers with a masters in legal studies are virtually unlimited.

Courses That Are Relevant in the Real World

This master’s degree is 100% online, so you’re not required to attend any class in-person to complete your degree. (This is unlike some educational institutions’ online-degree offerings.) You study when and where you want and can graduate in as little as 1.5 years, taking just six credits per semester over five semesters.

As a UC graduate, you leave with a keen understanding of regulatory requirements for specific industries, know how to review and interpret business agreements and are equipped to work side by side with attorneys and compliance officers, inside or outside a law firm.

Our master of legal studies online program curriculum combines cutting-edge theory with real-world application; here are three of the courses:

  • Risk Management – Because organizations of all types are risk-averse, they now dedicate a specific business area or function to managing risk. In this course, UC introduces you to best practices connected to the management of legal and other business risk types. You explore risk management processes and strategies and the metrics used to measure compliance with regulations. You also learn how to identify, assess and prioritize risk and develop a risk management plan.
  • Contracts: Negotiation, Formation and Interpretation – Contracts make the business world go round, so this course is critical. You’re introduced to the laws that govern agreements for the future exchange of performances, with breakout topics covering conditions for contract formations, interpretations, resolving ambiguities and remedies for a contract breach. Through a hypothetical contractual exercise, you negotiate a terms sheet, draft a contract, close the transaction and assess post-closing obligations.
  • Privacy and Cybersecurity Law – Keeping company and customer data private is an expanding focus area for companies, especially at publicly traded firms. And cybersecurity breaches regularly make headlines in the media. This course dives deep into the legal and regulatory framework governing information and technology-related laws. With an emphasis on financial data and personally identifiable information, you explore regulations and safeguards that protect organizational and client privacy.

“My decision to select the University of Cincinnati Online was driven by the course curriculum that relates to my current responsibilities and areas I wish to expand my legal knowledge. The UC MLS program is incredibly competitive in terms of cost.” – Edreece Redmond (2022 graduate)”

Highly Ranked, Respected Legal Studies Program

Considering UC for a legal studies education means you’ve done homework already. You likely found that our UC College of Law is well-known and highly regarded, ranking in the top 40 public law schools (2022 Best Law Schools – U.S. News and World Report). Also of note: This same news publication consistently ranks our online degree programs among the nation’s very best.

With more than 20 years of dedication to accredited online degree programs, UC’s commitment to meeting the needs of working adults seeking world-class education has never been stronger. Today, we offer nearly 100 fully online programs and welcome students from Ohio, across the U.S. and from around the globe.

Support For You Today, Support Tomorrow

We hope you’re ready to take the next step, optimizing your marketability today as work toward a master’s degree — or giving you a competitive advantage if you’re looking for a new job opportunity.

UC is here to help you take the next step in this journey! Request information from an Enrollment Advisor using the form linked here. Or call our advisor team Monday–Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. EST at (833) 347-5495. You can ask us about the types of career opportunities available for a Master of Legal Studies graduate. And we can let you know about financial aid and how we help active-duty military students, members of the National Guard and the Reserves, veterans and military family members.

We look forward to meeting you!

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