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Law Studies Master’s Degrees: Best Programs, Jobs, and Salaries

Princess Ogono-Dimaro - November 02, 2021


Law studies can open a lot of career paths in diplomacy, social work, commerce, and politics. There are many opportunities available to professionals with legal knowledge. The transferable legal skills can also be applied to tech and healthcare.

If you want to advance your law career, a master’s degree program is an excellent choice. You can learn about legal concepts needed to thrive in your field. This article covers the best law studies master’s degrees, course information, and potential career paths.

What Is Law Studies?

Law studies is a field that deals with law and society and their influence. Law studies programs provide an understanding of legal systems as well as how laws are formed. This interdisciplinary field covers topics like economics, political science, history, international relations, sociology, and philosophy.

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Students enrolled in this program learn to handle legal issues concerning social equality, citizens and state, justice in resource development, and individual privacy and liberty.

What Is a Law Studies Master’s Degree?

A law studies master’s degree is a postgraduate degree that is usually acquired after a year of full-time studies. Students pursue this degree to expand their legal expertise. Some popular master’s degree programs in law studies are Master of Legal Studies, Master of Science in Law, and Juris doctor orJuris master.

Some concentrations in this subject include taxation, commercial law, European public law, environmental law, human rights, criminal justice systems, criminology, and social justice. The curriculum often includes research, group tasks, case studies, and seminars to ensure that students grasp the concepts.

Law Studies Master’s Degree Requirements

The admissions requirements for a law studies master’s degree may vary. However, most schools require an undergraduate degree in a similar discipline from an accredited college. Those without a similar undergraduate degree from an accredited four-year college may be required to complete some preliminary courses before enrolling in a master’s program.

Prospective students may be required to submit letters of recommendation, professional academic experience, GRE scores, and a statement of purpose. Some schools require a specific GPA from applicants.

How Much Does a Law Studies Master’s Degree Cost?

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average cost of graduate programs is $12,410 in public institutions , while private schools cost up to $26,597 per year. Other factors may impact this figure, such as in-state and out-of-state tuition.

Law Studies Master’s Degree Financing Options: How to Pay for Your Law Studies Degree

Some ways to finance your master’s degree include student loans, grants, scholarships, and private loans. Some schools offer teaching assistantships or internships to students so they can work and pay their tuition.

Best Law Studies Master’s Degree Programs and Schools: Overview

School Program Accreditation
Albany Law School Master of Science in Legal Studies Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar of the American Bar Association
American University Master of Legal Studies American Bar Association
Arizona State University Master of Law in Tribal Policy, Law, and Government Higher Learning Commission
Pepperdine University Master of Legal Studies American Bar Association
Regent University Master of Arts in Law Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Seattle University Master of Legal Studies Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
Thomas Jefferson School of Law Master of Science in Law WASC Senior College and University Commission
University of Oklahoma Master of Legal Studies Higher Learning Commission
University of the Pacific Master of Science in Law Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges, Universities of the WASC Senior College and University Commission
Washington University School of Law Master of Legal Studies American Bar Association

Best Colleges for Law Studies: Top Law Studies Master’s Degree Programs

Most of the programs listed in this article are Master of Legal Studies and Master of Science in Law degrees. These programs also offer different concentrations to help students to customize their degrees according to their professional goals. You can opt for a one-year degree program as well.

This law school offers a program that is open to attorneys who want to sit for the Uniform Bar Exam. If you have a traditional law degree, you can apply. Students can choose from any of the following concentrations: health law, advanced legal studies, cyber security, government regulation, intellectual property law, financial compliance, and international law.

This Master of Legal Studies program offers different concentrations including business, technology, healthcare compliance, and cyber security. Students who select the healthcare compliance, business, cyber security, or technology track earn a certification with their MLS degree.

The program teaches students the legal framework needed to handle challenges in the field. They learn to work with contracts, ensure that aspects of compliance operations are adhered to, and draft new policies.

Master of Law in Tribal Policy, Law, and Government | Arizona State University

This degree requires 24 credits to complete and students can attend on a part-time basis. Students are not required to write a thesis. The program focuses on federal Indian law, domestic tribal law, and American institutions of government and law. It also emphasizes domestic law expression in governmental, contemporary administrative, and judicial institutions.

This program requires 32 credit units to complete. Students in full-time programs can complete it within 16 months while part-time students can finish in 28 months. The program focuses on litigation, legal research, regulatory compliance, tort, and negotiation.

Some of the main courses students take during the program include constitutional law, legal writing, contracts, criminal law, civil procedure, and litigation. This degree gives students a chance to earn a Master of Dispute Resolution degree within a shorter time with fewer credits.

Master of Arts in Law | Regent University

This program requires 30 credits to complete. The concentrations in the program include healthcare law, human resources law, immigration law, general legal studies, and human rights law. The program teaches students how to evaluate legal issues, communicate on legal issues, and research American laws and statutes.

Seattle University’s program requires 30 credits to complete. The focus of the program is on legal writing, legal research, and the American legal system. Students also study compliance and risk management.

Students start learning with fundamental legal courses and can choose their concentration. Some of the tracks include general studies, health law, technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship. The tech track covers data privacy, digital commerce, and cyber security laws. The health concentration is for students interested in the healthcare law, policy, and regulations.

Master of Science in Law | Thomas Jefferson School of Law

This degree requires 30 credits to complete and it has hybrid programs. The program focuses on intellectual property, criminal law, taxation, sports, entertainment, and financial services. The program offers part-time or full-time schedules that include evening or day classes. Students can also choose to start in spring, summer, or fall. All courses are offered asynchronously.

This degree requires 32 to 33 credits based on the particular track you choose. It can be completed in 15 to 18 months. Some of the areas of concentration include healthcare law, international business law, litigation, oil, gas, and energy law, tax law, indigenous peoples law, intellectual property law, and family law.

Master of Science in Law | University of the Pacific

This program requires around 26 credit units to complete. Most students meet this requirement in two years. The main concentrations of the program include conflict management, human resources, water and environmental law, and health. Students learn about laws surrounding employment, workplace discrimination, and safety.

This degree focuses on the legal training professionals need to advance in their careers in healthcare and business. Before enrolling in this program, students are required to attend a first-year law course to understand common law analysis and the Socratic method. Some other crucial topics include US law and methods and business law.

Best Online Law Studies Master’s Degree Programs and Schools: Overview

School Program Accreditation
Drexel University Master of Legal Studies Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Fordham University Master of Studies in Law in Corporate Compliance Higher Learning Commission
Hamline University Master in the Study of Law Higher Learning Commission
Hofstra University Master of Arts in Health Law and Policy Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Northeastern University Master of Legal Studies New England Commission of Higher Education
Saint Leo University Master of Science in Criminal Justice Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
University of Illinois at Springfield Master of Arts in Legal Studies Higher Learning Commission
University of Arizona Master of Legal Studies Higher Learning Commission
Webster University Master of Arts in Legal Studies Higher Learning Commission
West Virginia University Master of Legal Studies Higher Learning Commission

Best Colleges for Law Studies: Top Online Law Studies Master’s Degree Programs

You can pursue a Master’s Degree in Law Studies online . This is especially helpful for busy professionals who want to maintain their current career while studying for an advanced degree. You may also be able to earn a graduate certificate in healthcare compliance while learning.

This degree requires 30 credits to complete. Students can choose to complete it online as a full-time or part-time program. The focus of this program is on legal issues faced by organizations and businesses. Students also learn the regulations surrounding employment and help employers adhere to them.

Master of Studies in Law in Corporate Compliance | Fordham University

This online law program teaches skills needed to implement, monitor, design, and evaluate compliance programs in the corporate world. The focus of the program includes risk assessment, legislation, international financial crimes, and regulation. Students also need to complete a capstone project to apply what they have learned.

Master in the Study of Law | Hamline University

This online program gives students a paralegal certificate as well as a master’s degree. Students learn law foundations and gain an advanced understanding of rules contained in legal authorities. Some of the topics covered in the program include social justice, conflict resolution, litigation support, education law, compliance, and practice management.

Master of Arts in Health Law and Policy program | Hofstra University

This online Master of Arts in Health Law program requires 30 credits to complete.  Most students complete this program in about two years. However, some students can finish faster as the program is flexible. The focus of this program is patient advocacy, compliance requirements, implementation of organizational changes, legislation, and healthcare law.

To earn this online Master’s Degree in Legal Studies, you need to complete 27 to 31 credits. The credit requirement depends on the concentration you choose. Some of the concentrations include public law, intellectual property, human resource law, health law, business law, and policy. Students also learn healthcare regulation and how to secure intellectual property rights.

Master of Science in Criminal Justice | Saint Leo University

This online program follows an eight-week learning structure with six concentrations for students to choose from. Students learn about judicial operations and legal procedures in the criminal and civil domain.

The concentrations include policy-making, fiscal resource management, the criminal justice system, organizational leadership, ethical standards in justice administration, and computerized and personnel law. The program can be completed in 18 months for full-time students.

This online program requires 40 credits to complete. Students in the program learn about legal theory, gain actionable skills, and understand the role of law in society today. The program focuses on research, analytical thinking, and writing skills. Students gain a full understanding of the American legal system and how it relates to societal changes. It also teaches citizen rights.

This degree is fully online and requires 30 credits to graduate. Students can choose from concentrations in human rights, mining law and policy, intellectual property, tax law and policy, indigenous people’s law, family and juvenile law, environmental law and policy, compliance and legal risk management, and health law. Students can choose a full-time or part-time schedule.

This online graduate degree program requires 39 credits to complete. Students learn about the legal environment and how the judicial authorities operate. Some of the courses in the curriculum include ethics, legal research, and American constitutional law.

Before the program ends, students learn to use critical thinking skills for legal analysis and reasoning. They also learn to evaluate legal information for problem-solving in legal environments.

This online degree program requires 30 credits to complete. Students in this program are required to complete a capstone project. The areas of concentration include homeland security, justice systems, and healthcare. All students must take courses in law research, dispute resolution, and legislative processes.

What’s the Average Law Studies Master’s Degree Salary?

Three stacked books. Law Studies Master's Degrees
With knowledge of legal concepts and legal reasoning skills you can begin a successful legal career.

According to payscale, professionals with a master of legal studies degree earn an average annual salary of $69,000 . However, the salary depends on the particular role, location, and industry.

Top Law Studies Master’s Degree Jobs and Salaries: Overview

Law Studies Master’s Degree Jobs Average Salary
Senior Compliance Officer $107,622
Senior Business Analyst $104,319
Corporate Executive $82,180
Legal Consultant $82,178
Senior Contract Negotiator $79,824
Federal Regulatory Agent $75,762
HR Manager $74,934
Medical and Health Services Manager $64,640
Contracts and Grants Officer $61,499
Associate Operations Director $60,546

Best Law Studies Master’s Degree Jobs Explained

Senior Compliance Officer

Senior compliance officers manage the compliance team in an organization. They ensure that the company and its employees follow the guidelines set out by the industry. These professionals are responsible for checking and investigating illegal or unethical behavior.

Senior Business Analyst

Senior business analysts provide business analysis services to an organization’s business partners. They work closely with businesses and understand customer business processes, strategies, roadmaps, and services to provide their analysis.

Corporate Executive

Corporate executives are responsible for making sure that businesses remain financially stable. They allocate resources, formulate policies, and coordinate work activities. These professionals may also take part in daily operations such as inventory control, personnel actions, public relations, and purchasing.

Legal consultants provide legal guidance to individuals and businesses. They are also called legal advisors and can work as lawyers . However, the difference is that they offer legal guidance outside of the courtroom. These professionals work in real estate, business law, financial law, and foreign affairs.

Senior Contract Negotiator

Senior contract negotiators are responsible for evaluating contract agreements. They also negotiate contract terms between customers and clients of a company. This expert handles and settles all disputes that may arise from agreements and contracts.

Federal Regulatory Agent

  • Average Salary: $75,762
  • Job Outlook: 6%*
  • Number of Jobs: 21,600*
  • Highest-Paying States: District of Columbia, New Jersey, Massachusetts*

Federal regulatory agents are appointed by federal authorities to be a primary contact and receiving party for correspondence with any filing or regulatory matter. They also help to ensure a business is meeting local and federal standards and regulations.

HR Manager

  • Average Salary: $74,934
  • Job Outlook: 9%
  • Number of Jobs: 161,700
  • Highest-Paying States: New York, New Jersey, District of Columbia

Human resources managers are responsible for planning, coordinating, and directing administrative functions in an organization. These experts are in charge of recruiting, interviewing, and hiring potential employees. They act as a link between employees and top management within an organization.

Medical and Health Services Manager

Medical and health services managers are also known as healthcare administrators and executives. They are responsible for organizing, directing, and coordinating health and medical services. These experts may help manage wellness facilities or medical practices.

Contracts and Grants Officer

Contracting and grants officers are primarily responsible for managing the administrative processes for contract administration from pre-award to contract close-out. They will provide professional expertise in contract administration to ensure full compliance with donor rules and regulations.

Associate Operations Director

Associate operations directors are members of a business or organization’s advisory committee. They work with the committee to provide vision and leadership while developing policies to increase productivity. They are in charge of three areas including experiential learning, on-campus recruiting, and employer relations.

*Based on Bureau of Labor Statistics data on Compliance Officers

**Based on Bureau of Labor Statistics data on Top Executives

Benefits of a Law Studies Master’s Degree

  • Helps you specialize. One reason why people pursue advanced education is to specialize in a particular field. This degree helps you to move into a preferred area of interest with ease.
  • Grow your network. This degree opens you to multiple networking connections from your professor to the alumni network and your peers. You can connect with top professionals in your field during the program and form an amazing network that will be helpful in the future.
  • Boost earning potential. You are likely to earn more if you have a master’s degree in law studies compared to others with an undergraduate degree.
  • Enhance your credentials. A master of law studies degree is a stepping stone to a doctorate. If you want to further your education, this degree will give you the push you need.
  • Work internationally. A master’s degree can qualify you for international jobs. If this is your goal, you can consider disciplines like alternative dispute resolution and diplomacy.

Should You Get a Master’s Degree in Law Studies?

Yes. One reason to earn this graduate degree is so you can easily change career tracks. There are several master’s degrees in this field that give you a chance to specialize within a short period of time. If you want to pursue international dispute resolution, intellectual property law, securities law, or tax law, this degree can prepare you to achieve your career goals.

Law Studies Master’s Degree FAQ

Is a Master of Law Studies worth it?

A master of law studies is worth it if you have a legal background and you want to advance your career in the field . You can earn more and also have the opportunity to specialize in uncommon fields to set yourself apart.

How long does it take to complete a Master of Legal Studies degree?

The length of the program depends on the number of credits required for completion. However, most programs can be completed within 18 months for full-time students. Part-time students may complete it within two years or more.

What jobs can I get with a Master’s Degree in Law?

There are a lot of career opportunities for people with a Master’s Degree in Law. Some can become human resources managers, legal advisors, and legal consultants. Other professionals work as social workers and operations directors.

How much do professionals with Master of Law Studies degrees earn?

These experts earn more than the average salary for all occupations. Payscale reports that professionals with an advanced law degree earn an average of $69,000. Some may earn more depending on their industry.

About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.

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Princess Ogono-Dimaro

About the author: Princess is an expert tech content writer whose work has appeared on Raffela, Play Junkie, Blockster, and Smartereum. She writes about arts and tech, and she has studied blockchain, cryptocurrency, and digital marketing. She holds a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Benin and also attended The Nigerian Law School.

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