What you need to know about legal degrees for non-lawyers

In what areas of law do MSL programs concentrate?

There are more than 60 programs focusing in varied areas of law. At least 18 law schools offer a general program that allows the student to focus on the legal subjects they are most interested in. The others are more specific. The most popular subject is compliance, with seven programs, five offered by Drexel University. Five different schools offer programs in intellectual property, and five offer programs in Taxation. Other programs cover business law, criminal law, entertainment law, environmental law, health law, information technology and labor law. 


What kind of education do I need to qualify for the program?

That depends on the school. Most only require a bachelor’s degree. But a few want students to have advanced degrees.

How much does a Master of Law degree cost?

That depends on the school as well. But most charge the same tuition as the J.D. program, ranging from $650 per credit to $2,500. Most fall between $1200 to $1700 a credit. 


Do schools offer part-time programs?

Yes. As said, the program is designed to be helpful for non-lawyers. So law schools realize many who are attracted to the program are employed. Almost all offer a part-time option. In some cases, you can take as long as several years to complete the program. You just need to check the school’s program to see if it’s the right fit for you.

Going part-time or full-time depends on personal circumstances and if your employer is willing to give you time to do the program full-time. The difference is completing the program in one year full-time or two years part-time with classes in the evening. Most MLS students are part-time.