Master's in Legal Studies: Online and Campus-Based Programs

Master's degree programs in legal studies explore the social, economic and theoretical aspects of the law and will prepare you for a variety of administrative and managerial jobs in the legal field. Review online and on-campus program options for this degree, typical coursework, and career and salary info for master's degree-holders in legal studies. Schools offering Juris Doctor degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

How is a Typical Legal Studies Program Conducted?

The legal studies master's degree program provides legal training to students who do not necessarily want to become lawyers, but wish to have a legal career. In some cases, lawyers from abroad might enroll in the program if they work consistently with U.S. lawyers and need to learn about the country's legal system.

During the master's degree program, you will study the intricacies of the U.S. court system and learn how the law has progressively changed. The program typically takes 2-3 years to complete. Many programs allow you to specialize in a field within legal studies such as media, education, health care or human resources management. To graduate, many programs require you to pass a comprehensive final exam or complete a master's thesis.

Program LengthTwo to three years
Course FormatOn campus or online
Common CoursesWomen and law, race and law, legal theory, ethics in law
Career OptionsCompliance officer, legal administration, risk management

Can I Earn the Degree Online?

You can enroll in a legal studies master's degree program online. You usually can communicate directly with teachers and students through online conferencing programs and can submit all assignments online through e-mail. Technical requirements for the legal studies online program often include speakers, a microphone and a working antivirus system.

What Classes Will I Take?

Classes in legal studies master's degree programs emphasize research and writing skills. These programs also typically involve a great deal of weekly readings about various topics in legal studies, from real estate law to criminal law. Typical course topics include:

  • Environmental law
  • Women and law
  • Race and law
  • The U.S. Constitution
  • Criminal law
  • Family law
  • The U.S. trial system
  • Ethics in law
  • Legal theory

What Can I Do with My Master's Degree?

You can use the legal knowledge gained during a master's degree program to become a compliance officer in the government, health care and education sectors. stated that the range of compliance officers earned yearly salaries of $33,047-$89,685 in 2016.

You can also assume a legal administration or management position. The BLS reported that administrative services managers made a median annual salary of $86,110 in May 2015. Risk management is a specific field that often requires applicants to hold strong legal knowledge. reported that salaries for senior risk managers were about $76,642-$179,242 in 2016.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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