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3 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Master of Legal Studies Degree Program


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You could say that the Master of Science in Legal Studies and its sibling, the Master of Studies in Law (MSL), have an elite pedigree. Born in the 1970s at the prestigious Yale Law School, the original program provided very select journalists with training in legal interpretation. Other law schools followed suit with their own “law for non-lawyers” programs that broadened the potential student base.

Beginning in the early 2000s, the program found new life outside of law schools. Since then, an explosion of universities offering the MLS degree has given students a bounty of options — maybe too many options.

A Google search for the phrase Master of Legal Studies yielded nearly 14 million results — including top results from a variety of educational institutions offering the Master of Legal Studies degree.

With so many options, how do you know which MLS program is right for you? Here are three essential questions to help you narrow the field as you evaluate the legal studies graduate program that’s right for you.

Question 1: Is It an Accredited University?

Accreditation by a regional or national oversight body indicates that an educational institution’s program has met a certain threshold of quality. In order to maintain their ongoing accreditation, institutions must continue to meet the standards identified by the oversight body.

For example, Hodges University is accredited to award its Master of Science in Legal Studies degree by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). SACSCOC oversees the educational quality and effectiveness of academic programs for its nearly 800 member institutions.

Question 2: Does the Learning Format Work for My Schedule?

In today’s increasingly online world, the concept of distance learning has become an appealing option for working adults who need to balance work, family and education objectives. You can find many reputable institutions offering distance-learning options, including Hodges University’s online Master of Legal Studies degree.

Question 3: Are the Instructors Experienced and Credentialed?

The legal landscape is forever shifting. Instructors need to bring perspectives from the real world where law is applied day in and day out in practical business situations. Additionally, their expertise should rise to a standardized level, such as those measured by professional credentials.

The faculty of Hodges University’s legal studies program provide a good example. Each instructor has attained a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree and contributes to the faculty’s 65 years of collective experience in professional legal services.

Conclusion: Is the Master’s Degree in Legal Studies Right for You?

If you want a clear path into professional legal services with an upward leadership trajectory, then a master’s degree in legal studies definitely can help you — and in less time and with less cost than pursuing a traditional law degree.

Hodges University can help answer any questions you may have about our MLS degree. Contact us to learn more.