A Masters in Legal Studies - Careers for Non-Lawyers

What Can You Do with a Master’s in Legal Studies? Careers for Non-Lawyers


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Did you know there are so many federal laws in the U.S. that the Library of Congress has thrown up its hands, calling any effort to count the number of laws a “fruitless effort?”

And that’s just the federal laws!

Even on state and local levels, a deluge of new laws continues to affect businesses and individuals. For example, in 2017, 898 new laws took effect in the State of California alone, and more than 200 new state laws took effect in Illinois.

Today’s businesses need legal support to keep up with regulations affecting every corner of their operations, including employment, intellectual property, the environment and industry-specific considerations like health care regulation.

As you can imagine, these companies want to be legally compliant, but they don’t want to go bankrupt in the process. A growing number of companies rely on non-attorney legal experts to help them understand and comply with complicated laws.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), companies are amassing their own in-house legal resources to reduce costs. That means an increase in demand for non-attorney legal workers in finance and insurance firms, consulting firms, and health care providers.

Nearly 40 percent of all legal support careers in the U.S. with posted educational degree minimums required applicants to hold master’s degrees, so the marketplace is demanding well-trained experts in law who can provide leadership in legal research and regulatory compliance.[1]

Legal studies graduate programs, such as the one developed by Hodges University, help prepare students to succeed in professional legal services — whether in the courtroom or in the corporate boardroom — without having to earn a traditional law degree.

But are employers willing to offer a pay premium to graduates with a Master of Legal Studies degree?

Yes. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that, in general, workers holding graduate degrees make 21 percent more wage premium than their counterparts in the workforce who have only bachelor’s degrees. More specifically, 37 percent of legal services jobs earning more than $75,000 a year required a master’s degree.

If you want to move your career ahead in legal services without pursuing law school, then job demand and salary trends make a Master of Legal Studies a solid degree path.

But which MLS program is right for you? There are many legal studies degree programs to choose from. Check out the 3 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Master of Legal Studies Degree Program to help you decide.

[1] (source: Burning Glass query: Mar. 01, 2016 – Feb. 28, 2017)