Online Master of Legal Studies
An Affordable, Flexible and Interactive MLS Degree
An Affordable, Flexible and Interactive MLS Degree
Businesses and organizations all over the world are beginning to notice how beneficial it is to have professionals with an understanding of the law, even if they aren’t practicing lawyers. The right Master of Legal Studies (MLS) program gives students the tools and experience to effectively communicate and strategize around litigation risk, transactional law and compliance, while showing them how to customize these techniques to fit their unique field and role.
At DePaul College of Law, we’ve crafted a Master of Legal Studies (MLS) that incorporates simulation-based assignments and collaboration opportunities in our online program that prepare students to confidently influence legal decisions at their workplace and effectively engage with complex legal issues within their industry.
Our MLS degree stands out thanks to our commitment to student success through affordability, flexibility and hands-on learning taught by some of the nation’s leading legal scholars and accomplished legal practitioners. We welcome professionals of any background, who have a bachelor’s degree in any area and who want to add career-changing legal skills without earning a JD or becoming an attorney.Download Brochure
Cost Per Credit
Total Program Tuition
DePaul uniquely offers a professional experience waiver of up to 6 credits for students with recent, relevant work experience.
Total credits, with full waiver
Total tuition, with full waiver
“We aim to meet students where they are and to address their particular interests. We tailor our online MLS program to give students a foundational understanding of the U.S. legal system as well as specialized knowledge of specific areas of legal compliance and regulation.”
In our MLS program, students begin with core courses where they learn about topics including legal research and writing, regulatory compliance, negotiation and communication and organizational management. Through the selection of one of our three concentration options, students can then specialize their legal studies degree in their specific area of interest. Choose from our concentrations in:
Our collaborative coursework also gives professionals the chance to engage with their peers through Socratic discussions and group projects. These synchronous components help students grow a lasting network of legal professionals that they can continue to consult even after they leave the program.
Learn more about our concentration options on our curriculum page.
Next Start Date
August 26, 2024
Priority Application Deadline
June 1, 2024
Final Application Deadline
August 1, 2024
An MLS degree is an in-depth legal education designed for non-lawyers who have an undergraduate degree but do not necessarily have previous law education or experience. It allows students to specialize their training and advance their careers.
Many MLS students are professionals who work closely with legal advisors or work in highly regulated fields. For example, they might be an HR specialist who needs to keep their company compliant with labor laws. Another might be a medical center administrator who must help their clinic navigate healthcare laws and patient rights regulations. Or, they might be a public policy analyst who needs to be able to use legal research skills and negotiation tactics to create and advocate for stronger community policies.
To help you get a sense of common graduate pathways, we provide this overview of three types of law degrees. Please note that specific details, offerings and structures vary across different institutions and programs.
|Master of Legal Studies (MLS)
|Master of Laws (LLM)
|Juris Doctor (JD)
|Designed for non-lawyers who want an in-depth understanding of the law.
|The LLM is an advanced, academic degree in law that is usually pursued after a JD or the international equivalent.
|The JD is the primary professional degree for aspiring lawyers in the United States. It is required to take the bar in most U.S. jurisdictions.
|Professionals from a wide range of fields (e.g., business, healthcare, human resources, cybersecurity) who engage with legal matters or counsel in their roles but do not intend to become practicing attorneys.
|Lawyers who either already have a JD and wish to gain expertise in a specific area—such as tax law, business law or human rights law—or international lawyers who are interested in practicing in the United States.
|Individuals aiming to practice law, pass the bar exam and represent clients in legal matters.
|Provides an overview of the U.S. legal system as well as introduction to practices such as legal research and negotiation. These programs often include specialized tracks to align legal knowledge with specific industries or domains.
|Focuses on specific areas of law, providing advanced training beyond a JD program. May be research-intensive or include comparative legal studies.
|Covers a broad range of legal topics, including contracts, torts and civil procedure, among others. It prepares students to pass the bar exam and practice law.
Yes, this program is part-time and designed for working professionals. As a part-time student, the program takes approximately two and a half years to complete. With the professional experience waiver, it can be completed in two years.
Our professional experience waiver offers working professionals a chance to waive up to 6 credit hours of their MLS degree with applicable work experience. Learn more about our professional experience waiver by visiting our curriculum page, and find out if you qualify by speaking to one of our admissions advisors.
As the modern workplace continues to evolve with technology and new regulation and compliance practices expand, an extensive legal education can increase your marketability to potential employers and act as an effective job retention and growth strategy. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, legal occupations are projected to grow 10 percent from 2021 to 2031, faster than the average for all occupations.
Earn your online Master of Legal Studies to advance in your current role, or open yourself to a variety of MLS careers, including:
Visit our FAQ page for more answers to commonly asked questions, such as program details, how to apply to the online MLS and more. Our admissions advisors can answer any questions you may have as well: schedule a time to talk or call (800) 542-8539.