Legal occupations are projected to grow 10 percent from 2021 to 2031, faster than the average for all occupations.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

The average salary for top MLS jobs is $93,607.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Payscale and Emsi Lightcast

As businesses and organizations around the world continue to integrate technology into every aspect of their work and face new challenges arising from compliance and regulation, professionals are expected to problem solve in a more comprehensive way. Regulatory issues like workplace safety, cybersecurity, employee privacy and pay equity have become more prominent in the evolving landscape of the modern workplace.

Because of this, the need for nonlawyers to have comprehensive legal knowledge is on the rise. Management consulting firm Gartner predicted that legal technology spending will increase to approximately 12 percent of in-house budgets by 2025, triple the level in 2020, and that legal departments will replace 20 percent of generalist lawyers with nonlawyer staff capable of handling technical and operational tasks by 2024. Not only will a legal education impact job retention, it can also open up a variety of different career paths.

In a 2020 survey of compliance professionals, 72% of respondents reported that compliance budgets increased over the previous five years. The most important skills for future compliance teams, according to the respondents, are influencing, communication, stakeholder management and risk management.


At DePaul College of Law, our dedicated faculty works to ensure every student leaves with the specialized legal skills to make a positive difference in their field of interest. Our online Master of Legal Studies stands apart from others in its commitment to affordability, flexibility and hands-on, experience-based learning. Students will gain practical experience in negotiation, legal analysis and more through our interactive coursework and will be able to apply these tools in the real world as they work through the MLS.

In our program, you not only get the in-depth legal training of an online Master of Legal Studies, you also have the opportunity to collaborate with your peers to supplement your learning fully remotely. Through group projects, video chats and class discussions, we work to build a community of legal experts that you can continue to look to for advice and support long after you graduate.

We respect the wide range of professional backgrounds that our students bring to the classroom. In recognition of our students’ talent and expertise, we offer a professional experience waiver that allows you to use relevant work history in place of up to 6 credit hours. This can reduce your degree requirements to 24 credits and save you thousands on tuition. For more information on this waiver and your eligibility, visit our tuition and financial aid page.

Allen Moye

“When people learn about the law, they sharpen their critical thinking skills. Everything our online MLS students learn throughout their coursework helps them think like a lawyer and critically analyze challenges in their daily life.”

Allen Moye, Associate Dean for Information Technology and Library Services, Director of the Rinn Law Library and Associate Professor of Law

Our alumni have shown that legal experts can be successful in a variety of industries, and this is supported by current labor market data. According to Emsi Lightcast, the top industries looking for professionals with legal knowledge and skills include:

  • Finance and insurance
  • Professional, scientific and technical
  • Healthcare and social assistance
  • Manufacturing
  • Retail trade
  • Public administration
  • Educational services
  • Real estate, rental and leasing

Whether you are a compliance professional, business executive, supervisor, manager and entrepreneur, real estate professional, HR and employee benefits professional or anything else, an MLS degree can help you advance in your current role, while opening new career opportunities. Some jobs that an MLS degree prepares you for include:

Job Title Average Annual Salary
(According to BLS, Payscale and Emsi Lightcast)
Chief information security officer $114,569
Compliance manager $86,484
Contracts manager $83,863
Data protection officer $91,267
Human resources manager $126,330
Mediator $64,108
Risk and quality assurance manager $88,629