Our online Master of Legal Studies program is designed to equip non-lawyers with the skill level needed to effectively analyze and communicate legal research and to help inform compliance and regulation decisions in your current and future positions. Through three concentration options, Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI) software and simulated learning opportunities, we provide real-world application of legal training to fit students’ career goals.

“Through our years of experience teaching first-year and upper-level coursework, we’ve discovered how Master of Legal Studies students learn differently than JD students, so we take a different approach. We’ve built our MLS coursework specifically to prepare nonlawyers to interact with lawyers and spot, foresee and forecast legal issues that are on the horizon”

Max N. Helveston, Faculty Director of the Mary and Michael Jaharis Health Law Institute and Associate Professor of Law

Blended Asynchronous and Synchronous Learning

We believe that live, collaborative elements greatly impact student outcomes, so we work to build opportunities for peer interaction throughout the program. Because of this, many of our courses are synchronous or hybrid, with a smaller number of completely asynchronous courses. Synchronous activities will be scheduled in the evenings to accommodate working professionals.

Professional Experience Waiver

Online MLS students with significant, relevant work experience may apply for a waiver of up to six credit hours, for a total degree requirement of 24 credit hours. Students must be able to demonstrate substantial professional experience of at least 12 months’ duration in a relevant field of interest to qualify.

Time to Degree

Our part-time program requires the completion of 30 credit hours over the course of two and a half years by taking two courses each semester. With the professional experience waiver, students can complete the degree in two years with 24 credits.

Program Outcomes

Upon earning their degree, students will be able to:

  • Identify structures of the U.S. legal system and government institutions.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how a common law system operates in a constitutional democracy.
  • Demonstrate basic knowledge of the legal rules and policies in the student’s area of specialization.
  • Identify and apply relevant legal authority.
  • Communicate clearly in speech and writing.

Our courses are also updated annually to ensure that the content is timely and up-to-date.


Coursework and Format

The online MLS coursework includes:

  • Video recordings
  • Live sessions
  • Simulation exercises
  • Individual and group work
  • Written assignments
  • Quizzes
  • Discussion posts
  • Capstone projects

Required Courses

Regardless of concentration, Master of Legal Studies students must complete the following required courses:

This course introduces students to the foundations of American law and legal practice. Students will study the structures and composition of American government institutions, the methods of legal reasoning and argument in a common law system and the culture of legal practice. Students will also receive introductions to various areas of American legal practice, including business and commercial law; civil and criminal procedure; and administrative law.

This course introduces non-JD students to sources of law, the nature of precedent, legal research, common law and statutory analysis and the basics of legal writing.

This course provides an introduction to foundational concepts in compliance and regulation. Students will gain an understanding of key statutes and regulations that impact both for-profit and non-profit entities and will learn about best practices in effective compliance programs. The course gives students the chance to practice the skills required of compliance officers in various industries.

A key aspect of managing issues related to the law is the ability to advocate effectively for one’s position. This course introduces students to the skills of negotiation and advocacy, with an emphasis on both written and oral communication. Students will learn about key theories and practices and have the opportunity to practice what they have learned during simulated exercises.

Effective management of organizations includes a knowledge of workplace rules as well attention to good leadership strategies. This course introduces students to the laws that govern the structure of corporations and non-profit organizations, with an emphasis on labor and employment law and their impact on workplace relationships.

Concentrations

We offer three concentrations for students to specialize their coursework. Students must choose their concentration before entering the program. Students have the opportunity to change their concentration after completing their foundational coursework.

  • Business Law
    • Gain a comprehensive understanding of compliance; transactional law, negotiations and deal making; and contract law that directly affects businesses all over the world.
  • Data Privacy and Cybersecurity Law
    • This concentration has been designed in consultation with DePaul’s renowned College of Computing and Digital Media. With their borrowed tech expertise and our legal prowess, we have designed a program that gives students the skills of a top law and computing school.
  • General Legal Studies
    • Our general path allows students to map out their own course electives to fit their educational goals with the help of their academic advisor.

Business Law

Required Concentration Courses

This course provides a basic introduction to the modern American business corporation. Major subject areas covered include the steps required for organizing a corporation, the nature of the corporate entity concept, control and management of the corporation, fiduciary duties of directors and controlling shareholders and an introduction to federal securities law and partnership and agency law.

This course examines a variety of common commercial or business transactions and the documents necessary for their implementation. The emphasis is on contract drafting, with an integration of relevant concepts from the Uniform Commercial code, the Internal Revenue Code, partnership, corporate, and real property law. Students draft implementing documents and research and report on the current status of legal issues that affect a given transaction. Documents to be drafted include real estate contracts, partnership agreements, employment contracts, guarantees and stock redemption agreements.

Concentration Electives

Students must choose to complete three of the following courses to reach their 30 credit hour program completion. If you have the professional experience waiver, you must complete one:

In this course, students will practice drafting the types of documents produced by compliance professionals and executives in businesses and organizations that are subject to regulatory oversight. Students will learn how to research local, state and federal administrative rules and regulations. Students will practice analyzing those rules and regulations and draft policies and procedures documents implementing those rules and regulations.

Surveys the legal interests recognized by American law in intellectual and artistic creations. Legal problems involved in the economic exploitation of intellectual and artistic property rights are also discussed.

This course examines cybersecurity risk through a review of administrative enforcement, civil and criminal actions. Topics include civil actions for data breaches; administrative agencies, actions and rules (including administrative law fundamentals); cyberattacks and forensic investigations; discovery and introduction of digital forensic evidence; risk mitigation and transfer, including cybersecurity insurance and insurance law fundamentals; criminal actions, including working with law enforcement; and theories of recovery, adequacy of legal remedies and stifling of innovation. Students will learn not only the law, but also the relevant technology concepts with some level of depth.

This course surveys both U.S. data privacy law and EU data privacy law. It covers technology concepts/privacy principles relevant to the law. The U.S. portion primarily focuses on a variety of U.S. statutes (e.g., FTC Act, GLBA, HIPAA, FCRA, FERPA, BSA, COPPA, CAN-SPAM, etc.) and some state law. The EU portion particularly focuses on the EU GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). The course serves as a helpful background for CIPP/US and CIPP/E (Certified Information Privacy Professional U.S. and Europe).


Data Privacy and Cybersecurity Law

Required Concentration Courses

This course examines cybersecurity risk through a review of administrative enforcement, civil and criminal actions. Topics include civil actions for data breaches; administrative agencies, actions and rules (including administrative law fundamentals); cyberattacks and forensic investigations; discovery and introduction of digital forensic evidence; risk mitigation and transfer, including cybersecurity insurance and insurance law fundamentals; criminal actions, including working with law enforcement; and theories of recovery, adequacy of legal remedies and stifling of innovation. Students will learn not only the law, but also the relevant technology concepts with some level of depth.

This course surveys both U.S. data privacy law and EU data privacy law. It covers technology concepts/privacy principles relevant to the law. The U.S. portion primarily focuses on a variety of U.S. statutes (e.g., FTC Act, GLBA, HIPAA, FCRA, FERPA, BSA, COPPA, CAN-SPAM, etc.) and some state law. The EU portion particularly focuses on the EU GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). The course serves as a helpful background for CIPP/US and CIPP/E (Certified Information Privacy Professional U.S. and Europe).

Concentration Electives

Students must choose to complete three of the following courses to reach their 30 credit hour program completion. If you have the professional experience waiver, you must complete one:

In this course, students will practice drafting the types of documents produced by compliance professionals and executives in businesses and organizations that are subject to regulatory oversight. Students will learn how to research local, state and federal administrative rules and regulations. Students will practice analyzing those rules and regulations and draft policies and procedures documents implementing those rules and regulations.

This course provides a survey of selected topics in the rapidly evolving area of law applied to cyberspace and the internet. The course touches upon numerous areas of substantive law such as intellectual property, torts, jurisdiction and privacy and the First Amendment, explores how courts have applied the law to the internet and raises the important policy questions underlying the application of law to this new medium.

This course will cover the health care privacy laws as they exist and the Federal Government has been implementing and enforcing HIPAA regulations since October 2002. This area of the law is cutting-edge and affects every aspect of the healthcare industry and of legal practice in health law and other areas.

This course is a survey of information security considerations as they apply to information systems analysis, design and operations. Topics include information security vulnerabilities, threats and risk management; security policies and standards; security audits; access controls; network perimeter protection, data protection; physical security; legal requirements and considerations; privacy.

In this capstone course, advanced students will gain practical experience by engaging with real-world issues in cybersecurity and information technology. The course will hone students’ skills in diagnosing problems and devising creative solutions in the cybersecurity and data privacy fields. Students will learn effective techniques for communicating with law and technology personnel to manage, prevent and deter cybersecurity risks in the workplace. The course will give students the opportunity to put what they have learned about technology and law into practice through table-top exercises and through the completion of a privacy and security impact assessment.


General Legal Studies

Concentration Electives

There are no required concentration courses for the general track. Instead, students can build unique expertise or explore a variety of interest areas by choosing five of the following courses to reach their 30 credit hour program completion. If you have the professional experience waiver, you must complete three:

This course provides a basic introduction to the modern American business corporation. Major subject areas covered include the steps required for organizing a corporation, the nature of the corporate entity concept, control and management of the corporation, fiduciary duties of directors and controlling shareholders and an introduction to federal securities law and partnership and agency law.

This course examines a variety of common commercial or business transactions and the documents necessary for their implementation. The emphasis is on contract drafting, with an integration of relevant concepts from the Uniform Commercial code, the Internal Revenue Code, partnership, corporate, and real property law. Students draft implementing documents and research and report on the current status of legal issues that affect a given transaction. Documents to be drafted include real estate contracts, partnership agreements, employment contracts, guarantees and stock redemption agreements.

This course examines cybersecurity risk through a review of administrative enforcement, civil and criminal actions. Topics include civil actions for data breaches; administrative agencies, actions and rules (including administrative law fundamentals); cyberattacks and forensic investigations; discovery and introduction of digital forensic evidence; risk mitigation and transfer, including cybersecurity insurance and insurance law fundamentals; criminal actions, including working with law enforcement; and theories of recovery, adequacy of legal remedies and stifling of innovation. Students will learn not only the law, but also the relevant technology concepts with some level of depth.

This course surveys both U.S. data privacy law and EU data privacy law. It covers technology concepts/privacy principles relevant to the law. The U.S. portion primarily focuses on a variety of U.S. statutes (e.g., FTC Act, GLBA, HIPAA, FCRA, FERPA, BSA, COPPA, CAN-SPAM, etc.) and some state law. The EU portion particularly focuses on the EU GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). The course serves as a helpful background for CIPP/US and CIPP/E (Certified Information Privacy Professional U.S. and Europe).

In this course, students will practice drafting the types of documents produced by compliance professionals and executives in businesses and organizations that are subject to regulatory oversight. Students will learn how to research local, state and federal administrative rules and regulations. Students will practice analyzing those rules and regulations and draft policies and procedures documents implementing those rules and regulations.

Surveys the legal interests recognized by American law in intellectual and artistic creations. Legal problems involved in the economic exploitation of intellectual and artistic property rights are also discussed.

This course will cover the health care privacy laws as they exist and the Federal Government has been implementing and enforcing HIPAA regulations since October 2002. This area of the law is cutting-edge and affects every aspect of the healthcare industry and of legal practice in health law and other areas.

This course provides a survey of selected topics in the rapidly evolving area of law applied to cyberspace and the internet. The course touches upon numerous areas of substantive law such as intellectual property, torts, jurisdiction and privacy and the First Amendment, explores how courts have applied the law to the internet and raises the important policy questions underlying the application of law to this new medium.