Why does Catholic University’s law school offer the Master of Legal Studies Program?
As the legal profession evolves, the need for non-JD professionals with a working knowledge of the law is increasing. Our M.L.S. program will serve the educational needs of this expanding group of professionals.
What are the educational objectives of the M.L.S. program?
To better serve the community by educating a new group of professionals who work in areas related to the law by providing them with general knowledge of United States law and specific knowledge of the law in their particular field of interest.
Does earning a Master of Legal Studies degree allow me to practice law?
No. The M.L.S. program is designed to enhance understanding of the law and legal principles in the context of a professional career. It is not intended to train students for careers as attorneys, nor to prepare them for any state’s bar exam. Credits earned may not be applied toward a J.D. degree, even if the student should elect to pursue one at a later time. What does it take? To receive an M.L.S. degree, all candidates must complete a minimum of 26 academic credits, including Introduction to American Law and Legal Methods and a final project.
Will this degree have associated tracks or concentrations?
Yes. Students may choose to concentrate in the fields of Compliance and Corporate Responsibility, Criminal Justice, Employment and Human Resources, or Intellectual Property. Alternatively, students may choose a General U.S. Law option, which provides a broad overview of the law and legal practice.
Will I share classes with students pursuing a full J.D. degree?
Yes. Your first semester will include Introduction to American Law and Legal Methods, a course tailored to M.L.S. students and open only to M.L.S. students. You will conclude your studies with a final project. The remainder of your courses will be taken with students pursuing J.D. degrees.
Do I need to take the LSAT to take part in the Masters of Legal Studies Program?
No, but an applicant may choose to submit a standardized test score. Tests such as the LSAT, GMAT, MCAT, GRE, SAT, or ACT are eligible for submission.
What is the difference between the Master of Law (LL.M.) Program and the Masters of Legal Studies (M.L.S.) Program?
The M.L.S. program is designed for working professionals who have an interest in law, work with legal issues, or who are seeking ways to expand their career opportunities. For example, an engineer may choose the Intellectual Property track of the M.L.S. program to acquire an understanding of the legal process in developing and establishing patents. A human resources professional may choose the Employment and Human Resources track of the M.L.S. program to gain a deeper understanding of the rules and laws that apply to labor law. The LL.M. program is designed for American and foreign attorneys who wish to fine-tune their degrees with a specialization in one of three concentrations: Communications Law, International Law, or Securities Law. Students who have completed their law degrees in a country other than the United States have the option to customize their studies to prepare to take the U.S. Bar exam in New York or the District of Columbia. To learn more about the LL.M. at CUA Law, click here.
What is the tuition for the M.L.S. Program?
Students must successfully complete a total of 26 credit hours to be eligible for graduation from the Master of Legal Studies program. A students’ coursework can be spread out over three or four semesters (and may include summer school classes). Tuition for students beginning the program during the 2018-2019 academic year is $1,075 per credit hour with additional fees of $273 per semester, plus a one-time fee of $440 for the first semester. For example, completing the program during Fall 2018, Spring 2019, and Fall 2019 the total cost would be $27,950 plus $2,078 in fees for a total of $30,078.*
*Based on tuition and fees for the 2018-2019 academic year, and subject to change for enrollments in subsequent academic years.
Are there Scholarship opportunities or Financial Aid available?
At the present time, CUA does not offer scholarships to students in the Masters of Legal Studies Program. However, students who wish to pursue scholarship opportunities are encouraged to use internet searches and/or peruse a list of law-school related scholarships found by clicking here.
Students may apply for federal student loans by clicking here and following the steps outlined on this page, and in particular, steps 3 -7. There are also Veteran’s Benefits available, which you can learn about by clicking here.
Is there an online component or option?
Not at this time.