MASTER OF LEGAL STUDIES
The Master of Legal Studies: The Legal Degree for Any Profession.
The one-year executive Master of Legal Studies program immerses students in the law and the intricacies of the U.S. legal system. You'll build a strong foundation for working with and understanding law and regulation—without the cost and time required to earn a JD.
The MLS program is offered in two convenient formats: entirely online, and in-person at the University of Utah Salt Lake City Main Campus.
Start your application, learn more about the MLS program, or watch information sessions below.
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Why Earn a Master of Legal Studies?
"The connections I made in the MLS program were life-changing. I gained a new network in my professors and classmates, and the curriculum expanded my horizons and my point of view."
—Raelene Blocker, MLS graduate, basic and domestic mediator
"The MLS program accommodated the demands of my corporate position while delivering high-quality education at a reasonable price. This program has sharpened my skills and delivered my employer two to three times the return on investment, which in turn resulted in my promotion."
— Lenny Ogomo, MLS graduate, director of quality assurance
“Human resources professionals with a Master of Legal Studies degree will be much better prepared to help companies address complex employment issues.“
— Christina Jepson, MLS professor and shareholder, Parsons Behle & Latimer
“The MLS is a confidence booster, affording students the chance to learn legal research, the regulatory system, and conflict resolution. Now I have a broader and clearer perspective on new career arcs and a much better understanding of implications of the law on everyday matters.”
— Diane Maggipinto, MLS graduate, broadcast journalist and host
Earning an MLS was the key to career advancement for alumnus Ethan Webster. “The moment that I put that Master of Legal Studies on my resume, it opened up all the doors. The degree will give you something useful in any job field.”
Frequently Asked Questions About the MLS Degree
Our Master of Legal Studies program is an option for learning about the law without getting a JD. It can increase job opportunities for a wide range of professions. If you find yourself needing a better foundation for working with and understanding law and regulation without becoming a lawyer, this degree may be right for you. The MLS program offers two flexible formats in order to complete the program: an in-person weekend format or a fully online format.
Our graduates advance their knowledge of the legal system. They return to their professions knowing how to speak the language of the law and how to better manage legal issues. The program's curriculum is useful and practical, delivered by top legal faculty at the nationally-ranked University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law. Graduates can think and communicate broadly about legal issues affecting their field, understand contemporary legal issues, and know the practical implications of the law.
- Applicants must have a Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university
- The MLS application does not require a standardized test score (GRE, GMAT, MAT, LSAT)
- Applicants need to demonstrate a track record of professional experience
- Applicants need to compile a competitive grade point average in undergraduate work. Some exceptions will be made based on career experience and length of time between undergraduate degree and MLS application.
Unlike other professional school programs, the MLS does not require a standardized test score (GRE, GMAT, MAT, LSAT). This is in keeping with our philosophy that the program is designed to help working professionals leverage an understanding of the law to be more effective in their chosen career.
The 30-credit program lasts one year (three semesters). For the in-person program, classes meet every other weekend on Friday and Saturday to accommodate the schedule of working professionals, typically starting mid-August and ending in mid-August of the following year.
The online program is also a 30-credit program and lasts one year (three semesters). Students will be registered for set courses each semester, but the course work for each class can be done at a student’s own pace.
While the MLS degree does not qualify graduates to sit for the bar exam or practice as an attorney, the MLS degree does satisfy the educational requirement to receive a Licensed Paralegal Practitoner designation - a new limited scope law license in Utah. You can learn more about this license here: Licensed Paralegal Practitioner - Utah State Bar (utahbar.org)
The MLS program is ideal for a wide range of careers and positions. MLS graduates hail from many different undergraduate backgrounds and industries, including, HR, compliance and risk management, court personnel, paralegals and other legal paraprofessionals, law enforcement, management, mediation, and conflict resolution, to name just a few.