MASTER OF LEGAL STUDIES
The one-year Master of Legal Studies program offers a cutting-edge curriculum that immerses students in the law and the intricacies of the U.S. legal system without investing three years to earn a JD.
If you need a strong foundation for working with and understanding law and regulation, Utah Law's MLS program could be for you! Bolster your legal acumen and advance in your current role—or expand your employment prospects in a wide range of professions.
Register for upcoming information sessions below! You can also watch recordings of past information sessions.
INFORMATION SESSIONS AND EVENTS
MLS Information Session: Meet a professor
MLS Information Session: Meet an alumn
MLS Information Session: Admissions and program formats
Master of Legal Studies
LEGAL EDUCATION FOR THE NON-LAWYER
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. In addition, we also have a new distance campus in St. George, Utah.
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 color 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.
For prospective students living in or near St. George, Utah, we will be starting up a distance campus for the 2022-2023 school year. Students attending from our distance campus will attend classes every other weekend with the in-person cohort in Salt Lake via a distance classroom in St. George linked by video technology.
The MLS degree does not qualify graduates to sit for the bar exam or to practice law. Credits taken toward the MLS degree cannot be transferred to a JD degree.
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.
WEEKENDS OR ONLINE
WHY EARN A MASTER OF LEGAL STUDIES?
“This program has given me a broader understanding of the law and its application in myriad situations, improved my critical thinking skills and my ability to assess risk, and has helped me to engage in more sophisticated dialogue with in-house general counsel at my employer.”
— Justin Neville, MLS graduate, human resources manager
“Every career field is filled with legal implication. I plan to stay in higher education and use my new knowledge to hone my department’s policies, procedures, and programs. We already strive to be inclusive to every resident and every identity, but I want to ensure our programs also reflect this inclusion in contracts and language. “
— Todd M. Justesen, MLS graduate, director of housing & residential education
“My job as an attorney would be much easier if clients had a better understanding of the legal process when they came to me. The Master of Legal Studies degree accomplishes just that and will make things easier for clients and attorneys alike.”
— James E. Magleby, managing shareholder at Magleby Cataxinos & Greenwood
“Human Resource professionals with a Master of Legal Studies degree will be much better prepared to help companies address complex employment issues.“
— Christina Jepson, Shareholder, Parsons Behle & Latimer
"The MLS program accommodated the demands of my corporate position while delivering high-quality education at a reasonable price. I had the opportunity to connect with a diverse cohort who brought different experiences that expanded and enriched my thinking. 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."