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What Can You Do with a Master’s in Legal Studies Degree?

What Can You Do with a Master's in Legal Studies Degree?

A master's in Legal Studies is an asset to have as it can open doors in many fields and undoubtedly move candidates up the ranks within the legal sector. The degree program provides a deeper understanding of how the legal system shapes industries and is the perfect component for someone requiring working knowledge of the law within their job.
Whether a graduate is working directly or indirectly with lawyers and the law, a master's in Legal Studies equips them with the necessary skills to succeed in multiple roles from human resources managers to senior business analysts. Graduates can easily land themselves high-paying salaried roles in several areas of employment with an MLS. Not only does the degree provide better job security, but an MLS is also a shorter degree than a Juris doctor, taking one to two years for full or part-time students to complete. This offers students a quick return on their investment.


What Jobs Can You Get with a Legal Studies Degree?

Having a master's in Legal Studies instantly gives a candidate a leg up above others in the job sector and can lead to many lucrative career opportunities. Most MLS graduates who do not pursue careers directly related to the law may find themselves employed in the following roles.

Human Resources Manager

Human resource managers and directors work for companies and organizations to maximize the value of their employees by establishing a harmonious workplace that is both productive and supportive. They do this by recruiting suitable employees, administering benefits programs, handling disputes and disciplinary procedures, and serving as an unbiased link between employees and employers. A part of their role is to advise on any issues that may occur within the work environment such as sexual harassment claims and equal employment opportunities. HR managers must also stay on top of the latest regulations and policy changes. Thus, having an MLS can be advantageous for having a firm understanding of the law and government regulations. An HR manager's salary falls between $83,000 - $136,000 while an HR director makes more, usually between $109,200 - $172,000.

Senior Compliance Officer or Director

The primary role of a senior compliance officer or director is to ensure that a company or organization maintains its legal and ethical integrity. They work as performance auditors for a company by monitoring how the business complies with outside regulatory and legal requirements as well as internal policies and bylaws. Thus, to succeed in this role an individual needs a thorough understanding of the law and government regulations and the ability to remain on top of them as they change. The average salary for a senior compliance officer in the U.S. is $93,300 per year.

Senior Business Analyst

Business analysts can be employed by a single company or work for many clients. Their primary role is to analyze business processes and systems to determine improvements that can be made and develop strategies to increase revenue. A business analyst plays a crucial leadership position in the architecture of a company, working to implement necessary changes that improve the business model. Having a thorough understanding of the law and government regulations can be an asset for this role to ensure that the actions put forth are appropriate and comply with the law. The salary for a business analyst varies greatly dependent on experience. Entry-level positions pay between $40,000 - $70,000 annually. More senior positions can expect an income upwards of $82,000.

Senior Contract Negotiator

Senior contract negotiators can work in many fields with the main responsibility of helping lawyers with labor and business deals. They manage labor agreements, audits, and vendor services. Often, contract negotiators will work to settle disputes or business deals outside of the court system between two parties. Glassdoor estimates that the median salary for a senior contract negotiator is approximately $90,901 in the U.S. This will vary quite significantly on personal background and experience.

Social Worker

A social worker helps people navigate and cope with challenges in their everyday lives such as family and personal problems as well as other relationships. They can help in a wide variety of situations from people suffering who are suffering from an illness or living with a disability, people with addictions, adopted children, and those struggling to find housing and employment. Having a thorough understanding of the legal system can be extremely beneficial in this role as they can provide information and assistance to their clients that comply with the law. Since social workers can work in many sectors, their income can vary and will be dependent on their role, years of experience, qualifications, and additional skills. The median salary for a social worker in the U.S. is $64,662.

Associate Operations Director

An associate operations director is responsible for planning, executing, and overseeing the day-to-day operations of a business or organization. In addition to allocating the talent properly throughout a company, the operations director also guarantees that company goals and objectives are met, and challenges are overcome. They implement necessary structures to improve the business and thus, having an MLS can be beneficial to ensure that all changes are in compliance with the law and government regulations. The salary for an operations director falls between $122,008 - $155,795 annually.


What is Required in a Master's in Legal Studies?

A master's in Legal Studies degree takes one to two years to complete depending on whether studied full or part-time. Most universities give students the opportunity to study at the university or take online courses. In order to be admitted into a master's program, students will need a bachelor's degree and, in some cases, a minimum G.P.A. Some universities may also require relevant career experience. For schools that do not require this, learners can usually earn transfer credits for their skills and work history in the field. As a master's in Legal Studies builds on core skills taught in a bachelor's program, prerequisite coursework, particularly in the field of Legal Studies, may be another admission requirement for students.

Get Your Master's in Legal Studies at Pepperdine University Caruso School of Law

Earn your Master's in Legal Studies online at Pepperdine University's Caruso School of Law. Our MLS curriculum is a 32-unit program comprised of a series of foundation courses, core courses, and residencies. Once completed, students can then tailor their learning experiences to suit their interests by choosing from a selection of electives. Steeped in Christian heritage with a strong community of excellence, Pepperdine University offers students the chance to study on and off campus to best suit their lifestyles.