The master of legal studies is a relatively new type of degree that enables graduates to work in the field of law without obtaining the juris doctor degree. Instead of training to work with clients and handling their legal needs, you work in fields and industries that are heavily regulated or must strictly adhere to laws and regulations lest they be heavily fined. When taking a look at masters of legal studies jobs, it’s quickly apparent that there are few positions that specifically list a master’s of legal studies as an educational requirement. It can make you ask if getting a master’s of legal studies worth it.
Is getting a master of legal studies worth it? Yes, especially if you’re interested in studying the law, don’t want to tackle the LSAT, and want to become more than a paralegal. Masters of legal studies jobs advance you beyond the level of paralegal and gives you the opportunity to study the law without the need to deal with clients. It’s a great career for someone who enjoys the intricacy of law, but doesn’t want to work with the public at large.
List of Careers in Legal Studies
By now you’re probably wondering “what can I do with a master’s in legal studies?” So, just what can you do with a masters in legal studies? You might be surprised that there are many career paths and options available to you when you earn your masters of legal studies. Following is a list of careers in legal studies to give you an idea of where this degree can take you:
- Director of compliance
- Private investigator
- Federal regulatory agent
- Legal consultant
- Associate operations director
- Senior contract negotiator
- Senior business analyst
- Senior compliance officer
- HR manager or director
You may have noticed that all of these masters of legal studies jobs are upper-level management jobs. The reason for this is due to the fact that studying law and subsequently putting it to use on behalf of a governing body or organization is typically done at this level of employment. In fact, many people who earn their master of legal studies are those who are advancing their career and looking to enhance their knowledge and skill base.
How a Masters of Legal Studies Enhances an Existing Education
A master’s of legal studies isn’t necessarily a career in and of itself although you can find employment in fields that require someone trained in the law, but not necessarily trained to practice. Masters in legal studies career options are usually found alongside an existing career field. As previously stated, the degree does not train someone to practice law, but it does help someone who is working at the upper levels to execute their duties more effectively. Someone who works in a career that regularly comes into contact with laws and regulations and works with lawyers on a regular basis is someone who can greatly benefit from getting a master’s in legal studies.
Who Should Consider Getting a Degree in a Masters of Legal Studies?
The degree is suited for those who have an existing degree in areas of management, compliance, human resources and contracts along with roles that require understanding of the laws that are relevant to their industry. It’s also recommended for individuals who have an established career and want to increase their value to their employer or position themselves as a desirable candidate when looking for employment.
It’s also an ideal degree for students who have completed their bachelor’s and are looking for a degree that’s related to the field of law, but don’t want to become a practicing attorney. The masters in legal studies career options are broader when you have an undergraduate degree in a field that deals with law and combine it with a master’s of legal studies to show that you have a strong grasp on the legal issues that are associated with said field. It’s a given that your experience applying your knowledge is limited when you graduate, but you have an advantage over graduates who haven’t advanced their education. An employer is more likely to consider hiring you when they know you have advanced knowledge and can use it when given an opportunity to apply yourself.
How Much Can I Make With a Masters of Legal Studies?
There is no direct payroll data for this degree because the degree is adjunct to other careers. However, the BLS states that paralegals and legal assistants make an average of $51,740 per year with an associate’s degree. The earning potential for someone who has a masters of legal studies is dependent on their existing career, but it can add value in the form of earning a higher salary than the average.