Master of Legal Studies Program Structure

Course of Study

The Master of Legal Studies program has a balance of foundational training on "thinking like a lawyer" and specialized courses tailored to the student's interest and career focus. As such, the program is designed to be completed in three phases (as outlined below). The program can be completed in 9 months with full-time study or 2-4 years with part-time study. A minimum of 26 units is required to complete the degree, but students wishing to do more may take law classes up to four years, with the optional units 27-32 at no additional tuition charge ($13,968 value).

 


MLS Student Josh Brackett

What I like about the UCLA program is the flexibility to work around your schedule juggling the core classes with the electives. The program and structure offers a soft landing into the field of law.

Josh Brackett, Managing Director at Right Size Media


Online and Hybrid Options

Students have increased flexibility to now complete the program entirely online or in a hybrid format.

We are anticipating final approval soon for the online and hybrid options beginning August 2023. Request a program guide to stay updated on developments.

  Part-Time Students Full-Time Students
PHASE 1
M.L.S. Core Curriculum
 
Online
Tuesday & Thursday nights online
OR
Hybrid
Tuesday nights on campus & Thursday nights online
 
Online
Tuesday & Thursday nights online
OR
Hybrid
Tuesday nights on campus & Thursday nights online
PHASE 2
M.L.S. Elective Courses
 
100% online, on campus, or a mix of both
  Business Law
Employment & Human Resources Law
Entertainment & Media Law
Environmental Law*
Government & National Security Law*
Health Law & Policy
Law & Technology
Public Interest Law*
General Studies
  *Requires on-campus coursework.
 
A mix of online and on campus classes
  Business Law
Employment & Human Resources Law
Entertainment & Media Law
Environmental Law
Government & National Security Law
Health Law & Policy
Law & Technology
Public Interest Law
General Studies
PHASE 3
Capstone
 
Online
 
Online

 

3 Phases of the M.L.S.

     
PHASE 1
M.L.S. Core Curriculum

Hybrid or Online Options

These core courses are designed exclusively for M.L.S. students. They are taught on Tuesdays and Thursdays starting at 6:30 pm.

1. Introduction to American Law
2. Private Law: Property and Contract
3. Public Law: Constitutional and Statutory Analysis
4. Legal Communication and Analysis
5. Business Law for Non-Lawyers OR The American Dispute Resolution System

PHASE 2
M.L.S. Elective Courses

100% online, on campus, or a mix of both

Students may elect to take either JD courses during the day on campus and/or online classes in the evenings designed specifically for MLS students.

Specializations offered:
1. Business Law
2. Employment & Human Resources Law
3. Entertainment & Media Law
4. Environmental Law
5. Government & National Security Law
6. Health Law & Policy
7. Law & Technology
8. Public Interest Law
9. General Studies

PHASE 3
Capstone

Online*

The capstone allows students to deeply engage with issues relevant to their career focus or intellectual interest. There are two ways to satisfy this requirement.

1. Capstone Seminar
This course guides the student through a project applying the skills and knowledge gained in the program to a "real world" scenario. This is flexible, but could include a project at work or a project completed with professor guidance.
2. Seminar course*
There are several paper-based courses which satisfy the capstone requirement.
*Seminar course option requires on-campus attendance.

Time Investment

The program can be completed in 9 months with full-time study or 2-4 years with part-time study.  Check out the options below to see how it breaks down.

Part-Time

The Part-Time option is ideal for professionals who are working full-time.

MLS Part-Time Student Timeline
MLS Part-Time Student Timeline

Full-Time

The Full-Time option is ideal for:

  1. Recent graduates;
  2. International students on F-1 visas;  
  3. Entry-level professionals, those with 2 or less years of professional experience; or  
  4. Fully-employed professionals with the flexibility to take a sabbatical from work.
MLS Part-Time Student Timeline

MLS Student Christine Shaw

Legal studies aren't something you learn overnight. Being able to dig in, practice, and refresh to apply those core topics to future courses is structured really well. [The program] offers you the real life, real-time utilization of what you're learning.

Christine Shaw, Senior Vice President of Communications at FX Networks



MLS Graduate David Holtkamp

The ability to be able to go to classes in the evening and earn this degree was really appealing to me. Returning to school was an adjustment, but I had to make little conscious decisions to manage my time well. As I got into the groove and routine of it, it became second nature.

Dave Holtkamp, HR Business Partner at Guckenheimer 
 


FAQs about Schedule and Classes

  • Am I in the same classes as J.D. students?

    The M.L.S. Core Classes are exclusively designed for and attended by M.L.S. students. In addition to several exclusive M.L.S. electives, M.L.S. students have over 200 advanced law courses to choose from as specialization courses or electives. These advanced law courses are taken alongside J.D., LL.M. and other UCLA graduate students.

 

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