Master of Legal Studies Specializations

Students may select from one of eight specializations. These classes generally are taken from the J.D. curriculum with J.D. students (M.L.S. students are graded separately from J.D. students), but some specific courses of interest are created for the M.L.S students. With over 200+ courses to choose from ranging in time from the morning into the evening, we will work with you to craft the best schedule.

The eight specializations are:

  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

Students who want to take a variety of courses may elect General Studies or self-design an individual program (with approval) in lieu of a specialization.

See below for more details on each specialization.


MLS Student Brad Burnside

As a leader and someone who wants to continually progress their career in a corporation, I can focus on media and entertainment, but also better understand HR, which could help me on a COO path. As opposed to an MBA, the MLS will teach me the content that can really help sharpen my skills.

Brad Burnside, Vice President of Creative Music Strategy at ViacomCBS 

MLS Student Olivia Athens

I want to pursue this degree because it provides the perfect opportunity to learn in depth about the law in a specialized and timely way. I am excited about the ability to specialize in topics that interest me, while learning from the incredible professors UCLA has to offer.

Olivia Athens, Full-Time Student 

View descriptions for each specialization and a list of sample courses.

  • Business Law

    A flexible specialization–very popular with CEO’s, VP’s, and professionals in asset management and real estate. Learn with the best in
    the world on topics including: Contracts, Taxation, Compliance, Business, and Entrepreneurship.

    #4 Top Law School for Business Law (2017 Law Street Specialty Ranking)

    #5 Best Tax Law Programs (2020 U.S. & World Report Best Law Schools Ranking)

    MLS Student Raj Singh

    I felt that it was important to explore the intersection of law and business. I'm really looking forward to building a legal framework within which I can make better business decisions as I pursue my entrepreneurial ventures.

    Raj Singh, Implementation Manager at Roofstock

    Sample of course options*:


    • Contract Analysis
    • Contract Design
    • Negotiation Theory and Practice

    Business and Entrepreneurship

    • Business Associations
    • Entrepreneurship and Venture Initiation
    • Mergers and Acquisitions

    Regulatory Compliance

    • Financial Institution Compliance
    • Securities Regulation
    • Director and Officer Insurance and Corporate Governance
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Privacy, Data & Cyber Security Law

    Real Estate and Asset Management

    • Real Estate Finance
    • Real Estate Transactions
    • Complex Finance Transactions
    • Mergers and Acquisitions


    • Introduction to Federal Income Taxation
    • Taxation of Business Enterprises
    • State and Local Taxation
    • U.S. International Taxation

    *Not every course is offered every year.

  • Employment & Human Resources Law

    This specialization is for Human Resources professionals looking to gain an edge in a field where the language of the workplace is the law.  UCLA School of Law is extremely strong in employment law, and is a natural fi t to advance the career of everyone looking to study in this specialization.  With over 300,000 businesses in Los Angeles, there is no shortage of opportunities for advancement in this field.

    MLS Student Raymond Mercado

    I want to continue advancing in Human Resources and one day be an HR consultant. I believe it is important for me to build a legal skill set to be successful in my profession. Attending law school will challenge me to think outside the box and be analytical when approaching legal matters.

    Raymond Mercado, Human Resources Manager at Life Steps Foundation, Inc.

    Sample of course options*:

    • Arbitration Law
    • Employment Law
    • Employment Discrimination
    • Disability Law
    • Contract Analysis
    • Negotiation Theory and Practice
    • Privacy, Data and Technology
    • Executive Compensation
    • Health Law and Policy
    • Labor Law
    • Navigating through the Entertainment Unions and Guilds

    *Not every course is offered every year.

    MLS Student Megan Perrin

    Those who are looking into this program who work in Human Resources will not only learn more about HR and employment law, but also how to think like a lawyer, which is important for our everyday [operations].

    Megan Perrin, Vice President of Human Resources at STX Entertainment

  • Entertainment & Media Law

    UCLA School of Law is ranked #1 in the country in entertainment law and is located in the heart of the entertainment and media capital of the world, located 8 miles from Hollywood.  This specialization utilizes the strength of location to bring some of the top connections in the industry in the world right to you.  Entertainment professionals are drawn towards this specialization for several reasons, including:

    1. The higher up you climb, the more prevalent the law becomes.
    2. A higher sophistication in copyright, licensing, and patent law.
    3. Enhanced training from the top negotiators in the world.
    4. Learn from the top faculty in the world on entertainment and media law.

    #1 Best Entertainment Law School (2022 Hollywood Reporter Top Law Schools Ranking)

    MLS Graduate Miranda Wilcox

    The network I added from this program assisted me with landing some interviews, and the M.L.S. program was instrumental in landing my new position as a Contract Administrator in the Business and Legal Affairs department at Fox.

    Miranda Wilcox, Business and Legal Affairs at Fox Corporation

    Sample of course options*:

    • Entertainment Law
    • Music Industry Law
    • Contract Analysis
    • Negotiation Theory and Practice
    • Intellectual Property
    • Copyright Law
    • Trademark Law
    • International Intellectual Property
    • International Sports Law
    • News Media Law in the Digital Age
    • Television Law

    *Not every course is offered every year.

  • Environmental Law

    UCLA Law houses one of the top environmental law programs in the world.  Based at UCLA Law, the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment is the country’s leading law school-based center focusing on climate change and other crucial challenges in environmental law and policy.  Come and learn from the best!

    #1 Environmental Law Program (U.S. News & World Report 2022 Rankings)

    MLS Student Wannie Park

    UCLA has an amazing reputation for environmental law, but they also have the Emmett Institute and other organizations that promote the different topics that we're studying. Being a professional, the ability to network with them and the fact that they are so accessible has been so fantastic.

    Wannie Park, CEO of Zen Ecosystems

    Sample of course options*:

    • Environmental Law and Policy
    • Land Use
    • Energy Law and Regulation
    • Public Natural Resources Law and Policy
    • Climate Change and Energy Law
    • Topics in California Environmental Law
    • Comparative Environmental Law
    • International Environmental Law and Policy
    • Water Law

    *Not every course is offered every year.

  • Government & National Security Law

    UCLA Law is a preeminent training ground for students committed to the practice of criminal justice.  Our rigorous criminal justice curriculum encompasses the basic substantive requirements for criminal liability; the procedural rules that accompany the trial process, as well as the doctrines, rules and policies governing the demonstration of facts in court; and the theoretical underpinnings of both criminal law and the U.S. criminal justice system.

    MLS Student Eduardo Miranda

    Since coming over to the Ventura County District Attorney's office after serving almost 20 years at the Oxnard Police Department, I wanted to better understand how the attorneys think when preparing for trial.  I am in an office mixed with investigators and attorneys. I want to be able to learn from faculty and fellow students since we all come from different and diverse backgrounds with plenty of work experience.

    Eduardo Miranda, Investigative Assistant at Ventura County District Attorney’s Office

    Sample of course options*:

    • Contract Analysis
    • Constitutional Criminal Procedure
    • National Security Law
    • Cybersecurity Law and Policy
    • Federal White Collar Crime
    • Capital Punishment in America
    • Anti-Terrorism and Criminal Enforcement
    • Prison Law and Policy
    • International and Transnational Criminal Law
    • Regulatory Compliance

    *Not every course is offered every year.

  • Health Law & Policy

    Health care is a highly regulated industry with constantly changing legal challenges.  This specialization is ideal for those who wish to accelerate their careers in health policy, health care administration, or clinical care.

    MLS Student Jennifer Alcaide

    I have always been fascinated with the law, but it didn't make sense for me to obtain a dual JD/MSW as I knew I wouldn't be a practicing attorney.  I want to learn more about how best to advocate for the patients we serve every day and the greater community.

    Jennifer Alcaide, Administrative Program Manager/Supervisor at UC San Diego, Department of Psychiatry

    Sample of course options*:

    • Health Law and Policy
    • Health care Regulatory Compliance
    • Public Health Law and Policy
    • Privacy, Data and Technology
    • Introduction to Food Law and Policy
    • Administrative Law
    • Cannabis Law and Regulation
    • Legislation and Regulation
    • Disability Law
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Tax-Exempt Organizations

    *Not every course is offered every year.

    MLS Student Anet Sinanyan

    I collaborate with senior leaders, clinical professionals, legal teams, risk management, and leaders and staff from all departments to improve systems, reduce risk of error, improve clinical outcomes, and ensure patient safety. My experience in this role has profoundly increased my interest and enthusiasm in better understanding complex legal matters particularly in Health Law and Policy.

    Anet Sinanyan, Director of Patient Safety at UCLA Health

  • Law & Technology

    As technology and the law become more intertwined, UCLA Law will prepare you with the expertise required in this quickly evolving field.  Whether you are a patent agent, cybersecurity professional, engineer, data privacy officer, or information protection specialist, this program will prepare you for the future.

    MLS Student Daniel Lafeir

    There were many factors but the one that stands out is my experiences with technology legal frameworks impacting my client’s ability to write software. I am looking forward to meeting new people and learning a new way to leverage my technical skills.

    Daniel Lafeir, Lead Consultant at Thoughtworks

    Sample of course options*:

    • Intellectual Property
    • Patent Law
    • Copyright Law
    • Trademark Law
    • Telecommunications Regulation
    • Privacy, Data and Technology
    • Cybersecurity, Law and Policy
    • Future Law: Law and Governance under Transformative Societal Trends
    • Antitrust Law

    *Not every course is offered every year.

  • Public Interest Law

    UCLA is home to one of the most innovative and successful public interest programs in the nation.  The David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy offers membership in a vibrant community of students and faculty as well as an intellectually ambitious curriculum that grapples with the fundamental questions in public interest advocacy.

    MLS Student Alejandra Reyes

    I'm aware of how the legal system touches so many of our lives. Being from Los Angeles and born to immigrant parents and covering Latino L.A., I feel a responsibility to learn more about law. I'm looking forward to making new friends and learning from my colleagues and professors, who I know are among the brightest there is.

    Alejandra Reyes, Metro Reporter at Los Angeles Times

    Sample of course options*:

    • Civil Rights
    • Disability Law
    • Education and the Law
    • Election Law
    • Environmental Law and Policy
    • Human Rights and Animal Rights
    • Immigration Law
    • Public Benefits Law and Anti-Poverty Policy
    • Tax-Exempt Organizations
    • Women and the Law
    • Contract Analysis

    *Not every course is offered every year.

MLS Student Josh Brackett

I wanted to be able to take courses that are intellectually interesting, professionally and personally applicable, and that could help me be more efficient and effective at my job.

Josh Brackett, Managing Director at Right Size Media 

FAQs about Specializations

  • For my specialization courses, may I choose from any class or seminar offered at UCLA Law?

    In addition to the courses that are part of the core M.L.S. curriculum, more than 200 UCLA Law courses are open as electives to M.L.S. students.  A small number of UCLA Law courses are not available to M.L.S. students because of American Bar Association restrictions, graduation and bar association requirements for J.D. and LL.M. graduates, and the fact that completion of prerequisites not available to M.L.S. students is necessary for some courses.  Courses only offered to first-year J.D. students are not open to M.L.S. students.  If you are concerned about being able to register for specific courses that do not satisfy a specialization requirement, please contact the M.L.S. office.

  • Can I complete two specializations?

    At this time, students may only earn one specialization.  However, students may either:

    1. Elect General Studies, which allows flexibility on selection of specialization courses; or
    2. Take additional units in whatever topic areas are of interest.
  • Can I tailor the curriculum?

    For specialization courses, yes!  This can be done by either:

    1. Electing General Studies, which allows flexibility on selection of specialization courses; or
    2. Proposing a “self-designed” specialization.  This can be done for any topic area using courses already taught at UCLA Law.  

See All
Aug 25, 2021

Talented and Diverse New Class Joins UCLA Law

Read More
Sep 28, 2020

UCLA Law Welcomes First Students in Its Master of Legal Studies Program

Read More