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 

  • E-Brochure Download

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)

    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.

    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.

  • 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 (2019 Hollywood Reporter Top Law Schools Ranking)

    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!

    #4 Environmental Law Program (U.S. News & World Report 2019 Rankings)

    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.

    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

    Healthcare 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.

    Sample of course options*:

    • Health Law and Policy
    • Healthcare Regulatory Compliance
    • 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.

  • 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.

    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.

    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.  


Program Structure
Learn more
Student Profiles
Learn more
Learn More
Information Sessions
Learn More
Frequently Asked Questions
Learn More


Application Information
Learn more
Dates & Deadlines
Learn more
Tuition & Scholarships
Learn more
International Students
Learn more
  • E-Brochure Download

See All
Sep 28, 2020

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

Read More
Aug 24, 2020

UCLA Law Welcomes Exceptional New Class

Read More