Frequently Asked Questions
Can I work full time and earn an M.L.S. degree?
Yes, but you will need to have some flexibility in your work schedule. Core M.L.S. courses will be offered between 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. on weeknights. Courses for 3 units of credit typically meet twice a week during the semester for approximately 80 minutes each, while courses for 2 units of credit typically meet once a week for 120 minutes. Specialization courses range in time from the morning into the evening. Limited courses are remote. Our academic advisors will work with you to create a plan that balances your work requirements with the opportunity to access the unmatched curriculum of UCLA Law.
If I want to earn a J.D. and become a lawyer, should I earn an M.L.S. first?
The M.L.S. course of study is not a pre-J.D. program. While students who earn an M.L.S. degree may subsequently apply to J.D. programs at UCLA or elsewhere, under American Bar Association regulations, no law school may award credit toward a J.D. for any coursework taken during an M.L.S. degree program. If you wish to become a licensed lawyer, you should earn a J.D., not an M.L.S.
Can I practice law with an M.L.S. degree?
No. The M.L.S. degree will not qualify you to sit for a bar examination or obtain a license to practice law.
Can I be considered for the M.L.S. program if I have been out of college for many years?
Absolutely! The M.L.S. program is designed for professionals in the private, nonprofit or government sectors who have a growth mindset and believe that deeper knowledge of the law can help them be more successful in their field. The program's admissions evaluation will give substantial weight to an applicant’s work experience and expertise.
Can I be considered for the M.L.S. program if I just received my undergraduate degree?
Yes. This degree has helped graduates launch their career in a variety of industries. The admissions committee will look closely at your academic record and statement of purpose to determine what your goal and expectations are with this degree.
FAQs: Specializations 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.
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:
- Elect General Studies, which allows flexibility on selection of specialization courses; or
- 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:
- Electing General Studies, which allows flexibility on selection of specialization courses; or
- Proposing a “self-designed” specialization. This can be done for any topic area using courses already taught at UCLA Law.