Online Master of Legal Studies
From American University Washington College of Law

Gain Core Legal Skills with a Master of Legal Studies Degree

A thorough understanding of the law is not limited to practicing attorneys. The online Master of Legal Studies (MLS) from American University Washington College of Law (AUWCL) is designed for professionals, like you, who have law-related responsibilities and understand the law’s important influence on both your daily job functions and your community at large.

The program offers the following concentration tracks: General MLS, Business, Health Care Compliance, and Technology. Each concentration features fundamental legal training and industry-specific knowledge that will improve your ability to make informed decisions that affect your organization and legitimize your credibility with clients, co-workers, and partners.

Why Earn a Master of Legal Studies?

No matter how you deal with the law — whether it’s handling contracts, drafting new policies, or ensuring compliance with legal regulations in your field — earning an MLS degree equips you with the legal framework you need to effectively solve legal questions and challenges in your role. With an MLS, you will be able to broaden your leadership potential and open the door to new career advancement opportunities.

Through the online MLS at American University Washington College of Law, you will cultivate a solid foundation of knowledge in the U.S. legal system — including legal concepts and procedures — allowing you to better perform your job and make a difference in your community. Careers in many different industries can benefit from the knowledge gained in the MLS program in a variety of ways.

Paralegals
will gain the specialized legal knowledge needed to better support the lawyers within their firm and to stand out from their peers.

Business executives
will better understand legal terminology and regulations behind contracts and transactions.

Government employees
will understand the policies and legal regulations of government agencies they interact with on a daily basis.

Health care compliance managers
will be able to navigate the laws and regulations in the health care field and understand how the law impacts care.

Software engineers
will improve their understanding of IP and regulations that are impacting the rapidly changing tech field.

The Value of an MLS from American University Washington College of Law

AUWCL was founded in 1896 by two women, at a time when women were largely excluded from the legal profession. This was followed by the first ever woman dean and the first all-female law school graduating class. The school continues to maintain its core values of equality, diversity, and inclusivity by empowering passionate professionals to use legal prowess to stand up for what they believe and give back to the community.

#6

International Law

#9

Intellectual Property Law

#20

Health Law

*U.S. News & World Report’s 2019 Best Law Schools rankings for American University Washington College of Law 1

At AUWCL, We Champion What Matters

Champion What Matters speaks to the passion and principles that guide this law school community. People here stand up for ideas and ideals and truly want to make a difference. We speak up. We act. We champion the rights of musicians through copyright law. We champion health care legislation. We champion human rights around the world. And we champion environmental policy.

Increase Your Credibility Within Your Organization

Gain an advanced understanding of the law with a Master of Legal Studies online from American University Washington College of Law.

Curriculum

The online MLS curriculum draws from both American University Washington College of Law and AU’s Kogod School of Business to provide you with a comprehensive education and tangible skills. With this unique partnership, you will not only graduate an expert in law but will also be able to translate your expertise into real-world business solutions that use the law for good.

The program consists of 30 credits and can be completed on a part-time or full-time schedule.

You will have the opportunity to choose a concentration track that provides industry-specific legal training. The following concentrations are available:

  • General MLS
  • Business
  • Health Care Compliance
  • Technology

For all MLS tracks, you will complete foundational courses, concentration courses, elective courses, and attend one in-person immersion on our Washington, D.C. campus.

Foundational Courses

  • Introduction to Courts and Law
  • Introduction to Regulation and Compliance
  • Drafting Policies, Procedures, and Contracts
  • Negotiation and Communication

Featured Electives

  • Information Privacy and Data Security Law
  • Business Law, Ethics, and Governance
  • Government Contracting
  • Health Care Law and Compliance
  • Cyber Law
  • Criminal Justice
  • Human Resources Compliance

View all course offerings and concentration curriculums.

Concentrations

You can choose one of the following industry-specific concentration tracks that best aligns with your goals.

General MLS

Gain a comprehensive understanding of legal concepts, legal procedures, and the overall U.S. legal system. This track is ideal for non-lawyer legal professionals who traditionally deal with the law, such as paralegals, HR professionals, government contractors, or social workers.

Featured Courses:

  • Human Resources Compliance
  • Government Contracting
  • Criminal Justice
  • Health Care Fraud and Abuse: Contracting and Compliance
  • Anti-Corruption Law
  • Business Law, Ethics, and Governance

View the General MLS curriculum.

Business

Learn to make more effective business decisions and ensure compliance with the law. This concentration is ideal for business, finance, or government professionals who could benefit from legal knowledge when dealing with contracts, negotiations, transactions, and other business procedures.

Featured Courses:

  • Business Associations
  • Securities Law and Corporate Finance
  • Banking and Financial Services Compliance
  • Database and Big Data
  • Business Law, Ethics, and Governance
  • Organizational Behavior

View the Business Concentration curriculum.

Health Care Compliance

Develop specialized knowledge needed to comply with health care law in order to best serve your organization or provide quality care for your patients. This concentration is designed for health care professionals, such as legal nurse consultants, health care administrators, or health care compliance auditors.

Featured Courses:

  • Health Care Law and Compliance
  • Information Privacy and Data Security Law
  • Health Care Fraud and Abuse: Contracting and Compliance
  • Electronically Stored Information — eDiscovery
  • Management of Information Systems
  • Business Law, Ethics, and Governance

View the Health Care Compliance Concentration curriculum.

Technology

Cultivate fundamental skills needed to stay up to date with the rapid growth of technology and ensure compliance with the constantly changing laws surrounding the sharing and accessing of information. This concentration is designed for tech specialists in areas such as software engineering, e-Discovery, IT, or cybersecurity.

Featured Courses:

  • Management of Information Systems
  • Cyber Law
  • Electronically Stored Information — eDiscovery
  • Information Privacy and Data Security Law
  • Cybersecurity Risk Management
  • Cybersecurity Governance
  • Database and Big Data

View the Technology Concentration curriculum.

Admissions

Application Requirements
Learn about what you need to apply.

Upcoming Events
Learn more about the program by attending one of our events.

The application deadline for the upcoming April 2019 cohort is:

Monday, January 21, 2019

MLS v. JD v. LLM:
Which Degree Is Right for You?

There are many factors to consider when deciding which law degree is right for you. American University Washington College of Law offers on-campus and online law programs so you can earn the degree that best fits your lifestyle and career goals. When assessing the differences between a Master of Legal Studies (MLS), Juris Doctor (JD), and Master of Laws (LLM), it is important to consider your career objectives, the time to complete the degree, and the testing requirements.

Master of Legal Studies

Our online MLS degree is for professionals who interact with the law — legal documents, contracts, or regulations — in their daily lives but are not interested in practicing law in a courtroom. The flexible nature of our online MLS program allows you to continue to work while earning your degree. It also features industry-specific concentrations for roles that require specific legal expertise in areas such as business, health care, compliance, financial services, or cybersecurity.

The MLS does not require GRE or LSAT scores for admission and can be completed in as little as 15 months.

Juris Doctor

Our on-campus JD degree prepares students to represent clients and become practicing lawyers in the private or public sector. Our JD program requires applicants to submit either an LSAT or GRE score for admission. Upon completion of the degree, you must also study for and pass the Bar Exam in order to become a practicing lawyer.

Our JD program takes three years to complete full-time or four years to complete part-time.

Master of Laws

Our on-campus LLM degree is for lawyers looking to advance and enhance their skills in a particular area of law. You can earn an LLM if you already have a JD or an LLB (for foreign attorneys) and are interested in learning new strategies and tools to master a specific area of law, such as advocacy, IP, or international legal studies.

Foreign-trained lawyers can also use the LLM to become eligible to take the Bar Exam in certain U.S. states. Our LLM degree can usually be completed in one year.

Earn Your Master
of Legal Studies Online

Gain the legal knowledge required to reach your goals.

Student Experience

Through the online MLS program’s hands-on, experiential approach, you will receive the same quality education as on-campus students. The online learning experience features:

Online Learning

Attend live online classes and complete self-paced, engaging coursework. Keep track of course progress and access course content on our convenient mobile app.

In-Person Immersions

Expand on your online learning during an in-person immersion on American University’s beautiful Washington, D.C. campus. At the immersion, you will complete a 1.5 credit course and network with faculty and classmates.

Dedicated Faculty

Develop relationships with experienced faculty who serve as mentors and have valuable law connections across different industries.

Student Support Resources

Receive personalized technical and academic support from the admissions process to graduation.

Valuable D.C. Connections

Located in the legal hub of Washington, D.C., American University is immersed in the center of the country’s legal institutions. As a student in the MLS program, you will benefit from the school’s ties to this legal environment and will have the opportunity to gain connections to important D.C. resources.

American University — and specifically Washington College of Law — has a large alumni network in D.C. and around the world. As an MLS student and future alumni member, you will have access to some of the top professionals in government, health care, intellectual property law, and international relations.

Develop Advanced Legal Skills Needed to Make a Difference