Professionals who work in government need to know the law to effectively support our U.S. legal system. With an MLS, you will become familiar with the laws that regulate the political process and gain the skills needed to effectively negotiate and mediate between parties.

Government positions that you might consider pursuing with a Master of Legal Studies degree include:

Government Contractor

Government contractors manage a variety of U.S. federal contracts that need to be in accordance with procedures and laws. Through the MLS program, you will gain a working knowledge of government contract law and policy applicable to sealed bids, negotiated procurements, simplified acquisitions, overseas contracts, and the forums for challenging federal procurements. You will also learn the practical legal skills needed for the development and implementation of successful compliance programs.

Legislative Assistant

Legislative assistants conduct policy research, amend legislation, and advise policymakers about the effects of proposed legislation on constituents. An MLS can benefit professionals in this position by providing the foundation for more professional legal correspondence and improved negotiations and mediation between parties.

  • The average annual wage for legislative assistants was $55,304 in 2018.1


Lobbyists attend congressional hearings and influence policymakers to support or reject legislation that impacts businesses, organizations, and communities. With an MLS, lobbyists will be able to understand various forms of negotiation strategies and gain the communication skills needed to inform the law.

Congressional Staffer

The job of a congressional staffer is to assist a member of congress during their term in office. Through the MLS program, aspiring staffers will gain a solid understanding of the U.S. legal system, preparing them to better aid with policy-specific work and address constituent concerns about legislation.

  • The average annual wage for staff assistants was $42,303 in 2018.2

MLS courses relevant to
government jobs

Prepare for the Next Phase of Your Career

Learn more about how an MLS can give you a competitive edge in your career in government. Explore the online Master of Legal Studies program at American University Washington College of Law today.

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The included data is from the Congressional Research Service for the House of Representatives and is not directly associated with American University’s online MLS degree. It also does not take into account unpredictable changes to job outlook due to the economy.

1Congressional Research Service, Legislative Assistant, Page 18, Accessed June 2020.arrow_upwardReturn to footnote reference
2Congressional Research Service, Staff Assistant, Page 24, Accessed June 2020.arrow_upwardReturn to footnote reference