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Law Studies, MLS

Program at a Glance


Law Studies, MLS


Online, On Campus

Total Units



No GMAT or
GRE Required

Spring ’24 Final Application Deadline

December 17


Per Unit

Program Overview

Golden Gate University’s Master of Law Studies (MLS) is designed to provide graduates with a deep understanding of essential topics, major concepts, and core theories of law and legal studies to prepare them for legal-adjacent careers or a transition to law school. An MLS degree is ideal for non-lawyers pursuing careers that require advanced legal knowledge.

A wide range of careers today demand an understanding of law and legal principles, from corporate compliance and human relations positions to positions in government and social service agencies. GGU’s Master of Law Studies (MLS) degree prepares graduates for law-related careers that do not require a law license. MLS students learn to analyze and apply legal arguments and theories to everyday situations without the need to become a practicing attorney. MLS students gain a foundation in law and the critical thinking skills needed to work with lawyers and legal matters in legal-adjacent professions. MLS courses are taught by law faculty and students have access to all GGU School of Law academic resources. MLS courses are available in-person or online for students studying full- and part-time.

Admission Requirements

Applicants to the Master of Law Studies program should hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited US institution or the equivalent from a recognized foreign (outside the US) institution and provide official transcripts. Master’s degree holders only need to submit transcripts from previous graduate programs. However, applicants are encouraged to submit all transcripts to maximize transfer credit. Applicants whose native language is not English must meet the University’s English-language proficiency admission requirements. Applicants with an undergraduate GPA below 3.00 should submit a statement of purpose and a resume. The statement of purpose should address the circumstances that may have led the applicants to poor academic performance, what had changed and why they think they will be successful now.

Career Opportunities

In today’s market, there is an increasing demand for experts with advanced legal knowledge but without a JD. MLS graduates can use their knowledge and skills in a variety of professional legal settings for non-lawyers, including, but not limited to: legal assistant, contracts officer, management consultant, compliance officer, government official, paralegal, corporate ethics officer, lobbyist, social worker, educator, public affairs specialist, human resources professional, court administrator, financial officer, health care administrator, grants officer, and many more.

Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the Master of Law Studies (MLS) program will have the knowledge and skills to:

  • Apply legal analysis to critically interpret and explain legal issues;
  • Demonstrate abilities to interpret and evaluate legal sources and fact-patterns to which those legal sources will be applied;
  • Identify policy justifications for legal rules and principles;
  • Apply existing legal responses to new problems and develop new legal theories and responses for new problems;
  • Analyze and interpret the economic policy justifications for existing legal rules and regulations and explore those rules and regulations in analysis of novel fact patterns;
  • Think critically about the ethical choices those employed in legal professions are required to make;
  • Apply ethically sound principles and values to ameliorate and/or mitigate real-world personal and/or professional challenges;
  • Demonstrate ability to research legal questions by locating, evaluating and applying appropriate sources to a wide range of legal questions;
  • Draft basic legal documents that are clear, concise and thorough to address the defined task; and
  • Demonstrate an ability to conduct oral arguments in defense of client interests and, conversely, to respond critically to an adversary’s position.
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