Having a law degree is one way to prepare yourself for a legal career. However, a legal license isn’t awarded after completing the degree, rather, it is awarded after a legal examination is taken.
Master of Legal Studies (MLS)
Obtaining a Master of Legal Studies (MLS) is a great choice for professionals in a wide range of fields. The program offers a comprehensive understanding of the legal system and its impact on society, and the skills to successfully navigate it. The degree can enhance your career, or help you to advance your current path.
A Master of Legal Studies is a two-year graduate program. It usually includes a variety of courses, but it’s also possible to pursue a degree entirely online. Most programs offer flexible formats and dedicated student support services.
MLS students learn how to research and analyze legal issues and apply these findings in a way that’s practical and beneficial to their careers. They also become familiar with current legal trends and issues in the U.S.
Most MLS programs include core courses, a capstone project, and an introduction to the law. Some also allow students to pick their own curriculum, or specialize in a specific area of law. This will allow students to customize their degrees to match their professional and academic interests.
Juris Doctor (JD)
Getting a Juris Doctor degree can open up many opportunities for you. It is an academic credential that allows you to take the bar exam and practice law in your home state. It can also lead to other careers.
The curriculum of a JD program is designed to give students a solid intellectual foundation while teaching them skills and discipline. It is an intensive three-year program that focuses on legal writing and analysis, critical reading, courtroom observations, and the ability to interact with judges.
In the first year, you will study the basic principles of law. In the second year, you will focus on areas of special interest. You will also study writing projects and advanced classes. You will learn how to handle real cases for real clients in law clinics. These clinics will give you an opportunity to represent indigent defendants in criminal trials, as well as not-for-profit organizations in the courtroom.
The University of Phoenix is an accredited law school that offers both an accelerated and a part-time format. Its professors are recognized nationally and internationally. The school is also grounded in Christian values.
Master of Public Service (MPS) in Indigenous Governance (IG)
Whether you’re looking to launch your own public service career, aspire to become a politician, or are interested in applying your skills to a nonprofit organization, the Master of Public Service (MPS) in Indigenous Governance can help you meet your goals. This three-year, co-op-training program is designed to provide you with the knowledge, tools, and experience to excel in the field of public service.
The program offers three distinct tracks, each of which provides a specialized curriculum in a particular subject area. Each track is meant to complement one another in terms of content and learning outcomes. The Tribal Governance concentration is the only MPA of its kind in the country and will prepare you to effectively work in Indian Country.
The Master of Public Service in Indigenous Governance program also has a track dedicated to natural resources. This track will equip you with the knowledge and skills to address the needs of aboriginal communities throughout the country. In addition to a focused curriculum, this program offers an opportunity to gain practical experience working with leading experts in the field.
Historically, the Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) program was the primary law degree in the United States. However, it has been phased out in favor of the Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree in the 1960s.
Today, most common law jurisdictions require at least an LL.B. to be admitted to the bar. Many graduates pursue careers as solicitors, barristers, or in academia. Others work in government or private companies. Some graduates take up additional studies to become an LL.M. (Master of Laws).
The LL.B., or Legum Baccalaureus, was awarded to students at Harvard in 1820. The university’s dean stated that the LL.B. “is an understated level of education. Having said that, it’s one of the shortest degrees in the country.”
In the early 1900s, the Harvard Law Faculty asked for a J.D. for college graduates who had completed three years of law school. The school also considered awarding a doctorate in law.
In 1961, 15 ABA-accredited law schools awarded an LL.B. or J.D.: George Washington University, Chicago-Kent, DePaul, Northwestern, William & Mary, and Willamette were among the schools. The University of Oregon joined the list in 2006.
After Schultz’s death in 1927, innovation continued. Some schools offered a joint program wherein students could earn two degrees in four years. The joint program was especially popular in the Midwest.