News & Events
Moritz to Offer Master's Degree Program
Master of the Study of Law (M.S.L.) to be offered beginning in Fall of 2004
January 16, 2004
Trustees of The Ohio State University have approved the creation of a Master of the Study of Law (M.S.L.) degree in the university’s Michael E. Moritz College of Law. The degree, an alternative to the three-year, full-time program leading to a Juris Doctor degree, will be offered beginning in Fall 2004, subject to approval by the American Bar Association’s Section of Legal Education and the Ohio Board of Regents. Both approvals are anticipated in early 2004.
The new program will offer a non-professional degree and will provide an education in legal principles and methodology for students and professionals in other disciplines who have no previous legal training and require or could benefit from knowledge of the legal system. L. Camille Hébert, Carter C. Kissell Professor of Law, has spearheaded the Moritz College's effort to implement the new M.S.L. program. She said the program will provide a great opportunity for students who "need to learn about the law, but don’t need to be lawyers."
Hébert said the M.S.L. program is targeted at scholars in non-legal academic disciplines and professionals who frequently deal with legal issues.
In order to gain admission to the program, a student must hold a doctoral degree in a discipline other than law or must have completed a program of study of at least 45 quarter hours or 30 semester hours toward a doctoral degree. These educational requirements could be waived for applicants with extensive background or experience whose work would benefit significantly from legal training and who would contribute significantly to the program.
Hébert cited a legal affairs journalist as an example of a professional who might qualify for such a waiver.
Students admitted to the M.S.L. program will be required to complete 30 semester hours in legal courses offered at the Moritz College. Each student will design his or her individual course of study, in accordance with his or her academic or professional interests, subject to approval by the program’s faculty administrator.
M.S.L. students will be permitted to enroll in upper-level elective courses at the Moritz College. In addition, they will be required to complete at least three traditional first-year law courses in order to gain the necessary foundation for upper-level courses in their particular areas of interest.
Hébert said full-time students will be able to complete the M.S.L. program in one year, while part-time students will have up to four years to complete the program's requirements.
Hébert said she believes the program not only will benefit those who wish to pursue the new Master's degree, but will provide a benefit to the college’s Juris Doctor (J.D.) students, as well. "For our J.D. students, having people with other (academic and professional) perspectives in the classroom will help (them) realize that other disciplines offer different perspectives" on the issues they are studying and discussing in class, she said.
Individuals interested in the program should contact Kelly Bott Smith, Director of Enrollment Services, 614-292-5992 or email@example.com.
Allan J. Samansky, the Robert J. Watkins/Procter & Gamble Designated Professor of Law, will direct the M.S.L. program.
Since 1891, the Moritz College of Law has played a leading role in the legal profession through countless contributions made by alumni and faculty. Graduates of the school reside in all 50 states and 20 other countries and include justices of the Ohio Supreme Court, current and former U.S. Senators and Representatives, managing partners in law firms of all sizes, chief executive officers of Fortune 500 corporations, and attorneys with non-profit organizations and public interest law organizations.