To earn the MSL degree, students must complete at least 30 credits hours of law school courses with a minimum GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale). Full-time students typically complete the program in one academic year (9 months). Part-time students have between two and four academic years to complete the degree.
There are two required courses for MSL students:
- Legal Research and Writing (3 credits): The course provides MSL students with a foundation in conducting legal research, reading legal materials, and analyzing those materials. The course will help students learn how to find, read, and use cases, statutes, and secondary materials. Students will also develop an understanding of how to review contracts by learning contract drafting style and conventions, key types of provisions (such as declarations, covenants, and representations and warranties), and important contractual provisions. Finally, students will hone their writing skills by learning how lawyers communicate and how to communicate like lawyers, both informally (through, for example, email correspondence) as well as in more formal persuasive writing.
- Introduction to the US Legal System (3 credits): The course provides an introduction to the basic structure of the US legal system, including the Constitution, the separation of powers, and federalism. The course introduces students to legal methodology, including deductive and analogical reasoning in case law and statutory interpretation and the development of legal arguments. The course also describes the adversary system, the state and federal court systems, and the legal profession generally.
MSL students can pursue a general curriculum and choose any courses from among the law school’s curriculum (except for certain courses that are available to JD and LLM students only). Alternatively, students can concentrate in one of the following areas within the MSL degree:
- Alternative Dispute Resolution
- Legal Environment of Business
- Health Law
- Intellectual Property and Technology Law
For each concentration, MSL students are required to take a number of core and elective concentration courses. Students can complete the remaining credits in any other available courses.