Guide to Career Opportunities with a Master of Legal Studies

With each legislative cycle, the business climate becomes more complex as legislators enact new laws with far-reaching implications for business transactions, labor, taxes, patents, and more. According to a 2016 industry survey by Altman Weil, professionals who are able to navigate the nuances and intricacies of these new laws and regulations are in increasing demand. The opportunities for graduates of Master of Legal Studies programs are so numerous, they are difficult to list comprehensively. However, we have found that graduates are usually in one of three career fields: law firms, government, or private sector.

Law Firms

To gain a competitive advantage, law firms are increasingly hiring legal assistants and paralegals. Paralegals today do much of the same work lawyers of yesteryear did. Master of Legal Studies graduates often become certified paralegals and research case law, write briefs, and prepare cases for depositions and trials. They serve as liaisons for clients and attorneys and are called upon to interpret case law and present summary reports to law partners.

To learn more, visit our Guide to Law Firm Work.


Federal, state, and local governments provide many career options to Master of Legal Studies graduates. As the government is the originator, gatekeeper and enforcer of the legal system, there are a multitude of careers available therein. From patents to law enforcement, food and drug to immigration, government careers are a great option for Master of Legal Studies degree holders. Whether you want to be part of the legislative process as an elected representative, work in a government agency enforcing and regulating our country’s laws, or work to protect the public and the security of the nation through law enforcement, a Master of Legal Studies can help you embark on that path.

To learn more, visit our Guide to Government Work.

Private Sector

Private companies and non-profit agencies must navigate the intricacies and nuances of legal requirements in order to be successful in the business environment. In a Master of Legal Studies program, you learn legal advocacy and are better able to lobby on behalf of non-profits. The negotiation and compliance skills taught in an MLS program are priceless for contracting and sales departments of large firms. Human resources and labor relations rely heavily on conflict resolution skills, which you master in the course of a Master of Legal Studies program. And with a deeper understanding of the legal constraints and regulations businesses must operate within, MLS graduates that combine their skills with an established professional are uniquely positioned to add value in the private sector.

To learn more, visit our Guide to Private Sector Work.