Master's Degree in Legal Studies


Am I qualified to get into an online legal studies master’s program?






2+ Letters

At least two letters of recommendation from professors or former employers

Writing Samples

Statement of Intent

Statement of intent, resume, and often a writing sample of a certain length, as determined by the school



Scores from the general GRE are required for admission into most legal studies programs.

  • Average Score: The average score of applicants for MLS programs is not reported. Minimum requirements vary from program to program.

Additional Requirements

Writing Skills

As written communication is so valued across the legal world, some schools may require applicant for more than writing samples. In this case, applicants will be required to respond to a prompt provided by the program.

Prerequisite Courses

Many programs expect applicants to have completed courses covering the American government and judicial system. In some instances, applicants may still apply but will be required to take a series of introductory courses in their first semester of the master's program.

What undergraduate degrees do legal studies master’s students typically hold?

  • Journalism
  • Political Science
  • English
  • History
  • Legal Studies

What can I do to better my chances of getting into an online master’s program in legal studies?

  • Gain an insider’s perspective of the organization and function of a law office by taking an internship.
  • Serve as a paralegal or legal assistant in a state (or office) that does not require certification to work in the position.
  • Familiarize yourself with current and past Senate proceedings by watching current live feeds or past meetings, filmed from the Senate floor.
  • Research and choose a couple of legal specialties before you apply. Consider tax, immigration, criminal or environmental law. Determine the demand in these fields and prepare yourself to articulate the specific need you’d like to fill.
  • Once you’ve narrowed your list of possible concentrations, identify law bulletins and journals in the field and follow them regularly. The idea is to be conversant in the major issues facing the field.

Financial Aid

What scholarships and grants are available to online legal studies master’s students?

Careers & Salary

Upon graduation from an online legal studies master’s degree program, what skills will I have?

  • A firm understanding of legal concepts and their application across socioeconomic and political barriers within and beyond the United States
  • Ability to employ ethical and moral thinking to the legal system to raise the bar for corporate and civic responsibility
  • Proficiency in interpreting legal history, precedents, or recent legal action, be it in sentence in a local trial or an impactful ruling at a state or federal court
  • Ability to work alongside lawyers, corporate heads, government employees, and other professionals in an advisory capacity.

Once I’ve earned my online master’s in legal studies, what will my job prospects look like?

  • Social Work Teacher, Postsecondary

    • Annual Mean Wage

    • Total Jobs, 2013

    • Total Jobs, 2022

    • Job Outlook, 2013-22

    • State with Higest Pay

      Maryland — $119,860
    • City with Highest Pay

      Baltimore-Towson, MD — $121,460
    • State with Highest Job Concentration

      Delaware — $72,630
    • City with Highest Job Concentration

      Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT — $74,950
  • Paralegal

    • Annual Mean Wage

    • Total Jobs, 2013

    • Total Jobs, 2022

    • Job Outlook, 2013-22

    • State with Higest Pay

      California — $60,060
    • City with Highest Pay

      San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, CA Metropolitan Division — $70,700
    • State with Highest Job Concentration

      Florida — $47,820
    • City with Highest Job Concentration

      Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach, FL Metropolitan Division — $46,350
  • Probation Officer and Correctional Treatment Specialist

    • Annual Mean Wage

    • Total Jobs, 2013

    • Total Jobs, 2022

    • Job Outlook, 2013-22

    • State with Higest Pay

      California — $76,540
    • City with Highest Pay

      Sacramento--Arden-Arcade--Roseville, CA — $88,170
    • State with Highest Job Concentration

      New Mexico — $34,840
    • City with Highest Job Concentration

      Anderson, IN — $29,530
  • Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselor

    • Annual Mean Wage

    • Total Jobs, 2013

    • Total Jobs, 2022

    • Job Outlook, 2013-22

    • State with Higest Pay

      Michigan — $50,890
    • City with Highest Pay

      Lansing-East Lansing, MI — $66,970
    • State with Highest Job Concentration

      Rhode Island — $34,020
    • City with Highest Job Concentration

      Waterbury, CT — $44,050

Source: Occupational Outlook Handbook and Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor and Statistics; Collected July 2014

* Highest concentration of jobs refers to the location with the highest number of jobs (by field) for every thousand jobs. Average annual wage is then identified for the career in each location.


What are some of the most important publications in the legal studies field today?

  • African Journal of Legal Studies: This peer-reviewed journal publishes articles that focus on Africa’s legal issues with the hope of influencing public policy.
  • Oxford Journal of Legal Studies: This magazine is published by the Oxford School of Law to encourage the discussion of a wide range of legal topics.
  • Journal of Empirical Legal Studies: The Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, published by the Society for Empirical Legal Studies includes publication of experience-based articles of interest to individuals in the legal field.
  • Focus on Law Studies: This semi-annual journal is a publication of the American Bar Association, and it covers a wide range of law-related topics.

What RSS feeds related to legal studies are worth subscribing to?

  • ABA Journal: This magazine provides different RSS feeds pertaining to law, including “Business of Law”, “Legal Ethics”, and “U.S. Supreme Court.”
  • NPR Law: The National Public Radio provides a collection of all its law-related news pieces.
  • LexisNexis Legal Newsroom – Mealeys: LexiNexis provides users with news and opinions surrounding the legal world and gives them the opportunity to discuss issues and topics in real time.
  • Library of Congress: The Library of Congress offers 12 different feeds from congressional actions to legal news.
  • NASW: The National Association of Social Workers’ RSS feed portal features 11 different feeds.


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