MLS - Graduate Programs | Capital University, Columbus Ohio
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  • The MLS Degree

    The Master of Legal Studies at Capital University Law School gives non-lawyer professionals in Columbus the insight, experience and advantage of innovative legal education, enabling them to better serve their industries, clients and communities.

    The legal landscape is changing. Society, the economy, and the future of work are becoming more complex. And you are a professional in the middle of these new complexities who is working with the law and regulations, or frequently collaborating with attorneys on a myriad of legal issues. Whether you're a working professional or recent graduate, the new Master of Legal Studies degree at Capital University Law School is the innovative legal education you need to better serve your industry, clients, and communities.

    The MLS degree is a 30 credit hour graduate program conveniently offered at Capital’s Law School in downtown Columbus. A year-long introductory law and legal analysis course will prepare you to succeed in the remainder of your MLS curriculum. You may choose to pursue the MLS in one of five concentrations or a customized curriculum designed to meet your professional goals. The concentrations include Human Resources, Environmental Sustainability, Governmental Affairs, Criminal Justice, and Health Care.

    In the MLS program, you will develop skills necessary for legal analysis, understanding the court systems and legal processes, and legal research and writing in courses specifically designed for MLS students. The majority of the remaining program coursework focuses on a combination of experiential, foundational, and elective courses taken with law students and taught by the Law School’s distinguished law faculty. You will prepare a capstone project that puts your new legal skills into action while focusing on particular legal issues in your area of interest to complete the degree.

    The MLS program will equip you to identify and anticipate legal issues, confidently navigate the law, and more effectively communicate with other leaders in your organizations about the law and its impact on day-to-day and strategic-planning situations.


    A Market-Leading Community

    MLS Callout 1“Columbus continues to attract market-leading companies in regulated industries such as energy, insurance, healthcare and financial services while also serving as a hub for business services and corporate headquarters across industries. The MLS will help Capital Law School better serve the needs of this dynamic workforce,” according to Capital University Law School Dean Rachel M. Janutis. As the legal and regulatory environment expands across corporate and non-profit sectors, there is also a growing demand among employers for non-lawyer professionals to have a command of how the law affects their industry. An MLS degree from Capital University Law School will help you meet this demand.

    Capital University Law School is Columbus’s trusted partner in innovative legal education for working professionals. The MLS program is a strong next step in the Law School’s long history of innovating in response to changes in the market for legal services, leveraging Capital’s expertise in offering training to all members of the legal team, including non-lawyers, and capitalizing on our experience in providing interdisciplinary professional education.


    Learning the Law

    MLS Callout 2You will learn the law in a combination of experiential, foundational, and elective courses taken with law students and taught by Capital’s distinguished law faculty. Our faculty members foster an environment of collaboration and teach from actual cases, real legal proceedings and true-life scenarios.

    Learning the law is a challenge. Some of the best learning takes place at the direction of committed faculty and when students work inside and outside of the classroom to tackle legal issues, analyze cases, and apply the law to a given set of facts. These meaningful exchanges rarely happen in online programs. They require face-to-face interactions among colleagues.

    » Request more information on the Master of Legal Studies at Capital University Law School


    Earn Your MLS, Work, and Enjoy Life

    MLS Callout 3The MLS program is flexible and designed to meet your needs as either a full-time student or working professional attending classes at night. You may finish the program in as little as one year as a full-time student. Or you can learn at your own pace if life and work get in the way and have up to four years to complete the program as a part-time MLS student. Most classes are held in the evenings to better accommodate your scheduling needs.

    Capital University and the Law School are connected, flexible, and relevant. We have over 44,000 alumni nationwide and over 20,000 in the Columbus region. And we want you to be connected and part of the CapFam.

    As an MLS student, you will enjoy many networking opportunities with law students and the larger Law School community. These relationships may turn into valuable attorney-client opportunities for MLS and JD students alike.

    Whether part of your area of interest or out of intellectual curiosity, we will encourage you to network and engage in different Law School community events that include

    • Diversity Week
    • The Sullivan Lecture
    • MLK Day of Learning (University-wide program)
    • Women’s Leadership Forum
    • Professionalism Week

  • Frequently Asked Questions

    Q: Do MLS students take law school classes? 

    Yes. MLS students are required to take a year-long Introduction to Law & Legal Analysis course designed specifically for someone in this program and complete a capstone project. The remaining courses are taken with our JD students.

    Q: How do I apply to the MLS Program? 

    The application form is available online.  

    Q: What does the admission committee consider? 

    The admission committee considers all aspects of a candidate’s application. Each component is important and given significant consideration in our decision. We consider your work experience, undergraduate experience, references, personal statement, and, if necessary, an acceptable standardized test score (for example, the LSAT, GRE or GMAT).

    Q: Do I have to take a standardized test? 

    Generally, no. Candidates are not required to take tests like the LSAT, GRE or GMAT as a condition for application. If a candidate choses to submit test scores, the admission committee will include those scores as part of the candidate’s admission. The admission committee, however, reserves the right to ask the candidate to take the LSAT, GRE or GMAT if they do not meet the other requirements for the program (for example, the candidate lacks significant work experience or has below a 3.0 undergraduate GPA). 

    Q: My undergraduate performance doesn’t illustrate my potential. How much will it hurt me? 

    Not everyone does well as an undergraduate. The reasons vary. Your undergraduate experience is only one component considered by the admission committee.

    Q: Do I have to have an interview? 

    Typically, no. If there are questions about your application, the Assistant Dean for Graduate & Professional Law Programs or the admission committee may schedule a personal interview with you. We want to make sure the MLS Program is a good fit for you and meets all your professional and educational objectives.

    Q: When will I know your admission decision? 

    One of the advantages of a small university is that the admissions process is quick. Once we have all the components of your application, we can usually make a decision in less than a week.

    Q: When can I start the MLS Program? 

    The MLS Program will start new students in the fall semester each year.

    Q: How long will it take for me to finish the MLS degree? 

    The answer depends on you and your goals. As a full-time student, you can complete the degree in one academic year (3 consecutive semesters). If you choose to attend as a part-time student, you can complete the degree in two academic years taking a minimum of 3 credit hours each semester and at least one semester of 4 or more credit hours.

    Q: Is financial aid available? 

    Yes. You must take a minimum of 3 credit hours to qualify for financial aid in any given semester. 

    Q: What can I do with a MLS degree? 

    The MLS degree is a relatively new degree being offered by many institutions, including law schools. You may see the degree identified as the Master of Jurisprudence (MJ), the Master of Science of Law (MSL), or the Juris Master (JM). The importance of the degree is the same; to impart on professionals a working knowledge of the law and ability to analyze and evaluate legal issues without imposing the stringent requirements necessary for someone to obtain a law license to practice law.

    Q: What if I decide I want to go to law school after starting or completing the MLS Program? I am taking JD courses, so will those transfer into a JD program? 

    No. The American Bar Association prohibits the transfer of credits from an MLS program into a JD program. If you are seriously considering law school, please talk to the JD admission team before committing to the MLS program.  

    Q: With all the legal knowledge I will learn in the MLS Program, can I give legal advice at work or to friends and family? 

    No. Only a licensed attorney may provide legal advice. Anyone else doing so is committing the unauthorized practice of law.