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Hamline University School of Law to Offer Master’s of Law Degree Online

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The Hamline University School of Law, in St. Paul, has discovered a new pool of talent to pull potential students from; professionals currently employed who do not have an interest in practicing law, according to The Star Tribune.

Hamline announced its master’s degree in the study of law last year. It allows non-lawyers to learn legal skills they can use in other fields. Those fields include human resources, banking, and health care administration.

Beginning in August, Hamline will start to offer the same program online. The school hopes that it will draw students from around the United States, and maybe even the world.

“You hear all the time the market for lawyers is shrinking,” James Coben said. Coben is a law professor at Hamline and is the director of the new master’s program. Coben said that people need more than just a passing knowledge of the law in order to perform their jobs successfully.

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The new program allows professionals the chance to learn how to negotiate and resolve conflicts and much more in one-third of the time it would take to earn a juris doctor. It would also come at a fraction of the cost. At Hamline School of Law, it takes three years and more than $100,000 to earn a degree in law. The master’s program online will cost $24,000.

“This is not just ‘read some articles and take a few exams’; these are highly interactive courses,” Coben said. “It’s very difficult for an individual professor, standing in front of a classroom, to actually gauge what every individual student is doing. Quite frankly, there’s going to be a lot of experimentation in legal education going forward.”

Coben noted that classes taken online can be just as difficult and rigorous as those taken traditionally, in a classroom with other students and in front of a professor.

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