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University of Utah Launches Master of Legal Studies Program
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U of Utah law

Summary: The law school at the University of Utah will offer a master of legal studies degree for professionals that want to gain a better understanding of law.

The University of Utah aims to help professionals gain a better understanding of the law by offering a new degree program. The University’s S.J. Quinney College of Law will launch a Master of Legal Studies (MLS) degree starting the fall of 2018.


The program is a three-semester long degree that trains professionals seeking legal training but are not wanting to be a practicing attorney. The MLS program is designed for working professionals wanting a stronger fundamental understanding of how the legal system works.

The law school anticipates a range of people to be interested in the program. They envision business executives pursuing the program so they can increase their knowledge of employment law or government agency employees that want a better understanding of environmental law, negotiation practices or land use regulation. The program will give professionals of any industry the opportunity to improve their job prospects and help their clients navigate the legal system.

Classes will be every other Friday and Saturday to accommodate the busy work schedules of the professionals. Following a structure similar to the business school’s Executive MBA program, the degree will take approximately one year to complete.

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S.J. Quinney College of Law Dean Bob Adler said, “A Master of Legal Studies program will expand the educational reach of the University of Utah and the S.J. Quinney College of Law to serve a wider range of people who will benefit from some sophisticated training in the legal system and enhance our service to the professional community. The program will enhance the mission of the university by training working professionals how to effectively engage with the legal system. As a doctorate and master’s-level degree granting institution, our mission at the university is to foster student success by preparing students from diverse backgrounds for lives of impact as leaders and citizens.”

The classes offered include “Conflict and Legal Crisis Management,” “Contracts in the Modern Economy,” “Procuring and Managing Legal Services,” “and “Lawsuits and Litigation.” The students will also enroll in elective classes from the law school’s J.D. curriculum. They will be able to pick topics of particular interest to their field such as health law for health care administrators or water law for environmental consultants.

Utah started the program in response to demand across the country, especially in Utah. More and more companies are providing reimbursement or scholarships to their employees to further their education, thus adding value to the company. This is the first MLS program in Utah but several other universities in the Pac-12 that offer a MLS degree.

Lincoln Davies, associate dean for academic affairs at the College of Law, noted, “This is an extremely exciting program for the myriad professionals or others who can improve what they do by better understanding how our legal system works. Much like an Executive MBA can help businesspeople advance their careers, this executive MLS program will equip anyone whose job touches on the law, regulation or the legal system with knowledge and skills to improve both their own careers and the performance of the business or organization in which they work.”

Do you think this degree will give professionals too much confidence with the law? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

To learn more about the University of Utah College of Law, read these articles:



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