MASTER OF STUDIES IN LAW
The Master of Studies in Law (MSL) is an advanced degree designed for accomplished professionals in other disciplines who are seeking to enhance their careers by expanding their knowledge of legal principles and the U.S. legal system.
ABOUT THE DEGREE
The University of Akron School of Law is proud to offer a Master of Studies in Law. The MSL, which can be earned in one academic year (full-time) or completed over several years as part of a flexible part-time program, provides a versatile alternative to the traditional three-year Juris Doctor degree.
The Akron Law MSL is for anyone whose work involves law or who routinely receives the advice and counsel of lawyers, including a wide range of non-lawyer professionals. Students enrolled in Akron Law’s MSL program attend classes alongside law students at an ABA-accredited law school that has been ranked as a Top 50, Top-Tier Law School by Above the Law.
To earn the MSL, a student must satisfactorily complete 30 credit hours at The University of Akron School of Law. MSL students will join J.D. candidates in first-year and advanced courses taught by our accomplished, award-winning professors. Akron Law’s faculty includes counsel to U.S. Senate and House committees, a fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, numerous authors of leading casebooks, and a senior lawyer for the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission, and many more have equally remarkable careers as attorneys and educators.
To provide students with a solid foundation in legal principles and doctrine, Akron Law’s MSL curriculum requires students to complete an Introduction to the American Legal System course (2 credits) as well as one of the following courses: Torts (4 credits), Contracts (4 credits), Property (4 credits), Criminal Law (3 credits), Civil Procedure I or II (3 credits each), or Fundamentals of Intellectual Property Law (3 credits).
Outside of those courses, MSL students will consult with a faculty advisor to design a program that meets their specific professional needs and interests. For example, engineering professionals with an interest in intellectual property law might take some of the following courses: Patent Law & Policy, Entrepreneurship, International Patent Law, Licensing Intellectual Property, Patent Prosecution, or Trade Secrets. Hospital administrators might be interested in courses such as Health Law, Torts, Bioethics, Elder Law, Government Provisions of Healthcare, Health Care Organization and Finance, and Human Resources. The MSL degree does not qualify recipients to take the bar exam or practice law, and credits are not transferable to the JD degree program.
HOW DO I APPLY?
You may start your studies at Akron law in either January (spring semester) or August (fall semester). Our application deadline for spring admission into the MSL program is November 15 and our deadline for fall admission is June 30. Late applications may be possible depending on space availability. If you have any questions, please contact the Admissions Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-425-7668.
Applicants for the MSL program at The University of Akron School of Law must submit the following to be considered for admission:
- A complete application form. Download the form.
- Resume. Your resume should summarize your education, work experience, any publications and other relevant credentials and accomplishments.
- Personal Statement. Your personal statement should explain in detail your interest in the MSL program at The University of Akron School of Law and how the MSL will enhance your professional growth. Please also include any information that demonstrates your ability to succeed in graduate level coursework, including, but not limited to, work/life experiences. Your personal statement should not exceed two pages in length (typed and double-spaced).
- Official transcripts from every prior university/college attended.
- Two letters of recommendation.
- Proof of English fluency. Non-native English speakers will be required to submit documentation of satisfactory results on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). The preferred scores on TOEFL IBT (internet based test) are a 96 and 590 for the PBT (paper based test). The preferred score on the IELTS is a 7.0.
- Please note that, at the discretion of the Admissions Committee, the TOEFL or IELTS requirement may be waived if:
- (i) the applicant has a college degree from an institution in which the primary language of instruction was English or
- (ii) the applicant can show other circumstances demonstrating proficiency in English.
- Standardized test scores (optional). Applicant may submit scores from previously taken GRE, GMAT, MCAT, LSAT or similar test, if desired.