Earn Your Master of Legal Studies (MLS) Online from Pepperdine Caruso School of Law

No GRE/LSAT Scores Required to Apply

Enhance Your Legal Skills. Advance in Your Field.

Pepperdine Caruso School of Law’s online Master of Legal Studies program enables nonlawyers to develop superior legal expertise and credentials to advance within their chosen field. Students analyze and interpret legal concepts to make more informed decisions at work and enhance their professional credibility with their partners, clients, constituents, and employers.

Pepperdine Caruso School of Law is ABA accredited and ranked among the top 50 law schools.1

Why Earn a Master of Legal Studies

The legal system affects nearly every industry in some way. Whether professionals want to improve their current job performance or move into a different field, they can enhance their knowledge of US law and important legal concepts with a degree in legal studies.

Through Pepperdine Caruso School of Law’s online Master of Legal Studies program, students gain a solid understanding of many fundamental areas of the law and prepare to perform law-related responsibilities, without having to become a practicing attorney. Unlike traditional JD programs, no LSAT scores are required to apply to Pepperdine’s online program, and the program can be completed in as few as 16 months.

Admissions

Classes start in January, May, and September. Pepperdine Caruso School of Law’s admissions committee reviews applications on a rolling basis. Students who apply to the online Master of Legal Studies program by the cohort priority deadline will receive an earlier decision and an application fee waiver. Please contact an admissions counselor before submitting in order to receive the waiver.

Classes begin in

January May September

Program Start Dates and Application Deadlines
Classes Begin Early Decision Deadline Priority Deadline Final Deadline
January 2021 Friday, September 18, 2020 Friday, October 9, 2020 Friday, November 6, 2020
May 2021 Friday, January 15, 2021 Friday, February 5, 2021 Friday, March 5, 2021

Application Requirements

A bachelor’s degree is required for admission. Pepperdine Caruso School of Law does not require GMAT or GRE scores.

Candidates must submit the following materials to be considered for admission:

  • Online application with a fee of $50
  • Transcripts
  • Letter of recommendation
  • Statement of purpose
  • Resume
  • Video interview

Learn more about application requirements.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Students in the Master of Legal Studies program have a variety of financial resources that may be available to them, including employer financial assistance, loan programs, and scholarships. Tuition is charged per unit hour for a total of 32 units.

Learn more about tuition and financial aid.

Take the First Step

Enhancing your legal skills and your understanding of complex legal concepts can help advance your career. Request information today to learn more about Pepperdine’s online Master of Legal Studies program.

Take the First Step

Enhancing your legal skills and your understanding of complex legal concepts can help advance your career. Request information today to learn more about Pepperdine’s online Master of Legal Studies program.

Master of Legal Studies Curriculum

The Master of Legal Studies curriculum focuses on areas of law that touch nearly every industry, including legal research, litigation, regulatory compliance, negotiation, and torts. The program consists of 32 units and can be completed on a full-time basis in as few as 16 months or a part-time basis in 28 months.

Core Courses

Consisting of 18 units, the foundation and core courses provide students with a fundamental understanding of legal concepts and procedures. Courses include Contracts, Legal Writing, Civil Procedure and Litigation, Constitutional Law, and Criminal Law.

Elective Courses

Students in the program have the ability to customize their curriculum and explore specific areas of law by taking up to 12 general elective courses. These elective courses include Intellectual Property, Business Organizations, Health Law, and Education Law.

Residencies

Students will have the chance to apply legal concepts in real-world situations during two in-person weekend residencies on Pepperdine’s campus in Malibu. During these residencies, students will network with their peers and faculty while completing a 1-credit course and engaging in a variety of case studies and mock trials.

Dual Degree

After earning their MLS degree, students will have the opportunity to earn a Master of Dispute Resolution in less time and fewer units than our typical offering. The MDR degree will only require an additional 18–22 units, and will prepare students to artfully negotiate complex transactions and judiciously resolve conflicts between parties.

Learn more about earning an MLS/MDR degree.

Optional Concentrations

As part of the MLS program, students have the opportunity to focus their degree by choosing a concentration in dispute resolution, human resources, or litigation to achieve their particular needs.

Dispute Resolution

As the need for conflict resolution and negotiation skills increases, a formal background in dispute resolution is an optimal choice for many legal professionals. Students who choose this concentration hone their legal skills in arbitration and conflict mediation. Courses are taught through Pepperdine Caruso School of Law’s Straus Institute, top-ranked for dispute resolution by U.S. News & World Report.2

Human Resources

Students in this concentration gain a solid understanding of the legal system and employment law. Through specialized course work, students will strengthen their ability to accomplish daily responsibilities such as hiring and termination, non-competition and confidentiality agreements, and salary negotiation.

Litigation

Students in this concentration will focus on litigation-specific coursework and build the expertise required for professionals in the legal industry including, but not limited to, managers, paralegals, legal assistants, legal clinic workers, non-profit employees, compliance officers, and others.

Learning Outcomes

The online Master of Legal Studies program prepares students to apply their legal knowledge to critical reasoning, written and oral communication, and professional skills.

  • Identify and interpret foundational legal concepts in the areas of substantive law, legal theory, and procedure.
  • Use legal analysis to examine and interpret cases, statutes, and regulations.
  • Define the scope of a legal research question, determine key concepts, and retrieve relevant information using simple search techniques.
  • Describe the fundamental structure and process for how the US legal system works, with emphasis specific to their area of interest.
  • Recognize basic and obvious ethical issues and grasp the complexities or interrelationships among them.

Accessible, Accomplished Faculty

Pepperdine Caruso School of Law faculty are distinguished legal scholars and lawyers committed to providing students with the resources they need to succeed in our online Master of Legal Studies program. Our faculty empower students with the legal expertise and ethical judgment to meet the complex challenges they may encounter in their professional roles.

Learn more about Pepperdine faculty.

Get Started Today

Learn more about Pepperdine Caruso School of Law’s online Master of Legal Studies program and how it can equip you with the legal skills needed to advance in your role.

Get Started Today

Learn more about Pepperdine Caruso School of Law’s online Master of Legal Studies program and how it can equip you with the legal skills needed to advance in your role.

Online Master of Legal Studies Class Profile

Our Master of Legal Studies program includes students with diverse backgrounds, professional experiences, and viewpoints. These various perspectives improve the classroom experience by creating more nuanced discussion and debate. Explore the class profile of the current students in Pepperdine Caruso School of Law’s online Master of Legal Studies program. Curious to know how students from different backgrounds are leveraging the skills they are learning in our program? View our student profiles.

78%*

Female

38

Average Age

20-72

Age Range

9

Average Years of Work
Experience Prior to Enrolling

22%

Students with an
Advanced Degree

10%

Military Students

Circle graph shows the percentage breakdown of race. 35% White/Caucasian, 26% Black/African American, 20% Hispanic, 5% Asian, 1% Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander, 7% Two or more races, 5% Choose not to disclose, 1% American Indian/Alaska Native.

Circle graph shows the percentage breakdown of race. 35% White/Caucasian, 26% Black/African American, 20% Hispanic, 5% Asian, 1% Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander, 7% Two or more races, 5% Choose not to disclose, 1% American Indian/Alaska Native.

This information reflects data collected from online MLS students in the August 2017 to January 2020 cohorts with a 100% response rate.

*1% Prefer Not to Answer/Other Gender

Choosing the Right Graduate Degree for Your Goals

When considering a graduate degree, it is important for professionals to think not just about the credentials behind their names but also the skills that will closely align with their goals. Earning an MLS can have similar benefits to earning a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or a Juris Doctor (JD), but the MLS degree offers a focused curriculum that prepares students with knowledge of relevant legal concepts that can be used in a variety of roles and industries.

Learn more about the differences between earning an MLS, MBA, MPA or JD:

Career Opportunities with a Master of Legal Studies Degree

Pepperdine Caruso School of Law students come from various backgrounds and work in diverse industries, and a Master of Legal Studies can help them more effectively perform their law-related responsibilities. With a Master of Legal Studies, professionals in many fields can improve their ability to interpret legal concepts and better understand the law as it relates to their job. Career possibilities with an MLS degree may include:

  • Legal Consultants who advise on contracts and compliance
  • Paralegals who research and draft legal documents
  • Administrators who navigate complex healthcare laws
  • Politicians who work to shape public policy
  • Consultants who serve lawyers and law firms
  • HR Professionals who handle compliance with workplace policies

Ready to Take the Next Step?

Request information today to learn more about Pepperdine Caruso School of Law’s online Master of Legal Studies program.

Ready to Take the Next Step?

Request information today to learn more about Pepperdine Caruso School of Law’s online Master of Legal Studies program.

Pepperdine Caruso Law's online Master of Legal Studies program is accredited by WASC Senior College and University Commission.

Pepperdine Caruso Law’s Master of Legal Studies distance education degree program has been granted acquiescence by the American Bar Association.