What other degrees does ASL offer?


Master's in Legal Studies Curriculum

Students interested in attending law school after completion of the MLS are encouraged to take the MLS standard curriculum track outlined below and may be required to take the LSAT. Students specifically seeking preferred admissions consideration for the ASL Juris Doctor (JD) program are required to follow the MLS standard curriculum track and will take courses on campus alongside ASL JD students. Students who are pursuing the MLS degree but who do not currently wish to be considered for the JD program can tailor the curriculum according to their academic and professional needs. Besides the required Introduction to Law course, students on this specialized track can take any course from a prescribed curriculum. Many students take courses according to a specific track so that in addition to their Master's degree they can earn a Certificate in either Human Resources and Management Regulation (HRMR), Natural Resources and Energy Regulation (NRER) or Legal Studies (LS). The available MLS specialized curriculum courses and Certificates offered, available both on campus and online, are listed on the Professional Certificates page.

1st Semester:
Intro to Law 1 hour
Strategies for Legal Success 1 hour
Legal Process I 3 hours
Contracts 3 hours
Torts 3 hours
Alternative Dispute Resolution 2 hours
Property 3 hours
Total: 16 hours
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2nd Semester:
Legal Process II 3 hours
Criminal Law 3 hours
Business Associations 4 hours
Elective 2-3 hours
Seminar 2 hours
Total: 14-15 hours


The courses below outline the MLS curriculum for the standard track.

1st Semester

Introduction to Law (1 credit hour)
An introduction to legal analysis and the legal process. The course introduces the student to the structure of the judicial system and the thought processes used in it. In addition, there is significant emphasis on the nature of the legal profession, rules of conduct for lawyers, and the ideal of professionalism.

Strategies for Legal Success (1 credit hour)
Helps students improve the essential skills needed to succeed in law school, including critical thinking, reading, listening, effective case briefing, note taking, outlining, and exam writing. This course also promotes an understanding of the law of Agency that students will encounter in Torts, Contracts, Property, and Business Associations.

Legal Process I (3 credit hours)
Explores the basic methods of legal analysis and legal research, and how to write clear and concise predictive legal analyses. Students are assigned a number of research and writing projects, which may include briefing cases and drafting office memoranda and client communications. Students also gain experience in editing and rewriting.

Contracts I (3 credit hours)
Encompasses the study of legally enforceable promises, termed “contracts.” The course encompasses the study of what types of promises are legally enforceable, what it takes to form a contract, what the obligations of the parties are, what constitutes breach, and what remedies are available upon breach.

Torts (3 credit hours)
Reviews the standards and principles governing legal liability for intentional and unintentional invasions of interests of personality and property, including such topics as assault, battery, negligence, strict liability, and products liability.

Dispute Resolution (2 credit hours)
Provides students with a working knowledge of dispute resolution theory and practice. The major dispute resolution processes are examined critically with discussion of their strengths and weaknesses. Particular emphasis is given to negotiation, mediation, arbitration, and ethics. Legal, ethical, and policy issues that arise in the use of dispute resolution processes also are examined. A major theme throughout the course is the selection of appropriate dispute resolution forums and representation of clients in dispute resolution.

Property (3 credit hours) 
Introduction to the law of personal property and real property, including estates and other interests in land, real property marketing and conveyancing, landlord and tenant issues, nuisance, regulatory limitations on land use, and eminent domain and inverse condemnation. 

2nd Semester

Legal Process II (3 credit hours)
A continuation of Legal Process I in which students receive further detailed instruction in and extensive practice with combining research and writing by doing the research for problems and preparing extensive written memoranda or other legal documents in response to assigned problems. Persuasive writing and advocacy are introduced.

Business Associations (4 credit hours)
A study of the law concerning business entities, including: the factors affecting the selection of the form of a business enterprise; the nature of corporate entities; and the promotion, organization, activities, financing, management, and dissolution of business corporations. In addition to discussing the law of corporations, the course covers the principles by which one party may act as agent for another and the law governing unincorporated business organizations such as partnerships, limited partnerships, limited liability companies, and limited liability partnerships. 

Criminal Law (3 credit hours) 
An inquiry into the sources and goals of the criminal law, general principles of liability and defenses, and the characteristics of particular crimes. 

Elective (2-3 credit hours)

Seminar (2 credit hours)
Seminar courses require students to complete an expository or argumentative research paper under the supervision of a full-time faculty member.