Many law school degrees "worse than worthless"

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by Ian Anderson, Jul 29, 2013.

  1. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Active Member

  2. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    It's too bad because I can see how it would be quite interesting to study law.
  3. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    Many law schools now face serious enrollment problems. One way to fill up those empty seats is to offer "legal studies" classes to people who have an interest in law, but who do not want to become attorneys.

    A number of law schools now offer "master of legal studies" (MSL) or "master of studies in law" (MSL) degree programs, which are much shorter and less expensive than JD programs. So in a way, the current crisis in legal education is making law schools and legal study more accessible.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 30, 2013
  4. AUTiger00

    AUTiger00 New Member

    I've seen a few of these MSL programs. It would be nice if we could compile a list.
  5. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    What does one do with such a degree, considering that it's not bar qualifying?
  6. 03310151

    03310151 New Member

    Maybe you can be a Paralegal?

    That would be a rough spot to be in with that degree;

    MSL Degree Guy: "So, I said to her - If you trace the chain of causation you’ll find that the agreement we made is void ab initio. But for the unfortunate coffee incident last week we'd all be drinking slop, heheh harharhar".

    Impressed Damsel: "Oh my, I love your loquacious prose, are you a lawyer?"(Shoots a plaintive *stary eyed doe look*)

    MSL Degree Guy: "Um, no...I do have a Master of Legal Studies which is the study of.....hello? hello? Where'd she go?"
  7. AUTiger00

    AUTiger00 New Member

    I think it might be beneficial for anyone in business that works a lot with contracts. Beyond that, I can't think of anything.
  8. FJD

    FJD Member

    From what I gather, these degrees are generally for people who would benefit at work from a better understanding of the law but who do not need (or want) a JD. For example, someone who works in an administrative role within a court system or someone who works for an administrative or regulatory agency might benefit from such a degree.
  9. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    Working in healthcare a graduate certificate in law would be great or, better yet, healthcare risk/law. I took a class at UF for my graduate cerrtificate that was "PHA 5270 - Law, Healthcare, and Patient Safety" and it was a great class.
  10. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    MSL degrees seem to be marketed primarily towards administrative professionals who work with contracts or in highly regulated fields, like health care or environmental compliance. These are people who already have administrative jobs, but who could take on more responsibility if they understood some basic legal concepts. If you work in the purchasing dept., for example, it might be very helpful if you could interpret the legalese on contracts yourself, without having to run every document past an in-house attorney.

    Such people won't replace attorneys entirely -- but they can replace attorneys for a lot of routine, day-to-day legal compliance issues, and at a lower salary. One law professor recently put it like this:

    For law schools, providing specialized training to such people may help to fill seats in the short term. The catch is that in the long run, the law schools may be reducing the overall demand for the JD, which is their premium product.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 30, 2013
  11. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    Things are changing fast.

    (steady admin job + MSL + no debt) > (JD + unemployment + $150,000 in student loans)
  12. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    I've seen that some of these programs are marketed toward those with STEM degrees. With this background, one will be better prepared to work as an intellectual property consultant. There are also legal nurse consultants.

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