Master of Legal Studies (MLS)

Learn to think like a lawyer without being one.*

Many professionals need to know how the law affects their business or industry. A keen understanding of regulations, contracts, policy, and other legal concepts will enable you to alert employers, clients, and customers to legal issues as they arise. A MLS better equips you to see and solve problems through a legal lens. Our MLS degree will help you gain these specialized legal skills and insight so you can position yourself for future leadership and management roles. Your program begins with fundamental courses in the American legal system, legal writing, and research. Then, you may focus on one of several tracks:

  • Technology, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship
  • Health Law
  • Indian Law
  • General Studies
  • Compliance and Risk Management (fully online)

*ABA requirements do not allow MLS coursework to count toward a future Juris Doctorate (JD) degree. The MLS does not enable you to sit for a bar exam or practice law.

Who Can Benefit?

  1. The tribal law and governance track would benefit students interested in acquiring the knowledge needed to work as a manager or leader within a tribe; or working in a tribal legal office, tribal government, federal government, or a tribally chartered corporation; or in working for non-tribal firms and corporations doing business in Indian country. Students in the program may already be working or aspiring to work as tribal administrators, council members, executives, entrepreneurs, or tribal leaders. In addition to academic offerings, the law school provides MLS students with outstanding opportunities for scholarship, field trips, social events, and networking opportunities through the law school’s Center for Indian Law & Policy, the American Indian Law Journal, and the Alaska Law Campus, as well as the law school’s numerous externships and internships with tribes and native corporations in the Northwest.
  2. The innovation and technology law track will feature courses in data privacy, cybersecurity, and digital commerce. This track will benefit students interested in acquiring the legal knowledge needed to work as a compliance officer, manager, or leader within a corporation, hospital, governmental, or other organization as a chief security/privacy officer, a technical manager, security/privacy manager, consultant, policy maker, or in financial technology. Additionally, courses in intellectual property will appeal to professionals and graduate students whose education and training in intellectual property will enhance their careers in related fields such as engineering, entrepreneurship, publishing, and public policy. For example, professionals involved in regulatory work would benefit from an understanding of how the legal system works; a business person would benefit from an understanding of corporate law; a technology manager would benefit from an understanding of intellectual property. Students in the program may already be working or aspiring to work at the intersection of law and technology by drafting or advising on company or organizational policy, drafting or advising on key legislation, producing publications, speaking on pivotal developments, or developing policy.
  3. The health law track will educate students seeking expertise in navigating the field of health care law, regulation, and policy. Health care continues to play a growing role in the national economy. In Seattle, the industry reaches beyond patient services to biotechnology research and development, pharmaceutical manufacturing, medical device and instrument manufacturing, management of health care institutions, healthcare insurers, professional associations, and government agencies. Students in this MLS track can choose from among such areas as: the law of bioethics, biotechnology, compliance, data privacy and security, infectious disease control, medical fraud, medical and product liability, mental health, public policy, health care decision-making, and access to health care coverage (Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance, and the Affordable Care Act).
  4. The general studies track is specifically tailored to the individual student’s area of interest depending on the student’s professional goals and learning objectives. Examples of professional or academic areas students may wish to focus their studies include environmental law, health law, labor and employment, intellectual property, and many more.

Degree Requirements

The MLS program requires the completion of 30 credits, which includes two required courses and four core courses, with the remaining credits chosen from approved electives and independent study.

Students may pursue their course of study either full-time over a single year, or part-time over two years.

Curriculum

Required courses regardless of track (unless waived): Introduction to American Legal System, Effective Legal Writing, Essential Research Skills.

Candidates pursuing the MLS may select from the following tracks:

  1. Technology, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship
  1. Careers: Work with non-disclosure and non-competition agreements; shareholder and founder agreements; customer agreements; supplier agreements; development contracts; intellectual property; securities and IPOs; corporate governance; banking; compliance; real estate; consulting; human resources; government; technology; and nonprofits. Work as a compliance officer, manager, or leader within a corporation, healthcare administration, governmental, or other organization as a chief security/privacy officer, a technical manager, security/privacy manager, consultant, policy maker, or in financial regulation and technology.
  2. Sample Courses (Please note that courses listed below may not be available or offered within a semester or an academic calendar year. The Academic Leadership reserves the right to schedule courses based upon demand and to ensure the curriculum remains relevant and responsive to the industry and emerging trends.  You will have the opportunity to discuss your individual curriculum plan with your Program Director to ensure you achieve your academic goals and meet program requirements):
    • Administrative Law*
    • Biotechnology and the Law
    • Business Entities*
    • The Business of Intellectual Property*
    • Contract Drafting*
    • Copyright Law
    • Corporate Governance
    • Corporate Finance
    • Cybersecurity and Data Breach: Legal and Practical Prevention and Response
    • Foundations of Privacy Law*
    • Financial Institutions Law
    • Internet Law and Digital Commerce*
    • Law, Technology, and Ethics in the Age of Innovation
    • Introduction to Financial Technology*
    • Managing Privacy Risks*
    • Patent Law
    • Trademark Law

*These are considered core courses – minimum of 4 core courses required toward degree unless waived.

  1. Health law
  1. Careers: work in biotechnology research and development, pharmaceutical manufacturing, medical device and instrument manufacturing, management of health care institutions, healthcare insurers, and government agencies, bioethics, biotechnology, compliance, infectious disease control, medical fraud, medical and product liability, mental health, public policy, health care decision-making, and access to health care coverage (Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance, and the Affordable Care Act).
  2. Sample Courses (Please note that courses listed below may not be available or offered within a semester or an academic calendar year. The Academic Leadership reserves the right to schedule courses based upon demand and to ensure the curriculum remains relevant and responsive to the industry and emerging trends. You will have the opportunity to discuss your individual curriculum plan with your Program Director to ensure you achieve your academic goals and meet program requirements):
    • Administrative Law*
    • Bioethics and the Law*
    • Biotechnology and the Law*
    • Biomedical Law & Policy
    • Contract Drafting*
    • Disability Law
    • Foundations of Privacy Law*
    • Health Law I*
    • Health Law II
    • Insurance Law*
    • Law, Policy and Mental Health
    • Managing Privacy Risks*
    • Public Benefits and Older Adults*

*These are considered core courses – minimum of 4 core courses required toward degree unless waived.

  1. Tribal law and governance
  1. Careers: work in a tribal legal office, tribal government, federal government, a tribally-chartered corporation, non-tribal firms and corporations doing business in Indian country; or work as a tribal administrator, council member, executive, entrepreneur, or tribal leader.
  2. Sample Courses (Please note that courses listed below may not be available or offered within a semester or an academic calendar year. The Academic Leadership reserves the right to schedule courses based upon demand and to ensure the curriculum remains relevant and responsive to the industry and emerging trends.  You will have the opportunity to discuss your individual curriculum plan with your Program Director to ensure you achieve your academic goals and meet program requirements):
    • American Indian Tribal Law*
    • Contemporary Issues in Indian Law*
    • Tribal Governmental Gaming Law*
    • Federal Indian Law*
    • Tribal Administration and Governance*
    • Tribal Taxation*
    • Administrative Law*
    • Environmental Law
    • Water Law
    • Contract Drafting
    • Managing Privacy Risks
    • Cybersecurity and Data Breach
    • Mediation Skills
    • Social Impact Advocacy

*These are considered core courses – minimum of 4 core courses required toward degree unless waived.

  1. General Studies
  1. The general studies track is specifically tailored to the individual student’s area of interest depending on the student’s professional goals and learning objectives. Examples of professional or academic areas students may wish to focus their studies include environmental law, labor and employment, intellectual property, and many more.
  2. Sample Courses (Please note that courses listed below may not be available or offered within a semester or an academic calendar year. The Academic Leadership reserves the right to schedule courses based upon demand and to ensure the curriculum remains relevant and responsive to the industry and emerging trends.  You will have the opportunity to discuss your individual curriculum plan with your Program Director to ensure you achieve your academic goals and meet program requirements):
    • Administrative Law*
    • Business Entities*
    • The Business of Intellectual Property*
    • Contract Drafting*
    • Copyright Law
    • Corporate Governance
    • Corporate Finance
    • Employment Law
    • Environmental Law
    • Immigration Law
    • Mediation Skills
    • Natural Resources
    • Negotiations
    • Patent Law
    • Trademark Law
    • Transactional Law: Making the Deal

*These are considered core courses – minimum of 4 core courses required toward degree unless waived.

Application Requirements

To be eligible for admission to the MLS program, candidates must hold a bachelor’s degree.

Preferred application deadline: August 1 for Fall applicants.

Apply here using this form or apply on www.LSAC.org. In addition to this application form, applicants must submit:

  1. Personal Statement (1-2 pages). Please discuss your background, goals, how you plan to use your MLS degree, and any additional information you would like us to know.
  2. Nonrefundable $60 (US) application fee (waived for current Seattle University students and alumni).
  3. A resume or C.V.
  4. A list of three references (academic or professional references preferred but not required).

The following items must be sent to the law school directly from the appropriate institutions:

  • Official transcripts from all academic institutions where you have studied. A certified translation must be attached if the transcript is not in English.
  • If English is not your first language, official TOEFL score report must be sent directly from ETC. TOEFL is waived for students whose first language is English, who attended an educational institution in which English was the primary language of instruction, or who worked in an English-speaking environment for one year or more.

Tuition and Fees

Financial Aid Program
Preferred deadline for financial aid is June 15 for Fall applicants.

Tuition for the MLS is $1,084 per credit (MLS Online is $1,200 per credit).  Tuition Deposit: This $250 nonrefundable deposit is applied to your first semester's tuition and ensures you a place in the entering class. The deposit is due one month after the date of admission.

Tuition is paid per term, and determined by the number of credits you are taking. You may pay tuition charges with financial aid, personal resources, and/or employer benefits. If you choose not to use financial aid or have remaining charges after financial aid is applied to your account, you may arrange a payment plan directly with the law school business office, (206) 398-4050.