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In the 21st century, businesses and nonprofit organizations face an increasingly complex regulatory and legal environment. It’s impractical for employers to hire lawyers to sort through every issue and ensure compliance with complex legal requirements. So your organization must count on you to understand basic legal concepts, speak the language of the law and navigate this challenging landscape. Our online Master of Legal Studies program helps you to build the legal knowledge you need as a non-lawyer professional to address regulatory, compliance and other legal issues you may face throughout your career.

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Ranked as one of the top-40 national universities by U.S. News & World Report, Northeastern University is a private, nonprofit global research university built on a tradition of engagement with the world.

Online Master of Legal Studies

About the Program

The online Master of Legal Studies (MLS) is a distinctive program built from the ground up to enhance your understanding of the law. The program equips you with key skills to navigate complex legal issues ranging from regulatory compliance to intellectual property and other areas of business law.

You do not need to be a lawyer to benefit from the Master of Legal studies program. If you do not wish to practice law, but are interested in using it as a means to achieve your goal in environments where law is too often seen as an obstacle, the MLS can help you succeed.

The leader in experience-based legal education. We are ranked #1 for practical legal training by The National Jurist.


Concentrations Built To Be Practical

Students can choose one of these four fields, or choose a general course of study to complete the program. Each course is infused with Northeastern’s hallmark approach to education—experiential learning.

Our courses—customized around content critical to specific professionals—are taught by law school faculty and practitioners in the field who give students the practical knowledge they need to more effectively address legal issues in your industry.


Practice Areas

The Master of Legal Studies program offers four concentrations in in-demand practice areas:

  • Business Law
  • Health Law
  • Human Resources Law
  • Intellectual Property Law

Designed for Working Professionals

The online format allows working adults to take classes when it fits their professional and personal schedules. State-of-the-art technology connects students to their teachers, building life-long relationships and adding value to students’ careers.

Watch our video to learn more from students and faculty members about the online experience in the Master of Legal Studies program.

Gain Expertise

Experiential Network (XN) Opportunities

Investigate a particular area of the law and grow your skills through an opportunity with our renowned Experiential Network—you'll undertake a real-life project for an employer that helps you gain expertise and build your resume and networks. Master of Legal Studies students also have access to career workshops and tools especially designed for distance learners and graduate students, helping you gain access to a network of fellow professionals.

“For my experiential network course, I completed my project at Union College, Schenectady, New York, in the Department of College Relations. During the first portion of the course, I created a marketing plan for the launch of a new corporate partnership. I drafted the plan, presented it to the leadership team for review and the college and then implemented the plan. I also had the opportunity to review the contract for the partnership and was included in the drafting process with legal counsel.”

Ritchie Assini, MLS’18 graduate, who successfully secured a full-time position through her Experiential Network project with Union College

Personalized Career Coaching

Every Master of Legal Studies student has access to a career coach. The career coach works with MLS students to create a Career Action Plan to help students achieve their own professional goals and to support them in their career exploration and job search processes.

Information for Northeastern Employees

Northeastern faculty, staff and dependents eligible for tuition waivers under current Northeastern human resources policies can now apply them toward the MLS program. For more information, please contact the Human Resource Management (HRM) Customer Service Center at +1 617.373.2230 or

Master of Legal Studies

Am I Right for This Program?

This unique master’s degree in legal studies is tailored to the needs of non-lawyers and features a curriculum that will allow you to understand and apply legal concepts within the context of your own profession and field. Given that the law impacts virtually every industry, it’s likely you’ll find the degree highly valuable. In particular, our program attracts students from the following industries and organizations:

  • Compliance
  • Communications
  • Contract Management and Procurement
  • Financial Services
  • Government
  • Healthcare
  • Higher Education Administration
  • Human Resources Management
  • Intellectual Property
  • Institutional Advancement
  • Insurance and Claims
  • Journalism
  • Lobbying and Government Affairs
  • Nonprofit Organizations
Advance Your Career

Advance Your Career

Why a Master of Legal Studies?

Due to rapidly expanding forms of regulation and an increasingly complex legal environment, professionals across various fields have a growing need for a grounding in the law. If you are in a highly regulated industry, Northeastern’s Master of Legal Studies gives you the unique opportunity to learn legal concepts without having to obtain a Juris Doctor.

The program will give you a broad knowledge and understanding of the law and help you become an expert in legal issues within your own industry. The customized curriculum will provide you with the flexibility to understand, analyze and interpret your professional environment through a legal lens, giving you the opportunity to advance your company and your career.



What Is the Northeastern Network?

The Northeastern University School of Law network spans the globe. With the support of more than 3,000 employer partners and 200,000 graduates, Northeastern students are networked for success. As a Master of Legal Studies student, you will have access to all of our campus resources, including our research library, and various conferences and presentations. Wherever your location, you will graduate prepared and networked for life.