What Is A Master Of Laws Degree

By David Krug David Krug is the CEO & President of Bankovia. He's a lifelong expat who has lived in the Philippines, Mexico, Thailand, and Colombia. When he's not reading about cryptocurrencies, he's researching the latest personal finance software. 3 minute read

What is a Juris Doctorate?

The LL.M (Master of Laws) is offered in the United States and other foreign nations. This degree is typically pursued by attorneys seeking further information in a practice-related topic. There are specializations in health law, global securities law, and international criminal law, for instance. A basic LL.M. program is also available for individuals who do not wish to specialize.

In Latin, LL.M. is an abbreviation for Legum Magister. The plural form of the Latin word lex, which meaning law, is legum. This is a course that lawyers can take to understand more about a certain topic of law. Foreign-educated attorneys may enroll in the LL.M. program to gain knowledge of the American court system.

What is a Master of Legal Studies?

A Master of Studies in Law (M.S.L.) is an additional graduate degree for attorneys and non-attorneys. Some colleges may demand one year of law school prior to application. It is also possible to enroll in classes on a full-time or part-time basis. The latter can be completed in as little as twelve months. A one-year curriculum saves significant time and money compared to the standard three-year Juris Doctor degree. Similarly to the LL.M., concentrations are offered.

Law school does not provide the master’s degree’s self-paced style. Law school programs must be completed within three years.


Master of Studies in Law offers a wide variety of concentrations. For instance, the law school at the University of Pittsburgh (PittLaw) provides nineteen specialities. Their collection is one of the most comprehensive in terms of options. Whether you are interested in Sports and Entertainment Law, Disability Law, Estate Planning, Energy, or Corporate Law, you will likely find one of them appealing.

Not all programs provide as many specialized fields of study. Some institutions may provide between four and six options.

Similarly, there are LL.M. programs that allow you to build specialized knowledge and skill in a particular area of law. This degree may have a longer number of options than the M.S.L. degree. There are concentrations within specialized fields. Under the topic of Public Law, for instance, there is a focus in Air and Space Law. U.S. Space Law, International Aviation Finance and Leasing Law, International Space Law, and Space Security Law are covered in the LL.M. curriculum at the University of Mississippi.

When both offer the same concentration, the distinction between the M.S.L. and LL.M. degrees blurs. If you are interested in the expanding field of cybersecurity, for instance, you can study it with either degree.

The Cybersecurity & Data Privacy LL.M. Specialization at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles is comprised of professors and practitioners with expertise in cybercrime law enforcement and engineering. Internet law, cybersecurity compliance, risk management, and intellectual property offenses are required coursework.

Additionally, Loyola offers an MLS in Cybersecurity & Data Privacy Law. This degree requires eight classes, whereas the LL.M. requires only five. According to the institution, the MLS can be completed in one year of full-time study or two years of part-time study.

Internet Format

Both degrees are offered online for people who like to study from the comfort of their own homes, which is a distinct advantage for professionals who wish to enhance their careers in one of the numerous specializations. In addition, there is a variety of online instruction from which to choose. Arizona State University offers one of the most economical online master’s degrees in legal studies. This program provides a number of concentrations for students and professionals seeking to increase their knowledge base.

Several online LL.M. programs need a Juris Doctor (J.D.) or an internationally recognized law degree. Boston University School of Law, the University of Arizona, and the University of Southern California all require J.D. degrees from candidates. Moreover, there are fewer online LL.M. programs than MLS programs.

Bottom Line

Logic dictates that if there is an LL.M., there should also be an LL.B., the undergraduate counterpart. This degree has its origins in England. However, no American nor Canadian colleges provide it.

Individuals with a J.D. may pursue the LL.M. in order to increase their understanding of a certain field and strengthen their credentials. As previously stated, this degree has a time limit. You cannot do the courses at your own pace.

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