Master of Legal Studies Program

Learn about the law without becoming a lawyer. Earn your MLS.

Willamette’s Master of Legal Studies (MLS) Program is a one-year master’s program designed for professionals whose job involves working within a legal or regulatory framework. MLS students work with a law school advisor to develop a set of courses to meet their specific career needs or goals. Students can pursue the degree on a full-time or part-time basis. Get answers to common questions about the MLS degree in our FAQs.

Virtually all of the courses taught at the Willamette University College of Law are open to MLS students, including: Business Organizations, Employment Law, Labor Law, Healthcare Law & Policy, Corporate Finance, Federal Income Taxation, Business Entities Tax, Business Planning, Legislation, and State & Local Government Law, among others. View a listing of possible areas of interest and course offerings.

The MLS is not intended to prepare students for the JD program. In compliance with rules of the American Bar Association, no credit may be given toward the JD for any courses taken in the MLS program.

Learning Outcomes

MLS Program


All MLS candidates must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. Admission will be offered to applicants on the basis of several factors, including undergraduate academic record, professional experience, and expected commitment to the MLS program.

Applications are reviewed and decisions made on a rolling basis. For best consideration, prospective students are encouraged to apply by April 15 for fall admission (August start), or October 1 for spring admission (January start). However, applications will continue to be accepted following the priority deadline so long as there is seating availability.

MLS Program


A completed application is composed of:

  • A personal statement
  • A resume
  • At least one letter of recommendation
  • Official certified undergraduate transcript

International applicants should contact the Office of Admission for further information.

Contact an MLS Specialist

For assistance with the application and admission process.

MLS Student

Whether you’re a government employee, human resource director, health care professional, corporate manager, compliance officer, CPA, or entrepreneur, understanding the law and working effectively with legal counsel are essential skills that can provide a boost to your professional performance and to your career.

Contact An MLS Specialist

For assistance with the application and admission process:

Request Information

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