What Can I Do With a Law Degree?
Aspiring @WashULaw students can pursue a wide variety of legal and non-legal jobs with a law degree. Explore some of the possible career paths with a Master of Legal Studies (MLS) or a Master of Laws (LL.M.) in U.S. Law, as well as how @WashULaw Career Services helps students reach their goals.
Master of Legal Studies Job Opportunities
Typically completed in one year, the Master of Legal Studies (MLS) is ideal for non-lawyers who can benefit from a foundation in law. Our MLS students come from a range of backgrounds and pursue careers in business, health care, politics and other fields. Many students choose to earn this degree to enhance their job performance or marketability to employers as they strive toward their ultimate goal of becoming a legal expert.
Here are some careers students will be prepared to consider when they earn a master’s in legal studies.
Non-Lawyer Legal Professions
An MLS degree can help paralegals, who research and draft legal documents, by developing their legal writing skills and giving them a foundation in multiple areas of law.
Patent agents generally enter the legal field with a background in science or technology. An MLS helps them understand the terminology and inner workings of the U.S. legal system.
Business and Investment
Executives can make smarter business choices and comply with regulations and corporate governance by gaining expertise in contracts, compliance, international business transactions and more.
Investors and Entrepreneurs
An MLS provides a background in intellectual property, contracts, and employment law. Professionals need a solid understanding of these rules to make informed decisions when investing in or starting a business.
Politics and Government
To create and carry out laws, legislators and executive officials need a foundation in the U.S. legal system. Knowledge of international business transactions and constitutional law can be especially useful for federal politicians.
A background in negotiation and the current legal system can help professionals such as legislative aides who mediate between parties and analyze and draft laws and regulations.
Professionals in the health care and health services industries often work with contracts, negotiations, health care law, employment law, civil rights and disability law. Health care administrators regularly deal with government policies such as the Affordable Care Act and HIPAA. With an MLS, health care professionals can better analyze and understand these issues, which can help them advance their careers and provide more effective care.
Additional Career Paths With an MLS
In addition to law, business, politics and health care, students can also enhance their skills in a number of alternative careers with a law degree:
- Real estate agents can more expertly navigate legal contracts and property law by gaining a greater understanding of these areas of the law.
- Teachers and professors in areas such as business or health care may pursue an MLS to develop multidisciplinary expertise to provide a well-rounded education.
- Social workers can more effectively advocate for their clients’ rights when they attain a deeper knowledge of the legal system.
- Legal journalists can add depth and insight to case reporting and analysis when they better understand the laws.
- Union representatives and administrators can better advocate for their members by understanding legal issues such as labor regulations and contracts.
LL.M. Job Opportunities
The Master of Laws (LL.M.) in U.S. Law is designed for international lawyers seeking a fundamental understanding of the United States legal system. Typically completed in one year, @WashULaw’s LL.M. program is ideal for non-U.S. law school graduates (J.D. or equivalent) and attorneys who want to specialize in U.S. law. Explore some career options students pursue after earning an LL.M.
Practice in the U.S.
After graduating from @WashULaw’s online LL.M. program, students are eligible to take the bar exam in California and Washington state. International attorneys often pursue an LL.M. in U.S. Law as a shorter path than a J.D. to taking the bar exam and becoming eligible to practice as an attorney in the United States.
Work at International Firms
With a solid understanding of U.S. law, students will have a greater ability to work with diverse partners and clients at international law firms.
Practice at Home With Greater Insight
Understanding the complexities of another country’s legal system can help students gain a more nuanced view of the legal system in their own country and bring new ideas to their practice.
@WashULaw Career Services for Law Students
@WashULaw students have access to career services support to help them prepare for a job search or achieve their professional goals. @WashULaw career services include:
Upon enrollment in an @WashULaw program, students gain access to Career Hub, an online, self-paced, professional development course that provides tools, resources and knowledge to help students expand their network and advance their careers. Topics in this course include job search planning, résumé guidance, networking and interviewing strategies, and advice on building an online presence.
@WashULaw career counseling advisors provide students with personalized career advice. Students can make individual appointments via phone or video conference to receive guidance in managing job searches, preparing for interviews, developing résumés and more.
WashULaw Alumni Network
@WashULaw graduates can use tools like LinkedIn’s @WashULaw Alumni Group to connect to their global network from anywhere. The Center for Career Development (CCD) also hosts events and career networking opportunities to help students and graduates stay connected to the global @WashULaw community. Explore the CCD events calendar.
@WashULaw students and graduates are working for companies around the world in the law field and a number of other fields.
Occupations of @WashULaw Students and Graduates
LL.M. and MLS students and graduates of Washington University follow different career paths and work in a wide range of occupations. Some examples of their job titles include:
- Partner/Managing Partner
- Senior Attorney
- Senior Legal Director
- Compliance Officer
- Legal Manager
- Legal Specialist
- Legal and Compliance Director
- General Council/Legal Council
Employers of @WashULaw Students and Graduates
While @WashULaw LL.M. graduates typically run their own law practices, work as attorneys at U.S.-based and international law firms or are self-employed, MLS graduates’ occupations vary widely in fields such as law, finance, education and the military. Current and past employers of @WashULaw students and graduates include:
- HSBC Bank
- UN High Commissioner for Refugees
- S. Army
- Shell International
- Creason, Moore, Dokken & Geidl
- Beijing Wan Hui Da law firm
- Nakanoshima Chuo Law Office
- Hill Smith King & Wood
- Bae, Kim & Lee LLC
- Catalano Advogados Associados
- Shao Law Firm, P.C.
- Mattos Filho Advogados
- Indian Society of International Law
- Taiwan Taipei District Court
Pursue Your Career Goals
If you are ready to learn more about how @WashULaw can help you achieve your career goals, click below for more information.