Washburn Law Announces Master of Studies in Law (M.S.L) Degree

Washburn University School of Law is now offering a Master of Studies in Law (M.S.L) degree. Washburn Law’s M.S.L. degree is designed to meet the needs of prospective students who will gain from an enriched background in the study of law, who do not plan to devote the time and resources needed for a full three year study of law, and whose professional interests do not require admission to the bar.  Because the program will be offered for either full or part time students, the program will meet the needs of individuals making career changes as well as those wanting to advance their existing professional positions.

The goal of the program is to provide a legal background that will complement the professional interests of the participants, strengthen their ability to interact effectively with the legal community, and provide professional certification of those accomplishments.  The M.S.L. degree does not qualify graduates for admission to the bar, and credit earned toward an M.S.L. degree normally cannot be counted toward a J.D. degree.

This degree is not offered by any school within the immediate vicinity.  Topeka is the ideal location for such a program because of the high level of law-related professional activity in this community related to local, state, and national government agencies and activities.  The facilities, library resources, and administrative structure of the law school are all ideally suited for this program.

The existing Washburn curriculum is also tailor-made for such a program.  Organization of the curriculum, built upon a framework of Centers for Excellence and certificate programs, provides a professional curriculum in the following career paths: Business and Transactional, Children and Family, Tax or Estate Planning, Government, Oil and Gas, Natural Resources, and Criminal Justice. Adding a limited number of students with parallel professional interests and experience will enhance those courses by offering a diverse perspective to students enrolled in the J.D. program, while simultaneously providing a valuable educational experience to the students seeking a master’s level degree.

The program is pending its final step of approval – before the Higher Learning Commission.  

A full-time student will be able to complete this program within a single academic year.  Part-time students must complete all credit hours needed for the degree within four calendar years beginning with the first semester after enrollment. Costs per credit hour for the M.S.L. students would be the same as that for J.D. students.