United States Legal Studies and Law Graduate on-Campus Programs | Law Schools

Both graduate schools and law schools might offer Legal Studies and Law Graduate on-campus programs. Masters and Doctorate law degrees extend beyond the Juris Doctor (JD) degree and Master of Laws (LLM) degree programs to include specializations such as property law and international law. The highly interactive nature of some legal studies and law degree programs may make studying on a university campus a rewarding choice.

Graduate in Legal Studies job growth

About On-Campus Legal Studies and Law Graduate Programs

Legal Studies and Law Graduate on-campus programs offer individuals with a Bachelors degree the opportunity to prepare for a variety of potential law and law-related career paths. Some graduate students might choose a more interdisciplinary legal studies degree program that explores research in law, policy and legal institutions. Others might choose to refine their knowledge of law to potentially enhance their law practice or to keep informed about legal developments in their respective field.  

Why Consider Legal Studies and Law Graduate on-Campus Programs?

There are several reasons you may want to consider choosing on-campus Legal Studies and Law Graduate Programs;

  • Some universities have small class-size so that law graduate students might interact closely with fellow classmates, lectures and professors.
  • Law degree programs may use the Socratic method as well as case-law analysis practices which rely on student participation, debate and in-class discussion.
  • Attending law school might provide students with mentorship opportunities as well as foster interpersonal and professional network building.
  • Law graduate students may gain practical experience by participating in school-sponsored legal clinics, in their school’s moot court competitions, in practice trials under the supervision of experienced lawyers and judges, and through research and writing on legal issues for a school’s law journals[i].

Is Law School Considered Grad School?

Should you apply to law school or graduate school? The answer to this question might reflect your career goals; there is generally a distinction between law school and graduate school, although to the extent that they both provide post graduate education is similar.

What is Law School?

Law school is a type of professional school that specializes in legal education and the process of ‘becoming ‘a lawyer. Professional schools offer specialized advanced degrees in one professional field such as law (also business, engineering, medicine etc.). Law school typically takes three years to completer after students have had four years of undergraduate study, and is the choice usually made by aspiring lawyers.

DID YOU KNOW: “Most states and jurisdictions require lawyers to complete a juris doctor (J.D.) degree from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA). ABA accreditation signifies that the law school—particularly its curricula and faculty—meets certain standards”.[i]

What about Law and Legal Studies Graduate Schools?

Graduate school is considered a place of higher education (beyond the undergraduate degrees) where courses of study vary as does the extent to which they might provide training for a profession. Law and legal studies graduate programs that are offered at universities might include Masters and Doctorate programs as well as graduate certificates. These may be multi-disciplinary programs where grad students might be taking courses from different departments as part of their degree program.

What Types of Legal Studies and Law Graduate Programs are Available on Campus?

Campus legal studies and law graduate programs may be available as graduate certificates, Master of Science, Master of Laws (LLM), PhD and Juris Doctor degree programs. Some of the subject specialties might include:

  • Environmental law: Environmental lawyers may represent advocacy groups, various corporations or government compliance agencies
  • Health care law: Might focus on health law, policy, health care leadership
  • Intellectual property law: Might emphasize issues such as inventions, patents, trademarks and copyrights issues.
  • JD/Law programs: is typically considered the first degree of law and is usually required to practice law in the United States. A bachelors degree is required for admission to a JD program[i].
  • LLM’s- Masters of Law: is a scholarly credential and law certification that is designed for JD graduates who seek advanced legal study. A first degree in law is required for entry into LLM programs.
  • Taxation law: Tax lawyers help individuals and corporations navigate taxation issues such as income and property tax, tax fraud.

5 Tips for Choosing a Legal Studies and Law Graduate Program & School

Deciding where to attend law school or graduate school may be a big decision. How to sort this process out? Here are five possible factors to bear in mind;

  • Location: Some law firms may recruit at law schools, so you may want to choose a law school in an area you would relocate to. Think about potential alumni networks and potential connections you might make in a specific area. Search for Legal Studies and Law Graduate on-campus programs by location; use the on-page navigation to choose a preferred city, state or country.
  • Specialized Programs: Are you a current lawyer seeking an LLM degree? Do you specifically want to pursue a career in environmental law? Are you interested in a JD degree? Seek out graduate schools or law schools that meet your educational needs
  • Campus: Evaluate the look and feel of a campus, perhaps scheduling some visits. Check out their extra-curricular programs, facilities, career counseling and housing options.
  • Opportunities: Aside from your legal studies or law degree, hands-on work experience (academic and/or professional) may be a great way to supplement your education. Take note of what might be available in the way of clinics, journal writing or externships at the schools on your list.
  • Accreditation: It is recommended for future lawyers to complete a juris doctorate degree at a law school accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA). ABA accreditation is a sign that the law school (curricula and faculty) meet certain standards [i]. Other legal studies and law graduate programs may be available at regionally accredited universities.

Take the Next Step

To make the most of this site, choose the type of legal studies and law graduate on-campus program that aligns with your goals. Browse sponsored programs at the masters, doctorate or graduate certificate levels. Use the on-page ‘request info’ form to submit your information from prospective universities and law schools. Take the next step in your education today!  


[i] bls.gov/ooh/legal/lawyers.htm

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