Washburn to start MSL covering 7 practice areas

Washburn University School of Law announced a new Master of Studies in Law (M.S.L) degree, designed for professionals who want a legal education but do not intend to practice law.

“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 school said in a press release.

The M.S.L. degree will qualify graduates for admission to the bar, and credit earned toward it cannot be counted toward a J.D. degree.

Washburn is the first school to offer such a degree in the immediate vicinity. The school said Topeka is the ideal location for such a program because of the high level of law-related professional activity in the community related to local, state, and national government agencies and activities. 

Students will be able to choose from seven career paths: Business and Transactional, Children and Family, Tax or Estate Planning, Government, Oil and Gas, Natural Resources, and Criminal Justice.

The program will be offered on both a full and part time basis. 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. 

Because students need only to complete 30 credit hours in order to earn their degree, however, the total tuition cost of the program is one-third of the cost of the J.D. tuition.

“The program will meet the needs of individuals making career changes as well as those wanting to advance their existing professional positions,” the press release said.