Classes available this summer for new UT Law degree programs

Students interested in obtaining a Graduate Certificate in Legal Studies or a Master of Legal Studies degree can begin online coursework at the College of Law as early as this summer.

The College of Law announced in May that it would begin offering the Master of Legal Studies degree option as an alternative to the typical three-year Juris Doctor degree. It is targeted toward those who need to be conversant in the law but do not wish to practice it. 

The 15-credit Graduate Certificate in Legal Studies is another alternative for those who don’t wish to pursue the full 30-credit degree.  

Students may begin work on the graduate certificate this summer with a course called “The Structure and Operation of the American Legal System.” The course will introduce students to the American legal system and basics of U.S. law and can be taken for two or three credits.

While enrollment in the Master of Legal Studies program officially begins in Fall 2021, students who are enrolled in the graduate certificate program may, subject to approval and other applicable procedures, transfer to the master’s program and transfer earned credit hours toward that degree.

Professor Alex Long, who will teach the asynchronous summer course, said he looks forward to introducing students to the College of Law’s new programs.

Master of Legal Studies and graduate certificates are most often pursued by individuals already in the workforce. 

Business professionals, compliance officers, cybersecurity experts, higher education administrators, human resources administrators, law enforcement officers and paralegals are among those who might regularly communicate with lawyers or need to navigate legal regulations, but never represent a client. 

Students must apply for admission through the University of Tennessee College of Graduate Studies. Learn more about the programs.