Casual Female Portraits

MSL Program ‘Pushed Me from Having a Job to Building a Career’

Building My Career with an MSL from McGeorge School of Law

Tara Beltran (MSL ‘18) began to consider pursuing a master’s degree when she worked at a California public agency, managing a habitat program. “I became very interested in water policy and water law during that time,” she told us. Also, “I knew I wanted to continue that work, so I looked into getting an advanced degree to further my career.”

“I thought about what sort of trajectory I wanted for my career,” Tara said, “and about what knowledge I would need to get there.” “Laws and regulations are driving factors in many industries, especially when it comes to environmental law, and I wanted to position myself with an advanced degree to understand that complexity in a formal way.”

Tara said she looked into many MBA programs, but the curricula lacked the foundational work in water and environmental law she knew she needed for advancement. “Also,” Tara said, “I knew I didn’t want to practice law,” she said, “so getting a JD did not make sense.” 

But after learning about and researching the McGeorge Master of Science in Law (MSL) program, Tara determined it was the right one for her. She says the MSL program “gave me what I wanted in terms of attending law school, but with the ability to focus only on the courses that would support my career.” 

“I also now know,” she added, “that the professors are engaging and are experts in the field.” “The curriculum covers a variety of topics, and there were even more courses of interest offered than I could take. I had not anticipated how much information I would learn even from courses in contracts or legal analysis.”

After graduating, Tara expanded her professional role. “I changed positions, and my responsibilities and salary increased. I took a greater leadership role.” Tara now works for a habitat mitigation company that consults with federal and state agencies, and her current project involves environmental restoration in the California Delta. 

“McGeorge’s program is absolutely relevant to my work,” Tara said, “and it definitely gave me what I needed.” “It pushed me professionally from having just a job to building a career.”

McGeorge’s Online MSL & LLM Programs

McGeorge offers two fully online part-time Master of Science in Law programs:

  • The MSL in Government Law & Policy is designed for local, state, and federal agency employees, and for lobbyists, legislative staff, and others who seek to enhance their skills in lawmaking, regulation, election law, and lobbying but who do not require a traditional law degree.
  • The MSL in Water & Environmental Law provides value to land use planners, engineers, environmental consultants, and others who seek expertise in this continually-evolving field but who do not require a JD degree.

Additionally, a fully online part-time LLM in Water & Environmental Law program is for attorneys, recent law school graduates, or foreign-educated legal professionals to develop depth of knowledge in a specialized area of environmental, water resources, regulatory compliance, and public agency law.

Students build marketable expertise with the guidance of expert faculty chosen for outstanding teaching as well as the depth of knowledge in government law, water resources, or environmental law. Courses emphasize real-world knowledge and the development of practical skills. The programs are convenient and are specifically designed for working professionals or students who need flexibility due to career, family, or other obligations, and who want to further their education and advance their career.

Start building your career today with McGeorge School of Law Online. For more information, contact us at or 916.739.7019.

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