A pre-pandemic survey conducted by Learning House, Inc. and Aslanian Market Research in 2018 found that 86% of 1,500 online graduate students believed the value of their online degree equaled or exceeded what they paid for it. That number would be substantially higher today as many educational institutions made online degree programs available to their students due to Covid-19. Not counting the safety benefits of online learning during a pandemic, there are many benefits to earning a master of legal studies (MSL) online.
The McGeorge School of Law offers fully online Master of Science in Law (MSL) programs in Government Law and Policy and Water and Environmental Law. The courses in the programs emphasize real-world knowledge and practical skills with the convenience of at-home study.
The benefits of pursuing a graduate degree online extend beyond convenience. However, it is a large part of why students prefer online degree programs.
Greater Flexibility With an MSL Online
The online MSL degree allows working professionals to continue working while they study. The ability to log on to coursework from anywhere means that students can learn on their schedule. There’s no need to take extended time off from work until you graduate. Whether you prefer to study at your local coffee shop or need to travel for work, you can still access your coursework with a reliable internet connection and a mobile device.
The online program gives you the mobility to be able to study anywhere at any time. McGeorge’s online graduate degrees are on a flexible part-time schedule and can be designed around your individual professional goals.
An Online MSL is Cost-Effective
The online master of legal studies is more cost-effective in that you will not be responsible for certain fees that on-campus students accrue. Apart from the fees, the academic year total for the MSL online program ($17,052) is slightly less than the on-campus total ($20,782). Because you are learning at your own pace, you can adjust the number of units you take each semester to fit your budget. Also, you will not have to commute or pay for parking.
The MSL Online Offers Asynchronous Coursework
The Government Law and Policy and Water and Environmental Law online courses are primarily asynchronous. This means that you can access the coursework when it’s convenient for you. There are typically weekly deadlines for assigned activities, and some assignments may have mid-week deadlines.
The courses are presented as modules through an intuitive and easy-to-use website. They include pre-recorded video lectures, associated readings, and interactive discussion boards. The weekly modules and discussion boards encourage regular interaction between faculty and other students. You’ll advance through the coursework alongside your classmates, and you’ll be able to engage with them about the material. Weekly participation is required. However, you’ll be able to manage participation around your schedule.
McGeorge’s Online Advanced Degree Programs Improve Discipline
While the asynchronous courses allow you to work at a convenient time, some students find that managing time is a challenge, and let the work pile up. You will have to hold yourself accountable and develop practical time management skills. Many professionals working in industries dealing with government law and policy or water and environmental law already know how to manage their time; others will benefit professionally if they improve these skills. Being disciplined about completing coursework will give you the chance to sharpen your skills and carry them over into your career.
Boost Your Career Status With an Online MSL
The online MSL is an advanced degree that will show you have specialized knowledge in either government law or water and environmental law. Earning this degree can help you move up in your current career or pivot into a new role. It shows your employer your commitment and dedication to understanding how the law intersects with your field. It also gives you a competitive edge when applying to new positions.
Many of McGeorge’s MSL online graduates’ career paths advanced after completing the program. Tara Beltran, a 2018 MSL graduate, was managing a habitat program at a California public agency when she started the MSL program. Tara explains how the MSL helped to expand her professional role after graduation. “McGeorge’s program is absolutely relevant to my work, and it definitely gave me what I needed.” “It pushed me professionally from having just a job to building a career.”
After graduating, “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.
Convenience That Allows You To Do More
Both of the concentrations in McGeorge’s MSL online degree program are in high-demand fields. The knowledge and skills learned in the Water and Environmental Law program could be applied in any position in the field of environmental regulation and protection. Also, McGeorge is one of the few schools that offer online graduate training and specialized programs in water resources law.
The Government Law and Policy program is for anyone looking to advance their skillsets in lawmaking, election law, regulation, and lobbying. Students benefit from McGeorge’s relationships in California’s legislature and with the myriad government agencies located in Sacramento. As a result of these relationships and the deep expertise of its faculty, McGeorge has been nationally ranked for its government law programs.
The two-degree programs would expand your legal knowledge and skills and open the potential for employment within two legal fields and numerous business sectors.
The course curriculum can be designed to meet your professional goals. The convenience of taking the courses you need will give you the advantage of specialized learning. Amanda Richie, a 2018 MSL graduate, chose McGeorge School of Law and the MSL degree for the flexibility and benefits it offered her. “I was able to tailor my class schedule to courses that most interested me and that would be most relevant to my future career,” Amanda said. “The program gave me the credentials and the skills I needed for my career goals.”
The online MSL degrees in Government Law and Policy and Water and Environmental Law are programs for working professionals who would like to enhance their career with an advanced legal degree but who do not want to practice law.
The online graduate courses are flexible, practical, and engaging. They’re built using proven instructional design practices that make it easy for you to learn. The classes are led by our distinguished faculty who have a depth of knowledge in government law and policy and water and environmental law, as well as outstanding teaching abilities.
The MSL online programs are convenient and are specifically designed for working professionals or students who want to build marketable expertise, but need flexibility due to career, family, or other obligations, and who want to further their education and advance their career.