Government Law & Policy

Transforming Public Policy with an Online MSL Degree

Public policy shapes everything around us. It is the laws, regulations, guidelines, and actions to solve or address relevant and real-world problems, guided by a conception and often implemented by programs. Governmental bodies identify and address societal issues and reach collective goals through public policy. At every level, people are intricately involved in advocating for positive change within public policy. They can be lawmakers, lobbyists, politicians, or grassroots campaigners. If enacting change is your goal, there are a variety of ways to get there. 

Educationally, obtaining a degree to help you understand the processes and systems you will work within can enhance your career. While many people assume becoming a lawyer is the main road, becoming an attorney isn’t the only option. Earning a Master of Science in Law (MSL) also opens those doors. For those looking to pursue an MSL, McGeorge School of Law is there. Our nationally-ranked public law program gives our students professional, thorough legal knowledge by offering practical training and expertise taught by experienced faculty.

Transforming Government

Advocating and enacting change happens in the biggest way through laws and regulations that governing bodies set out. Whether this is at the federal, state, or local levels, impact occurs everywhere. 

There are various career paths you can take if you’re looking to make long-term changes within government, including:

  1. Lobbyists: people who take part in organized attempts to influence legislators. They usually work for a specific cause and lobby within Congress. A lobbyist’s job is to fight for a goal and to get laws enacted that further the goal. They can be environmental, pharmaceutical, community-driven, and more. They are knowledgeable in their field and use the knowledge to educate legislators on what is happening as well as influence them on why they should pass laws in their favor.
  2. Politicians: Politicians hold power either in the state or local governments. They are proposing and vetoing laws and regulations. Politicians are elected by the people to represent the people and are supposed to work with their constituents’ best interests in mind. 
  3. Policy writers/analysts: Policy writers research and draft policy initiatives. Afterward, they aid in the implementation and adoption of those policies. Policy analysts are on the ground level when implementing or changing the regulations in place becomes a thought. They do the research and reports on the ramifications of any kind of policy change so that everyone is well-informed on the potential impact it holds.
  4. Campaign workers: Many of us have interacted with campaign workers at some point, especially around elections. Campaign workers encompass many cogs in a moving machine. They might be polling the community, making phone calls, raising funds, or advising the person running for office. They could be coordinating travel, keeping an eye on current news, or speech writing. Campaign workers form a team that backs up their running person until election results are in. Getting their candidate in office has a direct impact on the next cycle of government and how it runs.
  5. Grassroots community builders: Community builders are distinguishable in that they are locally accountable. They work to improve the collective livelihoods of their community. This can manifest in many different ways, whether it is starting initiatives to educate the community on pressing issues, pushing for resources, or fighting for change. Some grassroots movements grow large enough that they step outside of their local area. Alexandria Occassio-Cortez as well as other politicians famously started as grassroots movements. 
  6. Public health officials: Healthcare practitioners and public health officials help transform the landscape of our healthcare system. According to the CDC, public health professionals play an important role in the policy process. They do this by conducting policy analysis, communicating findings, developing partnerships, and promoting and implementing evidence-based interventions. Policy is an effective way to improve the health of populations.

These positions all work within the government to change it, whether by being a part of it or working on the outside with the branches in place.

Private Sector

Transforming public policy doesn’t only happen on a public level, but on a private one as well. The private sector, which many times has funding that the public sector does not, also can have an impact on transforming public policy. Plenty of private sector jobs can help influence public policy, such as:

  1. Journalists/policy reporters: While this may not be the first thought for a job that influences policy, news reporting always has the potential to heavily sway the public’s opinion. In today’s age, where there are many news outlets, social media, and various forms of technology keeping us connected to what is happening in our community and around the world, reporting news is no light responsibility. Journalists not only let the public know what is happening but also portray the facts to help people come to conclusions about courses of action that should occur. 
  2. Engineers: Engineers can shape public policy by identifying how their engineering as well as science shapes social issues. Water resource or environmental engineers, for example, use engineering disciplines to develop solutions for planetary health. 

MSLs as a Stepping Stone

A Master of Science in Law gives practical training, expertise, and legal knowledge. Graduating from the McGeorge program lets you:

  1. Review and understand agreements such as contracts
  2. Review and draft proposed local, state, and federal laws and regulations
  3. Understand and comply with regulatory requirements for specific industries
  4. Work with attorneys and compliance officers

Specialized degrees give you a higher leg up in today’s competitive job market. We have MSL programs in both government law and policy as well as water and environmental law. Both bring our students advanced knowledge of the legal system, which can open doors within their careers. Advanced knowledge of the legal system helps you:

  1. Gain a competitive edge when applying for jobs;
  2. Provide a greater understanding of how the law affects your current role;
  3. Enhance your resume by developing a specialization in government law or water & environmental law.

Whether you want to break into a new role, advance your current role, or pivot into being more focused on the legal possibilities within your career, an MSL could be a great move for you. 

McGeorge School of Law not only offers two specialized MSL programs but also offers them online. Our fully online programs allow our students to blend the demands of higher education with other demands in life, such as work or personal responsibilities. McGeorge has a nationally-ranked law program that our MSLs are rooted in, and our online students get access to all of the resources and networks that McGeorge has to offer. This includes on-campus academic and social events which can be joined either through live-streaming or in person. 

If you’re looking into an MSL program, consider McGeorge. Submit your application today or call our admissions office to get started.

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Complex Legal Concepts for Non-Lawyers

Breaking Down Complex Legal Concepts for Non-Lawyers

A common school of thought is that to work in the legal field, you have to be a lawyer. This is far from the case (pun intended). Plenty of people – including lobbyists and even politicians, who help make laws – are not attorneys. You can work within your legal system as long as you understand it. The first step is taking legal concepts that appear complex and breaking them down into points that are easier to understand.

If you’re considering a career in law in the United States but don’t want to become an attorney, McGeorge School of Law is the place for you. We have specialized Master of Law in Science degree programs that give our students distinctive knowledge in their field. The need for legal skills in non-lawyer jobs continues to grow, and having expertise in law, legislation, and regulation can help expand career opportunities. 

Important Legal Terminology

Knowing legal terminology is half the battle. Law school and becoming a lawyer is a massive learning curve. At first, it might feel like learning a whole new language. Knowing what some of these terms mean helps massively as you navigate legal issues.

Complex Legal Concepts for Non-Lawyers

 

1. Contract

A contract can come in many shapes and forms. People sign contracts regularly – whenever you purchase a plane ticket or a phone or hire someone for an event, you are entering into a contractual agreement with that company. A lease, home purchase, and mortgage are all major contracts that most people will sign at some point in their lives. Contracts are agreements between two parties for something – whether it is buying goods or exchanging services. 

2. Damages

Damages are some kind of harm that occurs to a person. Usually, this can be measured in monetary amounts. Have you suffered an injury? The medical bills and lost wages are considered damages. Any pain and suffering caused is also considered damages. Damages are usually given a numerical amount in a lawsuit and are what gets awarded at its conclusion if the party wins. 

3. Liability

Liability essentially translates to blame or responsibility. Who holds the blame for something that happened? The party being held responsible is the one who has liability. 

4. Force Majeure

Force majeure was a term that many people had never heard of until the COVID-19 pandemic. It is a French term that directly translates to mean, “greater force.” In contracts, it refers to an unforeseeable and unavoidable event that prevents the terms of a contract from being carried out, sometimes called, “an act of God.” 

A pandemic is a perfect example of this, as are extreme weather events, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, or acts of war. Force Majeure generally relieves parties from liability in carrying out the terms of their contract because external forces make it impossible. It is completely out of their control and something that never could have been predicted.

5. Negligence

Negligence is the failure to take proper care to do something. In the world of law, it involves a few elements. To be considered negligent, someone (or an entity) needs to have a duty of care towards another and breach that duty. As a direct result of that breach, an injury has to have occurred and that person must have incurred damages. 

6. Malpractice

Malpractice is essentially professional negligence. It applies to professions that are held to a higher standard of care because they serve people – such as doctors and lawyers. These professions are highly trained and therefore have a higher duty of care. Malpractice can have devastating consequences – including death, jail time, and ruined lives. Breaching that duty tends to have higher consequences. Deviating from and breaching that duty of care is considered malpractice. 

7. Plaintiff

Plaintiffs are one of two parties in a lawsuit. They are the person instigating the action and suing the other party, known as the Defendant. 

8. Defendant

Defendants are the party getting sued. The root of the word, “defend,” essentially describes the process of defending one’s actions in a lawsuit. 

9. Claim

Claims are requests or demands for something. Generally, someone has been harmed in some way and they are seeking a legal route to right the wrong.

10. Lawsuit

Lawsuits occur if the person with a claim is bringing it forward to court. 

McGeorge Gets You Through The Door

Attending law school and obtaining your MLS degree gives you a well-rounded knowledge of legal topics and allows you to participate in, and inform legal discussions. Whether you’re working in criminal law, intellectual property law, business law, or a completely different field, law will intersect. Our graduates go on to become and work as:

  • Analysts
  • Regulatory compliance officers
  • Human resources representatives
  • Program coordinators
  • Contracts and grants officers
  • Management consultants
  • Government officials and public agency staff
  • Courtroom clerks
  • Healthcare practitioners
  • Legislative aides
  • Legislative directors
  • Lobbyists 
  • Program managers
  • Environmental engineers
  • Public information officers
  • Journalists or policy reporters
  • Land use planners
  • Policy advocates
  • And so much more.

Our MLS program offers two concentrations: government and policy, and water and environmental. The program is fully online, giving our students the flexibility to expand their knowledge and career opportunities without sacrificing any life obligations they currently have. Interested in getting started? Contact our admissions office today. 

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Advocacy Career

Advance your Advocacy Career with an Online MSL in Government Law & Policy

Education opens doors to advance your career. Obtaining a higher degree gives you an edge in a competitive job market. According to the United States Census Bureau, in 2022 only 14% of Americans had completed advanced education such as a master’s degree, professional degree, or doctorate. If you’re looking for an advocacy career, the specialized knowledge gained from a master’s degree is a tool to become a better advocate.

McGeorge School of Law has a Master of Science in Law (MSL) in Government Law and Policy that teaches students the ins and outs of things such as legislature and policymaking. When it comes to being an advocate and enacting change, the real-world education provided at McGeorge gives our graduates marketable expertise.

Advocacy Career

Advocacy as a Calling

If you are someone who has always had the passion to fight for others and the betterment of the community, advocacy could be your career calling. There are various types of advocates. Many careers hold some level of advocacy within. Teachers, social workers, and lawyers advocate for their students and clients. You can get involved in the political space, by helping lobby for legislation that protects the community or even running for an elected office. You jump into the legal space in a different manner, by helping grassroots movements and writing policy. You can work in the nonprofit realm, as many nonprofits have missions related to the public interest. Many people have a personal tie to the cause they are advocating for, and there are many options out there.

What an MSL Can Do For You

Some advocacy careers, such as lawyers and teachers, require specific degrees. Others don’t have an education requirement beyond a bachelor’s degree. So why is getting your MSL beneficial? How can it help you professionally? And why an MSL in government law and policy?

First, many advocacy careers intersect with the law in some way. Whether or not you are involved on the ground level trying to change policy, the laws that are out there affect the people you are advocating for. In order to work to change them or figure out how they can help, you’ll need to have a better understanding of how the system works. In many cases, whatever is out there isn’t enough. You’re advocating for more. An MSL degree can enhance the role you are currently in. It can also help you pivot your career into the legal field if you were not there already and you want to head in that direction. Plenty of advocacy careers, such as lobbying, legislature, policy, and elections, benefit from specialized knowledge of government law and policy. 

Why McGeorge

Our MSL program enables you to learn from professors and practitioners who are experts in law, legislative process, regulation, and policymaking. Our students come away with knowledge and a skillet that allows them to:

  • Review and understand agreements such as contracts
  • Review and draft proposed local, state, and federal laws and regulations
  • Understand and comply with regulatory requirements for specific industries
  • Work with attorneys and compliance officers

They also have a publishable piece of research. The coursework is designed to benefit many career paths that our graduates go on to pursue. They become analysts, law clerks, and government staff. Graduates can advance their current career path or step into a new role entirely. 

When it comes to logistics, McGeorge works to ensure that getting your MSL is not prohibitive for the rest of your life. Students come in with full-time jobs and other obligations that don’t need to be put on hold while they get their degree. Our program is part-time, completely online, and asynchronous. This gives students the freedom to mold class to their schedules instead of the other way around. It is a facet that makes education more accessible without sacrificing quality. Our program was built on the foundation of McGeorge’s nationally-ranked program in public law and its renowned Capital Center for Law & Policy, and our MSL students have full access to our resources as well as our extensive alumni network. 

An MSL can help you hold greater space for impact. McGeorge’s MSL program in Government Law and Policy is the perfect place to start. What are you waiting for? Contact our admissions office today.

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Top Lobbyist Jobs

Top Lobbyist Jobs After Earning a Master’s Degree

Earning a Master of Science in Law opens up doors for career possibilities in public affairs, including a career as a lobbyist. Lobbyists are people who advocate for specific matters pending before elected officials. Through oral and written communication, lobbyists work on behalf of people or organizations to influence politics. They aim to get legislation passed or presented that aligns with their cause. Lobbyists are generally experts in their field, taking on the job of educating the elected officials they are interacting with on the matter at hand.

If you’re looking to become a lobbyist full-time, earning a Master of Science in Law (MSL) at McGeorge School of Law is a great prequel to your career. Our Government Law and Policy program is designed for lobbyists looking to enhance their skills without needing a law degree to succeed.

Top Lobbyist Jobs

Industries for Lobbyists

There are endless causes to champion when lobbying in the government. Whether you’re passionate about working for a cause, community, or industry, there are plenty of options to choose from. Organizations collectively spend large sums of money lobbying every year. According to data from opensecrets.org and the Senate Office of Public Records and calculations by the Center for Responsive Politics, the top industries spending on lobbying are:

  1. Pharmaceuticals/health products
  2. Insurance 
  3. Electric utilities
  4. Electronic manufacturing and equipment
  5. Business associations, a grouping including small businesses, big businesses, and international trade associations
  6. Oil and gas
  7. Hospitals/nursing homes
  8. Miscellaneous manufacturing and distributing, including top consumer companies

Millions to billions of dollars get funneled into lobbying efforts by these and other industries. For example, in 2021, the United States Chamber of Commerce spent $66.4 million alone, while the American Hospital Association spent $25.1 million. Some organizations spend millions on lobbying, joining others in their industry to create heavy influence for their cause. 

Types of Lobbying

Within lobbying, there are four main specializations. The main differential is who they are lobbying before and trying to influence:

  • Executive lobbyist: Targets the executive branch of the government.
  • Elected government official lobbyist: Influences the local government officials. This encompasses counties, cities, towns, and villages.
  • Judicial lobbyist: Targets the judicial branch of government and their purchasing decisions.
  • Legislative lobbyist: Influences the legislative branch of government and therefore any legislation getting passed regarding their industry.

There are also different types of lobbying: direct and grassroots. Direct lobbying is what most people think of when they think of lobbying; written and oral communication with those in government to influence decisions. Grassroots lobbying occurs when someone gets the public to rally behind a cause.

How to Become a Lobbyist with McGeorge School of Law

Lobbyists need to register with their city or state, depending on where they are located. Each state has rules governing the profession that are important to become familiar with and stay on top of. 

Before registration, earning a degree in the field and then getting involved in causes paves the way for a career in lobbying. McGeorge School of Law’s MSL gives our students the knowledge, skills, and broadened perspective required to succeed in the rapidly changing legal environment that exists in the United States. Plus, our program is fully online, giving students the flexibility to cater their education to their already busy lives. Our faculty are chosen for not only their exceptional teaching ability but also for their expertise in government and policy. 

If you’re looking to become a lobbyist, our MSL program is the perfect next step. Interested in learning more? Contact our admissions office today to get started.

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Legal Analysis

Understanding Legal Analysis: Earn an Online MSL in Government Law & Policy

In the United States, 14.4% of Americans earn a higher degree after completing their bachelor’s. For those who don’t want to become attorneys but want to utilize legal analysis and reasoning in their careers, an online Master of Science in Law (MSL) is a perfect fit. Understanding Legal Analysis is crucial in this context because it forms the backbone of the skill set you’ll develop.

Whether you work in law and policy or another field, an online MSL enhances many professions. The degree complements those who work as local, state, and federal agency employees, lobbyists, legislative staff, and more. By gaining a deep understanding of legal analysis, you can make informed decisions that guide your organization through complex regulations.

Legal Analysis

McGeorge School of Law offers both hybrid and online MSL options. Our online Government Law and Policy MSL degree is built on the foundation of McGeorge’s nationally-ranked program in public law and its renowned Capital Center for Law & Policy. Our degree opens up opportunities by allowing you to shift to the legal aspects of your career.

What is Legal Analysis?

Legal analysis is the systematic process of examining legal issues, statutes, and case law to draw conclusions or make arguments. It involves identifying legal issues, applying relevant laws, and reasoning through the implications to arrive at a well-founded conclusion. This method is commonly used by lawyers to solve legal problems, however, it’s also extremely valuable for non-lawyers in various fields who need to understand legal documents and regulations.

For non-lawyers working in or around the legal field, understanding legal documents allows you to further yourself in your career and is a highly marketable skill. Legal analysis builds the ability to read and understand contracts, regulations, and other compliance issues.

Courses at McGeorge

Throughout your MSL, McGeorge offers a few different courses that hone the skills needed for legal analysis, such as:

  1. Introduction to Legal Analysis: This course provides students with an overview of the American legal system, including the sources and development of law as well as the dispute resolution process. The course further focuses on developing an understanding of how lawyers read and analyze cases, statutes, and legal documents, and provides an introduction to legal reasoning. A primer on legal research with a focus on locating and evaluating the weight of legal sources is also included.
  2. Analytical Skills (Contracts): This graduate course offers a practical introduction to a foundational area of law, such as contracts, and to the legal method. Students learn best practices for studying law and developing foundational legal analytical skills so that they can read and understand case law, statutes, and regulations. These analytical skills include IRAC rule-based methodology as a structure for legal analysis, case-briefing, outlining, and test-taking. Students also practice negotiating and drafting agreements.

We also offer courses in policymaking and lawmaking. These courses develop practical skills such as drafting statutory language, bill analysis, and developing public policy.

Benefits of McGeorge

In addition to our legal analysis courses, our MSL program has a variety of other benefits. It is completely online, giving our students flexibility and freedom when it comes to obtaining a higher degree. The burden of time is a massive blocker for those who want to continue their education post-bachelor degree. Our online and asynchronous courses allow our students to study and continue with other obligations in life, whether work or personal. 

If you think that getting an online degree might present a disadvantage when it comes to resources, think again. At McGeorge, our students build marketable expertise under the guidance of our faculty. The faculty here are chosen for outstanding teaching as well as depth of knowledge in government law and policy. As a student at McGeorge, you can enhance your career without missing a beat in your own life. 

What are you waiting for? Contact our admissions office today to get started.

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Practical Legal Training

Why McGeorge is One of the Best Schools for Practical Legal Training

Books and classes aren’t everything. While it is important to obtain certain degrees if you go into specialized fields, you don’t learn everything you need for your career in the classroom. It is why doctors must complete residency programs in addition to passing their board exams, and it is why lawyers work in clinics and internships before taking the bar. Skills that you develop as an attorney, such as negotiation, cross-examination, and client interaction are skills that you can only obtain through doing. 

What is Practical Legal Training?

You might be wondering exactly what this practical legal training entails. Simply put, it is the chance to apply skills learned in class to unique, real-world lawyering situations. Students get the ability to simulate real client representation. Classes involving advocacy, policymaking, negotiations, and lobbying prepare you for situations you’ll encounter in your career.

Practical legal training is important because it helps new lawyers navigate the legal landscape better. When working with or against attorneys with more experience, the skills honed in law school let you keep up with colleagues and adversaries in the real world.

Practical Legal Training

How McGeorge Stands Out

McGeorge has long been a leader in teaching practical lawyering skills, dating back to 1964. This was when our first clinics opened, giving students real-world experience before graduation. Our online graduate programs extend this tradition and method of instruction, promoting the integration of legal theory with in-demand, marketable skills.

Here is a glimpse at some of the courses we offer: 

  • Persuasive Public Speaking: This online course introduces students to the many aspects of persuasive public speaking, including content, word choice, and delivery. Students develop public speaking confidence by practicing their skills and receiving constructive feedback.
  • Negotiations: This course examines the theoretical, ethical, and practical skills essential to being an effective advocate in negotiations involving legal disputes. Students learn negotiation skills through lecture, discussion, video simulations, and extensive interactive exercises and role-plays. 
  • Legislatures & Lawmaking: The course provides opportunities for the development of practical skills such as drafting statutory language, preparing and assessing bill analyses, commenting on legislation, and participating in the legislative process.
  • Leadership in Organizations: This course explores skills necessary for professional competency and excellence in twenty-first-century organizations. Working in and with public agencies is emphasized. Topics covered may include teams in organizations, cross-cultural dynamics, professional work product and communications, and professional ethics. Focus is given to case studies and practical exercises.
  • Government Law & Policymaking: This course introduces students to the lawyer’s role in developing, modifying, implementing, advocating, and influencing public policy. Students learn policy analysis; the strategic implications associated with the various venues and processes; research using a variety of sources and practice applying course knowledge and skills to important public policy matters of the day.

The focus of each of these courses is its applicability to the workforce and situations students may encounter as parts of their jobs. We empower our students not only with knowledge, but the actionable skills for the various legal environments they will work in. 

Contact Us Today

In addition to preparing our students for their careers on a practical level, our LLM and MSL programs are online and asynchronous, giving our students the gift of flexibility. They can complete the program part-time and on their own time, so that if there are any other professional or personal obligations to attend to, their education doesn’t need to be put on hold. McGeorge is here to continue our tradition of excellence, while simultaneously options for working professionals. We are here to and utilizing and making the most of the technological age we live in. It’s the best of everything we have to offer. 

Interested in our program? Contact our admissions office today.

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Part-Time Master Degree

A Part-Time Master’s Degree for Working Professionals

Benjamin Franklin once said, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” That investment, however, can be tough. 

After high school, completing any degree can strain both your time and resources. While many students aim to obtain their advanced degrees as full-time students, this isn’t always the case. Those earning advanced degrees may have already started their career. They might be looking to advance professionally or even start anew, but being a full-time student would prove difficult. Leaving your job could not only hurt you financially, but could hurt any forward momentum you built at work.

Master’s degrees can also help you grow in your career, giving you educational expertise that makes you a more competitive employee. So what is the solution for the working professional who still wants to further their education? Becoming a part-time student.

University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law’s part-time MSL programs were designed to be completed alongside your current career goals. You get the best of both worlds.

Part-Time Master Degree

The Importance of a Master’s Degree

Many careers don’t require a master’s degree, but having one gives you an upper hand in the workforce. According to the United States Census Bureau in 2022, the highest level of education of the population age 25 and older in the United States ranged from:

  • 9% had less than a high school diploma or equivalent.
  • 28% had completed high school.
  • 15% had completed some college, but not a degree.
  • 10% had an associate degree.
  • 23% had a bachelor’s degree.
  • 14% had completed advanced education such as a master’s degree, professional degree, or doctorate.

Being a part of that 14% makes you a more desirable job candidate in any competitive pool.

Where an MSL Can Take You

A Master of Science in Law (MSL) degree is unique; it is a master’s degree that gives students a legal perspective critical to their career fields. Students with an MSL do not graduate as attorneys, but work in areas dealing with law such as lobbying, policy, and politics. An MSL degree teaches you skills in legal reasoning and analysis, and makes it easier to deal with everyday law-related issues.Knowledge of the legal system is a powerful tool. 

Flexibility for Working Professionals

Pausing employment for a degree is often impossible. Many people incur debt through their bachelor’s degree, and being a full-time master’s student would only increase that number. Student loan debt in the United States totals $1.757 trillion. Working while getting your master’s can help you pay your tuition costs and prevent spending years without a salary. 

Being in school while working can also help your career networking furthers your professional goals. A University of the Pacific degree comes with a large and respected alumni community of graduate and JD students, offering significant opportunities to students who seek to expand their professional networks. You can also apply the skills you learned in class to your professional life. If you were not dealing with contracts before, for example, our course in Contracts/Analytical Skills can get you up to speed. As you learn, you can apply those skills in real-time and increase your value to your employer. 

Why Choose University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law

A part-time program’s flexibility for working professionals only increases when it goes online? McGeorge School of Law has flexible online MSL degrees in Government Law and Policy, and Water and Environmental Law that are fully online. As a bonus, classes are asynchronous, allowing students to pick a schedule that works for them. Whether you work business hours or perhaps have a schedule involving nights
and weekends, your educational journey won’t suffer.  

Our students graduate with the ability to:

  • Review and understand agreements such as contracts 
  • Review and draft proposed local, state, and federal laws and regulations 
  • Understand and comply with regulatory requirements for specific industries
  • Work with attorneys and compliance officers 

We help you design an innovative and interactive curriculum that meets your goals. The need for legal skills in non-lawyer jobs continues to grow. You’ll graduate from our program with a competitive edge that helps you gain jobs and an enhanced resume. 

Ready to advance your professional and personal goals? Contact our admissions office today at graduatelaw@pacific.edu to find out and get started.

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Public Policy Careers

Top Public Policy Careers after Earning an MSL

A public policy career is a career where you can create space for impact. Whether it is working within public interest law or for the federal government, influencing policy in political science, or lobbying for change, public policy careers have the capability to enact lasting change.

The career paths for someone interested in public policy have a wide range and therefore can serve a variety of interests. One common denominator, regardless of which path you choose, is that you want to be more marketable for job opportunities.

An MSL can help you achieve that goal Earning your Master of Science in Law (MSL) will not only increase your depth of knowledge but enhance career advancement. If you’re looking to work in public policy and further your education, look no further than McGeorge School of Law. Our MSL in Law, Government, and Public 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 for success.

Public Policy Careers

Why Earn An MSL?

At any given time, millions of Americans are looking for jobs, but in the United States, only about 14.3% of adults in the U.S. have advanced degrees. Having an MSL gives you an extra advantage when it comes to securing the job you want. Not only would an MSL give you a higher degree of knowledge, but having a concentration in Government Law & Policy could give you a leg up on your competition for these public policy careers.

McGeorge gives our students practical training in the areas of law and policy theory, how to understand the nuances of legal protocol, and learn how lawyers think. Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to network with faculty and experts as well as with other students and alumni. By the end, you’ll increase your credibility with a publishable piece of research that, coupled with a research-focused MSL, can be a gateway to Ph.D. work if you so desire.

Through our MSL coursework, you’ll be better equipped to:

  • Review and understand agreements such as contracts;
  • Review and draft proposed local, state, and federal laws and regulations;
  • Understand and comply with regulatory requirements for specific industries; and
  • Work with attorneys and compliance officers.

These skills can make the job search easier.

Career Options After Earning Your Degree

Are you wondering where you could go after earning your public policy degree? Our public policy program graduates have advanced to: 

  • Analyst
  • Regulatory compliance officer and due diligence
  • Human resources representative
  • Contracts and grants officer
  • Management consultant
  • Government officials and public agency staff
  • Courtroom clerk
  • Healthcare practitioner
  • Legislative aide
  • Lobbyist and government affairs
  • Political scientists
  • Program manager
  • Water resources or environmental engineer
  • Journalist or policy reporter
  • Land use planner
  • Environmental or public agency consultant
  • Policy advocate

There is no shortage of options when it comes to your career after obtaining a master’s in government law and policy.

Why McGeorge?

In addition to the highlights and benefits mentioned above, our program has one more important component that distinguishes us: flexibility. Our MSL program is completely online. Students have a part-time schedule and our classes are asynchronous so you can study on a schedule that works for you. Life obligations don’t need to be cast aside as you further your education. And if you have a career already that you are looking to enhance, you don’t need to pause while you obtain your degree. An online MSL is ideal when it comes to pursuing your professional and personal goals.

So, what are you waiting for? Contact McGeorge’s Office of Admissions today to get started.

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Lobbying and Advocacy

Lobbying and Advocacy in the Political Arena with Chris Micheli

Lobbying and Advocacy - McGeorge School of Law

The term “Lobbying” may bring up all sorts of reactions, from positive to negative. Underneath any preconceptions, however, lobbying is a deeply important part of the democratic process that allows for a diverse range of voices and perspectives to be heard by elected officials. 

 

McGeorge School of Law presented a webinar analyzing a career in lobbying and advocacy. Clémence Kucera, Assistant Dean for the Graduate, Online, and International Programs, guided the event and was joined by guest speaker Chris Micheli. 

 

Chris is an adjunct professor in McGeorge School of Law’s JD and online MSL programs. He teaches the Legislatures and Lawmaking, and Lobbying and Politics courses. Chris is uniquely qualified thanks to his real-world experience as a lobbyist for over 25 years. He became the founding partner of Aprea & Micheli, Inc., a governmental relations and advocacy firm in Sacramento, California.

A Constitutional Right

The United States Constitution guarantees the right to petition the government, or what we now know as lobbying. This right allows individuals and organizations to express their views on issues and policies that affect them directly or indirectly. Lobbyists work at all three levels of government: for example, California includes 58 counties, 482 cities, and several thousand special districts, all of which involve lobbyists. 

Chris breaks down the role of a lobbyist in simple terms. “We spend a lot of time explaining how proposed legislation or regulations might impact a client either positively or negatively, and then the rest of the time again we spend advocating, arguing, or advocating for or against a particular proposal, bill, or regulation.” They bring expertise and knowledge on specific policy issues that can help lawmakers make more informed decisions. “I like to sometimes say that we’re all lobbyists, debating where you’re going to go to dinner or what you want for your birthday party. We all do it to some extent,” he points out. 

Ethical Foundations

There are legal and ethical requirements that lobbyists must adhere to in order to ensure transparency and fairness in the lobbying process. For example, California lobbyists must register, and disclose projects and spending. “That’s all a matter of public record. You can go to the Secretary of State website today and look up a lobbyist or their employer, so there’s a great deal of transparency.”

Lobbyists must also be truthful in their communications and avoid engaging in any activities that could be considered bribery or influence peddling. For example, lobbyists in California cannot provide a gift in excess of ten dollars. These requirements help to ensure that lobbying is conducted in a manner that benefits both the government and the public as a whole. 

Advocacy and Making Your Voice Heard

Advocacy is a key part of lobbying. Advocacy involves arguing for or against a particular proposal, bill, or regulation; educating lawmakers about how proposed legislation or regulations might impact their clients; and presenting alternative solutions or compromises to lawmakers.

Lobbying is key in the political arena for many reasons. “It’s important for people who are regulated by the government to have a voice in that regulation,” Chris reminds us. Also, since lobbyists utilize taxpayers’ dollars, it’s part of the democratic process for the recipients of those funds to then educate and advocate with the legislature. “As I said from the outset, the right to petition our government is a fundamental First Amendment right under our Federal Constitution.” Let’s make the most of it, and do so wisely. 

Becoming a Lobbyist

Though the process of becoming a lobbyist varies from state to state, in California, anyone can register and get started and form their own services company — but being successful at it is another story. “Having the expertise and the knowledge makes a big difference.” 

The majority of lobbyists have some background in the field. McGeorge’s program fills the gap, especially when incorporating a concentration like Government Law and Policy. (something Chris is well aware of as an adjunct faculty member.) “A number of my colleagues and staff in the lobbying sector have been pursuing their MSL,” Chris reports. “We’re trying to provide practical skills for the MSL graduate so that you really come out of the program, especially if you pursue one of these concentrations, with some practical knowledge and the ability to begin operating in those particular areas of subject matter expertise.” 

A Key to Your Future. A Key to Democracy. 

If you’re inspired by now, you can pursue a future in lobbying at McGeorge, and do it all online. The Master of Science in Law (MSL) program grants a law degree to individuals who do not intend to practice law — but who do, in fact, benefit enormously from gaining the knowledge and skills necessary to understand the law and its implications on public policy. This innovative MSL program is also designed for working professionals and offers five concentrations. It is taught in an asynchronous manner, meaning students can complete coursework on their own schedule.

Apply today!

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Career Outcomes after Earning an MSL

Top Career Outcomes after Earning an MSL Degree in Government Law & Policy

McGeorge School of Law hosted a webinar titled, “Top Career Outcomes after Earning an MSL Degree in Government Law & Policy,” in which they explained not just what to expect during your time as a student, but after graduation from McGeorge School of Law’s online MSL degree program. Clémence Kucera, Assistant Dean for the Graduate, Online, and International Programs, welcomed guest speaker Sarah Kerber to participate in the discussion,

Sarah is an alumna who graduated in 2018. She chose the Government Law and Policy concentration and now serves as the Senior Manager of Strategic Projects and Performance at Sacramento Regional Transit. She talked about her current role, her experience as a McGeorge online student, and how the degree helped launch her career.

The Foundation of a Successful Career

Sarah works in strategic projects that are closely related to a lot of the policy and large-scale initiatives of the agency. She manages the strategic plan, helps write policy documents, and moves procedures forward. In her management position, she works closely with the Executive Office and the agency’s Governmental Relations Office.

As for projects, she is currently busy developing a Training and Workforce Development Department. On top of that, she leads much of the diversity, equity and inclusion initiative. Basically, she admits to doing a little of everything. “It’s been very exciting, and I really think that the training that I got from McGeorge comes through in every aspect of the work that I do. I really enjoyed going through the MSL program, and found that the courses I was able to take are still very relevant and meaningful to the work that I’m doing even now.

Forward Momentum

Prior to enrollment, Sarah was working at the Governmental Relations Office as an assistant at the California School Employees Association. Five years passed, and try as she might, she was struggling with career advancement. She then had a rather serendipitous run-in with a professor who suggested that she look into the MSL program at McGeorge. Needless to say, she applied and was accepted.

Sarah worked full-time while studying, which was naturally an intense period of growth. But it paid off. “I took my courses, and immediately upon getting out just I was able to start interviewing places. I was getting my foot in the door for those higher level positions.” She targeted her education towards a particular role. She acknowledges that McGeorge, “prepared me really well to get into the Department of Finance, then to move beyond it to the next level.”

Remarkable Growth

Perhaps most encouragingly of all, Sarah’s experience is not singular. One of her best friends in the program focused on labor and employment law to great success: she works for the UC Davis Medical Center and, Sarah reports, just got promoted – again. “Everything that we learned at McGeorge, she was able to instantly start applying to her career. She’s been able to grow in really remarkable ways.” Sarah has another friend who is a policy consultant for the state senate, and uses her degree to work on legislation that she feels interested and invested in.

Sarah says it’s been a gift that just keeps on giving. “And those are just my MSL friends, right? One of the great things about McGeorge is that you get a very close-knit community of graduates in both the JD program and the MSL program, and they’re everywhere.” Networking consequently comes easily. “It’s a wonderful community if you plan on working in or around Sacramento in government, public policy, and state agencies. I cannot recommend the program highly enough.” It’s not just Sacramento where you’ll find fellow alumni in action, too. McGeorge’s vibrant community extends to all 50 states. 

Connections for Life

The program’s design, focusing on practical skills, certainly helped contribute to a student’s post-grad career success. At one point, Sarah was volunteering at a local nonprofit and actively involved in real-time cases. Then, a professor brought up her very nonprofit experience in class.  “It’s interesting to see how, even down to my volunteer work, everything that I learned in the program continues to come up as useful and meaningful right now.”

She advises future students to never take resources for granted, and continue to make the most of this incredible community. “Take advantage of any connections that you make through the program and really get that advice. McGeorge’s resources absolutely helped in making decisions about where I wanted to end up professionally.

Interested in applying to McGeorge School of Law’s Online MSL program? Apply now!

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