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Policy Advocate

Advance Your Policy Advocate Career

Policy Advocate

The umbrella of public policy and advocacy encompasses many different career paths, which is good news if you’re interested in pursuing one of them. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for public policy workers is expected to grow by 13% by 2024. While an advanced degree is not mandatory for a career in this field, 48% of people obtain one. An advanced degree in Public Policy and Advocacy, such as a Master of Studies in Law (MSL), gives you deeper knowledge and expertise, making you more marketable in terms of employment. 

McGeorge School of Law offers an MSL in Government Law and Policy. Our courses empower our students with the knowledge, professional skills, and broadened perspective required to succeed in a rapidly changing legal environment.

What Is Public Policy Advocacy?

Public policy advocacy encompasses a wide range of career possibilities and job duties. Essentially, advocates influence decision-makers – those making the laws and policies of our nations. Public policy advocacy can include:

  • Lobbying
  • Public education
  • Capacity building
  • Leadership development
  • Litigation 

Policy advocates become experts on specific issues and create a dialogue between stakeholders and government decision-makers. This involves creating proposals and then recommendations to alter existing policies, or creating new ones. Public policy advocates should be trusted advisors and respected professionals in their dealings, regardless of industry. Effective advocacy involves knowing where and when to exert your influence.

Why We Advocate

Public policy advocates are important because they strive to achieve the greatest good for the communities they serve. Law and policymakers cannot know everything, so advocates provide additional knowledge to lawmakers. Experts in their field can advise lawmakers on nuances they may not have been aware of. Advocacy ensures that the community:

  • Has their rights protected and promoted
  • Has their voice heard on issues that are important and affect their lives
  • Has their views, wishes, and concerns considered when decisions are made and laws created that can affect their daily lives

Advocates are a crucial part of the democratic system, promoting an informed, healthy, and strong democratic society. They raise awareness for issues that otherwise would not have gained traction. Public policy advocates are an important bridge between policymakers and their constituents. 

How McGeorge’s MSL Program Can Advance Your Public Advocacy Career

McGeorge’s MSL program in Government Law and Policy was built on our nationally-ranked program in public law at McGeorge’s renowned Capital Center for Law & Policy. Here, you learn from professors and practitioners who are experts in law, legislative processes, regulation, and policymaking. 

With so many paths for a public policy advocate, you might think that a law degree is the only advanced degree option. Our program is designed for local, state, and federal agency employees, as well as 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 to succeed. With our courses, you gain real-world knowledge and develop practical skills. Our faculty are chosen for their outstanding teaching methods as well as their surpassing knowledge in government law and policy, enabling you to build marketable expertise under their guidance.

Our entire program takes place online, a structure that serves our students. Courses are asynchronous, meaning that students do not need to be online at any specific time. Students can schedule their coursework around other commitments. Whether you are employed or have other personal obligations, you can obtain your MSL without missing a beat. We help you personalize a coursework plan that meets your goals while being effective and engaging. 

If you strive to make an impact in the world through public policy and advocacy, contact McGeorge School of Law today to get started. 

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MSL Online

The Benefits of Earning Your MSL Online

MSL OnlineA 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.

For more information, contact us at or 916.739.7019.

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