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Unlock New Heights in Your Professional Journey With Pitt Law’s Flexible Online Master of Studies in Law Program

Unlock New Heights in Your Professional Journey With Pitt Law’s Flexible Online Master of Studies in Law Program

A female student learning online at home, focused watching a computer monitor.

Workers must find ways to stand out in an ever-evolving and increasingly competitive professional landscape. You can take control of your career by adding education and gaining credentials. The University of Pittsburgh School of Law’s Online Master of Studies in Law (MSL) program, as well as the targeted online graduate certificate programs, are innovative solutions tailored for non-lawyers who aim to gain a sophisticated understanding of legal matters that affect their industry. Pitt Law’s online MSL program offers you focused specializations, prepares you for key industry exams, and gives you flexibility through online learning.

Current and former students recently shared their experiences with the Online MSL program. Read on to learn more about their experiences and how this degree can catalyze career growth and professional confidence.

The Power of Online Learning

One of the greatest strengths of Pitt Law’s MSL program is its online format, which offers flexibility and excellent networking opportunities.

Flexible Formats and Balanced Pacing

Online learning breaks the constraints of traditional classroom schedules. With classes accessible from anywhere, you can balance work, life, and education. This means you no longer have to press pause on your career to enhance your credentials.

Program alumna Aynsley Jimenez, who completed the MSL with a Human Resources Law specialization, noted that she would not have returned to school if the program had not been online. “I work full time. I'm a mom of a six-year-old. I’m married. I just can't find time in the day to sit in a classroom in a building on campus,” she said.

In addition to cutting out the commute, the pacing of the Online MSL program makes it easy for students to integrate the program into their lives. Yawah Nicholson, who just finished up her last course to earn her MSL with a Health Care Compliance specialization, shared that she moved across the country during her time in the program and could still balance all of her commitments.

“The program is one class at a time. So you’re not juggling three classes like we did as an undergrad where you’re going to calculus over there, and then marching across campus and doing history and then changing your brain to do geology,” she said. “You are focused on just one course, which I think helps with connecting with your peers and connecting with the professor.”

Networking Opportunities Abound

As Nicholson noted, the program gave her the flexibility to live anywhere and still allowed her to build strong connections. Pitt Law’s online program connects you with a diverse cohort, enabling you to network with professionals across the country. These relationships can enrich your learning experience and possibly open up new career avenues. Another current student in the program noted that his classmates are accomplished professionals, many with 20 to 30 years of experience, who add a lot to the learning experience.

Pitt Law offers engaging course materials to help facilitate online discussions that can lead to further connections and networking. Nicholson noted that while initially she was unsure of what communication would look like in an online program, she could engage with classmates through discussion boards and group projects. “I was very fortunate to create a group through one of our group projects. We just stuck with each other the entire time and had a group text message the entire time. We could bounce questions off of each other,” she said. “I would encourage everyone that if that's your personality, reach out. There are other people like that in the group.”

Focused Specializations for Targeted Expertise

Pitt Law’s Online MSL specializations and graduate certificates provide a targeted education that aligns with your career goals and industry requirements. Whether you’re interested in Health Care Compliance, Human Resources Law, International Business Law, Corporate Compliance, or Sports, Entertainment, and Arts Law, the program offers an in-depth curriculum designed by expert faculty.

Jimenez and Nicholson both began their journeys with Pitt Law looking to earn graduate certificates in their chosen specializations. Let’s touch on each specialization to understand how they are tailored to distinct professional environments:

Corporate Compliance

Corporations operate in complex and stringent regulatory environments. The Corporate Compliance specialization offers insights into governance practices, ethical standards, and compliance in a corporate context.

Corporate compliance jobs are in demand, and these desirable roles are often reserved for those few professionals who can hit the ground running. Through this program, you will build a strong foundation in designing, implementing, and maintaining compliance programs, meaning you can provide value on day one of your corporate compliance position.

Health Care Compliance

Navigating the complex world of health care regulations is no small feat. The Health Care Compliance specialization equips you with the necessary tools to ensure legal and ethical integrity in medical settings, from hospitals to biotech firms and everything in between.

Graduates of the Health Care Compliance Certificate program or MSL with this specialization who have fulfilled the applicable requirements are eligible within one year of earning the certificate to sit for industry exams, including:

  • Certified in Healthcare Compliance (CHC)®
  • Certified in Healthcare Research Compliance (CHRC)®
  • Certified in Healthcare Privacy Compliance (CHPC)®

Human Resources Law

HR professionals are often required to interpret and implement employment laws. The Human Resources Law specialization provides a robust foundation in workplace legal frameworks, ensuring you can manage compliance and mitigate risks effectively.

Successful completion of HR Law specialization makes you eligible to sit for some of the industry-based human resources certification exams offered by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI).

International Business Law

Understanding international trade laws, taxation, and commercial agreements becomes imperative as businesses expand globally. The International Business Law specialization prepares you to operate confidently in a global business environment.

Through this curriculum, you will gain a solid working knowledge of the complexities of cross-border business transactions and much more. This specialization is an ideal tool for beginning, or advancing, in any job that involves commercial law.

Sports, Entertainment, and Arts Law

These dynamic industries possess unique legal needs including employment issues, contractual negotiations, intellectual property rights, and more. The Sports, Entertainment, and Arts Law specialization helps you navigate the legal nuances these industries entail.

Career Transformation Through the Full Master’s Program

The Online MSL program comprises core law courses and a specialization of your choosing. Jimenez and Nicholson ultimately chose to pursue the complete master’s degree, citing that it was “only 15 more credits to earn the full degree.” Both students felt the degree gave them an edge in the job market over a certificate.

When she earned her targeted certificate, Nicholson was unsure if there was anything else she needed from the core courses. She ultimately decided to complete the full MSL program and is glad she did. She is now graduating with a master’s degree and more knowledge and confidence.

An Online MSL degree from Pitt Law is more than just a testament to your commitment—it signifies a deep proficiency in legal matters relevant to your field.

Increased Confidence in Decision-Making

Legal quandaries can be perplexing for even the most seasoned professionals. The Online MSL degree arms you with legal know-how, enhancing your confidence to make critical decisions with clarity and foresight.

Jimenez related new tasks she had to take on at work. “A new realm I’m into now is licensing agreements, which I never thought I would be a part of. Part of compliance in my role is making sure people have child protection clearances, and that involves bringing people on campus using our facilities, and I would have never thought I’d have to look through so many contracts in the past year.” Through the Online MSL program, she was able to tackle these new tasks with confidence.

“I have no problem contacting all of these agencies. I know what I’m talking about because I can read legislation and understand it and interpret it now so the program definitely boosted my confidence on that front,” she said.

Command Authority with Specialized Knowledge

The specialized knowledge you gain through the Online MSL program instills a sense of authority in your professional conduct. You’ll be able to lead conversations on legal issues, offer informed opinions, and make decisions with a solid legal foundation.

Nicholson, who works in health care with the transplant system, noted that she chose Pitt Law because she wanted to learn the mechanisms behind creating compliance policies and laws. “I was always just following the rules and telling everyone else what to do, but not really understanding the process behind it. And so I saw [this program] come along, and I knew I didn't want to be a lawyer, either. So this really just lined up directly with what I wanted to do,” she said.

Nicholson also noted, “I’m so glad that I continued on to that law program because it just made that compliance certificate just that much more robust.”

Advocate for Best Practices

With your advanced understanding, you’ll be in a position to advocate for ethical practices and sound standards—compliance or otherwise—within your organization and industry, fostering a culture of integrity and legal astuteness. Ethical business practices protect companies from legal issues and keep them compliant, making the knowledge gained in the International Business Law, HR Law, and Sports, Entertainment, and Arts Law programs essential.

Being able to set up a compliance program is a major outcome for many students in the Corporate Compliance and Health Care Compliance programs. Nicholson noted, “I am building a brand new quality and compliance program at the hospital for transplantation. So, I literally went back to my school work and was like, ‘Wow, I've actually never done this before.’ Even working in chemistry, I didn't go back to my chemistry degree. This degree—I've gone back to [the relevant law] book hundreds of times. It was the first thing I put in my office.”

Prepare for Promotions and Lateral Moves

Whether you are aiming for a promotion or considering a lateral move, the Online MSL core curriculum is designed to be relevant and adaptable across sectors. Then, with your chosen specialization, you will gain the knowledge and experience you need to set yourself apart in a competitive job market.

Earning an MSL also tells employers that you are capable of leading your organization through a labyrinth of laws and regulations, proactively addressing potential risks, and effectively communicating with legal counsel to get the job done. As organizations increasingly recognize the importance of legal acumen, your skills become indispensable.

Your Next Chapter Awaits With Pitt Law

One important decision can redefine your professional trajectory. Embark on Pitt Law’s Online Master of Studies in Law program this year. Whether it’s to gain specialized knowledge, prepare for industry certification, harness the benefits of online learning, or bolster your career, the Online MSL degree equips you with the legal knowledge you need. Pitt Law Online opens a world of possibilities.

Enroll in the University of Pittsburgh School of Law’s Online MSL program or Online Graduate Certificate program and be the architect of your own success story. Your future self will thank you for the foresight and courage to grow.

Schedule a call with a helpful admissions outreach advisor to learn more about the Online MSL program or the online graduate certificate programs.