Previously on the Pitt Law Online Blog, we explored what a Master of Studies in Law (MSL) is and how it differs from other legal degrees. As a quick refresher, an MSL is a legal degree for non-lawyers (those who do not hold a JD) that is popular in law-adjacent roles and in fields where the law is instrumental in day-to-day operations. Knowing this, the next logical question is, “What can I do with an MSL?”
Let’s learn more about where a legal degree can take you, and more of the specific roles held by those with an MSL degree.
Earning an MSL Opens a Myriad of Options
Earning your MSL will positively impact both your earning potential and your career plans. However, there is no one clear-cut path to take when it comes to where the MSL can take you. Part of finding success with this degree is knowing how you will put it to use before you put in the time and money pursuing it.
In general, the MSL is ideal for career advancement for people who work with lawyers and would benefit from a larger and systematic perspective on legal matters. The coursework involved in obtaining the MSL will give you this perspective. It’s also great if you work with the law and need to better understand the sometimes mysterious rules around the role the law plays in your work or your organization. If you are looking to reorient their career, an MSL helps you acquire legal knowledge and skills to pivot without spending three years earning a JD. Earning an MSL is also more comprehensive than on-the-job training.
The MSL can help you move up from a middle management position. It is also a great way to grow your authority at your organization. Earning this degree can show you are ready to take on greater responsibility, as well.
MSL Careers: Let’s Get Specific
Many MSL programs focus on specific concentrations, which will apply to specific fields. For example, at Pitt Law we offer MSL degrees with specializations in health care compliance, human resources law, or international business and dispute resolution. The MSL core courses teach you about the U.S. legal system and provide a solid foundation in a wide range of legal topics. Then, students move into their chosen areas of specialization.
Let’s take a look at some specific master of studies in law jobs in each of these specializations, starting with health care compliance. This field is rapidly growing, with health care occupations in general projected to grow 16 percent through 2030.1 Some popular MSL careers in health care are:
Senior Compliance Officer or Director
A compliance officer or director is responsible for ensuring that their company or organization operates in a way that is legal and ethical. Staying on top of the ever-changing laws and regulations that govern the health care industry is essential to success in this role. Salaries for compliance officer roles vary depending on duties and experience level, but average $75,254 a year for a senior role.2
In this role, professionals ensure the company/health care organization they work for and its employees follow any requirements related to compliance issues, including laws and regulations, standards, and policies. The average annual salary for this role is $81,832.3
Another fast growing field is human resources, with around 14,400 positions estimated to be opening annually.4 Earning your MSL with a focus on HR Law will help you understand the employment laws that affect that day-to-day work of HR professionals. Popular MSL careers in HR include:
HR Manager or Director
HR managers or directors plan and coordinate the administrative areas of their companies. They hold a number of responsibilities, including being key communicators between employees and management, managing benefits programs, advising on issues like equal employment and sexual harassment claims, and much more. The average salary for an HR manager is $121,220 per year.5
HR Operations Director
HR operations directors coordinate the internal structure of a business or organization. In this role, they help properly allocate talent throughout the company and ensure that their organization’s structure is appropriate to meet its challenges and goals. Developing internal politics and ensuring that the company follows them is also a key responsibility of this position. The average salary for this role is $119,306 per year.6
Holding an MSL degree with an in-depth specialization in international business law and dispute resolution will set you apart in the job market. Here are some popular MSL careers focused around this specific area of business law:
Senior Contract Negotiator
Contract negotiators are responsible for very specific duties associated with preparing and negotiating the specifics of a contract. The ability to negotiate the terms of a contract has become a valuable skill set in countless professions as there is increased reliance on contractors and freelance workers. Salaries for positions under this and similar titles earn and average salary of $94,867 salary per year.7
Senior Business Analyst
Business analysts perform their duties with the aim of understanding the key challenges and goals of a business and then make recommendations to achieve key priorities. Business analysts are often employed by a single company, or may work for a number of clients. This role requires a solid understanding of the laws and regulations that impact business goals and challenges. This role is critical to ensuring that the recommendations made are appropriate and actionable. The average base salary for this position or similar titles is $114,707 per year.8
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Accelerate Your Career With Pitt Law
Pitt Law’s Online Master of Studies in Law program is here to help those without a JD degree learn what they need to get ahead. Set yourself apart as a leader in health care compliance, human resources law, or international business and dispute resolution with in-demand legal knowledge and skills. Small class sizes, individualized attention, and lower all-in tuition than similar programs all sets you up for success during your master’s program and after graduation.
As you prepare to apply for Pitt Law’s Online Master of Studies in Law (MSL) program or one of our graduate certificate programs (also offered online), know that our admissions advisors are always on standby to answer your questions, clarify admissions requirements, and review the list of materials we need from you. Schedule a call today.
- Retrieved March 28, 2022, from www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/home.htm
- Retrieved March 28, 2022, from glassdoor.com/Salaries/healthcare-compliance-officer-salary-SRCH_KO0,29.htm
- Retrieved March 28, 2022, from glassdoor.com/Salaries/insurance-compliance-manager-salary-SRCH_KO0,28.htm
- Retrieved March 28, 2022, from shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/organizational-and-employee-development/pages/hr-manager-is-one-of-the-most-promising-careers.aspx
- Retrieved March 28, 2022, from bls.gov/ooh/management/human-resources-managers.htm
- Retrieved March 28, 2022, from glassdoor.com/Salaries/hr-operations-director-salary-SRCH_KO0,22.htm
- Retrieved March 28, 2022, from glassdoor.com/Salaries/senior-contract-negotiator-salary-SRCH_KO0,26.htm
- Retrieved March 28, 2022, glassdoor.com/Salaries/senior-business-analyst-salary-SRCH_KO0,23.htm