MSL with Human Resources Law Specialization
The demand for legal skills in fields that have not traditionally been thought of as law-focused is growing. Human resources (HR) is one of the fields where knowledge of the law is rapidly becoming essential to successfully navigate day-to-day HR tasks, including everything from administering benefits, to engaging in collective bargaining, to handling sensitive employee relations issues.
Pitt Law’s HR Law specialization, paired with the core Master of Studies in Law (MSL) curriculum, prepares you to be an authority on HR law who can effectively plan for and navigate legal issues. Set yourself apart as a leader in HR with in-demand legal knowledge and skills.
Review the MSL in HR Law to learn where Pitt Law can take you.
Download Program Brochure
Find the online program that fits your needs. Our Online Master of Studies in Law (MSL) program is designed for professionals seeking to enhance their careers through a legal education with a versatile alternative to the traditional three-year JD degree. Our graduate certificates can further your expertise within a specific area of the law in 10 months. Students who complete a certificate program have the option of applying those 15 course credits toward the Online MSL degree.
Complete the form to get a program brochure for Pitt Law’s Online MSL plus your chosen specialization, or your chosen certificate program, delivered to your inbox.
Human Resources Law Specialization Guiding Principles
The MSL in Human Resources Law: More Than a Degree
The small class sizes and individualized attention will set you up for success during your master’s program and after graduation. Organizations such as the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI) offer different certification examinations that are beneficial to career development and advancement. Completing the Human Resources Law specialization offered by Pitt Law enables you to be eligible to sit for these exams within one year of graduation.
What Can You Do With an MSL With a Human Resources Law Degree?
Earning a master’s degree in legal studies will have a positive impact both on your earning potential and on your career path. HR in general is one of the fastest-growing fields in the U.S., with around 14,400 positions estimated to be opening annually.1 Holding a master’s degree with a focus on HR Law will help you stand out to potential employers, setting you apart from others in the talent pool. Check out some of the most common job titles held by people with MSL degrees. In the list below, an understanding of the law and how it governs your role is crucial to success in each position.
HR Manager or Director
HR Operations Director
*Total annual compensation as of January 20, 2023.
I have been working in HR since 2005 and, while I had received great on-the-job training over the years and a SHRM-CP certification, I was looking to bolster my knowledge of the law. The program helped me build confidence in my problem-solving skills, provided additional understanding of the laws governing my profession, and the courses counted towards by SHRM recertifications.
Human Resources Law Specialization Courses
After completing 15 credits of core courses for the Online MSL program, you will complete 15 credits on the HR Law specialization. This specialization consists of five courses developed by working with experts in human resources, law, and online education.
- Introduction to the Legal System for Human Resources; Hiring and Firing (3 credits)
- Wages, Hours and Benefits (3 credits)
- Working Conditions (3 credits)
- Anti-Discrimination Law (3 credits)
- Selected Topics in Human Resources Law (3 credits)
HR Law Specialization Course Spotlight
This course begins with an overview of labor law and health and safety at work, including employer obligations under the federal National Labor Relations Act, Occupational Safety and Health Act and state workers compensation laws. Students explore selected labor-management relations issues, including situations where employees (union and non-union) engage in concerted activity for their mutual aid and protection.
This course will also cover employee privacy issues, such as workplace appearance and hygiene, drug testing, “love contracts,” privacy in “off the job” conduct, employee monitoring, social media, and politics in the workplace.
Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:
- Explain basic labor-management relations issues and identify basic unfair labor practices
- Understand the employer’s basic obligations under the Occupational Safety and Health Act
- Identify issues posed for employers when employees are injured on the job or cannot work due to disability
- Evaluate employee privacy issues for a variety of behaviors both “on the job” and “off the job”
- Understand how the computer can be a useful HR tool and also a source of problems in the workplace
Among other leadership roles, Professor Chew was on the Executive Committee of the American Association of Law Schools (AALS) (the Association’s board of directors), the Chair of the AALS Section on Women in Legal Education (the largest AALS section), a Council member of the General Practice Division of the American Bar Association (ABA), and a co-founder of the Asian-American Pacific Islander law faculty association. She is a member of the American Law Institute (ALI). Over the years, she has served on many committees and spoken at dozens of programs for the AALS, the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC), and the ABA.
You will see Professor Chew in both your core MSL courses and in your HR Law specialization courses.
Make Your Mark on HR with Pitt Law
The skills and knowledge you will gain by earning your MSL with a Human Resources specialization will benefit you as you progress your HR career and will bring you success as you work for companies in any number of fields.
You will greatly benefit by the connections you will make with your cohort and with Pitt Law’s MSL and HR Law faculty, who lead in the classroom and in life. Pitt Law is proud the Online MSL is taught by changemakers, industry leaders, and successful practitioners.
Spring 2024 Admissions Deadlines
Fall 2024 Admissions Deadlines
- Retrieved January 20, 2023, from shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/organizational-and-employee-development/pages/hr-manager-is-one-of-the-most-promising-careers.aspx
- Retrieved January 20, 2023, from www.bls.gov/ooh/management/human-resources-managers.htm
- Retrieved January 20, 2023, from glassdoor.com/Salaries/hr-operations-director-salary-SRCH_KO0,22.htm
- Retrieved January 20, 2023, glassdoor.com/Salaries/payroll-manager-salary-SRCH_KO0,15.htm
- Retrieved January 20, 2023, from glassdoor.com/Salaries/us-management-consultant-salary-SRCH_IL.0,2_IN1_KO3,24.htm