A JD degree is typically a 90-credit-hour degree, also known as a Doctor of Jurisprudence, that prepares students to sit for the Bar Exam and practice law.

Our MLS degree is a 30-credit-hour master’s degree in law. It is intended for people who want to learn the laws that govern their profession. MLS graduates are not eligible to practice law, but they are prepared to interact with legal professionals and departments to ensure that business practices are in line with regulations and compliance concerns.

No legal standards exist for paralegal education and training requirements. A paralegal cannot practice law without obtaining a JD and passing their state’s Bar exam, but they are welcome to pursue an MLS or other type of law-related education.

No, you cannot practice law with an MLS degree.

An MLS is intended for professionals or anyone seeking to improve their legal literacy and become more knowledgeable on the impact of law and regulation on their industry.

The Emory Law MLS offers four concentrations that address topics relevant to a range of industries: business law and regulation; cybersecurity, privacy, and technology law; employment law and human resources; and health care law and regulation.

This MLS is a great option for anyone looking for a flexible, customizable program. You can customize your experience by taking some courses on campus, selected in consultation with your academic adviser. Our students include c-suite executives, HR directors, compliance officers, and health care administrators, among others.

Request Information

To download a program brochure and learn more about the Master of Legal Studies offered by Emory University School of Law, please fill out the form. You can also get in touch with an admission counselor directly by calling us at (888) 725-4678 (toll-free).

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Program Experience

Emory Law is a highly ranked law school and a global leader in legal education. Through scholarship, teaching, service, and immersion in the communities it serves, Emory Law strives for a diverse and inclusive law school community that works for a more fair and just society by advancing the rule of law. Emory Law’s faculty influence the development of academic disciplines, policy, and legal practice. Our curricula provide students with exceptional learning opportunities, enabling graduates to become respected leaders in their chosen professions. Discover more about Emory Law on our about page.

Emory Law faculty and other legal experts teach MLS courses. More than 60 full-time faculty, along with our adjunct faculty, teach 250+ courses at Emory Law. Their focus on legal research and their practical legal expertise means they are not only teaching you the law, they are also actively participating in shaping laws around the world. Learn more about our professors on our faculty page.

Yes, but each elective is only offered once per year. Learn more about our course offerings on our curriculum page.

The format is composed of 10 sequential flexible courses, with two synchronous online experiences, and can be completed in as little as 20 months.


We offer two start dates each year, in the fall and spring. Find the next application deadline on our admission page.

The personal statement gives the admission committee the chance to evaluate your writing and learn more about you and your educational and professional goals. Use the statement to explain why you’re interested in earning your MLS degree, what your professional goals are, and why you’ve chosen Emory Law to continue your education.

Your letters of recommendation should come from professors or other people who are familiar with your performance in an academic setting and can tell us about your research and writing skills. If you have been out of school for a while, try to find recommenders who can attest to your scholarly abilities and your writing and organizational skills.

Once you’ve completed your application, you will receive a link to schedule an interview at the time and date that is most convenient for you. The 30-minute interview is typically remote but can be done in person.

No, students are not permitted to transfer credits from another program.

No, our MLS degree is designed for professionals of many different backgrounds looking for legal education that can help them make strides in their career. We do not require any legal experience to apply. Start an application today.

Once you’ve submitted your application and all required materials, you can expect to receive an admission decision in about 14 business days.

When a student wishes to suspend their course of study for one or more terms, they may submit a leave request to the associate dean of graduate programs or their designee, who has the discretion to grant such a leave upon finding that it is warranted by the particular circumstances. Students granted a leave of absence must designate a specific date when they will resume their studies. This date may be extended once. If the student has not returned by the designated date, the leave of absence will be converted to a discontinuation. If a leave of absence is granted before grades have been assigned for the current term, the student will receive a grade of withdrawal (“W”) or incomplete (“I”) for all unfinished courses, depending on the circumstances.

Students granted leaves of absence must confer with the Office of Student Financial Services for regulations regarding their financial obligations. Students are encouraged to consult with the Office of Financial Aid regarding their student loans. Questions about law school-funded merit aid should be directed to the Emory Law Office of Admission and Financial Aid.

Students may elect to take leaves of absence for a variety of reasons, including:

  • medical reasons, including accident or illness
  • family crises or other personal situations that require an extended absence from school
  • financial issues that may take time to resolve
  • academic difficulties that may best be handled by taking time to refocus on college work
Typically, a leave of absence is for one term or one academic year. Students may extend a leave of absence by contacting their academic department representative. Learn more about our Leave of Absence Policy on our university enrollment page.

Students may withdraw from graduate programs for good cause during the semester with the consent of the associate dean of graduate programs or their designee. If a program withdrawal is granted before grades have been assigned for that term, the student will receive a grade of “W” for all unfinished courses. Failure to obtain consent will result in a grade entry of “F” in all courses the student is registered in.

Graduate students who withdraw are eligible to return in a subsequent semester without going through the admission process a second time, but they must obtain leave to re-enroll from the executive director of graduate and online programs or their designee. However, following a second program withdrawal, a student must re-apply for admission to the relevant graduate program.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Find a full summary of our program tuition and fees on our tuition and financial aid page.

Students enrolled in Emory Law’s MLS may request federal and state financial aid by completing their FAFSA. Emory’s FAFSA code is 001564.

Applicants to the MLS Program are automatically considered for merit-based scholarships. Emory Law has a limited number of scholarships available to highly qualified students. Students will be notified about any scholarship offer as part of their letter of acceptance.

Veterans and their families are important to the Emory Law community. Because of this, we are proud to participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program and offer a Yellow Ribbon award of $3,500 per academic year to active military service members, veterans, and their spouses. If you are interested in participating in the Yellow Ribbon Program, please contact the admission team at to learn more.