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  • Writer's pictureNonprofit Learning Lab

Understanding Public Interest Law without Being a Lawyer

Updated: Jun 9, 2023

This is a guest blog and is posted with permission from Elsa Duong from the UCLA School of Law.

UCLA School of Law is launching the Master of Legal Studies (M.L.S.) degree program this year with its matriculating class in August 2020. The M.L.S. program is designed for professionals from disciplines outside of the law who wish to advance their careers and capabilities by obtaining an advanced degree and a deep understanding of the legal and regulatory issues that impact their industry or field of interest. It is ideal for non-lawyer professionals in any field – from the private, nonprofit or government sectors – who need to understand and navigate law, regulation, disputes or attorneys.

Among the eight specializations offered with this degree is Public Interest Law, covering a wide range of public interest areas including civil rights, immigration, education, human rights, and more. UCLA is home to one of the most innovative and successful public interest programs in the nation. The David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy offers membership in a vibrant community of students and faculty as well as an intellectually ambitious curriculum that grapples with the fundamental questions in public interest advocacy.

For those working in non-profit organizations, this degree will provide you with understanding and knowledge of the legal and regulatory issues in your area of public interest. You can tailor your curriculum to fit your specific interest and then apply the knowledge and skills you learn in class to your work in the non-profit sector. You will then round out the degree with a capstone project that integrates concepts from the M.L.S. coursework to address a complex issue of your choosing.

Earning the Master of Legal Studies at UCLA Law will help you gain fluency in the law and maximize your impact in the nonprofit sector.

For more information about UCLA School of Law’s Master of Legal Studies program, download our e-brochure here.



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