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William & Mary Law School Online Master of Legal Studies

Established in 1779, William & Mary Law School is the nation’s first law school1 and has built its foundation on more than 300 years of innovation and excellence. The law school educates lawyers, advocates, leaders and professionals who are ready for the challenges of an ever-changing legal landscape. William & Mary Law students, faculty, staff and alumni maintain an enduring tradition of intellectual and professional excellence, improving legal systems in the U.S. and abroad through a commitment to the classroom, influential scholarship and public service.

Library of law books
Top 50

Best Law School2
(U.S. News & World Report)

William & Mary may be the oldest law school, but continues to be innovative with its methods of instruction and delivery. Ranked #45 Best Law School in the nation by U.S. News & World Report2, the faculty members of William & Mary Law School are proud to add the online Master of Legal Studies in Law (MLS) to the roster of academic offerings. As a new addition to the highly ranked J.D. and LL.M. programs, the MLS is designed for non-J.D. professionals who want to expand their career opportunities through an understanding of the U.S. legal system. The MLS program offers industry-specific concentrations to help you maximize your potential and take on the legal challenges of your field. Join William & Mary and get a “Public Ivy” education online.

By the Numbers

Top 50
Best Law School in the Nation2
1st
America’s First Law School1
#27
Most Cited Faculty in the Nation3
#30
in Best Colleges for Veterans4

Why Choose William & Mary Law School?

Group of students in business clothing seated around table comparing notes

Get Hands-On, Practical Experience

The MLS faculty members work in the field and bring their real-world knowledge directly to you. An interdisciplinary focus helps you apply legal concepts to the work you do or plan to do throughout your career. Your professors are invested in your success beyond the program.

United States Capitol Building

It’s All About Who You Know

William & Mary Law School’s proximity to and presence in Washington D.C. helps you build your network at the epicenter of politics and other thriving industries, including information technology, regulatory fields and healthcare. Alumni can be found throughout the country.

Group of William & Mary graduates in caps and gowns, one in Marines uniform

Service Members and Veterans

The Office of Military & Veteran Affairs (OMVA) provides dedicated support to law school students who are veterans, active duty or Reserve Forces personnel. The law school faculty is also comprised of veterans working in government positions.

Choose from Two Career-Defining Concentrations

William & Mary Law School’s online Master of Legal Studies program allows students to grow specialized knowledge in the areas of the law that matter most for their careers. The program is designed to give students a robust legal foundation through the core MLS courses. Then, the curriculum for a student’s chosen concentration elevates their legal acumen for an invaluable edge in their field.

Explore Compliance & Risk Management Concentration Explore Finance Concentration

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Master of Legal Studies Curriculum

Discover what you will learn in each course of the MLS program. Review the concentration-specific courses to decide which is the best fit for you.

View MLS Curriculum

Law school building on William & Mary campus

William & Mary Law School Admissions

Review application deadlines, eligibility and application requirements, tuition and financial aid options.

Explore Admissions

Redefine What’s Possible

Grow your expertise and boost your earning power. Demand for law-related occupations is projected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2032.5 Advances in AI and other technology are also creating new opportunities for professionals interested in managing law programs and law-related technologies. Get ahead of this curve by earning your MLS degree.

View MLS Careers

Smiling William & Mary Law School graduate in cap and gown shaking hands with faculty
Chris Gottfried, J.D., MBA

Where Aspiration Meets Expertise

Faculty Highlight: Chris Gottfried, J.D., MBA

Chris Gottfried is an instructor of finance at William & Mary’s Mason School of Business and faculty director of the corporate compliance program at William & Mary Law School. He brings an interdisciplinary approach to his courses, drawing on his experience working in the financial services industry and his legal experience.

Professor Gottfriend has worked in the financial services industry for more than 15 years as a banker, attorney and compliance officer. In addition to his faculty positions, he maintains a commercial transactions practice at Factor Law and is chief compliance officer at Hopscotch Research LLC, a digital assets trading company. Much of his work focuses on the intersection of regulatory compliance and operational risk. He obtained his J.D. and MBA from William & Mary and a B.A. in economics from Wake Forest.

Get to Know the MLS Faculty

William & Mary MLS Application Deadlines for Fall 2024

Jul
15
Priority Deadline
July 15
Fall 2024
Aug
10
Final Deadline
August 10
Fall 2024
Aug
26
Start Date
August 26
Fall 2024
Sources
  1. Retrieved on October 27, 2023, from scholarship.law.wm.edu/lawschooldebate1966/
  2. Retrieved on September 6, 2023, from usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/college-of-william-and-mary-03160
  3. Retrieved on September 21, 2023, from law.wm.edu/news/stories/2021/scholarly-impact-study-2021.php
  4. Retrieved on September 18, 2023, from usnews.com/best-colleges/william-and-mary-3705/overall-rankings
  5. Retrieved on September 7, 2023, from bls.gov/ooh/legal/home.htm

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