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Advance Your Career With William & Mary Law Online

William & Mary Law School’s online Master of Legal Studies program allows you to grow specialized knowledge in the areas of the law that matter most for your career. In just two years of part-time study, you’ll have the knowledge and tools you need to navigate complex legal challenges. Understanding how to ask the necessary questions to problem solve, communicate and make critical decisions around the law is just as important as learning the specific laws impacting your current or future industry.

This program is designed to give you a strong legal foundation through the core MLS courses. Then, the curriculum for your chosen concentration will elevate your legal acumen to give you an invaluable edge in your field. You’ll also be learning from professors who are working in roles and fields you may aspire to—and they use their experience and an interdisciplinary approach to get you the hands-on knowledge you need to succeed. Whether you are a seasoned professional looking to step up as a leader or secure a spot in the C-suite, or you’re a career changer just getting started on your new career path, the online MLS degree will accelerate your journey to meet your career goals.

Learn more about the current and emerging legal careers that will open to you with an MLS degree in hand.

Demand for law-related occupations is projected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2032.1

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What Can You Do With an MLS Degree?

A legal education can be a great stepping stone to a number of career opportunities. If you are currently an entrepreneur or aspire to be one, you may know that legal challenges are unavoidable as you work to make your vision a reality. Likewise, if you aspire to a C-suite position, like a CEO or CFO, or other leadership positions, a working knowledge of the law will be indispensable to help you effectively manage business, communicate with stakeholders and mitigate risk.

In addition to top executive positions, there are a number of exciting roles that require legal knowledge. By earning your MLS degree, you’ll give yourself the opportunity to lead and grow your salary. Generally, people who hold a master’s degree earn more than those with a bachelor’s degree alone.2

Explore a sampling of roles related to the MLS degree and the Compliance and Risk Management concentration and Finance concentration.

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Compliance Officer

A compliance officer ensures their organization complies with all applicable laws, regulations, policies and industry standards. In this position, your primary role would be to help your organization avoid legal and regulatory issues, ethical breaches and other violations that could result in fines, penalties, reputational damage or other adverse consequences.3 Your specific duties and responsibilities may vary by industry and organization. Compliance officers play a crucial role in industries such as finance, healthcare, pharmaceuticals and many other fields where regulatory compliance is of utmost importance. The median base salary for this role is $98,999 per year.3

Two woman seated at desk in front of laptop displaying graphs

Financial Analyst

Financial analysts provide financial guidance and analysis to individuals, businesses or organizations to help them make informed investment decisions, manage their finances and achieve their financial goals. These professionals can be found across various sectors, including (but not limited to) finance, investment banking, corporate finance and asset management. They can specialize in different areas, such as equity research, fixed income analysis, risk management, wealth management, or investment banking. This role requires analytical skills, financial expertise, understanding of tax laws and compliance, and market knowledge to provide valuable and actionable insights for clients. The median base pay for a financial analyst is $71,599 per year.4

Nurses and doctors around a counter writing on tablets and looking at clipboards

Medical and Health Services Manager

Medical and health services managers, also known as healthcare administrators or healthcare managers, oversee the business operations of healthcare facilities and healthcare providers. In this role, you are essential in maintaining the efficient and effective operation of healthcare facilities, especially when it comes to compliance and risk management. Medical and health services managers improve patient outcomes, and ensure healthcare providers can focus on delivering high-quality care to patients. Responsibilities vary depending on the type and size of the healthcare organization, which may include hospitals, clinics, nursing homes or outpatient care centers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2022 median pay for this role was $104,830 per year.5

Woman in front of large projection screen describing graphs

Risk Manager

A risk manager is responsible for identifying, assessing and mitigating risks within an organization to protect its assets, reputation and financial stability. In this role, you would determine financial, safety and security risks for your organization. Then, you would figure out what steps need to be taken to reduce those risks. Planning and problem solving are key skills for this role. You must also be able to communicate effectively with company stakeholders and employees who are directly affected by compliance policies. The median base pay for a risk manager is $112,691 per year.6

Smiling woman in blazer pointing at content on a whiteboard

Legal Project Manager

As a legal project manager, you will play a critical role in driving efficiency for law firms and practices or legal departments at a company as lawyers face increasing pressures from their clients.7 Legal project managers oversee and manage various legal programs, initiatives or projects. This role involves ensuring that legal projects and programs are executed efficiently, on time and within budget while aligning with the organization or firm’s strategic objectives. The median base pay for a legal project manager is $87,446 per year.8

Man seated at coffee table with laptop, overlaid with graphs and charts

Legal Technology Project Manager

This position is at the intersection of a legal project manager and an IT project manager. Legal technology project managers are responsible for managing and overseeing technology projects and initiatives specifically within law firms, legal departments or legal technology companies. Their primary focus is on leveraging technology to improve efficiency, streamline processes, enhance legal services and ensure compliance with data security and privacy regulations. In this role, you would bridge the gap between legal expertise and technological know-how, ensuring that legal professionals have access to the tools and systems needed to deliver high-quality legal services efficiently and securely. The base pay for a technology manager is $138,706 per year.9

Man and woman in business attire looking at tablet

Investment Banker

Investment banking is known for its fast-paced, high-pressure environment, and professionals in this field can specialize in different areas, such as mergers and acquisitions (M&A), equity capital markets, debt capital markets or industry-specific sectors like technology or healthcare. Investment bankers provide a range of financial services, including the oversight of mergers, conducting research and assisting in preparing legal and financial documents related to the transactions they are managing. Comprehensive knowledge of regulatory and legal issues that impact the financial industry is key to success in this role. The median base pay for this role is $130,923 per year.10

New and Emerging Opportunities in Law

William & Mary’s online Master of Legal Studies offers a strong legal analyst component that opens doors for students looking to enter roles in managing law programs or managing law related technology. Changing regulations and advancing legal technologies have created a need for dynamic legal professionals who are also well versed in technology and project management. Earning your MLS allows you to keep up with these changes.

Another opportunity for students lies in legal tech analytics, which is a growing field at the intersection of law and technology that leverages data analysis and technology to improve various aspects of the legal industry. It encompasses a wide range of applications, tools and techniques that help legal professionals make more informed decisions, streamline their workflow, enhance efficiency and reduce costs.11

William & Mary MLS Application Deadlines for Fall 2024

Priority Deadline
July 15
Fall 2024
Final Deadline
August 10
Fall 2024
Start Date
August 26
Fall 2024

William & Mary has engaged Everspring, a leading provider of education and technology services, to support select aspects of program delivery.