Akron Law launches fully online M.S.L. program


The fully online Master of Studies in Law program provides maximum flexibility for students pursuing this two-year legal degree.

The fully online Master of Studies in Law program provides maximum flexibility for students pursuing this two-year legal degree.

The University of Akron (UA) School of Law has converted its Master of Studies in Law (M.S.L.) from a primarily in-person experience to a fully online program beginning fall 2024.

The M.S.L. is an attractive alternative to the traditional three-year Juris Doctor (J.D.) for professionals whose work involves law but who have no intention to practice law. The M.S.L. provides a broad understanding of legal principles and how to analyze and navigate legal issues.

The degree can be earned in one academic year going full-time or completed over several years on a part-time basis. Akron Law M.S.L. students must satisfactorily complete 12 credits of a core curriculum and 18 elective credits following either a business or technology track. The required courses will be the same as those taken by J.D. students and will be taught by the same Akron Law faculty. All classes will be delivered asynchronously.

“Our M.S.L. degree is for anyone with a bachelor's degree or higher whose field involves law or regular interaction with lawyers,” Akron Law Dean Emily Janoski-Haehlen said. “Whether you are just beginning your career, or you’re seeking to take it to the next level, the Master of Studies in Law degree could be right for you. We believe the flexibility of the fully online program will appeal to a wide range of individuals.”

Zach Scheetz completed an M.S.L. at Akron Law in December 2023. Two months later, he started a new job at Youngstown-based Cafaro, a major shopping mall company, where he handles litigation and leasing matters.

“I started down the traditional J.D. law school path, but then found the M.S.L. program and realized what I really wanted was to go into business,” he said. “It’s a great program. It gives you so much confidence to have that understanding of corporate law, contracts and insurance law that I acquired. It’s helped me in more ways than I could have imagined.”

Scheetz was in the traditional in-person program, but he sees the advantages of a fully online structure.

“I think flexibility would be the biggest advantage to having a fully online M.S.L. program. It will allow students to create a schedule that works best for them without having to worry about the time spent driving or their ability to make it to campus to attend class,” he said.

“Legal expertise is a significant benefit for a wide range of careers in many sectors,” said Alisa Benedict O’Brien, Akron Law assistant dean for career services, strategic initiatives and external affairs. “Among the most popular are compliance, human resources, health care and government at the local, state and federal levels.”

The M.S.L. does not qualify recipients to take the bar exam or practice law. Credits taken in the M.S.L. program are not transferable to the J.D.

For more information visit Online Master of Studies in Law.