Mar 02, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
    
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Legal Studies, M.L.S.


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Lawrence Rosenthal, Graduate Program Director

NKU Chase College of Law offers a Master of Legal Studies (MLS) degree. This degree is geared toward individuals who do not wish to earn a Juris Doctor (JD) degree, but who wish to gain a more thorough understanding of the American legal system and various law-related topics. This degree is ideal for individuals in the workforce (or who are about to enter the workforce) who believe that gaining knowledge in a particular area of law will benefit them in their current or future employment.

The Master of Legal Studies (MLS) is a degree program designed for individuals interested in developing a better understanding of the law as it affects their careers involving legal or regulatory issues. Students may complete this 30 credit hour program in 2-3 years part-time (day or evening) or  in 1 year full-time.

Admissions

Applicants must provide the following to be considered for admission:

  1. An application for admission and application fee
  2. Transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
  3. Resume
  4. Letter of purpose

No standardized test is required for acceptance to the Master of Legal Studies program.  Students may, however, submit test scores they received on standardized tests.  When making an admissions decision, Chase College of Law will consider the applicant’s undergraduate GPA (2.50 minimum), undergraduate major and institution, work experience, and answers to the questions provided on the application. 

International Students

International students applying for admission to the Master of Legal Studies program will be evaluated in the same way as non-international students will be evaluated (see “Admissions” section of these policies).

 

Curriculum


Students will need to pass a minimum of thirty credit hours to earn the MLS degree. The only Required courses areLAW 827 Legal Analysis and Problem Solving (3 credits) , and LAW 829 Basic Legal Skills (Research) (3 credits)  - Research. Students will also be required to successfully complete a minimum of nine credit hours from the list of Core MLS courses. The remainder of the thirty credit hours can be earned from Required and Elective JD courses.

For program-specific policies governing the MLS program, please refer to the Chase Student Handbook, supplemented by the Chase MLS policies.

Digital Law & Technology Concentration (30 credits)


Digital Law and Technology Concentration allows students to study how technology impacts and affects the law.  The courses will cover the legal issues that technology has created, and they will also provide students with an understanding of some of the technology that has affected the law. This concentration is provided by online delivery.

Grading Policies


Incompletes: Students in the Master of Legal Studies program will follow the same rules as JD students regarding “incomplete” grades. Those rules are located in the Chase Student Handbook. https://chaselaw.nku.edu/current-students/resources/handbook.html

Grading: All students in the Master of Legal Studies program will receive grades consistent with the NKU graduate grading scale (A-C-, F). The students’ exams will be graded separately from the JD students’ exams, and the students’ exams will not be factored into grade curves or grade distributions.

Good Standing / Probation / Course Re-takes: Students in the Masters of Legal Studies program must maintain a minimum 2.67 grade point average and/or earn no more than two grades of “C” or below to remain in good standing.  Students are placed on academic probation when their GPA falls below a 2.67.  Once on academic probation, students will have up to nine semester hours to achieve a GPA of at least 2.67 to remove their probationary status. Students in the MLS program are permitted to repeat a total of two courses.  A specific course may be repeated only once. These courses must be taken at NKU.

Grade Appeals: Students in the Master of Legal Studies program will follow the same policies as JD students with respect to grade appeals. The Chase grade appeal policy is located in the Chase Student Handbook. https://chaselaw.nku.edu/current-students/resources/handbook.htm.

Length of Program


A full-time student could complete the 30 credit hours in one year. A part-time student could most likely finish the program in two years or in two and one half years (depending on course scheduling).

Transfer Between JD and MLS Programs


Students in the Master of Legal Studies program who wish to transfer to the JD program must apply to the JD program just as any other JD candidate would do.  Credits earned in the Master of Legal Studies program cannot transfer to the JD program.

Students in the JD program who no longer wish to pursue a JD degree may transfer a maximum of 21 passing credits (grades of “C” or better) to the MLS degree and continue to pursue that degree.  While the credits will transfer, the student will start earning a new Grade Point Average in the Master of Legal Studies program.  The student must then complete the remaining hours needed for graduation as a student in the Master of Legal Studies program.  These “degree-transfer students” must meet with the Associate Dean for Academics and with the Office of Graduate Education to discuss Academic Standing issues (if applicable). The transferring student will pay MLS tuition for the remaining MLS credit hours, but he or she will not be eligible for any refund of the difference between the JD and MLS tuition.

Tuition


Students will be charged NKU general graduate tuition (not law tuition).

MLS Policies


Visiting Students; Undergraduate Students Taking Chase Courses; MLS Students Taking Undergraduate Courses

Chase College of Law will allow students seeking a Master of Legal Studies degree at another institution to be a visiting student at Chase, as long as the student can provide documentation that the student’s degree-granting institution will accept transfer credit from Chase.

No undergraduate students, other than those participating in the Chase 3+3 program, may take any courses at Chase College of Law.

Students in the Master of Legal Studies program may take a maximum of six credit-hours at NKU’s other colleges and receive credit toward the MLS degree for that coursework.  The remaining twenty-four credit hours must be earned at Chase College of Law (or possibly at another law school).  Students must receive permission from Chase’s Associate Dean for Academics before registering for non-Chase coursework at NKU.

Time Limits for Application / Interruptions in Studies / Application Deadlines

The application deadline for the fall semester is July 20. Students typically begin the Master of Legal Studies program during the fall semester. In some cases, students can begin the Master of Legal Studies program during the summer semester (May start date); the application deadline for those students is April 1.  Students enrolled in the on-line tech-focused MLS degree program can start the program throughout the year.

Credit Applied to Degree; Transfer Credit

Students in the Master of Legal Studies program cannot apply non-Chase credit-hours earned prior to enrolling in the program.  This applies to JD credits earned at another law school, MLS credits, and all other non-Chase credits earned prior to enrolling in the MLS program.

Students in the Master of Legal Studies program must receive permission from the Associate Dean for Academics to register for courses at other law schools and have those credits apply to the Master of Legal Studies degree.

Independent Study / Readings Courses / Special Topics Courses

Students in the Master of Legal Studies program will not participate in Readings Courses or Special Topics Courses.

Students in the Master of Legal Studies program will be able to participate in a Supervised Independent Research project, but they must first seek approval from the Associate Dean for Academics.

Chase College of Law has its own policies and requirements for a Supervised Independent Research project, and those policies apply to students in the Master of Legal Studies program.

Degree Time Limits and Course Age

Students in the Master of Legal Studies program are expected to complete their degree requirements within four years, but they must complete the degree requirements within six years.  Students must receive permission from the Associate Dean for Academics to take more than six years to earn the degree. 

Audits and Course Loads

In order to audit a course, students in the Master of Legal Studies program must receive permission from the Associate Dean for Academics and the faculty member teaching the course the students wish to audit.

A part-time student is expected to take between three and five credit hours each fall/spring semester.  The expected course load during the summer will depend on course offerings.

A full-time student is expected to take six or more credit hours each fall/spring semester.  The expected course load during the summer will depend on course offerings.

Student Appeals

If the student is appealing a Chase-specific issue (other than a grade appeal), the student must appeal to the Associate Dean for Academics, who will either resolve the appeal or designate another administrator or committee to resolve the appeal.  The student will have the opportunity to appeal the first decision to the Dean, whose decision will be final.

If the student is appealing a non-Chase-specific issue, the student should follow the appeal process outlined in the Northern Kentucky University Graduate Catalog.

Graduation

No student in the Master of Legal Studies program will be able to graduate if he/she is not in good academic standing at the time he/she wishes to graduate (see previous policy regarding academic standing).

Students in the Master of Legal Studies program will be eligible to walk in the Chase College of Law graduation ceremony.  Students in the Master of Legal Studies program will receive a diploma from the Chase College of Law.

Administration of the MLS Program

The Master of Legal Studies program is overseen primarily by the Chase College of Law. Students in the Master of Legal Studies program should first consult with Chase’s Associate Dean for Academics if they have questions regarding the Master of Legal Studies program.

Graduate Council

The Chase College of Law oversees and interprets the Chase-specific policies for the Master of Legal Studies program.  The NKU Office of Graduate Education oversees the non-Chase-specific policies in this program. 

Miscellaneous Policies

Students in the Master of Legal Studies program will follow the Chase College of Law’s academic calendar.

Students in the Master of Legal Studies program will follow the registration instructions provided by Chase’s Associate Dean for Academics.

For students in the Master of Legal Studies program, all course withdrawals and additions will follow the rules applicable to JD students.  The applicable rules and relevant dates are located on the Chase website.

Students in the Master of Legal Studies program must follow the same attendance policies as JD students.  Each professor will follow his/her own attendance policies, which will be set forth in the course syllabus.

Students in the Master of Legal Studies program are bound by these policies, the Master of Legal Studies policies set forth in the NKU Graduate Catalog, the Chase Student Handbook (where applicable), and by the Chase Student Honor Code.  The Chase Student Handbook can be found at https://chaselaw.nku.edu/current-students/resources/handbook.html.

Students in the Master of Legal Studies program are also bound by NKU policies regarding student conduct and academic integrity.  Situations involving a conflict between the Chase policies and the NKU policies will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Most professors at the Chase College of Law use TWEN rather than Canvas.  Students in the Master of Legal Studies program should purchase a computer capable of running the TWEN software.

Information regarding the Greater Cincinnati Consortium of Colleges and Universities is not applicable to students in the Master of Legal Studies program.

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