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Information on Master’s Degree Programs in Business Law

Majors Overview October 6, 2015

This article talks about master’s degree programs in business law and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Information on Master’s Degree Programs in Business Law

Schools typically offer master’s degree programs in business law as a joint Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) and Juris Doctor (J.D.) or in the lesser-known form of Master of Laws (LL.M.).

Joint Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.)/ Juris Doctor (J.D.) Programs

Two degrees are earned by enrollees via this business law program. The focus of the MBA is on the business portion of the program while the focus of the JD is on the law portion. Some schools also allow MBA/JD students to pursue taxation among other specialties. Students usually take 3-4 years to complete these programs; thereby, students save a year in obtaining the degrees.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to apply to two different colleges within a university for admission to each program. Students are expected to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college, and an undergraduate major in a particular area, such as business or accounting, may be required in some schools. The LSAT is also a requirement in most law schools.

Coursework

Program coursework that encompasses all courses required for each degree emphasizes law courses, which comprise 80 hours of study as against 22-54 hours in business-related courses. Core coursework for JD programs feature:

•International business and economics
•Team dynamics
•Financial accounting
•Managerial Economics

Core coursework for MBA programs feature:

•Contracts
•Criminal law
•Constitutional law
•Civil procedure
•Torts and property
•Legal research and writing

Career Choices

Program graduates can pursue available job positions such as:

•Corporate litigator
•Arbitrator
•International trade specialist
•Labor relations specialist
•Contract administrator

Continuing Education Choices

Practicing lawyers must gain licensure in their state of practice. Requirements can vary by state for Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE), which may typically require 8-15 continuing education hours every year. While there is no compulsion to fulfill continuing education requirements in business, students can avail courses in business specialties, such as accounting, as well as in general business.

Master of Laws (LL.M.) Programs

Students who have already earned a JD can specialize in areas such as international business law, corporate law, or environmental law by enrolling in Master of Laws (LL.M.) programs. There is no defined coursework in some LL.M. programs, and students are consequently allowed to tailor their coursework. LL.M. programs usually span a year.

Coursework

Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•International litigation
•Business strategies
•Business regulations around the world
•Bankruptcy
•Banking regulations and laws
•Arbitration
•Management statistics
•Business associations
•Corporate finance

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, an average job growth rate of ten percent has been predicted for lawyers (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2012, lawyers brought in an average annual wage of $113,530 (BLS).

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