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Master’s Degree Programs in Employment Law Overview

Majors Overview October 29, 2015

Master’s degree programs in employment law target business professionals and lawyers. This article talks about master’s programs in employment law and their education requirements, coursework, and career choices.

Information on Employment Law Programs

In employment law programs, the regulations established by federal and state governments aimed at protecting the rights of employers and employees are explored. While graduate schools offer a master’s degree in employment law as a Master of Science (M.S.), law schools offer it as a Master of Laws (LL.M.). In an MS program students holding bachelor’s degrees are trained to pursue careers involving the employer/employee relationship, such as human resources management, in addition to labor relations. Attorneys would benefit from enrolling in LL.M. programs. Schools usually offer them through online or evening classes and the coursework covers employment law topic areas such as representing clients, unions, and international labor regulations.

Master of Science (M.S.) Programs in Employment Law

Schools offer employment law programs at the graduate level in both on-campus and online formats. Throughout the master’s degree program, there is a period of in-class instruction, which allows for seminar involvement and classroom discussion. There is a greater prevalence of online coursework and students are required to be self-driven. In the online curriculum, courses are expected to be completed by specific deadlines and students are allowed to collaborate with their peers across the country.

Education Requirements

An MS degree program is not open to law students (in this regard, it is different from an LL.M. degree program). Admission criteria require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree in a similar field. Students may also be required to submit proof of work experience relating to the field, in addition to a personal statement showcasing the student’s knowledge of employment law. Commonly, schools require applicants to submit letters of reference.


The focus of the program coursework is on the key issues faced by employees and employers every day at the workplace. Students learn about topic areas relating to worker’s rights, labor relations, the protection of both parties in the employer and employee relationship, and employer responsibilities. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Discrimination laws
•Employment contract laws
•Federal and state regulations
•Workplace privacy
•Legal research techniques
•Employment law foundations
•Recruitment, development and termination of employees
•Workplace harassment issues
•Occupational health and safety laws
•Policy and Handbook construction

Career Choices

Program graduates can seek jobs in small and large corporate settings where employment law is solidly relevant. Program graduates can seek jobs in organizations that protect both themselves and their employee’s rights through human resource management and labor relations. They may choose from possible job positions such as:

•Employee relations administrator
•Human resource generalist
•Training Coordinator

Master of Laws (LL.M.) Programs in Employment Law

Schools may offer an LL.M. degree program in online or on-campus formats. On-campus classes may be available during the day and evenings. Students can earn an LL.M. in Employment Law within a year. Alternatively, a student may opt for a program with a six-year tenure. Experienced employment law attorneys often teach the curriculum to impart education to students in realistic scenarios while instilling professional working conduct. Core coursework covers subject areas such as representing clients, current employment law issues, investigation and litigation of employment law cases, union laws, international labor laws, and upgrading employment law documents.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a law degree from a school that carries the accreditation of the American Bar Association. Often, applicants are also required to submit letters of reference, a current resume, and a statement of intent.


Coursework is devised to train students to pursue successful careers as employment law attorneys. Core coursework relates to the practices and regulations upheld by the federal and state government and may cover topic areas such as:

•Gender discrimination laws
•Benefit Regulations
•Immigration and citizenship laws
•Safety regulations
•Case studies
•Discrimination laws and issues
•Workman’s compensation
•Upholding employment contracts

Career Choices

Program graduates may opt to practice privately or seek jobs in an employment law firm. They may also seek employment with the U.S. Department of Labor. They may choose from available job positions such as:

•In-house corporate lawyer
•Supervisory Trial labor attorney
•General labor attorney

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