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Learn about the career paths that an MLS can unlock.

Expand your career prospects and increase your salary with a Master of Legal Studies degree. The extent of this increase will depend on the career path you choose—and options abound. An MLS degree opens up a range of opportunities across various industries where legal knowledge and expertise are valuable. Here are five examples of jobs that professionals with MLS degrees can pursue:

Common Jobs for Graduates with a Master of Legal Studies Degree

Compliance Manager

Compliance managers ensure that an organization is compliant with any and all mandatory regulations. Primary responsibilities include establishing, documenting, and updating compliance processes. In addition, professionals in compliance must identify compliance requirements, and investigate and review compliance issues. Compliance managers file the appropriate forms and communicate emerging compliance issues with management, employees, and other stakeholders.

Contracts Manager

A contracts manager drafts, reviews, and executes contracts between organizations and their clients or vendors. These professionals also serve as a point of contact for clients and vendors, and make sure all parts of a contract are completed fully, accurately, and on-time. Contracts managers also collaborate with finance and legal departments.

Human Resources Manager

As a human resources manager, you oversee the development of employees in an organization and serve as a liaison between employers and leadership or union representatives. Some tasks that a human resources manager takes on include recruiting, hiring, and training employees; managing employee benefits including compensation, workplace savings, insurance, and employee leave; establishing employee conduct policy; and maintaining compliance with employment regulations.


A mediator negotiates legal conflicts between consenting parties outside of the courtroom. Some of the tasks for professionals in mediating roles include facilitating communications between disputing parties and guiding them toward mutual agreement; establishing procedural matters like fees and meeting times; collecting evidence; interviewing witnesses; and preparing settlement agreements.

Paralegal/Legal Assistant

Paralegals and legal assistants serve as support staff in law offices. Their administrative tasks include legal writing and research, drafting documents to be filed, and preparation for trials and hearings, including discovery.

Law Enforcement Officer

Law enforcement officers uphold the law by patrolling assigned areas, responding to emergencies, and conducting investigations. They enforce local, state, and federal laws; protect public safety; and often engage in community outreach to build trust and prevent crime.


Accountants manage financial records, prepare and analyze financial statements, and ensure compliance with tax laws and regulations. These professionals provide valuable financial insights to organizations, assist with budgeting, and support decision-making by identifying areas for cost savings and revenue optimization. They may also perform audits.

Payroll Manager

Payroll managers oversee the accurate and timely processing of employee payroll, including deductions and tax withholdings. In addition to ensuring compliance with relevant laws and tax obligations, they maintain careful records of payroll transactions.

Tax Manager

Tax managers oversee tax reporting within large organizations. To prevent audits, they are expected to prepare and file the organization’s taxes with a very high level of accuracy. They continually work to keep abreast of changing tax regulations; to maximize tax deductions for their employers; and to monitor workplace practices for compliance with local, state, and federal tax laws.

Insurance Underwriter

Insurance underwriters assess insurance applications, determine risk factors, and set policy terms and premiums. These professionals analyze data, financial reports, and industry trends to make informed decisions on insurability, helping insurance companies manage their risks effectively.

Business Intelligence Analyst

Business intelligence analysts gather and analyze data to provide actionable insights that drive strategic decision-making within organizations. They are responsible for creating reports, dashboards, and visualizations. Using data mining techniques to identify trends and opportunities for growth, they help businesses make data-driven decisions.

How a Master of Legal Studies Degree Can Advance Your Career

Opportunities will vary based on prior work experience, additional qualifications, and the industry in which graduates seek employment. But due to the versatility of this degree, MLS graduates can confidently enter the job market with a wealth of foundational legal knowledge and transferable skills. The Master of Legal Studies isn’t just a credential—it’s a gateway to new horizons in your career.

Learn more about the Vanderbilt MLS.

About Vanderbilt Law School

Vanderbilt Law School has prepared students for exceptional careers throughout the United States and around the world for 145 years.

Located on the Vanderbilt University campus in Nashville, Tennessee, the law school combines the advantages of a stimulating university community, a top-tier research faculty, award-winning teachers, and a vibrant student body.

Known for its rigorous academics in a collegial, supportive atmosphere, Vanderbilt Law School attracts students and faculty seeking a first-rate education within a nurturing community.

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To learn more about the online Master of Legal Studies and download a brochure, please fill out this form. You can also reach an admissions advisor directly by calling 844-723-9010 (toll-free).

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