SANTA BARBARA, Calif. and VENTURA, Calif., April 29, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Santa Barbara & Ventura Colleges of Law (COL) announces new program modifications for its online Master of Legal Studies (M.L.S.) degree for non-lawyers. Program updates include an accelerated timeline for degree completion and additional options for electives, concentrations, and a campus residency.
Launched in 2012, COL's M.L.S. is designed for graduate students and seasoned professionals from varying areas of study and careers who seek to gain a better understanding of the U.S. legal system and its implications for their field. Degree candidates gain expertise to navigate the legal challenges that arise in every setting, including business, education, health care, human resources, and law enforcement.
"Just as the workplace is always evolving so must our program offerings," said COL Executive Director Matthew Nehmer, Ph.D. "We're excited about our modified M.L.S. We kept the number of units the same but created a faster pathway to completion with focused concentrations. The outcome is a curriculum with more options for students to tailor the experience to meet their academic and professional goals."
Offered online, COL's 30-credit M.L.S. degree can be completed in 18 months, one course per every 8-week term. Upon entering the program, students will choose between two concentrations: Frontiers in Law or Regulatory Compliance and Legal Risk Management.
Leading the project to update the M.L.S. curriculum was COL Dean Heather Georgakis, J.D. "Students who choose our new Frontiers in Law elective track will consider leading-edge questions about privacy, global relationships, bio-legal concerns, and emerging threats. Those in the Regulatory Compliance/Legal Risk Management concentration will focus on what enterprise managers need to know to meet the challenges of administrative rulemaking, agency investigations, and enforcement actions. Both tracks will engage students in the dynamic tension between legal theory and day-to-day problems."
Further, students enrolled in the updated M.L.S. have a unique option to complete a campus residency. Designed as an intensive weekend delivery, the residency will reinforce online instruction and allow faculty and students, who have become familiar with each other through web-based discussions, to interact in person.
"Our residency option will give students the opportunity to discuss relevant, topical issues with faculty experts in a face-to-face setting," said Craig Smith, J.D., M.L.S. program director and professor. "For example, if you work in government or other public sector, how do you respond to emerging security threats in a way that is effective and mitigates risk, while also being mindful of the legal implications for your organization? Or, in the case of data breach and security for both private and public entities, what are the practical considerations for legal risk and exposure? The campus residency allows students to learn first-hand from experts who are able to facilitate discussions and dialogue on these important topics."
While the program provides greater insight into the legal system, the M.L.S. does not qualify graduates to sit for the California Bar Examination and does not satisfy requirements for admission to practice law in the state of California. Prospective students who wish to practice law should consider the Juris Doctor (J.D.) program at COL.
Established in 1969, The Santa Barbara & Ventura Colleges of Law (COL) was founded to expand opportunities and broaden access to legal education. COL is dedicated to a student-centered approach that affords students of diverse backgrounds the opportunity to pursue careers in law or legal-related fields. The Colleges' faculty advances a real-world perspective and practicality on the application of law and includes practicing attorneys, judges, public servants, and leaders in business and non-profit organizations. An accredited nonprofit institution, COL offers a Juris Doctor (J.D.) and a Master of Legal Studies (M.L.S.) program. COL is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) and the Juris Doctor program is accredited by the Committee of Bar Examiners (CBE) of the State Bar of California. For more information, visit www.collegesoflaw.edu.
The Santa Barbara & Ventura Colleges of Law is an affiliate of TCS Education System, a nonprofit service organization that supports institutions backed by a model of education that prepares socially responsible professionals in applied fields such as law, education, healthcare, and psychology.