Our Curriculum

The Master of Legal Studies curriculum was developed specifically for working, non-lawyer professionals across several highly regulated industries. Foundation and core courses will give you a broad and solid legal background. After gaining a general grounding in the law, you will focus on legal issues in specific industries through elective courses. We offer concentrations in Health Law, Business Law and Human Resources Law, and professionals in other industries can access a wide array of electives. A career counselor is available to work with each student to make sure that your curriculum matches your individual passions and career goals. Courses listed here represent intended offerings, but scheduling requirements may cause changes such that actual offerings differ slightly from those listed here.


Course Format

The Master of Legal Studies is offered in a 100-percent online format. So no matter where you are, you can take advantage of the program’s challenging classes and expert faculty. This flexible format was designed to suit the needs of non-lawyer professionals.

Our small online class sizes allow you to take courses on your own schedule while interacting with professors and classmates through discussion boards and other technology. Classes benefit from Northeastern’s signature experiential learning model, drawing on case studies, scenarios, and your current professional experiences to make real-world connections.


Program Length

As a student in this program, you will take one course per eight-week term, with two terms in each sixteen-week semester (fall, spring, and summer). This format allows you to complete coursework as a part-time student within 10 terms, the equivalent of five semesters, or a year and a half. Students may petition to take more than one course per term.

+ Foundation Courses

Introduction to Legal Studies I (3) 

This course is designed to give students an introduction to the American legal system and legal reasoning. Students will learn about legal processes and the significance of law in various settings in order to extract useful information from sources of law. Skills acquired in this course will include learning how to read and research legal regulations and other legal materials including legal decisions. The materials in this course will cover rights and obligations derived from contracts, legal relationship, and behavior. Students will also be given writing exercises to help them synthesize their understanding of material and to use legal sources in support of their work.

 

Introduction to Legal Studies II (3) 

This course builds on LS 6101 with its emphasis on common law by introducing students to statutes and regulations. The setting involves federal administrative agencies governing employment, consumer protection, environment, labor, cyberlaw, intellectual property, and international trade. Exercises and discussions require finding, summarizing, applying and arguing about the applicability of statutes and regulations in concrete situations. The capstone of the course allows students to create a project to illustrate the lessons learned in the course.

+ Core Courses

Students are required to take four of the five following courses.

The Law of Information and Records (3)

This course will present a comprehensive survey of procedural and evidentiary rules in the context of recordkeeping, document production, due diligence, and investigations. It will include an exploration of rights to privacy, issues of confidentiality and conflicts of interest, contractual and legal liability, evidentiary consequences in administrative and court settings resulting from work-place disputes, and other related areas. Prereq. LS 6102.


Law and Strategy (3)

This course will introduce students to the implications and impact of law on strategy, with attention to applying legal knowledge and resources to strategic planning and strategy implementation. The course will use several examples of readily understood strategies to provide opportunities for students to identify the legal environment, consider the legal rights and requirements implicated by relevant law or regulation (e.g., intellectual property, contracts, administrative law) and their potential impact on management, incorporating law as a resource on the resource based view of the firm. The range of examples will include considering law and strategy implementation in multiple contexts. The focus will be on developing an appreciation of the legal environment and making effective use of legal resources and lawyers as advisors in strategic management aimed at attaining sustainable competitive advantage over rivals. Prereq. LS 6102.


Law and Organizational Management (3)

Students will learn the rules governing organizations, including corporations, partnerships, governmental organizations, and non-profits. The focus will include relationships within the organizations and powers of members of organizations. In addition, the course will cover employment issues relevant to relationships in organizations. Topics will include rights of workers to be free of discrimination in the workplace, the importance of workplace rules, and policies governing the workplace. Prereq. LS 6102.


Negotiation and Advocacy (3)

Students will learn core elements of negotiations that are the precursors to any final agreement or resolutions of informal disputes: negotiation planning from opposing sides and counseling, analysis of the bargaining range and opponent’s needs, principled concession patterns, problem-solving strategies to avoid deadlock, information bargaining and authority clarification, principles of drafting, settlement, and ethics. Prereq. LS 6102.


Regulation and Compliance (3)

Institutions increasingly face a host of regulatory compliance issues. This course (building on the ILSII course) will cover the challenges facing organizations in building programs that ensure adherence with legal obligations. Statutes covering a broad range of areas will be explored, including health and safety, environment, financial services, consumer protection, and employment. Prereq. LS 6102.

+ Health Law Concentration


Health Law Survey (3)

This course examines legal regulations governing the provision of healthcare services. Topics include access to health insurance and healthcare, healthcare financing, the organization and responsibility of healthcare institutions (especially hospitals), healthcare cost containment policies, public and private insurance programs, and the formulation of health policy. The course will also provide an introductory overview of the major statutes, regulations, and case law related to health law, including an introduction to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare.


Healthcare Regulation and Compliance (3)

This course covers major regulatory issues related to the healthcare field, providing an in-depth regulatory overview of health programs. Statutory schemes covered will include HIPAA/HITECH, Stark/fraud and abuse. In addition, students will learn about compliance programs, including compliance operations, and the code of conduct for particular fields.


Patient Records, Privacy, and Security (3)

+ Business Law Concentration


Required Courses: 

Financial Transactions (3)

In this course students will explore various aspects of corporate financial transactions, including vendor and supplier contracts, early stage financing, commercial loans, initial public offerings, mergers, and the sale of assets. Issues involving valuation of assets will be covered, and students will learn basic securities laws related to the transactions covered.


Regulation and Global Business Strategies (3)

This course provides an introduction to the international legal concepts, principles and institutions that define and shape international business relations. Globalization has increased the number of economic interactions across national borders. The globalization of production and consumption takes place in the background of an international monetary system and an international legal infrastructure facilitating and regulating transnational trade, international finance and global intellectual property and investment protection. The course specifically examines case studies of global governance based on codes of practice, certification and other regulatory initiatives.

 

Choose one of the following:

 

Intellectual Property Survey (3)

In our modern day “information economy,” the law of intellectual property (“IP”) has taken on enormous importance to both creators and users of creative works. Such IP Law is the way we provide legal protection to encourage invention and creativity by guaranteeing an opportunity for financial return to the originator of novel work. This course introduces students to the classic principles of copyright, patent, trademark, and trade secret law and explores the ways in which those principles are shifting and adapting in response to new technology.

 

Special Topics: Employee Rights and Employer Obligations (3)

Examines the legal relationship between employer and employee. Addresses issues and topics such as discrimination, affirmative action, the Americans with Disabilities Act, sexual harassment, health and safety, AIDS in the workplace, compliance issues, and legal issues related to downsizing and terminations. Today’s HR manager works in a highly complex environment with constantly changing laws and legislation that govern employee rights and employer obligations.

+ Human Resources Concentration

Anti-Discrimination Law (3)

This course will provide an overview of antidiscrimination laws governing the workplace. The focus will be on discrimination based on race and sex, but some attention will also be given to discrimination based on other characteristics, including age, sexual orientation, and disability. In addition to general issues of discrimination, the course will focus on the specific topics of retaliation, harassment, and bullying in the workplace.

 

Special Topics: Employee Rights and Employer Obligations (3)

Examines the legal relationship between employer and employee. Addresses issues and topics such as discrimination, affirmative action, the Americans with Disabilities Act, sexual harassment, health and safety, AIDS in the workplace, compliance issues, and legal issues related to downsizing and terminations. Today’s HR manager works in a highly complex environment with constantly changing laws and legislation that govern employee rights and employer obligations.

 

Wages and Benefits Law (3)

+ Elective Courses


Anti-Discrimination Law (3)

This course will provide an overview of antidiscrimination laws governing the workplace. The focus will be on discrimination based on race and sex, but some attention will also be given to discrimination based on other characteristics, including age, sexual orientation, and disability. In addition to general issues of discrimination, the course will focus on the specific topics of retaliation, harassment, and bullying in the workplace.

 

Health Law Survey (3)

This course examines legal regulations governing the provision of healthcare services. Topics include access to health insurance and healthcare, healthcare financing, the organization and responsibility of healthcare institutions (especially hospitals), healthcare cost containment policies, public and private insurance programs, and the formulation of health policy. The course will also provide an introductory overview of the major statutes, regulations, and case law related to health law, including an introduction to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare.

 

Healthcare Regulation and Compliance (3)

This course covers major regulatory issues related to the healthcare field, providing an in-depth regulatory overview of health programs. Statutory schemes covered will include HIPAA/HITECH, Stark/fraud and abuse. In addition, students will learn about compliance programs, including compliance operations, and the code of conduct for particular fields.

 

Financial Transactions (3)

In this course students will explore various aspects of corporate financial transactions, including vendor and supplier contracts, early stage financing, commercial loans, initial public offerings, mergers, and the sale of assets. Issues involving valuation of assets will be covered, and students will learn basic securities laws related to the transactions covered.

 

Regulation and Global Business Strategies (3)

This course provides an introduction to the international legal concepts, principles and institutions that define and shape international business relations. Globalization has increased the number of economic interactions across national borders. The globalization of production and consumption takes place in the background of an international monetary system and an international legal infrastructure facilitating and regulating transnational trade, international finance and global intellectual property and investment protection. The course specifically examines case studies of global governance based on codes of practice, certification and other regulatory initiatives.

 

Intellectual Property Survey (3)

In our modern day “information economy,” the law of intellectual property (“IP”) has taken on enormous importance to both creators and users of creative works. Such IP Law is the way we provide legal protection to encourage invention and creativity by guaranteeing an opportunity for financial return to the originator of novel work. This course introduces students to the classic principles of copyright, patent, trademark, and trade secret law and explores the ways in which those principles are shifting and adapting in response to new technology.

 

Special Topics: Employee Rights and Employer Obligations (3)

Examines the legal relationship between employer and employee. Addresses issues and topics such as discrimination, affirmative action, the Americans with Disabilities Act, sexual harassment, health and safety, AIDS in the workplace, compliance issues, and legal issues related to downsizing and terminations. Today’s HR manager works in a highly complex environment with constantly changing laws and legislation that govern employee rights and employer obligations.

 

Patient Records, Privacy, and Security (3)