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PRESS RELEASE / ANNOUNCEMENTS Wednesday, October 17, 2012

SB/Ventura College of Law Announces New Program

The Santa Barbara and Ventura Colleges of Law, which for more than 40 years has provided local residents the opportunity to earn the Juris Doctor degree and pursue a legal career, is expanding its curriculum to offer a Master of Legal Studies (MLS) degree.


Santa Barbara and Ventura Colleges of Law

The MLS program is designed to provide those who work in law-related fields the expertise needed to navigate the legal challenges that now arise routinely in the workplace. By studying the legal system and its practical implications, students will prepare themselves to handle management duties in heavily-regulated areas, such as business, law enforcement, education, health care, and human resources.

According to Professor Craig Smith, who directs the program, “Many non-lawyers want to know more about how the legal system works, so they can be more effective in their professional pursuits. They don’t intend to practice law, so they don’t need a Juris Doctorate. Our MLS program offers just the right balance between legal theory and practical application for those whose job responsibilities include dealing with any aspect of law.”

Offered entirely online, the part-time MLS program is tailor made for the busy adult who needs convenience, flexibility, and affordability. Students can earn the MLS degree in less than two years, taking one course in each 7 week term. In core classes, students will gain an understanding of fundamental legal principles of American law, and develop practical skills that will help them anticipate, avoid, and manage real-world legal problems. In elective and capstone courses, students will be able to study legal topics related to their own professional interests.

Courses in the Colleges’ new MLS degree program are taught by practicing attorneys from the Santa Barbara and Ventura areas. Applicants for the MLS degree must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college and a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.3. Applicants who do not meet the minimum cumulative GPA requirement will be considered if they demonstrate the ability to do graduate level work as shown by a substantial work history.

The law school’s inaugural MLS class will begin classes in January of 2013; students may enter the program in January, May, or August. Information sessions Information sessions, open to the public, are scheduled for 6pm on Nov. 5 at the Santa Barbara campus and on Nov. 8 at the Ventura Campus. Details and an application form are available on the Colleges’ website, click here. For more information or to request an application, or to RSVP for one of the info sessions, please contact Director of Admissions Michelle Wise: mwise@collegesoflaw.edu or call 805.979.9353.

Smith, who teaches Contracts and Civil Procedure in the Colleges’ J.D. program, is also known for his law school website, click here and local blog. Observing that every article written by a lawyer must have a legal disclaimer, he issued this one:

“Prospective students should be aware that the MLS program does not qualify graduates to sit for the California Bar Examination or satisfy the requirements for admission to practice law in California. Those who wish to become eligible to practice law should consider our Juris Doctor (JD) degree program.”

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