M.S.L. Program

The Degree of Master of Studies in Law

Yale Law School offers a Master of Studies in Law (M.S.L.) degree program for a small number of non-lawyers who seek to obtain a basic familiarity with legal thought and to explore the relation of law to their disciplines. It is a one-year terminal program designed for those who do not desire a professional law degree, but who are interested in a rigorous curriculum and grounding in legal studies.

Candidates in the M.S.L. program are typically experienced scholars with doctorates who have research or teaching objectives in mind, or mid-career journalists seeking an intensive immersion in legal thinking so that they are better able to educate their audiences upon their return to journalism. (Those who have completed a professional law degree are not eligible for the program.)

Students enjoy small class sizes side-by-side with J.D. and other graduate students and a close relationship with the Yale Law School faculty.


Two members of the MSL class of 2024 stand on the steps of Sterling Law Building with Dean Heather Gerken in the center.
Dean Heather K. Gerken with the MSL Class of 2024