Master of Studies in Law Student Testimonials

In their own words, the Master of Studies in Law benefit

Denise Simpson ’03 – Family Law  

"Getting a JD degree was out of the question due to mommy duties, the financial commitment, and my age. I was an older student sometimes the oldest in my class; however, I don’t think anyone noticed.  

My concentration in the MSL Program was Family Law, and I also studied corporate law including nonprofit organizations. Because of my MSL education, I was able to create, incorporate and do my own tax-exempt paperwork to create a 501(c)(3) nonprofit homeless shelter for women.  To date, I have helped two other organizations become tax exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations.  

Somedays I wish I could afford to take more classes. I loved it there."

Joel Lim '07 – Corporate Law

"I would say that the MSL program has always been necessary in practically all aspects of business. The job I had immediately after the MSL program was with Ernst & Young’s corporate restructuring practice in Singapore where I had to communicate with lawyers on a daily basis."

Stephanie Minnaugh '03 – Intellectual Property and Technology Law

“The MSL program at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law gave me a unique opportunity to focus a year of graduate study on intellectual property rights.  Not only has my master’s degree opened up a new horizon of career options, but it has also strengthened my critical thinking and analysis skills tremendously.”

Kathryn Beckman '03 – Intellectual Property and Technology Law

“Having the opportunity to participate in the University of Pittsburgh Law School’s Master of Studies in Law Program was beneficial to me in many ways.  While I did not have plans to become a lawyer, I wanted to experience law school and to develop the analytical and reasoning skills of a lawyer.  The MSL program not only provided this training, but also offered a concentration in Intellectual Property law which has been my career field for more than 20 years.  Through the program, I was able to obtain more in-depth knowledge of that area of law.  The skills and legal knowledge I gained in the MSL program have proven to be most valuable to me in my position as the Administrator of the International Department of a major Washington, DC Intellectual Property law firm.”

Patrick Hoffman '05 – Environmental and Real Estate Law

“On a daily basis I interact with attorneys involved in our often complicated commercial real estate and construction issues.  The MSL Program has improved my ability to communicate with legal counsel on both sides of any given issue and understand the landscape of the legal system.  A deeper fundamental understanding of the law enables me to speak the attorney’s language and navigate any given legal situation better.”

Barbara Strelec ’07 – Health Law

“The MSL program at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law has enabled me to advance in the fast-paced environment of research compliance.  The Health Law concentration has provided the necessary analytical skills to be an effective problem solver in this heavily regulated field.  In addition, I now have a deeper understanding of the historical and policy content in which these regulations evolved.  This unique master’s degree is well-suited to those individuals with a clinical background in healthcare who wish to apply that knowledge to the legal and policy aspects of the healthcare industry.”

Kristeena Li '10 – International Law and Human Rights

“I obtained a position as Legislative Analyst for the County of Los Angeles, Chief Executive Office—where I analyze legislation daily and work with attorneys in our County Counsel—after graduating from the MSL Program.  There were 2,200 applicants for this position that was open for applications for only 48 hours, and I was one out of six individuals hired.  At my interview with the Chief Executive Office and Department of Human Resources, most of the content I discussed was drawn from my MSL experience.  Without my MSL experience, I would not be where I am today, professionally and personally.”

Alumni Survey Outcomes

A survey of graduates of the Pitt Law MSL program revealed that more than 80 percent felt that the knowledge, ability to engage in legal analysis, and reasoning skills they had gained from their MSL education had improved their ability to analyze and solve problems in their work settings.

Over 50 percent responded that the knowledge of law gained through their MSL education has been an important factor in their taking on new responsibilities at work, and 45 percent said it had contributed to their obtaining a promotion or better salary. Finally, almost 70 percent said that the MSL degree had been a helpful credential in their career advancement.