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Yale Gordon College of Arts and Sciences

M.A. in Legal and Ethical Studies


Prepare yourself for law school, and explore your interests in law from a variety of perspectives.

This Master of Arts program provides flexibility not just in scheduling but in how you approach your studies, leaving you room to explore the facets of the law that most interest you. The program’s range of courses—from substantive law to legal and constitutional history to the philosophy and ethics of law—allows you to tailor your studies to your interests and goals.

  • If you’re interested in studying law from a broad, humanistic perspective:

    This program’s Path I assists you in making that career-enhancing connection. The variety of courses from which you can select allows you to explore the social, historical and philosophical dimensions of law and immerse yourself in a highly academic, graduate liberal arts education.

    You will learn:

    • how to look beneath the corporate and political scandals that make newspaper headlines and analyze their deeper causes and human dimensions
    • how Anglo-American law and classical ethical ideas have shaped the creation and enforcement of modern legal regulations, policies and practices
    • to think about how, in the future, you might make better choices as a business executive, educator or public servant.
  • If you’re interested in eventually applying to law school or in pursuing a career that requires substantial legal knowledge and skills:

    This program’s Path II will help guide you to your goals.

    • You’ll focus on refining your reading, writing and analytical skills and and enhancing your substantive knowledge of law, so you will be better prepared for law school or for jobs that require a strong legal background.
    • You can take advantage of free LSAT preparatory courses each semester, and the program director is available to assist you with your law school application.
    • Your enhanced training in legal literacy and exposure to substantive law through this master’s program will prepare you to handle more involved legal matters in your future work.

While this degree may improve your competitiveness for many jobs that require legal knowledge, it does not offer paralegal certification, which some law-related jobs require; if you already have paralegal certification, you’ll find that this master’s program complements your training and expands the breadth of work you can perform.

Classes are offered evenings; some courses are offered online and some are offered in the summer for continuing students.