Legal Studies

Graduate Degree Program Summary

Graduate programs offered

Earn a Graduate Degree

  • MLS in Legal Studies
Areas of Study

These informal areas of focus may help to shape your course of study but they will not appear on transcripts.

  • Business
  • Constitutional Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Entertainment and Media Law
  • Environmental Studies
  • Family Law
  • Gerontology
  • Health Law
  • Human Resources Law
  • Intellectual Property
  • International Human Rights
  • International Law
  • Journalism
  • Labor and Employment Law
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Real Estate Law
  • Space, Cyber and Telecommunications
  • Tax Law

Online and Distance Opportunities

Some online coursework may be available for your program; contact dept. for details.

Contacts for Legal Studies

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Other Ways to Connect

On the Web
Legal Studies

Admissions Office

Campus Address
106 McCollum Hall
Lincoln NE 68583-0902

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Application checklist and deadlines

1. Required by Graduate Studies

Submit these items as part of the standard steps to admission.

2. Required by Legal Studies

After you apply, allow one business day for us to set up your access to GAMES, where you'll complete these requirements.

When sending GRE or TOEFL scores, UNL's institution code is 6877 and a department code is not needed.

Application Deadlines for Legal Studies
  • April 15 for Fall.

Application/admission is for entry in a specific term and year. UNL's academic year is divided into 3 terms: Fall (August-December), Spring (January-May), and Summer (multiple sessions May-August). Some UNL programs accept new students only in certain terms and/or years; if your desired entry term isn't mentioned here, you may want to consult the department for clarification.


The law pervades much of American life today. Administrators, business people, educators, public officials, engineers, scientists, physicians, and others often find themselves making decisions that have legal implications, and academics often find themselves researching interdisciplinary topics that have legal components. Yet people making such decisions or engaging in such research historically have not had the opportunity for any formal legal training unless they attend law school and pursue the Juris Doctor ("JD") Degree.

Although the JD Degree is a prerequisite for practicing law, the University of Nebraska recognizes that not everyone who is interested in the law is interested in practicing law. That is why the Master of Legal Studies ("MLS") Degree Program was developed. The MLS Degree Program is designed for individuals who do not want to become practicing attorneys but who are interested in developing a better understanding of the law as it affects their non-legal careers or areas of study.

Cost of attendance

Cost differs from one student to another. For details see Tuition, Fees, and Funding or try our Cost Estimator.

Courses and More

Admitted students will choose courses from the Course Catalog, typically in: During the first half of their coursework, students will work with an advisor to create a plan of study — one of the essential Steps to Degree Completion.

Faculty and research

Where available, faculty names link to bios or homepages and conversation icons () link to directory listings with address, phone, and email.

Jack Beard

National Security Law; International Telecommunications Law; International Law; National Security Space Law; Arms Control; International Perspectives

Eric Berger

Constitutional Law; Constitutional History; Legislation; Public Policy and Statutory Interpretation

Kristen Blankley

Alternative Dispute Resolution; Mediation; Arbitration; Negotiation

Steven Bradford

Accounting; Securities Regulation; Investment Companies and Advisors; Corporate Mergers and Acquisitions

Eve Brank

Public Policy in Elder and Juvenile Law; Procedural Justice

Beth Burkstrand-Reid

Family Law; Torts

Robert Denicola

Contracts; Copyright; Trademarks; Unfair Competition

Richard Dooling

Entertainment Law; Legal Profession

Rick Duncan

Property; Constitutional Law; Religion and the Constitution

Alan Frank

Family Law; Client Interviewing and Counseling; Mediation

Martin Gardner

Family Law; Juvenile Law; Criminal Law; Criminal Procedure

Justin (Gus) Hurwitz

Antitrust, Law and Technology; Regulated Industries; Telecommunications

Stephen Kalish

Legal Process, Legal History, Legal Profession, Corporations, and Advanced CorporationsEmeritus

Roger Kirst

Civil Procedure; Evidence; Civil Rights Litigation

Craig Lawson

Health-Care Law; Bioethics; Law and Literature; Torts; Products Liability

Richard Leiter

Advanced Legal Research

John Lenich

Civil Procedure; Antitrust; Appellate Advocacy; Civil Clinic; Federal Jurisdiction; Moot Court; Remedies and Damages

Brian Lepard

Tax Law and Policy; International Tax; Business Planning; International Human Rights Law; Comparative Law

William Lyons

Tax Law and Policy; Business Planning; Estate Planning; Wills and Trusts

Colleen Medill

Employee Benefits; Property; Real Estate; Wills and Trusts

Richard Moberly

Employment; Evidence; Civil Clinic

Matthew Novak

Space Law Research

Stephanie Pearlman

Legal Research and Writing

Sandra Placzek

Legal Research

Susan Poser

Professional Responsibility; Torts; Wills and Trusts; Products Liability; Courts and Social Policy

Jo Potuto

Conflict of Laws; Appellate Advocacy; Federal Jurisdiction; Criminal Procedure; Constitutional Law; Criminal Law; Sports Law

Kevin Ruser

Civil Clinic; Immigration Law

Matt Schaefer

International Public Law; International Trade Law; Space Law

Steve Schmidt

Criminal Clinic

Robert Schopp

Intersection of Law, Psychology, and Philosophy; Mental Health Law; Criminal Law; Capital Punishment

Anthony Schutz

Agricultural Law; Environmental Law; Land Use; State and Local Government

Anna Shavers

Immigration; Administrative Law; Civil Procedure; Gender Issues; Refugee and Asylum Law

Christal Sheppard

International Intellectual Property Law; Patent Law

John Snowden

Jurisprudence; Legal Process; Criminal Law; Native American Law; Mass Communications LawEmeritus

Brett Stohs

Entrepreneurship Clinic

Adam Thimmesch

Business Associations; Individual Income Tax; Corporate Finance

Alan Tomkins

Mental Health Policy; Community Health and Human Services; Stakeholder Input into Public Policy

Frans von der Dunk

Space and Telecommunications Law; European Community Law; National Security Space Law

Richard Wiener

Legal Decision Making; Perceptions of Sexual Harassment; Law and Behavioral Science; Topics in Law and Psychology

Steve Willborn

Employment; Discrimination; Labor; Education; Pension and Employee Benefits

Catherine Wilson

Banking and Payment Systems; Electronic Commerce; Commercial Law; Secured Transactions; Creditors' Rights; Bankruptcy

Robert Works

Contracts; Insurance; Health Care Finance

Sandra Zellmer

Natural Resources and Public Lands; Water Law; Environmental Law and Ethics; Torts

This summary page is maintained by Graduate Studies.
For additional details check out the dept./program website: Legal Studies.

Departments: Have an update for this summary? Contact Stacy Dam.