Skip to main content area Skip to main content area Skip to institutional navigation Skip to search Skip to section navigation

Master in Law

Penn Law offers the Master in Law degree, enabling students and professionals working and studying in related fields to expand their knowledge of law and legal principles.

A Master in Law degree from Penn Law provides a strong signal that you possess expertise in the legal issues that intersect with your professional field and academic interests.*


Students enrolled in the program’s specialized curriculum will gain a solid understanding of how the U.S. legal system functions in general as well as specific knowledge of the law in their areas of interest.

Students in the program complete eight courses and may tailor some of their coursework to reflect their interests.  First, they receive a broad and deep education in law through ML foundation classes. Second, they select courses from Penn Law’s upper level JD curriculum where they will sit alongside and interact with students training to practice law, enriching the experiences for all students in the classroom. 

Because ML students take courses both with JD students and other professionals and students from around the University, all students benefit as they develop a rich and diverse professional network comprised of both future attorneys and professionals in many diverse fields.

This degree is currently available exclusively to the Penn community - current graduate students and staff.  We anticipate offering this degree beyond the Penn community in future years.

ML students at Penn Law are valuable members of the Penn Law community and have access to many student activities and services including the use of the Biddle Law Library, IT support, many online resources and receipt of a Penn Law e-mail address.  ML students have the opportunity to join many student groups, attend Penn Law events and presentations, and take part in many other Penn Law student activities.  Some courses, activities, and services however are unavailable to the ML students because these focus exclusively on preparing students to enter the practice of law as attorneys.  These include legal practice clinics, the legal writing competition and law career placement services provided through the Penn Law Career Planning and Placement office. 

Take a course with us

Penn Law welcomes members of the Penn community to explore our community and programs, consider our ML degree and learn about the law by taking a course with us. Whether you are interested in exploring the future possibility of law school or in complementing your career or studies in another discipline, we are certain you will find Penn Law courses and programs of study that interest you and meet your needs.**

Penn Graduate Students: Earn a Certificate in Law

Our Certificate of Study in Law gives Penn graduate students an opportunity to become immersed in important legal topics in the areas of their academic interests.  With LAWM 511 - Introduction to US Law and Legal Methods plus three additional law classes, graduate students can earn a Certificate in Law.  For more information on requirements and how to begin, visit the Registrar’s Certificate page.


For more information about taking individual classes at the Law School, please visit the Registrar’s website.

*The ML degree is intended to provide exposure to critical issues in the law; however it will not permit a student to sit for any state’s bar examination or otherwise allow recipients to practice law. The American Bar Association regulations do not permit the application of ML classes toward a JD degree. Because the ML is intended to provide students and professionals in fields outside of the law with legal education to complement their professions in disciplines outside of the law, career services are not provided by Penn Law’s Career Planning and Professionalism Office.

**While all members of the Penn Community are welcome to explore our classes and take any available ML courses, we give registration priority to ML degree candidates (those who have applied and been accepted into the ML degree program). Students who take ML classes and later apply and enter the ML degree program may request inclusion toward their ML degree requirements up to two courses/CUs from Penn Law taken prior to matriculation into the ML degree program.