The University of Colorado Law School’s Master of Studies in Law (MSL) degree is a one-year, 28-credit program that enables students who hold at least an undergraduate degree to obtain legal training short of a full Juris Doctor (JD) degree. The program is designed to produce graduates who can take advantage of emerging job markets that require some legal knowledge and employers that are assigning a number of legal tasks to nonlawyers. Colorado Law’s MSL prepares students to obtain and excel in those positions.
MSL students are admitted into a specialty track and take courses specifically tailored for that track. At present, only one specialty track is available, the MSL in Patent Law, which is designed to train prospective patent agents. Additional specialty tracks will be available in subsequent years. Regardless of their chosen track, all MSL students take two courses designed specifically for MSL students. One of these courses introduces them to the American legal system, and the other introduces them to legal research, writing and analysis. In addition to those introductory courses, MSL students take required and elective courses, alongside JD students, relevant to their specialty track.
The patent law track fills a growing demand for employees who help companies protect valuable ideas and products by securing patents. The program is suited for individuals with engineering and science backgrounds, and allows these patent agents to pursue interesting and indemand careers practicing patent prosecution and representing inventors and innovators in the process of patent drafting, submission and eventual issue process. Once they have completed the MSL in Patent Law, students will be prepared to sit for the Patent Bar exam (though they must meet other requirements to sit for the exam and they must also register with the United States Patent and Trademark Office).