Law students intrigued by the inner mechanisms of the business world can propel their career with one of Grad School Hub's 15 Best Master's Degrees in Business Law for 2019.
Lawyers act as both advocates and advisors for their clients. As advocates, they present evidence and arguments in support of their clients in a trial. As advisors, they counsel clients on rights and responsibilities and propose favorable courses of action in personal and business matters.
Business law, sometimes called commercial law or mercantile law, examines regulations over govern commercial practices. Business Law programs equip students with skills like drafting contracts, understanding income tax, and navigating international trade deals.
What kind of Business Law degree should you get?
Every Master's in Business Law program varies in scope, focus, and degree type. The primary postgraduate law degree is a Master of Law or LLM. Other common graduate law degrees include Juris Doctor, or JD; and Master of Science in Legal Studies, abbreviated as MLS. Each of these degree programs typically requires an initial law degree
The following Masters of Law programs present a variety of curricula, degree routes, and learning environments to suit individual needs and aspirations. Some programs offer hands-on legal experience, while others take research- and theory-based directions. International Business Law programs allow students to navigate legal seas far and wide. Students looking to settle somewhere long-term may choose a law school with a thriving local legal community.
How much money do people make with a Business Law degree?
In May 2017, the median annual wage for lawyers was $119,250, or approximately $57.33 per hour. Most lawyers work full-time, but many find themselves working over 40 hours a week. The legal field has experienced an eight percent job growth rate, which is about as fast as average growth rate across all industries. Competition is expected to be stable over the next ten years because annual law school graduates outnumber available jobs.
What can you do with a degree in Business Law?
Every U.S. lawyer must possess at least one law degree, which typically requires them to pass a state bar exam. The majority of lawyers go on to work in private and corporate legal offices, while others work for federal, local, and state governments.
Lawyers with Business Law degrees may work as corporate counsels, or in-house counsels, for corporations. Corporate counsels advise executives on business activities such as contracts, patents, regulations, and taxes. Business Law degree holders may also specialize in a particular area of business law as taxation, intellectual property, or securities.
The following list of the 15 Best Masters in Business Law 2019 presents rankings based on affordability, educational quality, national reputation, postgraduate prospects, and student satisfaction of acclaimed institutions. More information on Grad School Hub's ranking process can be found on our Methodology page.
Without further adieu, here are Grad School Hubâs 15 Best Masters in Business Law for 2019!
#15 – University of Maryland, Baltimore
Master of Law with Business Law
University of Maryland, Baltimore is a public university specializing in health, human services, and law. The university offers a Business Law track program within its Francis King Carey School of Law. Maryland and its surrounding jurisdictions in Delaware, New York, and Washington D.C. present ample professional opportunities for Business Law students. The program also takes a global approach for those wanting to expand their geographical horizons after graduation.
UMD's Business Law program illuminates a broad spectrum of legal corners. Course offerings include Contracts, Income Taxation, Not for Profit Corporations, and Sports and the Law. Experiential Learning opportunities allow students to gain hands-on experience through Clinical Law Courses, Transactional Law Competitions, and Externships. Beyond its thriving legal community and hands-on learning opportunities, UMD's produces alumni with promising financial prospects. The U.S. Department of Education's 2018 College Scorecard revealed the university has the highest-paid graduates in Maryland and the 15th highest-paid in the U.S.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $37,256 out-of-state; $20,038 in-state
#14 – Loyola University of Chicago
Master of Business Law
Master of Business and Compliance Law
The Loyola University of Chicago is one of the largest Catholic universities in the United States. Along with its six campuses in the Chicago metropolitan area, Loyola has a campus in Rome and guest programs in Beijing and Ho Chi Minh City. U.S. News & World Report ranks the private research university at #89 in Best National Universities and #74 in Best Graduate Law Schools.
Loyola offers post-JD master's degree programs in both Business Law and Business and Compliance Law. The Business Law LLM is a one-year program with required courses in Business Planning, International Business Transactions, and a Thesis Paper. The two-year Business and Compliance Law program teaches students how to navigate complex industry regulations. It requires courses in Business Planning; Governance, Ethics, and Compliance; and a two-term Thesis Project.
Both of Loyola's Business Law programs offer online course options. Students in the Compliance Law program must attend at least two Education Immersion Weekends on the University's Chicago campus to learn and network. The Compliance Law program is one of 14 in the U.S. accredited by the Compliance Certification Board.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $43,078
#13 – The University of Arizona – Tucson
Master of International Trade and Business Law
Founded in 1885, The University of Arizona – Tuscon was the Arizona Territory's first university. The public university is located in the Sonoran Desert in Tucson, where the sun shines an average of 350 days a year! In addition, the U.S. News & World Report has ranked Arizona #106 in Best National Universities and #41 in Best Graduate Law Schools.
Arizona's century-old James E. Rogers College of Law offers an LLM in International Trade & Business Law. The exclusive program is highly competitive and requires an initial law degree for admission. Required courses include International Trade Law, Business Organizations, either International Business Law or International Business Transactions, and a thesis paper. Applications for enrollment are accepted on a rolling basis.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $35,307 out-of-state; $11,877 in-state
#12 – Vanderbilt University
Master of Law and Business
Founded in 1873, Vanderbilt University was named after business magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt, who gave the school its initial $1 million endowments following the Civil War. The private university in Nashville, TN has a focus on liberal arts and cutting-edge research. U.S. News & World Report ranked Vanderbilt #14 for Best National Universities and #17 in Best Graduate Law Schools.
Vanderbilt Law School offers a 27 to 30-credit Law and Business Track. The program begins each fall and must be completed in one academic year. Vanderbilt's core curriculum is comprised of six courses including Corporations, Introduction to Accounting, and Securities Regulation. Despite its urban setting in the heart of Nashville, Vanderbilt's campus is an arboretum featuring over 300 species of trees and shrubs. The university also owns an off-campus observatory for celestial and terrestrial observation. In 2017, Reuters ranked Vanderbilt the 10th "Most Innovative University in the World."
Graduate Tuition/Fees: N/A
#11 – Boston College
Master of Law with Business and Commercial Law
Originally a liberal arts college and preparatory school, Boston College is now a private Catholic university. Boston College Law School was founded in 1929 as the university's first graduate program. U.S. News & World Report ranked the graduate law school at #27 in the country, and BC itself at #38 for Best National Universities.
The Boston College Law School LLM offers a concentration in Business and Commercial Law. The program takes one academic year to complete. Students can sample courses from a range of subject area tracks within the Law School, though no formal specialization is required. The LLM application deadline is April 15, and the Law School recommends prospective students apply through the LSAC service. Boston College's main campus is a historic district in opulent Chestnut Hill, Newton, Massachusetts. Boston's campus scenery hosts a collection of six Gothic Revival stone buildings, which are some of the earliest examples of collegiate gothic architecture on the continent.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $53,346
#10 – Northeastern University
Master of Law with International Business Law
Northeastern University is a private and highly residential research university in Boston, MA. The university is known for its cooperative education "co-op" program which fuses classroom study with professional experiential learning. U.S. News & World Report ranks NU at #44 for Best National Universities and #74 in Best Graduate Law Schools.
Northeastern's School of Law offers an LLM with a concentration in International Business Law. The 33-credit program lasts a full calendar year, beginning and ending in August. Core courses are Corporations, International Business Transactions, International Trade Law, and Law and Economic Development. LLM students in good academic standing can spend a term gaining full-time legal practice experience through the co-op program.NU has satellite campuses in Charlotte, Seattle, San Jose, and Toronto. It also has a comprehensive study abroad program reaching over 170 universities and colleges. Northeastern is currently ranked first on The Princeton Review's Best Schools for Internships list and has ranked in its top five for over a decade.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $49,497
#9 – Loyola Marymount University
Master of Science in Legal Studies with Business Law
Los Angeles, CA
Loyola Marymount University is the largest Catholic university on the West Coast. The private university sits atop the bluffs in the Westchester neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA. U.S. News & World Report ranked LMU at #65 for Best Graduate Law Schools. Both, The Princeton Review and The Wall Street Journal, have ranked LMU within the top 15 percent of all U.S. colleges.
Loyola Law School offers a Master of Science in Legal Studies with a specialization in Business Law. The program can be completed in one full-time year or two part-time years. Course requirements include Contracts, Legal Methods I and II, Business Associations, and Securities Regulation. Students are required to complete 40 hours of pro-bono work to graduate. Architect Frank Gehry designed LMU's separate law school campus near downtown LA. The university has an average graduate class size of 16, and a 10:1 student-to-faculty ratio. Known as the "University of Silicon Beach," LMU's neighbors include Google, Yahoo, and YouTube. This location makes LMU a convenient choice for those hoping to apply a Business Law degree to the technology industry.
#8 – University of San Diego
Master of Business and Corporate Law
San Diego, CA
In 1972, the San Diego College for Women and San Diego University merged to form The University of San Diego. USD is now a private university in the Californian city's Linda Vista neighborhood. Despite its Roman Catholic affiliation, the school is open to students of all faiths. U.S. News & World Report ranks USD at #85 for Best National Universities and #95 for Best Graduate Law Schools.
University of San Diego's School of Business offers an LLM in Business and Corporate Law. The flexible program presents full-time or part-time routes and daytime and evening courses to accommodate busy schedules. Degree requirements can take one to four years to complete. Such obligations include a Corporations course, relevant electives, and a minimum of two research papers covering matters of business and corporate law. USD's student life takes full advantage of its coastal setting. Students can soak up the sun and surf at nearby La Jolla and Pacific Beach. The university rents out kayaks, snorkel equipment, and surfboards on campus, and its Outdoor Adventures team leads group excursions. The school's mascot is a costumed bullfighter named Diego Torero.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $47,708
#7 – George Washington University
Master of Business and Finance Law
George Washington University is a private university chartered by Congress in 1821. It is one of only five U.S. universities with a Congressional charter. GW's urban setting in Washington, D.C. situates its students in the nucleus of U.S. national thought and policy. U.S. News & World Report ranks GW at #63 for Best National Universities and #24 for Best Graduate Law Schools.
GW Law's Master of Laws candidates may concentrate on Business and Finance Law. All LLM candidates must complete a total of 24 credit hours. Those pursuing a specialization must complete a minimum of 16 credit hours in relevant selected courses. Such courses for Business and Finance Law include Admiralty, E-Commerce, and White Collar Crime. Other related courses include Law of the Sea, Legislation, and Space Law. GW's main Foggy Bottom campus is located within blocks of the White House and the U.S. Department of State. The university is home to research centers and institutes including the National Security Archive and the Institute for International Economic Policy. The Princeton Review consistently ranks GW among the United States' "Most Politically Active" Schools.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $53,518
#6 – Northwestern University
Master of Science in Law with Business Law and Entrepreneurship
Northwestern University is a private research university in Evanston, IL. The university is known mainly for its prestigious journalism, law, management, medicine, and music schools. U.S. News & World Report ranks Northwestern at #10 for Best National Universities and #11 for Best Law Schools. In addition, Northwestern was ranked 20th in the "World University Rankings," by Times Higher Education World University Rankings.
Northwestern's Pritzker School of Law advertises its Master of Science in Law as the place "where STEM, Law, and Business converge." The program has a unique and flexible curriculum, with full-time, part-time, and online routes. Students may choose their electives in alignment with a particular focus area, such as Business Law and Entrepreneurship. Northwestern's Law courses focus on topics from mergers and acquisitions to entrepreneurship skills. Northwestern has additional campuses in Chicago and Doha, Qatar, as well as facilities in Miami; Washington, D.C.; and San Francisco. It is a founding member of – and the only private university of – the Big Ten Conference.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $52,678
#5 – Georgetown University
Master of International and Business Law
Master of Executive Online Securities and Financial Regulation
Georgetown University is a private university overlooking the Potomac River in Washington, D.C. It is the oldest Catholic-affiliated higher education institution in the United States. The university is ranked #22 in National Universities and #14 in Best Law Schools by U.S. News & World Report. It is also one of the most selective schools in the country, with a Law Center acceptance rate of 19 percent.
Georgetown offers two different LLM programs relating to business law. The International and Business Law LLM is a flexible, 24-credit hour program with required courses in corporations, international regulation, and international business. The Executive Online Securities and Financial Regulation LLM is a part-time, fully online program available to students with a first degree of law. The curriculum features a rotating selection of seven or more course offerings each year. The university has strong student programs, including the nation's largest student-run business, largest student-run financial institution, and oldest continuous theatre troupe. The school's men's basketball team and a co-ed sailing team have each won numerous major championships.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $52,300
#4 – University of Washington – Seattle
Master of Global Business Law
Located in Seattle, the University of Washington is one of the oldest public universities on the West Coast. Despite its age, UW is a cutting-edge research institution. The university receives significant federal funding annually and hosts an annual research symposium for undergraduate students to share their work with the community. U.S. News & World Report ranks UW #59 for Best National Universities and #32 for Best Law Schools.
UW School of Law's Global Business Law LLM groups domestic and international students together to learn about best practices across the globe. The 40-credit curriculum takes three quarters – or nine months – to complete. The program's central requirement is a Comparative Legal Studies Seminar which compares research methodology in American, Asian, and European law. UW has additional Washington locations in Tacoma and Bothell. Its main campus has a 45 percent acceptance rate and requires prospective students to apply through the Coalition Application. The university has one of the largest library systems in the world, with over 26 university libraries.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $35,538 out-of-state; $10,974 in-state
#3 – Indiana University – Bloomington
Master of Law with Business and Commercial Law
Indiana University – Bloomington is the flagship university of the Indiana University system. The university – located in Bloomington, IN – is one of America's "Public Ivy" universities, meaning its educational quality is comparable to that of the Ivy League. The school is ranked #89 for Best National Universities and #32 for Best Law Schools by U.S. News & World Report.
IU Bloomington's Maurer School of Law offers an LLM program designed primarily for international students. The program is a full-time residential program for students with a first degree in law. Students have the choice between a non-thesis, 24-credit hour degree route, or a 30-credit hour thesis route. Introduction to American Law and Legal Discourse and Writing are required courses for either degree. IU Bloomington does not have an official mascot, but all of its athletic teams are known as "Hoosiers." While the meaning of "Hoosier" is unclear, the university's teams are notorious competitors in the Big Ten Conference. If students are looking for an active break from the competition, the school's Outdoor Adventures program coordinates hiking, rock climbing, and whitewater rafting trips.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $34,845 out-of-state; $10,533 in-state
#2 – University of California – Los Angeles
Master of Law with specialization in Business Law
Los Angeles, CA
University of California – Los Angeles is a public research university in LA's Westwood neighborhood. The university has highly ranked graduate schools of engineering and applied science, law, management, and medicine. UCLA is ranked #19 for Best National Universities and #16 for Best Law Schools by U.S. News & World Report.
UCLA Law's LLM program offers the option to specialize in Business Law full-time through a 22-credit program consisting of one academic year. Students without a prior U.S. law degree must take American Law in a Global Context, a short preliminary summer course. Those pursuing the Business Law Track have two-course requirements, Business Associations and Introduction to Federal Income Taxation. Until 1927, UCLA was called the Southern Branch of the University of California. Its school colors were chosen to represent local elements: blue for the Pacific Ocean, yellow for California poppy and sunsets. In 2016, UCLA had the highest number of applicants for any American university, with an acceptance rate of 18 percent.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $41,275 out-of-state; $13,261 in-state
#1 – Duke University
Master of Global Business Law
In 1838, a group of Methodists and Quakers organized a private school called Brown's Schoolhouse in Trinity, N.C. The school rebranded itself from Trinity College to Normal College, before finally becoming Duke University. Today, Duke is a private research institution in suburban Durham, N.C. Duke Law School and Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris offer a JD/Master in Global Business Law. Students spend two years studying at Duke and a third year studying in Paris. Within three years students can earn, both, a Juris Doctorate and a Master of Law. The highly selective, international degree analyzes global market issues from a European perspective.
Duke's graduate prospects are among the most promising in the world. A 2012 study by The New York Times revealed Duke graduates to be among the most sought-after globally. In 2017, Forbes listed Duke among the top ten universities to "produce the most Forbes 400 billionaires." In 2018, The Wall Street Journal ranked Duke first – tied with Harvard and Yale – for graduate outcomes. U.S. News & World Report ranked Duke #8 for Best National Universities and #11 for Best Law Schools.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $53,500