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01 Jun

Understanding a Master of Jurisprudence

Breaking Down the Benefits of a Master’s With a Legal Focus

A Master of Jurisprudence in Labor and Employment Law. It sounds fancy—but what does it really mean?

For anyone pursuing a graduate education, it’s important to understand the departmental distinctions of the type of degree they’re considering. For example, if the degree is offered through a law school, why is that? Are similar programs also offered through law schools? What benefit does this perspective provide to you and your career?

Here, we’ll break down exactly what a Master of Jurisprudence (MJ), also called a “Juris Master,” means. Then, we’ll take it one step further and explain why an MJ’s unique distinctions could be beneficial to you.

Master of Jurisprudence: Defined

So, what is jurisprudence? Simply put, it’s the philosophy of law. More precisely, it’s the legal interaction of the law within a variety of settings and specialties.1 With this in mind, jurisprudence as a concept has the ability to be applied to nearly any field.

When thinking of education, many universities offer degrees for non-lawyers through their law schools.2 These programs are established to help professionals across many industries gain a better understanding of how the law can affect their businesses, employees and futures.

What an MJ Means to You

When deciding if a Master of Jurisprudence is the right decision for you and your career, there are several things to consider. First off, would your professional knowledge and day-to-day work life be better served with a broader understanding of the laws surrounding it?

For example, human resources (HR) professionals can earn a master’s degree from several different vantage points depending on the company they work in. So, why would an HR professional choose to earn a graduate degree from a law school over one through a business school? The answer is simple.

In a field like HR, professionals are responsible for navigating the law every day. They handle a wide variety of situations where there can be serious legal implications if handled incorrectly. When dealing with sensitive issues such as employee/employee and employee/company relationships, the more solid an HR person’s understanding of the law, the better. The company is equipped to protect itself, its assets and, most importantly, its people.

Moving Forward

No matter what business you may be in, when making the decision to pursue a master’s degree, it’s important to consider what benefits the college of study will bring to your career. To employers, this can speak volumes. A master’s degree in jurisprudence might communicate to prospective employers that you possess the ability to understand the legality of certain situations better than other candidates.

At the end of the day, any graduate degree could increase your overall job effectiveness. However, it’s up to you to determine which angle and specialization is most advantageous. And if you work in HR and you’ve determined that a better understanding of the laws that surround your work could increase your effectiveness, then a Master of Jurisprudence in Labor and Employment Law (MJ-LEL) could be the right decision for you.

Interested in reading more? Discover three of the most common issues affecting HR today.


1. Retrieved on May 3, 2018, from thelawdictionary.org/jurisprudence
2. Retrieved on May 3, 2018, from prawfsblawg.blogs.com/files/alternative-non-jd-programming-for-law-schools1.pdf