Starting MSL (and Similar) Programs

Date: Thursday, September 29, 2022, 4:30 – 5:30 PM ET

Webinar Description:

One way for law schools to meet the unprecedented challenges that our society faces is to provide Master’s programs that offer legal training for non-lawyers. These programs allow professionals (such as those with STEM backgrounds) to make more legally-informed decisions in their careers, and they can lower the high barriers to legal knowledge in their chosen field for those who do not have J.D. degrees. The panelists will discuss why their law schools have decided to set up and run several in-person and online Master’s programs (collectively, “MSL Programs”) for students with non-legal backgrounds.


Learning Objectives:


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*Registration is required. 




Anne Marlenga, Ed.D., Director of Special Projects, University of Southern California Gould School of Law


Anne is an Admissions Advisor for the Master of Management in Library and Information Science (MMLIS) and Graduate Certificate in Library & Information Management (LIM) programs at the University of Southern California. Anne has worked at USC for 15 years, and completed both her Master’s and Doctorate in Education at the USC Rossier School of Education. She enjoys working with students who are interested in pursuing graduate studies at USC!



Leslie Oster, J.D., AB, Clinical Associate Professor of Law, Director, Master of Science in Law Program, Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law


Leslie Oster is a Clinical Associate Professor of Law at Northwestern University School of Law.  Before coming to Northwestern in 2012, Leslie worked in a variety of administrative and academic positions in legal education.  She was the Dean of Students at Berkeley’s law school for eleven years, and also held positions as Special Assistant to the Dean at the University of San Diego School of Law  and Assistant Dean for Strategic Planning at the University of Texas at Austin.  She has taught a variety of skills classes and classes on the courts, as an instructor at UC Hastings, Director of Legal Writing at UC Berkeley, Director of Lawyering Skills at the University of San Diego, and a Senior Lecturer at UT-Austin.  Prior to her career in legal education, Leslie worked as a city attorney and clerked in the California Court of Appeal; she received her law and undergraduate degrees from UC Berkeley.  At Northwestern, Leslie is teaching Medical Innovation and working on new academic initiatives, including the Master of Science in Law degree, a one-year master’s degree for STEM-trained students.




John B. Thornton, J.D., Clinical Associate Professor of Law, Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law


John Thornton is a Clinical Associate Professor of Law at the Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law. Professor Thornton specialized in complex commercial litigation, practicing law at Jenner & Block LLP; Vedder, Price, Kaufman & Kammholz, PC; and at a Chicago litigation boutique. He received a BA from Notre Dame, a Masters in Applied Linguistics from the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he taught English as a Second Language, and a JD from Northwestern Pritzker School of Law. Professor Thornton’s book, U.S. Legal Reasoning, Writing, and Practice for International Lawyers (LexisNexis 2014, now Carolina Academic Press), won the Global Legal Skills Award in 2015, and he is the Chair of the AALS Section on Graduate Programs for Non-US Lawyers.