Professionals Advance with UC Hastings LL.M. Program | Hastings University Law

Jen Manger, business executive at Wells Fargo, said she gained a new level of legal expertise through the MSL degree program at UC Hastings.

After more than two decades of a successful career in business, Jen Manger was ready for a new challenge. Working as vice president of social media marketing at Wells Fargo, Manger said she finds herself particularly drawn to the legal aspects of her job, such as contracts and government regulations.

Manger was just looking to “get a taste of the legal profession” when she enrolled in the Master of Laws (MSL) program at UC Hastings in 2020. What she found was is an intense love for the law and an in-depth knowledge. which she believes will help her flourish in her career.

“It definitely gave me the opportunity to have some level of expertise when it comes to compliance and legal partners,” Manger said. “It’s good to have a deeper understanding to help me explain some of the legal issues around social media – like intellectual property rights, copyrights and regulatory compliance.”

The MSL degree, which can be completed in one to four years, is for professionals like Manger who seek to gain a better understanding of the law as it applies to their field. UC Hastings’ unique offering allows students to earn a law-focused degree without committing as much time or money as necessary to pursue a JD.

“It’s about democratizing legal education so that more people can study it,” said Jessica Vapnek, associate dean of the MSL program. “It’s for people who want to understand the law and want to think like a lawyer without going into debt for years.”

The MSL program, which began in 2012, was initially aimed at medical professionals, but has since grown to accommodate students from a wide variety of backgrounds. MSL graduates have been, among others, doctors, nurses, librarians, venture capitalists, human resources professionals, municipal auditors and mental health professionals.

Manger, who graduated in May, earned her MSL degree in two years part-time. Manger said she particularly liked the lack of separation between MSL and JD students. She took the same classes as JD students and said she was not treated differently in terms of homework or expectations. “I liked that there was no segregation,” Manger said. “It was, ‘You’re here. It’s the law, and that’s what you need to know when practicing law. I thought that was really refreshing.

Manger, who has had extensive negotiation and contract experience over the course of her career, said she was amazed at how much she learned during mock negotiation sessions with other students in her class. negotiation.

“I negotiated contracts on behalf of Wells Fargo and various companies I worked with, so I thought I was ahead of the pack, but I didn’t,” Manger said. “I learned a lot from them.”

According to Manger, the MSL degree did more than just sharpen his legal skills and acumen. It also served as a test to help her decide if she wants to pursue a JD in the future.

The verdict? “I think I really want to go further,” she said. “I fully plan to continue my role here in Wells and will be pursuing a JD. I say I’ll be a lawyer when I retire.


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