MLS Student Uses Degree to Impress Supervisors in a New Position

Cesar Callejas

Cesar Callejas ’16, a paralegal of more than 15 years who became a contracts administrator for Time Warner Cable, had a working knowledge of the law. However, in order to advance, Callejas felt he needed a deeper understanding of the laws behind the complex contracts he handled. He was thrilled to discover Loyola Law School, Los Angeles’ Master of Science in Legal Studies (MLS) because it gave him a chance to build on the legal background he formed as a paralegal without committing three or four years to earning a Juris Doctor (JD).

The MLS can be completed in one year, and students have the opportunity to specialize in fields like Cybersecurity & Data Privacy Law, Entertainment Law, Corporate Law, Intellectual Property and International Business Law or create their own program. “That’s the beauty of the program,” Callejas says. “Whichever specialization you choose, you have room to tailor it to your needs or the industry you’re in. I do a lot of corporate transactions, but I’m involved in entertainment as well because I work for the cable industry.”

The ability to customize his degree and coursework helped Callejas tailor his curriculum to quickly gain the knowledge he needed most, and his superiors quickly took notice. “Within three weeks, I was already applying what I learned in courses and have impressed my supervisors. I’m the new kid on the block, but people with more seniority are coming to me with questions about contracts.” Callejas highlights accessibility of his professor as a factor behind his success in the classroom and in the workplace. As an evening student, he appreciates his professors’ willingness to hold extra sessions on the weekends, and office hours before and after class ensured he could understand and apply the materials presented in a variety of situations.

MLS students take all their classes with JD students but are held to a different grading standard. This allows students to take a variety of classes in an array of subjects. However, Callejas says there is no clear divide or differential treatment in the classroom. “If you approach [a JD student], they’ll help you out. We’re all in the same classroom. They consider us part of the same program.”  

“The opportunity to grow is there, even more enhanced now,” Callejas said about the potential opportunities his MLS degree affords him. “My first goal is to be VP of a department in the company. The possibility is closer than ever before.”