For Steve Lurie ’02, a lieutenant with the Los Angeles Police Department and an adjunct professor, there is no doubt that his legal education at Loyola is linked to his ascent on the force.
“My advancement up the chain of command is a direct result of having my Loyola degree,” said Lt. Lurie. “My degree has been invaluable. Initially it helped out in court when I served as a witness. It has been even more impactful as my management career has developed.”
Offering the flexibility of day or evening classes, the Master of Science in Legal Studies (MLS) degree can be completed in two years or less. Lt. Lurie views Loyola’s MLS degree as a compelling option for officers who want the advanced legal and critical-thinking skills of a law degree without a three- or four-year commitment. The program offers specializations in Criminal Justice and Cybersecurity & Data Privacy Law, among others.
A longtime professor of Loyola’s Police Practices Seminar, Lt. Lurie stays attuned to the evolving nature of policing, including U.S. Supreme Court opinions that impact criminal procedure and other relevant law. And he views a graduate legal degree as an important way for other officers to do the same.
“As modern policing becomes increasingly complicated, the need for our leaders to have graduate degrees and critical thinking skills cannot be understated,” he said. “I attempt to bridge the gap between future advocates and the police culture.”
An officer with advanced legal knowledge may realize additional benefits, says Lt. Lurie, developing the ability to better relate to civilian associates who possess JDs and gaining a better understanding of employment law, which can be a great foundation for managerial positions. Such knowledge helps Lt. Lurie make a daily difference in his work.