What Degree Do I Need to Work in Cyber Security Law?

If you’re looking to work in cyber security law, you will need to have the right information that will help you make the best decision on which course to take. With so many cyber thieves and threats to the nation, cyber security legal jobs are plentiful and cybersecurity professionals are in high demand. There is a huge call for individuals with certifications and degrees in this field to help circumvent illegal practices.

If you’re looking to have a cybersecurity law career, you will have a ton of education ahead of you. There are four graduate degrees necessary to become qualified for cybersecurity legal jobs. Although they are plentiful, it is difficult to get into this field without the background and credentials.

Degree Path for Cybersecurity Law

Individuals pursuing a cybersecurity law career should follow one of these degree paths:

MLS (Master of Legal Studies)

A Master of Legal Studies is a master’s degree that provides a good foundational knowledge of the law. Students in these courses study compliance, legal research and analysis, risk management, ethics, and professional standards. While it will be an accomplishment to complete this degree, an individuals with this degree may not practice law, but can work for private corporations as a consultant or in-house legal representative.

Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.)

A Doctor of Jurisprudence program provides a broad understanding of the law and allows individuals to practice law after they pass the bar and receive a law license. It should be noted that obtaining a J.D. does not give the attorney the foundation to practice cybersecurity law as it is not often taught at this level.

LL.M (Master of Laws)

The Master of Laws (LLM) degree is internationally recognized as a post-Juris Doctor law degree. In order to receive this degree, U.S. citizens must already hold a J.D. and international students must have a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) or an equivalent. Individuals with this degree are provided curriculum specifically focused on cybersecurity to give them a better understanding of the policy, legal and technical elements of cybersecurity. Students with an LL.M. in Cybersecurity Law and Data Privacy creates eligibility to work in the cybersecurity and information industry.

S.J.D. (Doctor of Juridicial Science)

This is the highest degree offered in the field of law and is equal to a Doctor of Philosophy. Most law schools require an LL.M. prior to admitting students into their program.

It can be time-consuming and tedious attempting to gain the credentials and degrees needed to be successful in this field. A faster route to getting into the door and gaining experience would be to obtain the paralegal certificate in cyber security. This way, potential candidates can make an informed decision on whether they want to invest the time in getting a law degree of this nature. With the paralegal certificate, they may be able to become a legal specialist.

Becoming a practicing legal specialist in cybersecurity requires an individual to continue law school for an additional year after completion of their J.D. to get an LL.M. For students who have the time to do this, it is well worth the time and effort. The LL.M. degree is especially important for individuals who want to specialize in international cybersecurity law, or global cybersecurity law.

How to Get into a Cybersecurity Law School Program

Once the J.D. is obtained, lawyers who want to specialize in cyber law can apply for admission for an LL.M. program. This is usually a full-time, one-year program. The curriculum for these students usually includes Cybersecurity Law and Policy, Technology of Cybersecurity, An Introduction for Law and Policy Students, Writing Seminar, Emerging Cybersecurity Legal and Policy Issues, International Law of Cyber Conflict, and Privacy Law. Although every law school with these concentrations in their program have similar types of coursework, each law program is different.

On the other hand, a paralegal or a working professional in another field who wants to specialize in cyber law can choose a Master of Legal Studies, which does not require a JD (but also does not give you the right to practice as a lawyer).

The outlook for someone working in this field is very bright. It is also recommended to have a basic knowledge of cybersecurity principles, which means additional coursework in an IT-related field. Obtaining a certification is a good investment, and will allow the individual to know more than just the law aspects of the degree. It has been noted that there will be 3.5 million cybersecurity job openings in 2021, and many law firms have established cybersecurity law practices. Now is a good time to get in and start the education that will not only provide protection for the nation, but also a lucrative career.

As times continue to change, it is more important than ever to seek positions that are not only competitive but will add value to society.

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