Professionals across numerous industries must navigate busy seasons, those frenzied weeks or months when work doesn’t seem to stop coming through the door. Individuals in the legal space and other law-adjacent sectors are intimately familiar with these tumultuous periods. In fact, some people in these arenas never quite emerge from busy season.
For instance, public defenders working in underserved communities might juggle almost 200 cases at once, doing the work of five or more full-time lawyers, The New York Times reported. Attorneys functioning in larger urban firms encounter similarly overwhelming workloads, per Bloomberg Law, which reported on one of the largest immigration law practices in the world and its struggle to handle hundreds of complex cases stemming from changes in federal enforcement standards. Accountants, who typically find themselves wading through state and federal tax law, must deal with a staggering number of tasks too, especially during the months leading up to the IRS filing deadlines. This workload compression is especially challenging for smaller accounting operations, according to a survey from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, which revealed that this issue ranked among the top four problems for firms with between one and six CPAs.
Busy seasons ostensibly leave professionals orbiting the legal world little time to do anything but work. This can be particularly frustrating for those intent on advancing in their respective careers via graduate degree programs. How can accountants, attorneys and others dealing with U.S. law further their education with such heavy workloads?
Fortunately, there is an effective solution: the flexible online degree programs at Hofstra Law. The school offers Master of Arts in American Legal Studies and Master of Laws in American Law programs that allow rising accountants, lawyers and other legal or law-related professionals to cultivate the knowledge they need to move forward within their fields and meet their clients’ needs, even during the busy seasons. Here’s how:
Robust digital learning tools
Working attorneys and accountants typically do not have the bandwidth or financial security needed to go back to school in the traditional sense, which is why those intent on building their skill sets in graduate institutions often look to complete Master of Legal Studies programs online. This is a common choice among all U.S. higher-education students, almost 3 million of whom are enrolled in distance learning tracks, per data analysis from the Babson Survey Research Group.
That said, quality varies wildly among online degree programs. Some deliver on the promise of providing accessible yet rigorous digital offerings, while others leverage difficult-to-employ online platforms or include on-campus orientation or capstone components. Programs of the latter variety present problems for lawyers and accountants holding down full-time roles and dealing with prolonged busy seasons. Fortunately, the online Master of Arts in Legal Studies and LL.M. degrees at Hofstra Law do not fall into this category.
The college maintains an easy-to-use digital learning platform and around-the-clock technical support, allowing students to seamlessly navigate assignments and connect with classmates and instructors with ease. And both programs are 100% online, with no campus visits necessary. In short, enrollees in the legal workforce can keep up with their work, even during peak business periods, and do not have to worry about taking time off for in-person sessions.
Rolling program start dates
A lot of colleges maintain firm start dates, even for their online offerings. This rigidity can cause issues for legal professionals who are interested in taking part in flexible master’s degree programs but cannot start school during particularly busy periods. Accountants and tax lawyers tend to have overwhelming schedules during the first four months of the year, as they prepare clients for the April 15 IRS filing deadline. This makes winter and spring start dates undoable. Traffic attorneys often experience higher volumes of work during more seasonable months, meaning they cannot begin classes, even online ones, in summer or fall.
Students pursuing Master of Arts in American Legal Studies or LL.M. degrees at Hofstra Law can avoid such scheduling problems. Why? Both programs feature three start dates — one in fall, one in winter and one in spring. With these options on the table, working accountants, lawyers and others in the legal space can start courses when it suits them and their schedule.
Varied graduation times
Most on-campus, full-time programs, and even some part-time online alternatives, come with expected graduation dates. Again, this is not ideal for people actively navigating the professional ranks. With busy seasons and other variables in play, graduating “on-time” may not always be an option for working accountants and attorneys.
Hofstra Law prides itself on offering truly flexible online degree programs that allow students to navigate their coursework at their own pace. While those embarking on the Master of Legal Studies and LL.M. degree tracks can graduate in fewer than two years, they have the opportunity to complete their coursework in a self-paced fashion.
Pursuing a flexible online degree program with Hofstra Law
Busy seasons are considerable obstacles for professionals in the legal space looking to cultivate new knowledge through graduate school and ultimately reach new heights. Hofstra Law understands this reality and therefore maintains flexible master’s degree programs made for working professionals, lawyers and others dealing with U.S. law. With top-of-the-line digital learning tools, rolling start dates and pliable coursework completion options, these individuals can earn a Master of American Legal Studies degree or an LL.M. while handling large workloads.
Of course, the degree programs themselves offer numerous professional benefits. The Master of American Legal Studies track is perfect for those who explore the minutiae of state and federal law outside of the confines of the courtroom, while the Master of Laws in American Law (LL.M.) is a good choice for lawyers intent on ascending the legal ranks.
Are you interested in enrolling in either the LL.M. or American Legal Studies program at Hofstra Law? Connect with an enrollment advisor today.