Content start here

Strength in Specialization: Customize Your USC Gould Degree with Industry-Specific Certificates 

Tess Powell • April 18, 2024
post image

Whether you’re a seasoned professional or an aspiring leader in your field, enhancing your expertise with specialized legal knowledge can be the key to unlocking new opportunities and advancing your career. At USC Gould School of Law, we recognize the strength of specialization, which is why we offer a range of graduate certificate programs designed to complement your existing skills and propel your career forward.

Students may earn a certificate concurrent with their online Master of Studies in Law (MSL) or online Master of Laws (LLM) for international attorneys at no additional cost.

USC Gould currently offers online certificates in the following areas:

  • Business Law
  • Compliance
  • Entertainment Law and Industry
  • Financial Compliance
  • Health Care Compliance
  • Human Resources Law & Compliance
  • Law and Government
  • Privacy Law & Cybersecurity
  • Real Estate Law
  • Social Work Administration
  • Technology & Entrepreneurship Law

Upskill through Specialization

In-depth knowledge of a specific area of law can set you apart from your peers and open doors to new career avenues. As industries become more complex and interconnected, organizations increasingly seek professionals who possess in-depth knowledge and practical skills in specific areas of law.

Online Master of Studies in Law (MSL) alum and real estate executive, Jonathan Larsen (MSL 2019), decided to amplify his degree with a business law certificate. “Graduating from the USC Gould School of Law, a top 20 law school, with a Master of Studies in Law and business law certificate has provided me increased legal credibility in my role as a commercial real estate executive and in my contract negotiations representing global organizations. As a commercial real estate executive, I am on several nonprofit boards and am required to interface with legal professionals on a daily basis. The degree has given me the tools I need to conduct contract negotiations with confidence,” says Larsen.

Upon graduation, he had a better understanding of the law and was equipped with the tools to drive business decisions backed by legal knowledge.

Tailored Career Path

Specialization with a graduate certificate can fast-track your career progression, opening doors to leadership roles and new opportunities. By pairing your online master’s degree with a graduate certificate tailored to your career aspirations, you position yourself for advancement.

In the rapidly evolving legal sector, the ability to adapt and specialize is crucial for staying ahead in the competitive job market. As industries undergo transformation and new legal challenges emerge, employers increasingly seek candidates with specialized expertise to address their unique needs. In a study conducted by McKinsey, they found a direct correlation between skill-development, career trajectory and overall earnings. Those who take on new roles involving bigger changes or challenges receive bigger rewards.1

Whether it’s securing a promotion within your current organization, transitioning to a new industry to broaden your skill set, or landing a coveted position at your dream company, USC Gould’s graduate certificate programs provide the tools and knowledge you need to thrive in the current job market.

Holistic Problem Solving

Combining specialized expertise with adaptability equips you to navigate changing industry trends and emerging challenges with confidence. By broadening your skill set and embracing interdisciplinary perspectives, you’ll be better prepared to tackle complex legal issues and seize opportunities for growth and innovation.

In a recent Forbes article CEO of Legal Mosaic, Mark A. Cohen, reflects on the importance of career diversification, “For the workforce, adaptation to changing roles and careers involves upskilling, collaboration, humanity, tech and data-literacy, authenticity, a we more than me mindset, inquisitiveness, agency, initiative, and lifelong learning. Individuals that hone these skills will be well positioned to transition to new roles, sectors and diversified careers.”2

By exploring intersections between law and other disciplines such as business, technology, or health care, you gain valuable insights and problem-solving skills that are increasingly in demand. With enhanced expertise, tailored career paths, accelerated advancement opportunities, and a focus on flexibility and adaptability, our programs empower you to unlock your full career potential and make a meaningful impact in your chosen field. Our students see immediate practical applications of their studies in the workplace and are able to add professional knowledge to our virtual classroom discussions.

Learn more about our graduate certificate offerings and explore real-world examples of how Gould alumni have put these specializations to the test on our Redefined Blog.


1Madgavkar, A., Schaninger, B., Smit, S., Woetzel, L., Samandari, H., Carlin, D., Seong, J., & Chockalingam, K. (2022, June 2). Human Capital at Work: The Value of Experience. McKinsey & Company. Retrieved March 26, 2024, from

2Cohen, M. A. (2023, May 30). The Legal Industry Is Not Prepared For Career Diversification— Why That Matters And Where To Look For Guidance. Forbes.–why-that-matters-and-where-to-look-for-guidance/?sh=20057f763ae9

Related Stories