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Cybersecurity Law Degrees in the United States: A Complete Guide (2024)

cybersecurity law degree courses in the united states

Cybersecurity is one of the fastest-growing occupations in the United States, and it appears to be growing at a breakneck pace.

More and more companies are moving their operations online, making, domains more critical than ever for employers to ensure that their IT security systems are properly maintained.

As the number of cyber assaults is growing on organizations, which necessitates the adoption of a stringent and ever-expanding cybersecurity legal system. This is where cyber security legal experts come in.

These individuals are knowledgeable about new and changing laws and regulations that safeguard sensitive data.

As the frequency and severity of cyber breaches increase, so does the political pressure for legislation to safeguard personally identifiable information (PII), proprietary data, and intellectual property.

The need to comprehend and follow new and changing legislation and regulations creates a lucrative market for cybersecurity legal services. Compliance with cybersecurity regulations is critical to company success.

Either as a litigator or an advisor, you may work as a cybersecurity lawyer. What is the distinction between the two, according to you?

The lawyer who litigates also advises, but the lawyer that advises generally does not litigate.

A litigation support attorney at a minimum can help a firm or law practice with pre-litigation difficulties. However, if you want to litigate, improve your civil/criminal legal knowledge.

If you’re looking for a way to combine your interests in cyber security and law, a cybersecurity legal degree may be the best choice.

Cyberlaw education will increase your chances of obtaining a job that focuses on the legal side of information technology security.

In this article, we’ll show you the many ways to go in your studies (several types of cyberlaw degrees are available).

We also point out some of the top cybersecurity law degrees, including details on the qualifications themselves, such as tuition rates, cyber law degree advantages, professional prospects, and salary expectations.

What are the Different Choices Of Cybersecurity Law Degrees Available?

We can distinguish four sorts of degrees that will teach you to work in the legal arena of cybersecurity.

Each of these cyber law degrees requires a unique amount of training. Let’s look at the various cyberlaw degrees that are available for students who are interested in molding their careers in the legal aspects of cybersecurity.

MLS (Master of Legal Studies)

The MLS is a unique degree that can be completed in 1 year. The program teaches law students about the legal environment of cyber security but does not include a law degree.

It may help to learn the legal system in order to work in IT security, but you do not have to be a lawyer to earn an MLS.

You can find both online and on-campus Master of Legal Studies (MS) degrees. This degree may be useful for someone who is already involved in cybersecurity but wants to gain an understanding of the legal side of cyber law.

An MLS can be used to study the law as it applies to cybersecurity issues. It may also help you to find work within security system consulting or cyber insurance companies.

As we know this degree does not provide the same opportunities for advancement in the legal field compared to a law degree, but it is more affordable than a JD.

J.D. (Doctor of Jurisprudence)

The Juris Doctor Degree (JD) is the most popular and well-known degree in law.

Legal education will enable you to work as a cyber security lawyer or paralegal, providing counsel and litigation support for corporate, criminal, and government agencies involved with information technology security.

You’ll also gain knowledge of several areas of law such as information security, intellectual property, privacy law, insurance law, cybercrime, and criminal procedure.

JD students will learn how to draft contracts that are compliant with federal and state laws. A JD degree can also take 2-3 years of full-time study to complete. Earning the Juris Doctor degree takes 6 semesters (3 years) of post-graduate education.

In cybersecurity law, you will have a wide range of options upon graduation from a JD degree program.

You may work in government, private industry, or as a consultant. You can help a company with compliance problems or provide litigation support to lawyers who specialize in cyber security cases.

Insurance companies and law enforcement also hire qualified attorney experts in this field.

A JD is the only degree that qualifies you to take a bar exam and obtain a license to practice law in a state.

LLM (Master of Laws)

An LLM is a postgraduate degree that qualifies you for work in the legal arena of cyber security. It also provides you with an understanding of legal principles and cyber law courses but does not include a full-fledged law degree.

Obtaining this degree may help IT, professionals, to become more successful within their organizations.

Aspiring lawyers who are already working in information technology can use this education to gain additional knowledge of cybersecurity law.

The Master of Laws Degree (LLM) is designed for students who want practical training in the field of computer security or digital forensics.

You will learn about emerging topics in technology compliance, eDiscovery, privacy laws, and jurisdiction over global networks. A good LLM program provides hands-on learning opportunities, so you can train in a virtual lab setting.

An LLM degree provides specializations in cyber security law, intellectual property, digital forensics, electronic discovery, and related areas of law.

This postgraduate degree is a good choice for those who want to transition from information technology fields into legal careers.

While the Juris Doctor (JD) degree is the only qualification needed to become a lawyer, an LLM may help you gain visibility and respect within your current company.

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

The S.J.D. is a research doctorate, considered the most advanced law degree available and it includes both coursework and a dissertation for those who wish to become legal academics or researchers in the field of cybersecurity law.

Earning this degree can take up to 3 years of full-time study and some students may be able to complete it with part-time attendance over 4-7 years.

You can also opt to transfer credits from another program into your SJD (Doctoral) degree if you already have an LLM or other postgraduate law degree.

An S.J.D./Ph.D. has research requirements that go beyond any other type of doctoral degree in law; however, you will gain valuable insight into modern legal issues, such as the use of technology in criminal cases.

The SJD is a good degree for those who want to teach law or do research after graduation.

How To Choose The Right Cyberlaw Degree?

Cybersecurity is fast becoming an important area of study. It is not just because it leads to great jobs, but also because legal experts are increasingly needed to deal with the conflict between modern technology and existing laws.

This has resulted in many universities starting up cyberlaw degree programs. But before you choose one, there are a few things you should keep in mind…

When choosing your cyber law master’s degree program, here are some factors you should consider:

1) Length of the program

The length of these degrees varies, generally lasting anywhere from two years to five years (from the date of enrollment).

Some universities offer joint degrees, which take longer. These can go up to seven years for completion. There are also accelerated degrees that take less time to finish.

Mid-career candidates who already possess a law degree and work experience should consider these accelerated degrees. Those who do not fit this profile could opt for the more extended programs if they can afford them.

However, most students struggle with finances at some point or the other in these five-year programs. Low stipends are offered by most universities that offer these degrees.

2) Job prospects for cyberlaw graduates

The number of job opportunities available for cyber law graduates is high across sectors, from big companies to small businesses. However, there are more openings in government agencies due to their constantly expanding role in cybersecurity threats.

Again, depending on your choice of specialization within cyberlaw, different jobs may be open to you.

3)  Course structure

Most of these degrees offer courses that cover all aspects of legal studies. However, some provide specialization in certain areas.

For instance, the University of Maryland offers a Master’s degree in Cybersecurity Law, which includes disciplines in cybercrime, information warfare, critical infrastructure protection, and cloud computing.

Such fields provide can be beneficial if you wish to pursue a career path dealing with one area more than the rest.

4) Placements

Most universities offering cyberlaw degrees employ their students through paid internships during the course duration. These internships may help you secure employment after graduation too.

It is essential to check how many such opportunities are available at each university before making your choice. The quality of placements offered by different institutions may also vary.

Many law students lack the time or capital to pursue a cybersecurity LL.M. However, the many benefits of an LL.M. in Cyber If a student’s situation demands that they take a progressive approach to their legal education, an MLS might be the best choice.

An MLS will frequently provide the graduate with a chance to work in a legal department for and with lawyers who specialize in cybersecurity.

This approach has its benefits, but it’s worth noting that while there are some part-time and online J.D. and LL.M. degrees available, many courses need students to attend full-time in-person (when in-person classes are available).

With an MLS, the risk of additional training becoming impossible if life circumstances do not permit the student to attend law school full-time begins. Returning to school is often more challenging than remaining in school.

Also Read: Most Secure Web Hosting Service Providers

Online Cyber Law degrees

As the term itself suggests, these degree courses are conducted over the Internet, and as a result, you will need to do most of your work from home or any other convenient location.

This convenience makes it perfect for those who have full-time jobs and need to study at their own pace and time.

Online Degrees are becoming popular at different educational institutions. There are several reasons for the growing popularity of cyberlaw degrees online. First, it has an element of flexibility that other degrees lack.

This is especially true for those who already have full-time jobs and need to take up a degree program in their spare time.

The fact that these courses are conducted over the Internet makes it easy for people to pursue them from the privacy of their own homes without having to worry about transportation or childcare issues.

At present, there are plenty of options available when it comes to choosing a Cyber Law Degree.

You can opt for either an online or an offline course, depending on your preferences and requirements. However, if you are wondering which one you should go for, then read on to find out.

Online degrees are ideal for studying cyber law but don’t have the time or money to enroll in a regular university. Another advantage of looking online is that you get to interact with your fellow students on forums, blogs, and email.

You can post questions if you get stuck with any assignment or even solve queries posted by other students. You can also join discussion groups that are based on your geographical location or the university you study in.

However, there are some disadvantages of online degrees as well. For example, you don’t get to study with students in the same room, so it can impact your ability to form friendships outside of the cyber world.

What’s more, you cannot excel in such courses if you don’t spend enough time on your studies.

Offline Cyber Law degrees

These courses are conducted like traditional classroom-based universities where you attend lectures and tutorials on a regular basis.

The fact that other students are studying with you and your teachers can lead to better understanding and learning outcomes.

You get to interact with students as well as teachers, which ensures that no one falls behind or gets confused during the course of study.

The most significant disadvantage of offline cyber law degrees is that you cannot study at the pace of your choosing since you have to attend class on a regular basis.

Moreover, you cannot afford to miss any classes or tutorials because it can lead to severe consequences if you do. So this means that you cannot just study for a few hours after dinner and complete your assignments before going to sleep.

For this reason, cyber law degrees online are perfect for people who have busy schedules and need to work on their assignments at their own pace.

Requirements & Prerequisites: Cyber Law Degree

1) Opt for IT courses

Yes, you can study computer science and cybersecurity. You don’t have to specialize in computer science or information technology—but it’s certainly beneficial.

At the very least, take basic networking or cybersecurity course. These courses will help you better understand networks from an IT professional’s perspective.

Furthermore, at your law school, you should complete privacy and/or cybersecurity courses. Understand the latest problems that develop in the sector, as well as case law.

2) Take IT training if you haven’t already

Through IT training only, you should be able to gain practical IT expertise. A cybersecurity lawyer will probably never program a router, but she should have a basic understanding of how it works.

Make sure you have a firm intention to improve your technical abilities as a cybersecurity lawyer since IT training is typically costly and time-consuming.

Let’s take a closer look at how you can start developing skills and expertise by understanding what this means in terms of your profession.

For example, SANS offers training that may cost more than $4,000 for around 40 hours’ worth of instruction! We strongly urge you to investigate local training alternatives. If no IT education is available in your region, consider online learning.

3) IT certificates are necessary

CBEST is a computer-based test that assesses candidates’ understanding of security and network architecture. The CBKIT and the IT certifications demonstrate a thorough fundamental knowledge of cybersecurity and network security.

Taking a certification exam will give you a theoretical framework for how IT professionals combat security risks and vulnerabilities. CompTIA offers Security+, Cybersecurity Analyst+, Pentest+, and CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner.

The SANS Institute provides certifications and training in six fields: cyber defense, industrial control systems, penetration testing, digital forensics and incident management, developer, and management and leadership.

This is not an exhaustive list. Unfortunately, the majority of these certifications—with the exception of SANS and a few others—need only minimal, if any, hands-on IT training and expertise.

We only gave you a short rundown on how to become a cybersecurity lawyer, as previously stated. Follow the path that works best for you. Some people, for example, may not require an IT accreditation, while others may find it beneficial.

We strongly advise you to get as much hands-on IT training as possible if you want to succeed.

We’re not suggesting that you become an IT expert; most attorneys collaborate with IT specialists to deliver the outcomes their clients desire, but you get the picture!

However, gaining practical experience can be beneficial when dealing with IT experts and management. IT managers and staff, in particular, become frustrated by lawyers who purport to have expertise in cybersecurity but turn out to be woefully ignorant of the subject.

On the other hand, IT professionals prefer working with lawyers that understand cybersecurity and look for them. We hope you want to be a lawyer who promotes the rule of law.

Best wishes on your journey!

Benefits of Cyber Law Degree

When you are considering a cyber law degree, it is important to think about what you want to achieve with the qualification. There are plenty of perks that can come along with this type of degree.

Firstly, you will be studying law at the postgraduate level. This means there is an obvious increase in earning potential when compared to if you studied for a bachelor’s degree in this field.

Secondly, research has shown that having a law qualification opens more employment opportunities than other degrees do.

A study carried out by Förderland and covered over at Computer Weekly revealed that employers who were looking for graduates had more jobs available for those holding legal qualifications than any other type of graduate-level qualification (such as an engineering or business degree).

Thirdly, there is research on the employment prospects and earning potential of those who hold cyber law degrees.

A report by Indeed found that those who had a law degree earned more than those with qualifications in other science and technology-related fields such as computer science, engineering and mathematics.

Fourthly, this type of qualification will put you at an advantage when applying for some types of jobs.

For example, if you want to work at a big business where legal issues might arise (and they do), having this type of degree will help you stand out from the pack.

It has been reported that at Google: “The one educational background that positively correlates to successful applicants is a Juris Doctor (JD) – Law Degree”.

A cyber legal education will provide you with a number of advantages, including:

More & high paying job opportunities

If you obtain a higher-level cybersecurity law degree than an undergraduate program, you will have a wider range of employment possibilities.

Cyber Law Degree Curriculum, Course Details & Subjects

When contemplating a cyber law degree, think about what you want to accomplish with it. There are several advantages to earning a degree in this field. To begin, you will be pursuing a master’s degree in law.

This indicates that your earning potential is significantly higher than pursuing a bachelor’s degree in this profession.

The curriculum requirements for a Master of Laws degree with a focus on cybersecurity law may be found at the University of Texas School of Law. In the LL.M. Program, The Texas Law university does not accept transfer credits like many other law schools.

But, students who are already enrolled in another LL.M. program from another school are also eligible to apply to the Texas Law LL.M. Program, but they must complete the mandatory 24 credits.

In one academic year, students must complete a total of 24 credit hours with twelve credit hours for each focus.

A two-credit guided research project or a three-credit writing seminar.

Foreign Lawyers’ Constitutional Law (This is a prerequisite for students with a foreign law degree.) Students with a common-law background may request an exception to this requirement.)

Non-US J.D. students who wish to take a US state bar exam must also complete particular bar-required courses to be qualified to take the exam.

The following courses are required of all Texas Law LL.M. in Cybersecurity students:

Cybersecurity Law & Policy — This course deals with policy, legal framework and institutional concerns regarding litigations and other regulatory issues to cybersecurity.

An Introduction to Cybersecurity Technology for Law and Policy Students – This course explains the most critical part of cybersecurity’s technological topics related to the laws.

Emerging Cybersecurity Legal and Policy Issues – This lecture features a range of guest speakers who will discuss a variety of cutting-edge legal and policy topics relating to cybersecurity.

International Law of Cyber Conflict – This course looks at how international law may be applied to state-sponsored cyber operations.

The Privacy Law – This course analyses the legal frameworks for data protection in the United States and other countries.

The following is the output of the University of Southern California’s Master of Laws in privacy law and cybersecurity degree curriculum:

  • Evaluation, management, and reducing the risk of data acquisition, storage/retention, usage, sharing, and disposal.
  • Process for identification, privacy and data protection concerns in various sectors or organizations/companies.
  • Understanding the legal ramifications of cybersecurity threats such as computer hacking, identity theft, online fraud, malware and phishing offenses, and civil torts in various industries.
  • Identification of dangers arising from cyber criminals and the appropriate cybersecurity compliance frameworks.
  • An effective way of communicating regarding privacy and data protection.
  • Demonstrate cybersecurity solutions to key stakeholders, including customers, end-users, suppliers, vendors, regulatory agencies, and others.

Top Cyber Law Schools in the U.S (with cost)

Law school is not inexpensive: the total earning potential and cultural standing associated with being a lawyer command high tuition prices.

According to U.S. News & World Report, the top ten finest law schools are listed below, along with their full-time yearly tuition.

S.No.Name of the University
1.Columbia University – $72,465
2.Harvard University – $67,081
3.New York University – $68,934
4.Northwestern University (Pritzker) – $66,806
5.Stanford University – $64,554
6.University of California–Berkeley – $52,017
7.University of Chicago – $66,651
8.University of Pennsylvania (Carey) – $67,998
9.University of Virginia – $63,200
10.Yale University – $66,128

A Doctor of Jurisprudence is generally earned after three years of full-time study in an American Bar Association-approved law school. An LL.M. in Cybersecurity will take another year to complete.

Students who want to acquire a J.D. and then an LL.M. in cybersecurity in four years at one of the top 10 U.S. law schools may expect to pay total tuition of more than $262,000 on average.

“Most law school scholarships come from law schools themselves to recruit the top candidates,” according to Nerd Wallet. However, private awards are available, and applying for one might help you save money on your Doctor of Jurisprudence”

Is Cyber law a good career option?

Cyber law is one of the newest and most profitable legal careers today. In the subject of law, there are several job options.

In recent years, this has become one of the most difficult job fields. Cyber law students are in high demand and earn good salary packages.

List of Jobs related to Cyber Law

As previously said, Cyber Law is a vast field with a wide range of career prospects for cyber law professionals. The following is a list of the same:

Cyber Lawyer

A Cyber Lawyer is in charge of criminal issues that arise on the internet, also known as “cybercrimes.” He/she will be dealing with problems with cyber-attack against businesses, law enforcement organizations, and private institutions.

Cyber Assistant

Cyber Assistants are employed to identify and solve possible and actual security problems as well as safeguard computer systems by establishing control structures, access permissions, control structures, and resources.

They are also in charge of implementing security solutions based on current circumstances, analyzing trends, and anticipating needs.

Cyber Legal Advisor/Cyber Consultant

A Cyber Legal Advisor shall provide legal advice on a variety of cyber-related issues and sub-topics. A Cyber Legal Advisor should be familiar with computer networking protocols and concepts as well as network security techniques.

In-House Counsel

In-house counsels will assist in identifying cyber concerns and advocating for a board member responsible for a company’s cybersecurity.

Employees who are not familiar with the company’s cybersecurity shortcomings might be compelled to educate workers about them.

Cyber Law Expert

Consultants in the field of cyber law assist businesses in maintaining the safety and integrity of their computer information systems.

They are in charge of determining who requires access to the firm’s information and devising, coordinating, and executing all information security measures.

Cyber Law- Lecturer

An assistant professor or lecturer of Cyber Law must have extensive knowledge of the field as well as a track record of teaching cyber law classes. A candidate for this role must have extensive expertise in instructional methodologies relevant to Cyber Law.

Paralegal and legal assistant

A legal assistant or paralegal assists a lawyer by conducting research, preparing legal documents, and assisting in the courtroom. He/she also helps lawyers in interviewing clients and witnesses.

Cybersecurity architect

The job of a cyber security architect is to design and implement a company’s information system by gathering the data, assessing it, and devising a strategy that balances the organization’s needs with its risks.

Cyber Law Corporate Legal Officer

A Corporate Legal Officer shall be in charge of providing legal advice on behalf of the organization.

He/she also provides any relevant information or documentation as needed. The candidate should be familiar with the company’s technology as well as business needs as they relate to cyber law.

Cyber Law Attorney

Most people are surely aware of the fact that they absolutely need an attorney for just about any legal issue, even if it is something as simple as a traffic ticket.

A person generally knows that they should have a competent attorney handle any legal issue for them.

If you are concerned about privacy, you may want to consider hiring a “Cyber” attorney. This is an attorney that specializes in Internet and computer-related laws. A few examples of laws that they can advise you of and potentially help with would be:

– Intellectual property violations such as copyright infringement.

– Trespassing on someone else’s website with the intent to cause harm or stealing of information.

– Accessing a computer without authority.

Cyber Law officer’s salaries in the US

Many law firms have started to develop their own cybersecurity practices. Candidates with qualified LL.M. degrees will be employed as consultants, chief security officers for corporations, and attorneys in both public and private corporations.

According to Glassdoor, the starting salary for a chief security officer is $153,000 per year.

According to the USC Gould School of Law, an LL.M. graduate can follow one of five vocations. Law Firm Partner is the most suitable of the five for a cybersecurity specialization.

The typical pay for law firm partners in the United States is $179,953, according to PayScale. Bonuses and profit-sharing agreements can help you earn more than $400,000 per year.

Cyber Security Law: The Road Ahead

While a cybersecurity law degree does not need this knowledge, many experts advocate that a job applicant has some understanding of cyber security concepts.

For people interested in becoming cybersecurity legal professionals, taking IT and information security undergrad courses is a smart investment.

Certification in IT demonstrates a basic understanding of cybersecurity and computer networks. Studying for the certification will provide students with a broad theoretical framework of how IT professionals handle security risks and vulnerabilities.

This knowledge is helpful in understanding real-world cyber security issues and how they relate to the law.

The National Jurist reported in late 2017 that “the typical compensation for first-year associates at legal firms with fewer than 50 lawyers was $90,000, half of what their big law firm peers in key areas make.” The typical beginning wage for companies with more than 700 lawyers was $156,050.”

Kevin James

Kevin James

I'm Kevin James, and I'm passionate about writing on Security and cybersecurity topics. Here, I'd like to share a bit more about myself. I hold a Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity from Utica College, New York, which has been the foundation of my career in cybersecurity. As a writer, I have the privilege of sharing my insights and knowledge on a wide range of cybersecurity topics. You'll find my articles here at, covering the latest trends, threats, and solutions in the field.