With her college graduation approaching, Cassandra Knestaut, MLS ’19, knew she wanted a career in the legal field, but she wasn’t sure obtaining a JD was right for her. After connecting with admissions staff, Knestaut decided to pursue a graduate degree in Kline School of Law’s Master of Legal Studies (MLS) program.
Joining the MLS program led Knestaut to realize that “there is not just one path for someone wanting to go into the legal field as a career.” Knestaut, who completed a concentration in cybersecurity and information privacy compliance, works as a compliance analyst at Money Mart Financial Services in Malvern, Pennsylvania.
Knestaut says that the skills she learned in the MLS program helped her start a career and succeed in her day-to-day work. In one of her classes, she learned how to identify risks associated with compliance controls, which Knestaut does “every day” at her job.
The community at Kline, both inside and outside the classroom, enriched Knestaut’s graduate school experience. The small cohort of students in the hybrid MLS program allowed Knestaut a tight-knit community that was always “spending countless hours studying in the library, getting food together, [and] celebrating milestones like the end of a semester and even our graduation,” according to Knestaut. “It was always great to have a community there behind you and that shares the same goals that you do.”
Faculty also played a significant role for Knestaut. Knestaut fondly remembers when, shortly after receiving a job offer, she attended a class taught by Professor Paul Flanagan. “I specifically remember how excited and proud he was of me that he took time out of class to announce it to the class,” she said.
Finding a Career Path
“I would tell someone looking into the MLS program to go for it! This program made me realize that there is not just one path for someone wanting to go into the legal field as a career, and that there are so many other opportunities and this program really opened my eyes to that!”
Adjusting to Online Learning
“My first reaction to online learning was definitely with skepticism, because I didn’t think I would be able to retain as much information in an online class versus an in-person live class. I was most definitely wrong! I was able to retain so much information from these classes and use that information to apply to my current job!”
Gaining Practical Knowledge
“This program was designed to make students as prepared as they could possibly be to enter the world of compliance. One of my classes at Kline solely helped me learn how to identify controls, and the risks associated with the controls. I certainly use that skill every day within my job. The MLS program is a great jump-start for anyone who wants to go into the field of compliance, and I am certainly glad I found it!”