To overcome the world’s challenges—violence, infringements of human rights, environmental destruction, poverty and hunger—rule of law is essential. Rule of law is also essential to supporting commerce, attracting investment, and achieving sustainable economic growth.

The Master of Jurisprudence (MJ) in Rule of Law for Development (PROLAW) is a practice-oriented degree program for non-lawyers, which will prepare you to become a leader, reformer and driver of change in the expanding effort to advance the rule of law throughout society and across sectors, within your own country and around the world.

Our commitment to you

Upon graduation with an MJ in Rule of Law for Development from Loyola, you will possess the following knowledge, skills, and professional values:


You will understand the central features, branches and notions of law and the evolution of legal systems, how the rule of law develops in society; legal methods and concepts employed when carrying out rule of law initiatives; the role and practices of domestic and international institutions in establishing and maintaining the rule of law; current frameworks for sustainable development, the environment and the rule of law; and the dynamic relationship between models of governance and the rule of law.


You will be able to:

  • Conduct research on rule of law and development topics and carry out assessments of rule of law problems
  • Draft documents relating to rule of law and development, using legal terminology and reasoning
  • Develop a conceptual framework or theory of change to create optimal sequencing of legal reform for development
  • Support the implementation of rule of law initiatives which take into account varied legal cultures and systems
  • Guide rule of law initiatives and economic activity that are consistent with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals
  • Develop and manage rule of law programs, projects and national initiatives that employ appropriate methods and project management tools
  • Prepare funding proposals for rule of law projects
  • Advise on how applicable institutional and legal frameworks facilitate or place limitations on rule of law initiatives
  • Devise and apply strategies for effective international and inter-organizational engagement and cooperation for rule of law and governance development in conflict prevention, reducing state instability, and peacebuilding

Professional Values

You will be able to inspire, lead, and manage efforts to strengthen the rule of law and prospects for national development, considering the interests of all stakeholders, incorporating diverse viewpoints, being willing to accept iterative progress, and respecting equality and human rights.

By the numbers








You'll complete all courses entirely online between September and April, followed by your capstone project requirement via online interaction with your project advisor, due by July 14.

By combining theory with practice in the course work, you’ll gain both the knowledge of key topics and issues and the skills all rule of law professionals need to work effectively on rule of law and development matters .

Fall Term

  • Legal Systems and Methods
  • History, Theory and Practice of Law for Development
  • Comparative and Ethical Lawyering for the Rule of Law
  • Theory and Practice of Assessments in Rule of Law Advising
  • Research and Writing on the Rule of Law

Spring Term


  • Design of Rule of Law Programs and Proposal Preparation
  • Rule of Law Project Management
  • International Development Architecture
  • Sustainable Development through International Commerce and Investment
  • Rule of Law in Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding


Summer Term

  • Rule of Law Capstone Project

The curriculum is supported by the PROLAW Visiting Lecturer Series with prominent rule of law professionals.

Degree Requirements

To earn a PROLAW MJ, you must complete 30 credit hours of coursework, including ten courses and a major rule of law capstone project. Visit our Registrar for a complete list of degree requirements, academic calendars, and registration process. 

Course Descriptions 2020 - 21


To apply for the PROLAW MJ program, you must possess a Bachelor's degree or its equivalent from an accredited college or university. You must also demonstrate a professional connection to the subject area through: two years of professional experience; current employment in a closely related industry; or documented evidence of academic and professional preparation demonstrating an intention to pursue professional opportunities involving the rule of law.

  • August 1: Fall Enrollment Application Deadline


Brian Majani


“Loyola’s program is taught by experts in the field who provide practical, hands-on training when approaching issues affecting rule of law.”

Josephine Nwaelugo


“The MJ in Rule of Law for Development is what I needed to help countries in conflict transition into a stable democracy.”

Stephen Elifas Makule


“It would not be far-fetched to say that Loyola’s Rule of Law for Development program is helping to improve society as a whole.”

Tuition and Fees

The School of Law and Loyola's Office of Student Financial Assistance are committed to helping students secure the necessary financial resources to make their legal education at Loyola affordable.

As part of our commitment, we offer several awards to qualified, admitted students. 


Who are my classmates?

Loyola’s MJ program attracts a diverse student population from around the world. It is comprised of professionals with experience in the rule of law field.

Who makes-up my cohort?

A cohort program is one where you take all your courses in a prescribed order with the same group of students for the entire program. Your PROLAW cohort will be from around the world—literally. Typically, each cohort has representation from fifteen countries with men and women with 0 to 30 years of professional work experience. There are two degrees offered, a Master of Laws (LLM) for applicants with a first degree in law and a Master of Jurisprudence (MJ) for applicants with a first degree in other subjects. The LLM and MJ students take their courses together. You’ll find your fellow students will bring a wealth of experience and perspectives to the classroom, enhancing your learning and expanding your network. You will also establish unique bonds with your fellow students due to the small class size and large interaction throughout the year. Meet the current cohort.

Could you describe the alumni network?

Almost 200 women and men from some 60 countries have attended the program since its launch in 2011.  Most graduates have returned to their home countries or regional organizations across five continents and have become recognized rule of law leaders in their communities. Others have launched successful international careers. The alumni stay connected to Loyola and to each other through formal and informal platforms. The School of Law maintains an alumni update and contact database on its website, shares resources and tools, publishes a student edited rule of law journal, and invites alumni to attend organized School of Law events.

Is an internship required?

There is no required internship, but you may work with the administration to secure one.  In the past, students have secured internships at organizations such as the African Union, International Development Law Organization, International Institute for the Unification of Private Law, UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations, UN Food and Agriculture Organization, UN International Fund for Agricultural Development, UN World Food Program, Organization of American States and the international criminal tribunals.

How do I pick my capstone project topic?

The capstone project allows you to apply the knowledge and skills gained through the program to your own area of interest. Past students have focused their projects on: avoiding conflict or re-building peace and security following conflict; protecting vulnerable citizens  from violence, displacement  and trafficking; strengthening constitutions and  key governing institutions; spurring economic development  and trade; building inclusive economies where men and women have  equal opportunities; preventing and combating corruption; providing access to justice; and mitigating the consequences of climate change on the poor. Some students have chosen to develop their projects together with an external organization, thereby supporting its efforts to address a specific problem or challenge within its mandate and providing a close collaboration opportunity.

Where can I learn more about the program?

The Rule of Law for Development program provides additional information about our mission and vision, faculty and lecturers, goals, alumni network and resources for admitted students.

What is the academic schedule for the 2020-21 academic year?

All courses are offered online and you will not be required to travel to Rome or Chicago at any time during the year. There is one annual intake starting in September, and key dates can be found in the program’s academic calendar. Courses will be offered asynchronously, enabling you to take classes at times that best suits your daily schedule. You will be part of a highly interactive virtual global community with faculty and students across the globe utilizing Loyola’s leading expertise in online learning.