Ladies and Gentlemen:
Background: I have served 18+ years in the US Marine Corps and was recently selected for one more promotion. I can retire with a decent pension in two years, but for pay purposes, I'm sticking it out to the 22-year mark. The next four years will definitely require me to move the family to the Mojave Desert of California, where I will leave them while while I deploy back to Afghanistan (for my fourth combat deployment). You can probably imagine that the thrill and excitement of the job don't appeal to me as much as they used to; the writing is on the wall that it will soon be time to retire. Nowadays, I find myself reading about, talking about, and researching my law school prospects. Thanks to Thane Messinger, I now understand where I am going and how I will get there.
Knowing what I do now, I'd hate to 'waste' the next four years twiddling my thumbs just waiting for that retirement date. With this in mind, I looked into a couple of MA (Distance ED) programs, which I might be able to complete prior to my USMC--LS transition. The one which stands out to me is the Legal Studies M.A. from University of Illinois, Springfield. http://www.uis.edu/legalstudies/curriculum/mastersonline.html
As an Illinois resident/veteran, all my tuition and fees for a state-funded university are waived. So, my next 120 S/H of school are essentially FREE...including LS (if I go to one of the state-funded LS in Illinois). UIUC is my target LS.
I realize that the UG GPA/LSAT are the most important admissions factors and I believe that my bases are covered there. What I am wondering is if this or any type of MA program worth the effort in the long run (such as in LS/or in the career itself); or should I be focused elsewhere? Recommendations?