ASU Law online grad gains the legal skills needed to pursue his entrepreneurial dreams
Editor's note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable spring 2021 graduates.
Nicolo G. Muniz recognized that his ongoing quest to be an entrepreneur meant he needed to learn more about the law. And the online Master of Legal Studies (MLS) program at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University was just the way for him to do it.
“Like many people, I dream of being self-employed by creating my own vision, and as I began to venture out into the world of entrepreneurship, I quickly discovered that my understanding of law, or really lack thereof, was clearly going to hold me back from accomplishing my goals,” said Muniz, who is graduating this spring with an MLS degree in contract and business law.
Starting in real estate — flipping homes — he says was able to hold his own because he was surrounded by a good team.
“But as I expanded into other interests, such as commercial brewing, I knew I had to grow my understanding of both business and contract law if I didn’t want to be completely reliant on other parties to hold my hand,” said Muniz, who is from Rio Rancho, New Mexico. “Everything I have personally done as an entrepreneur has either entailed business law or contract law, so naturally these are the areas in which I wanted to be most fluent and focused my studies.”
That, Muniz says, was the “aha” moment that fast-tracked his enrollment to ASU’s online MLS program. And thanks to his current employer, Sandia National Laboratories, and its generous internal tuition assistance program, most of his degree expenses were covered.
Question: Why did you choose ASU Law?
Answer: The initial reason I chose ASU Law is that I had such a fantastic experience with my bachelor’s degree through ASU Online. The courses were challenging yet enjoyable, and the online platform was easily navigable and consistent from course to course.
After my bachelor’s degree, I participated in several other online courses through a variety of different institutions and programs, and unfortunately, some of these could be painful at times in that the platforms would crash or be limited in functionality. Additionally, and perhaps the most influential reason for me, the support system that ASU provided was unmatched. It was never difficult to speak to an adviser, a success coach, or get ahold of admissions when I needed them; there was always someone willing to guide or assist me, and that was something I sorely missed when I needed help in other programs.
Not everyone holds themselves to the same standard of student services as ASU in my personal experience, so when I started gravitating toward a formal education in law, the first place I thought to look was ASU Online. Once I discovered ASU Law offered the online master’s degree I wanted, all that was left was to check out the curriculum to ensure it was a good fit, and not surprisingly, of course it was. ASU Law offered courses that were immediately applicable to what I was experiencing in the real world, and that was exactly what I was searching for in a program.
Q: What are your plans after graduation?
A: In all honesty, I don’t imagine much in my current situation will change after graduation. I will take the knowledge and lessons learned from this program and incorporate it as I continue down this path. I do plan to continue with school, with two more master’s degrees pending, and also with entrepreneurship. I hope to have the brewery up and running by the end of this calendar year, and if that happens I imagine it will take up much of my professional focus. I do suspect that at some point I will once again be drawn to formal legal education, so I wouldn’t rule out pursuing a JD at some point.