Last Update: September 29, 2016
Are you working hard to keep up with a family, a job, and other life priorities but find yourself wishing for a fulfilling career in law, where you can earn a higher mean wage than nearly every other occupation? That’s right, people in legal occupations work in a steady field which yields an average of $78,170 annually. Over the past decade, online law schools have been gaining traction and popularity and your school is out there, waiting to be chosen.
Whether you have an Associate’s degree and are working as a paralegal or a legal assistant or you are looking to make a change into a whole different vocation, a law school online might be a good fit to fulfill your professional career goals, providing you with engaging learning opportunities on a digital platform while still providing the hands-on experience and academic rigor needed to pass the bar exam and gain steady employment.
While online law schools have struggled to match and maintain the rigor of traditional on-site programs, many accredited online law schools have been raising the bar to meet professional demands and opportunities. In fact, several fully online law degrees are keeping up with professional expectations in both examination and professional performance, and state law is following suit. According to Breitbart, in 2015 in the state of Texas, a bill was introduced into the State Legislature that would “. . . require the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Texas Board of Law Examiners to study online law schools, and the licensing of lawyers who obtain degrees online or through correspondence schools. It would also mandate a study of the licensing of attorneys in this state who become licensed in other states through apprenticeship programs.” As with all things in digital education, it can often take the powers-that-be to catch up with industry innovations that provide students of all stripes access to affordable, flexible education.
But things are not looking up completely and the world of law has been slow to adapt to online trends. Here is complicated news: You may not be able to finish your degree as quickly or conveniently as you had hoped. While many programs offer partially online components that integrate traditional classroom learning with adaptive online instruction techniques, only about 10 schools offer fully online law-related programs such as an online J.D. (Juris Doctor) program or an online Master of Law (L.L.M.).
What are the best online law schools?
With that overview in mind, there are other potential pitfalls to getting a law degree online. First, accreditation can be an issue for online law schools; only a handful of schools in the U.S. meet the standards set by the American Bar Association (ABA) to conduct fully digital programs. With that hurdle in mind, be sure that the school you’re planning to attend is accredited by the ABA. Second, licensure and practicum eligibility for practicing law is granted in the state in which the law degree was completed, and these qualifications vary between states. While some states have reciprocity agreements, where students can transfer their certification to a different state, it could be at least five years of practicing law in one state before you may be eligible to practice law in another. Third, the market is saturated by traditional degree-holding professionals, which means that an online degree could present an unexpected hurdle until online law degrees are fully accepted as parity degrees for practicing law.
But if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t mind a little risk, then perhaps it’s time to explore your options for online law degrees through College Choice’s helpful rankings page, where we’ve organized data from a variety of sources and studies with the hope of making the choosing of the right online law school a little easier. Below you’ll find the Best Online Law Schools rankings.
College Choice Score: 100
Tuition Per Credit: $1,450.00
Villanova University offers an LL.M. in Taxation fully online. This degree is one of the most popular among practicing attorneys and so it’ll come as no surprise that Villanova has endeavored to make their online offering the best in the country. The school has also been top-ranked for both the law school and its online programs. The school is regionally accredited by the MSCHE and the law school has independent accreditation by the ABA.
The LL.M. in Taxation is an advanced degree in the realm of tax law. The degree focuses on tax laws and policies, the changing face of tax law, and more. Students who graduate with this degree will be practicing attorneys who will find themselves in an elevated position to become tax law experts, something that is sorely needed as America’s economic climate changes.
This degree is available 100 percent online and is taught in an interesting manner. Although most of the courses are asynchronous, there are debates, discussions, and class activities that are done in real-time on an almost weekly basis. This allows students to study on their own time and bring their knowledge and perspective to share with their class at appointed intervals.
Students will also be treated to the Villanova online experience. Faculty and staff, most of whom have worked in law in some capacity prior to becoming instructors and staff members, are all trained in the art of online instruction. Students will also have the opportunity to partake in study and tutoring groups, do research with the help of the school’s online law library, speak with online advisors, and more. It is the best tax program for any lawyer in the country, and the overall experience of attending Villanova makes it the top pick for this ranking.
College Choice Score: 89.32
Tuition Per Credit: $2,209.00
Washington University in St. Louis is home to one of the only law schools to have a full suite of degrees for practicing attorneys. The programs are some of the most popular for international lawyers, especially since it’s housed within a top-rated law school. This university is regionally accredited by the NCACS THLC. The law school is also independently accredited by the ABA.
What makes WUSTL’s law school online offerings interesting is that the school does not offer the most common degree, the J.D., online. This is most likely because the American Bar Association has yet to recognize any J.D. online degree as a suitable fulfillment of the requirements in order to sit for the bar.
However, the school does offer a variety of graduate law degrees that are perfect for foreign attorneys. The online portal confers the LL.M. in U.S. Law, the M.L.S. for non-lawyers, and the dual LL.M. in U.S. Law and International Corporate Law.
The dual degree is an exciting addition to this newly built online suite of programs. It is a partnership between the university’s School of Law and the Tecnológico de Monterrey’s School of Government and Public Transformation and is a great way for international and U.S. lawyers to understand the differences between legal systems.
It’ll come as no surprise that WUSTL has an incredibly strong group of online services. From online access to the library and bookstore to advising and tutoring services, online students always have access to what they need. And with the addition of 24/7 tech support, this school is a serious contender for the best law school currently conferring degrees online.
University of Southern California
College Choice Score: 84.73
Tuition Per Credit: $1,321.16
The University of Southern California is one of the best online schools in the country for law students. Its Gould School of Law is ranked in the top 20 best law schools by U.S. News and World Report and it currently ranks as one of the top institutions for international enrollment by OpenDoors. The school is regionally accredited by the WASC SCUC. The law school has further accreditation by the American Bar Association.
The most popular degree from the online portal at Gould is the LL.M. and is designed for international attorneys who wish to practice law in the United States. Students are advised, however, that a J.D. or LL.B. degree may not be enough to be accepted into this program and speaking with an advisor prior to applying is strongly encouraged.
This is one of the only fully online degrees at the graduate level of law that has the acquiescence of the ABA and therefore will qualify students to sit for the bar in the state of California. Courses are taught asynchronously to accommodate students in different time zones and all exams are given by a proctor is a student’s community.
USC also has a strong online support system. Students will have access to the school’s online law library and bookstore as well as advising services. There are also discussion forums, study groups, and tutoring available.
New York University
College Choice Score: 76.16
Tuition Per Credit: $2,482.00
New York University is in the midst of creating a law school online for practicing attorneys. Currently, the school offers the Executive LL.M. in Tax, a popular and competitive program that is perfect for lawyers who specialize in this field. This school is regionally accredited by the MSCHE and holds independent accreditation by the ABA.
The Executive LL.M. in Tax focuses on the intricacies of law, from mergers to acquisitions. Tax policy is also a large part of the program, and students will spend the majority of this year-long program focusing on how to understand the law as it pertains to tax. It is a great advanced degree for any practicing attorney.
The online aspect of learning at NYU is an incredible one. Students will learn through asynchronous courses, all of which are archived on the school’s online learning management system. They will also, for the first time in the school’s history, be able to sit for midterms and final exams at home with the use of a video proctoring device.
And when it comes to the faculty and support services, NYU is unsurpassed. Faculty can be contacted through the portal’s discussion forums, email, telephone, and even Skype. Students also have access to online tech support, an advising desk, and online tutoring sessions, making NYU’s Tax program a great fit for busy working professionals.
University of Florida
College Choice Score: 74.64
Tuition Per Credit: $1,296.80
The Levin College of Law, which is housed at the University of Florida, is home to some of the best law degrees in the country. Now the university is taking a big step in providing online law courses for its J.D. and LL.M. programs. This university is regionally accredited by the SACS COC.
While strictly not an accredited online law school, Levin has made it a mission to provide students with an alternative way to ensure they meet all the criteria for the J.D. and LL.M. programs. Students should note, however, that the ABA currently requires students receive a maximum of 15 credit hours of online instruction in order to sit for the bar in any state.
Online courses at Levin are taught asynchronously, although some electives do require synchronous coursework. And as the school continues to create more courses, even more, online services will come online through the law school. Currently, however, the school provides 24/7 technical support and access to the online law library and the bookstore.
College Choice Score: 73.33
Tuition Per Credit: $2,007.00
Boston University has a growing law school presence online that is bolstered by the school’s reputation for being a top ten ranked school in the nation for its law programs. The school now confers its most well-known degree, the LL.M. in Taxation, online. This school is regionally accredited by the NEASC. It is also accredited by the ABA.
The LL.M. in Taxation is an incredible addition to the resume of a new attorney who would like to specialize in this field. It is an advanced degree that will show law firms that a candidate has additional training that will make them valued members of the team.
This is an online degree program created specifically for J.D. attorneys. Courses are provided asynchronously, allowing a student to study when their schedule permits. There are also online discussion forums, an online law library, student support services, and 24/7 technical support.
George Washington University
College Choice Score: 70.88
Tuition Per Credit: $1,980.00
George Washington University offers an interesting law degree online. The Master of Professional Studies in Law Firm Management is perfect for lawyers and non-lawyers interested in how a law firm works. This degree is regionally accredited by the MSCHE.
This degree is not a lawyer-specific degree, but it does relate to the day-to-day running activities of law firms in the United States. This is an exceptional program for students who are interested in learning how to best oversee a law firm and can be used to advance the careers of business and law professionals alike.
The MPS in Law Firm Management is a 30-credit degree that can be completed in a year with full-time study. All courses are taught asynchronously and will help professionals understand, develop, and integrate their new-found knowledge into an administrative role within a law firm. Students will also have access to advising and student support services, an online bookstore, and more.
University of Illinois at Springfield
College Choice Score: 70.35
Tuition Per Credit: $362.25
The University of Illinois at Springfield offers an online law degree in legal studies. This program is perfect for professionals who would like to learn more about law and for lawyers from another country who need an introduction into the U.S. legal system. This university is regionally accredited by the NCACS THLC.
The Master’s Degree in Legal Studies doesn’t come from the law school but is rather housed in the online portal. This was a calculated move by the university to ensure that online instruction was taken seriously and that students within the program received an excellent education from well-trained faculty and staff.
This program focuses on legal theory, law in American society, and professional skills. Courses are taught by synchronously and asynchronously, allowing students the option to choose the method that works best for them. Collaborative weekly assignments and projects are also par for the course in this degree program, and its popularity has led to the school currently deciding to bring other law degrees online.
University of Pittsburgh
College Choice Score: 70.06
Tuition Per Credit: $1,458.00
The University of Pittsburgh offers an incredible legal degree for practicing attorneys. Through the School of Law, the school confers the LL.M. for Active Professionals, a collaborative online experience that provides students with the necessary knowledge to become valued members of any legal team. The school is regionally accredited by the MSCHE and the ABA.
This online program is designed for practicing attorneys who wish to advance their knowledge of law in the United States. It is a popular and selective program that even has its own special and optional two-week residential program in the Washington, D.C. area.
This is a completely online program with no mandatory residency requirements. Students will take eight courses in order to graduate, and it can be reasonably completed in two years with part-time study. All students will be granted access to the school’s online law library and advising services as well as other support services, such as 24/7 technical support.
University of Tulsa
College Choice Score: 67.69
Tuition Per Credit: $1,235.00
The University of Tulsa’s College of Law confers two online law degree programs. The Master of Jurisprudence in Energy Law and the Master of Jurisprudence in Indian Law are some of the most interesting and rare graduate law degrees that can be found online, and Tulsa makes it a point to make them exceptional. This university is regionally accredited by the NCACS THLC.
Both programs were designed specifically for non-lawyers. Students should note that graduating with either degree is not a step towards sitting for the bar and will not satisfy the requirements needed in order to become a licensed attorney.
These programs focus on two specific fields that are of particular interest in the United States. The MJEL focuses on energy law and policies, the changing face of how the government views energy, and the sustainable legal efforts to conserve it. The MJIL focuses on American Indian tribes, its interests, and more. This degree is perfect for professionals who work closely with this demographic in order to better serve them in leadership positions.
Both online programs can be completed 100 percent online and take less than two years to complete. Courses are taught in an asynchronous format, allowing students to be flexible about their study schedule, and each program has its own special independent study project that will prepare students to take their education to the professional level.
Michigan State University
College Choice Score: 67.46
Tuition Per Credit: $1,432.00
Michigan State University is known for having one of the best food law programs in the country. This is a 100 percent online degree that was created for everyone, not just lawyers, and it can be an exciting addition to any resume. The College of Law, where this degree is conferred, is accredited by the ABA.
The online Master’s Degree in Global Food Law title will depend on a student’s professional background. Upon graduation, attorneys will be granted the LL.M. while non-lawyers will earn the Master of Jurisprudence.
However, the program’s goal is the same. It teaches each student about the complexities of food law all over the world. From religion and culture to the relationships citizens and governments have with food, students will learn how the law is a large part of how food standards are regulated on an international scale.
This program is 100 percent online, allowing students to pursue other interests and their careers while completing this degree. Courses are taught in an asynchronous format with discussion forums and online study groups to help foster an intimate learning setting. Students will also have access to the MSU’s online support services desk as well as online research materials and library books.
University of Massachusetts
College Choice Score: 66.92
Tuition Per Credit: $624.75
The University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth has an exception hybrid pathway towards the J.D. degree. This program, which does have a residency requirement, utilizes online instruction for key electives and core requirements to lift the academic and time burden associated with law school. This school is regionally accredited by the NEASC.
Like most law schools, UM-Dartmouth requires students to follow the traditional curriculum for the Juris Doctor. Students will find that research papers, case studies, moot court practices, and pro bono work are all par for the course in this plan. By the time students graduate, they will be ready and eligible to sit for the bar in the state of Massachusetts.
This J.D. is an on-campus program. However, because so many students have demanded online access to foundational courses, the school is providing a list of online courses that supplement on-campus instruction. Students will have the opportunity to take 15 credit hours online, or the equivalent of five courses, and this will significantly reduce the time they spend in law school while giving them the freedom to study whenever it is most convenient for them.
Vermont Law School
College Choice Score: 66.32
Tuition Per Credit: $1,345.00
Vermont Law School hosts a variety of online law degrees. This suite of degrees, which include rare specializations, are perfect for both lawyers and non-lawyers and will set a foundation for legal expertise in a variety of fields. This school is regionally accredited by the NEASC. The school also holds accreditation by the ABA.
It is important to note that students without a J.D. will not qualify to sit for the bar in any state when they graduate with any of these online degrees. Some of these degrees, such as the LL.M.s, are designed specifically for post-J.D. attorneys and require that students provide evidence of passing the bar in their state in order to apply. Students are encouraged to talk with an advisor prior to applying to ensure they meet the necessary requirements.
VLS offers six different online law degrees. There is the LL.M. with three specializations, including Energy Law, Environmental Law, and Food and Agricultural Law. These degrees were created for practicing attorneys with prior interest or knowledge of these fields.
There are also three master’s degrees for lawyers and non-lawyers alike. These include the Master of Energy Regulation and Law, the Master of Environmental Law and Policy, and the Master of Food and Agricultural Law and Policy. These degrees focus on the dynamics of the law and the chosen field of study.
All of these degrees can be completed in as little as 18 months with no on-campus requirements. Students will learn through asynchronous courses, discussions, lectures, and weekly activities. The school also has a robust student support services suite, including 24/7 technical support, an online library, tutoring services, and more.
College Choice Score: 65.91
Tuition Per Credit: $799.00
Champlain College confers an online Master of Science in Law program to lawyers and non-lawyers alike. The degree, which comes with two specializations, will aid any student in learning more about how law affects different systems within the United States. This school is regionally accredited by the NEASC.
The MSL program at Champlain was the first of its kind in the nation, and it was also the first to become available as an online degree. Students will find that whatever their profession is, the MSL will only help them do their job better.
The MSL program focuses on general knowledge. There are two specialization tracks, however; they are the Human Service Law and Systems track and the Employment and Labor Law track. Both tracks will help students already in those professions to understand how the legal system affects their field.
This is a 100 percent online degree program. All courses are asynchronous and allow students to plan their studies around their personal and professional obligations. Students have access to online research materials and the library as well as advising and support services. This ensures that during the two years they are with the program they feel as though they are a part of the Champlain College family.
College Choice Score: 65.69
Tuition Per Credit: $1,422.00
At the Thomas R. Kline School of Law, J.D. students will have the opportunity to supplement their degree with around 15 credit hours of online courses. While this is not a strictly online law school, Drexel has made a concerted effort to bring more of its law school courses online for busy and ambitious students. This school is regionally accredited by the MSCHE.
Students within the J.D. program will find that in the state of New York, only 15 credit hours can be applied towards a law degree from an online school, per the instruction of the New York State Board of Law Examiners. This means that students can take five courses from a non-ABA accredited university such as Drexel Online and count it towards the credits needed in order to graduate.
Unlike many of the other online schools listed on this ranking, Drexel does not believe that asynchronous courses are the only pathway towards understanding law. Therefore, the school requires that students be graded on the consistency and quality of participation. This comes in the form of weekly activities and scheduled quizzes and papers.
Students who take online courses here will be given access to the full suite of Drexel Online services, including the online library and bookstore, advising services, and 24/7 technical support. This is the perfect university to help any New York law student supplement their degree while studying in their own community.
Abraham Lincoln University
College Choice Score: 64.34
Tuition Per Credit: $266.67
Abraham Lincoln University has a law school that will meet the needs of any online student who is interested in becoming a practicing attorney. The school offers an online JD program that will prepare graduates to sit for the bar exam. This university is regionally accredited by the DEAC and is registered with the CBE.
Finding an online school that provides students with the opportunity to sit for the bar exam is difficult. ALU strives to make that easier. With a law degree from this law school and all other requirements met, students will be able to sit for the California Bar Exam to be admitted as licensed attorneys.
This program follows the traditional law school model. Courses on subjects such as legal analysis and problem-solving, the theories of law and more are commonplace. There are also team projects, moot courts, and other interactive assignments that build a student’s understanding of how law works in the United State. And at the end of their first year, students will sit for the FYLSE prior to beginning their second year, ensuring they understand the fundamentals of law before moving on.
ALU provides all of its courses for the J.D. online; the student will never have to be on-campus in order to receive this degree. While most classes are synchronous, each lecture is recorded so that students have the chance to review the material later. There are online discussions and team projects, advising and technical support, and access to the school’s online library, all at the student’s disposal. This all ensures that a student is given the law school experience without ever having to set foot on campus.
Saint Leo University Online
College Choice Score: 64.12
Tuition Per Credit: $535.00
Saint Leo University Online confers a graduate law degree that can be found online. This program focuses on the U.S. criminal justice system, the legal system, and the relationship between them. This school is regionally accredited by the SACS COC.
The Master of Science in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Legal Studies is not intended to be a formal law degree for practicing lawyers. It is not accredited by the ABA and will not prepare students to sit for the bar exam in any state. Students who are looking for a graduate legal degree that will help them pass the bar are encouraged to speak with a Saint Leo advisor to learn what the best path forward would be in order to get a legal degree.
However, the M.S. in Criminal Justice with the Legal Studies concentration is an important degree for criminal justice professionals, such as police officers and other first responders. The program is designed to help these men and women understand the legal system better and can even provide a strong foundation for students interested in becoming licensed attorneys in the future.
Saint Leo is known as a premier institution for the military. It remains committed to helping military members and professionals in the criminal justice system learn more about the legal system. That’s why this program is available wholly online and is taught asynchronously. This allows students to focus on their careers while continuing their education when it is most suitable for them.
California University of Pennsylvania
College Choice Score: 63.26
Tuition Per Credit: $493.00
The California University of Pennsylvania offers a variety of online legal degrees for non-lawyers. The Master of Science in Legal Studies: Law and Public Policy Concentration is the most popular and can set the groundwork for students to begin their legal studies at the graduate level. This school is regionally accredited by the MSCHE.
The M.S. in Legal Studies with a concentration in Law and Public Policy is not accredited by the ABA and will not qualify students to sit for the bar exam in Pennsylvania or any other state. It is instead a great way for working professionals who are ready to make the leap into law first get a foundation in law prior to applying for law school.
This program focuses on legal reasoning, justice, the U.S. legal system, and more. It is available 100 percent online with no on-campus residency requirements. Students will be working on asynchronous lectures and assignments while remaining engaged with classmates through discussion forums and online study groups.
University of Alabama
College Choice Score: 63.08
Tuition Per Credit: $1,499.00
The University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa confers the LL.M. in Taxation online for eligible students. This is one of the most innovative online law degree programs in the country and offers practicing lawyers the chance to become specialized in this challenging field. This program is regionally accredited by the SACS COC.
This taxation program focuses on the specialization of already licensed attorneys to practice law in the tax sector. Students will learn about how the tax code can change, why tax law is important, and how tax law affects the lives of citizens and governments. It is the best-advanced degree for an attorney who is already working in this field.
The LL.M in Taxation from Bama By Distance, the University of Alabama’s online portal, is completely available online with no on-campus residencies. Students are treated to synchronous courses as well as unlimited access to faculty and support services as well as having 24/7 technical support at their disposal so that they can focus on their education while continuing to work.
Loyola University Chicago
College Choice Score: 62.81
Tuition Per Credit: $1,481.00
Loyola University Chicago School of Law provides students with a way to attend law school through online means. The school’s J.D. program gives students the opportunity to attend the Online Summer Session, which offers online courses for all J.D.-seeking professionals. This school is regionally accredited by the NCACS THLC. The law school is further accredited by the ABA.
Because the Online Summer Session grants J.D. required course credit, it is important for students to understand first that the ABA allow for just 15 hours to be earned online. Furthermore, students not taking courses at Loyola who would like to attend this program must first obtain written permission from their law school in order to do so.
The courses offered through the Online Summer Session change every year, but many required courses can be earned through this program. These are taught synchronously, allowing students to interact in real-time with their classmates and professors. Students also have the ability to partake in online advising services and will have access to the 24/7 technical support services provided by the school.
University of Nebraska—Lincoln
College Choice Score: 62.48
Tuition Per Credit: $1,541.00
The University of Nebraska at Lincoln has an incredible opportunity for students interested in earning a law degree online. The school confers an LL.M. in Space, Cyber, and Telecommunications Law. This school is regionally accredited by the NCACS THLC.
This degree is available 100 percent online and is designed for licensed attorneys. These attorneys already work within government agencies and law firms who have a focus on this field. And, as an added bonus, the program is headed by Matthew Schaefer, a former director of the International Economic Affairs Office of the National Security Council within the White House.
UN-Lincoln was the first university in the nation to offer the LL.M. in Space, Cyber, and Telecommunications Law program. It is also the first to bring this program online, although there is a campus residency that amounts to three credits, or one course.
The other 75 percent of the courses can be completed with synchronous courses where students participate in class right along with on-campus students. Students also have access to 24/7 technical support, an online library, and online student-specific advising and tutoring services.
College Choice Score: 62.14
Tuition Per Credit: $1,240.00
The Maurice A. Deane School of Law, which is housed at Hofstra University, is becoming one of the fastest-growing online law schools in the country. It also pioneered clinical education into a law school curriculum, which is now also available online. This program is regionally accredited by the MSCHE. It has also received accreditation by the ABA.
The Master of Laws in Health Law and Policy at Hofstra can be completed in about a year and a half and was designed to help professionals in the health care field become expert legal counsel. And because this program comes from an accredited online law school, students will qualify to sit for the bar in New York.
This program has no on-campus requirement and doesn’t require LSAT, GMAT, or GRE scores for admission. It consists of nine courses, all taught asynchronously, and students are afforded the same support services on-campus students get but with a focus on online student needs. This consists of 24/7 tech support, access to the law school’s online library, advising services, and more.
Arizona State University
College Choice Score: 62.12
Tuition Per Credit: $907.53
Arizona State University offers students the chance to get an online Master of Legal Studies from an accredited online law school. The program, which is housed in the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, is a flexible program that allows students the ability to study while continuing to work part-time. This school is regionally accredited by the NCACS THLC.
This program is for non-lawyers and will not assist students in fulfilling the requirements to become eligible to sit for the bar in any state. Students who have this goal in mind are advised to look into the school’s J.D. program for an accredited pathway towards becoming a licensed attorney.
The M.L.S. at ASU is a graduate program that is best suited for professionals who would like to gain a foundation in law to advance their careers. Graduates will specialize in one of five areas, which include HR & Employment Law, Intellectual Property Law, Sports Law and Business, Sustainability Law, and Criminal Law. Each concentration focuses on U.S. law and basic procedures that pertain to that field.
This program is available wholly online. Students will be provided with asynchronous courses and independent study projects that make up the entirety of the program. While it is not the perfect fit for students looking to become licensed attorneys, it will help non-lawyers understand how the law affects their profession.
University of Arkansas
College Choice Score: 61.97
Tuition Per Credit: $580.98
The University of Arkansas has an agricultural and food law degree online that is perfect for students who are interested in this specialized area. It is the first graduate legal degree to focus on this important field and comes with part-time and full-time options. This school is regionally accredited by the NCACS THLC.
The LL.M. in Agricultural and Food Law has strict admission standards and is considered a selective program. Students must have earned at least an LL.B or a J.D. from a regionally accredited university in the U.S., be admitted to the bar in their state and have recommendations. There are separate requirements for international students.
UArk offers students a variety of ways to participate in this program. This includes the option to enroll as a part-time or full-time student and further specialize within the field. Students can even choose how they take courses, with choices including hybrid, synchronous or asynchronous courses.
Seton Hall University
College Choice Score: 60.94
Tuition Per Credit: $1,490.00
Seton Hall Law School offers students who are working professionals the chance to earn a non-J.D. graduate degree, an M.S.J., or an LL.M. degree. These are perfect for health professionals who are interested in learning more about how law affects the health care profession. This university is regionally accredited by the MSCHE.
As these degrees are not accredited by the ABA, the completion of any of these degrees will not lead to eligibility to sit for the bar exam in any state. However, for health professionals, these graduate degrees will ensure that they can advance in their careers without interfering with their day-to-day lives.
This school offers over a dozen online certificates and degrees in the realm of law. The most popular, however, is the LL.M program, which was created specifically for health professionals. The curricula for these programs is supported by the school’s Health Law Program, which is currently ranked among the top ten by U.S. News and World Report.
All courses for these online degrees are 100 percent online; students will never have to step foot on campus. There are also no requirements for the MCAT, LSAT, GMAT or GRE scores, so students will find that applying for this school to be convenient. Courses are taught in asynchronous format and are supported by independent study, faculty advising, 24/7 technical support, and more.
Ohio State University
College Choice Score: 60.20
Tuition Per Credit: $988.93
Ohio State University is home to the Moritz School of Law, one of the most interesting additions to this ranking. While not strictly an entirely online law program, it is nonetheless one of the best schools for hard-working students who are interesting in getting a dual degree. This school is regionally accredited by the NCACS THLC.
Moritz is an ABA-accredited school, but as previously mentioned, there are residency requirements for this school. This makes it a perfect fit for students already residing in the Columbus, Ohio, area. Residency and transfer credit requirements vary depending on the student, so speaking with an advisor prior to enrolling is always encouraged.
This school has the option to pair the J.D. with another graduate degree, such as an M.D. or an M.P.H. from another school within the Ohio State University system. This allows students to finish both degrees in less time than earning one degree at a time. Applying for both degrees does not guarantee acceptance so students should apply early.
The J.D. degree at Ohio State University is only available in a partially hybrid format when a student is pursuing dual degrees. These courses, which change every term, are taught asynchronously and may even include courses for the other degree that a student is pursuing. The average time to completion of the dual degree depends on the second degree, but most joint degrees can be finished within five years.
California Southern University
College Choice Score: 59.77
Tuition Per Credit: $425.00
California Southern University’s School of Law offers students the ability to get an online JD as well as an LL.M. with different specializations. This is a strong and challenging law school that meets and exceeds the expectations of any online law school student. This school is regionally accredited by the WASC SCUC. It is also registered as an unaccredited school by the CBE.
Students who undertake the J.D. at CalSouthern should note that this school does provide a pathway to become eligible to sit for the California State Bar Exam. However, it is the responsibility of each student to ensure they have fulfilled all the requirements in order to do so. This is done by reviewing the school’s disclosures in regard to the CBE exam, which can be found on the school’s website.
This school offers four online degree programs in law. There is the J.D., a Master of Science in Law, a Master of Science in Dispute Resolution, and a Master of Laws program. Each program comes with its own concentrations and will help any student create an education that leads to the career of their dreams.
CalSouthern has even gone a step further, giving students access to a variety of online resources that will make their education complete. Along with asynchronous courses and independent study, students will be granted access to the school’s online library, faculty members, and classmates through forums and Skype, and assignments that use Office 365, which is provided free of charge by the university.
While each program is comprehensive and rigorous, students who graduate will find that the online experience at CalSouthern has more than prepared them for their new career in law. And once a student passes the bar exam, they will be practicing attorneys in the state of California.
Grand Canyon University
College Choice Score: 59.19
Tuition Per Credit: $500.00
Grand Canyon University offers a legal degree through its online portal that is designed specifically for working professionals in criminal justice and law enforcement fields that are interested in building a law education foundation. While it is not a J.D., this degree will serve as a good foundation for students who will enter law school in the future. This school is regionally accredited by the NCACS THLC.
The Master of Science in Criminal Justice with an emphasis in Legal Studies is a strong degree that focuses on preparing students for the preservation of the legal system. Subjects included in this degree include Constitutional Rights, Legal Research, and more.
This degree is not meant to be, nor does it provide the opportunity to be an ABA-accredited degree. This means that the degree will not make any student eligible to sit for the bar exam in any state. Students are encouraged to speak with an advisor about what might be the best path forward for them if this is their ultimate goal.
However, for students who do not have a background in law and would like to pursue legal studies or enter law school in the future, this is a strong program that will prepare them for those challenges. The courses are taught in an eight-week format and takes about a year to complete with part-time study.
This is an online degree and classes are taught in an asynchronous format. There are also requirements for a portfolio, a research paper, and team projects. This portfolio will help students find a law school that will enable them to practice law as a licensed attorney.
College Choice Score: 59.16
Tuition Per Credit: $416.00
Concord Law School offers one of the best online law degree programs in the country. Through the interesting J.D. program that the school offers, students will become eligible to sit for the bar exam in California. This school is accredited by the THLC and is accepted by the CBE as an institution from which graduates can apply to practice law in the state.
This J.D. program is perfect for students who have just completed their undergraduate degree and are ready to move into earning a legal degree to practice law as a licensed attorney. And because classes are all online, students never have to worry about attending campus lectures.
The Concord Law School J.D. program is different from many others in that it requires students to work in cohorts or sections. The cohort model also extends to study groups, which are a fun requirement that sees students working together to solve problems. This ensures that students become acquainted with other classmates and form a bond between each other and their professors.
This is a four-year, part-time J.D. program that requires that students take the FYLSE prior to beginning their second year. Students will also find that Concord emulates many of the characteristics of a traditional law program, including multiple courses during each term as well as Moot Court online experiences and other such law school activities. This program is for ambitious students who are ready to become licensed attorneys.
College Choice Score: 58.80
Tuition Per Credit: $1,140.00
Regent University School of Law is an accredited law school that offers the LL.M. in American Legal Studies. This degree can help students fulfill the requirements needed to become eligible to sit for the bar in the state of Virginia. The university is regionally accredited by the SACS COC.
This university’s LL.M. program has a variety of specializations, including family law, public law, and constitutional law. The program is best suited for students who are looking to practice advanced law with a Christian worldview from a brilliant online school.
The LL.M. in American Legal Studies is available 100 percent online. Students will be taught by world-renown professors and licensed professors who have taught at Ivy League schools. The program is taught asynchronously but allows students to interact with classmates and professors on a daily basis through the school’s online learning management system.
University of Hawaii
College Choice Score: 57.42
Tuition Per Credit: $870.00
The University of Hawai’i at Manoa offers students a unique opportunity in obtaining a legal degree through distance education. Students in the J.D./M.B.A. joint degree program will graduate with two degrees that will help them on their journey to becoming professionals in just about any field. This university is regionally accredited by the WASC SCUC.
This university only offers this online dual degree to residents of Hawai’i as there are residency requirements. These include some J.D. courses that can only be taken on campus or a satellite campus on the island. Students are encouraged to speak with an advisor about these residency requirements and to see if they are eligible prior to applying for the program.
This dual degree program can be completed in four years by enrolling in hybrid courses. Most J.D. students elect to finish their law degree requirements first and pursue the rest of their MBA courses during the summer and winter terms. However a student decides to finish the degree, it is possible with the help of online courses.
Students will find that a large variety of both MBA and J.D. courses can be found online. Most courses are taught asynchronously; however, all courses have on-site requirements for final examinations. Students will also be required to work in teams for projects and internships, and so it is recommended that students not work while finishing their education.
Nova Southeastern University
College Choice Score: 57.15
Tuition Per Credit: $1,598.00
Nova Southeastern University is the perfect place to earn a law school online education for students who do not haver previous law experience or who work in a profession that requires an understanding of law. This school confers a Master of Science in Law in a variety of subjects, including health, employment, and education. This school is regionally accredited by SACS-COC.
Students at Nova Southeastern should note that these degrees are not practicing law degrees and therefore are not accredited by the ABA. These programs require little more than an undergraduate degree from another regionally accredited university and so would not be a good fit for students looking for a degree that would see them qualify to sit for the bar.
The four Master of Science in Law degrees that Nova Southeastern offers focuses on four important and growing fields: Education, Employment, Health, and Law and Policy. Each degree has its own focus on how law affects that profession, making these degrees a great addition to the resume of an administrator or leader who needs an educational background in law.
Courses at Nova Southeastern are taught asynchronously, giving students leeway into how and when they finish their assignments and study. While courses are on-demand, there will also be a live and interactive factor to each course, ensuring that students are engaging with their fellow classmates and instructors as well as putting their knowledge and skills to use nearly every day. The courses are also taught in 10-week terms, moving students through the courses at an accelerated rate and focusing on one subject at a time.
St. Francis School of Law
College Choice Score: 54.24
Tuition Per Credit: $300.00
St. Francis School of Law offers ambitious students the opportunity to earn an online JD. This online law school has a reputation for preparing students for the challenging and rewarding task of practicing law in the state of California. This is also the only non-profit online law school in the entire country.
At St. Francis School of Law, students who take the J.D. degree will be eligible to sit for the bar exam in California. This is only possible, however, if students research and fulfill all other necessary requirements that the CBE presents to them. It is the best bet for busy working students and professionals to obtain a degree while working full time.
This school only confers the J.D. program, which will be a relief for all students. This allows the law school to focus only on preparing students for general law practice, meaning students are treated to a rigorous, comprehensive curriculum that is delivered by experienced professionals who have been trained in the art of online education.
Courses at St. Francis School of Law are taught live, which is quite different from many other schools on this list. Teaching courses live allows instructors to answer questions as soon as students have them as well as engages the entire class in a discussion that will open up new avenues of thinking.
Along with live classes that have no more than 15 students per class, St. Francis School of Law offers students online support, advising, and tutoring services as well as an online library and technical support for their educational needs. It is the perfect school for students who are interested in an intimate, online education.
Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School
College Choice Score: 50.18
Tuition Per Credit: $1,321.00
While Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School is not the first place a person would look for a law school online, it does have a few programs that are perfect for foreign-trained lawyers. These secondary programs will help a foreign attorney navigate the U.S. legal system, all while continuing their own work in their country or in the states. This law school is accredited by the ABA to confer the LL.M. degree.
As an accredited online law school, John Marshall is a great place for attorneys to continue their education. Because of it’s ABA status, any student who chooses to attend this school will be eligible to take the bar in the state of Georgia, which is the first and most important step in practicing law in the United States.
However, for students who are already residing in the United States, there are some stipulations. While John Marshall does accept applications from students, it does not accept students in all states. Students are encouraged to speak to an advisor to see if their current residency status will be a hindrance in applying for the program.
John Marshall current offers two online law degree programs. The first is the LL.M. in Employment Law, a specialized degree for attorneys working in labor and union law. The program focuses on new employment legislation, international factors on labor, and emerging theories.
The second online law degree is the LL.M. for the Practice of Law in the United States. This is a degree specifically created for foreign-trained lawyers who already hold a J.D. and can practice law in their country. The program focuses on the general attitudes and practices undertaken by the law community within the country and offers foreign-trained students the chance to sit for the bar in the United States.
All online courses are taught asynchronously, allowing attorneys to continue with their practice and busy home lives. There is never a need to attend the school unless a student would like to walk for graduation. All online students are supported by a dedicated online support staff and have access to an online library, bookstore, advising center, and more.
Florida Coastal School of Law
College Choice Score: 49.67
Tuition Per Credit: $600 to $1000 per credit
Florida Coastal School of Law is the first destination many lawyers think of when they are considering pursuing a graduate law degree online. Florida Coastal School of Law is accredited by the American Bar Association, and in addition to its residential J.D. program, the School also offers three fully online LL.M. programs. These include an LL.M. in U.S. Law for International Lawyers, an LL.M. in General Law Studies, and an LL.M. and Certificate in Logistics and Transportation.
It is important to note that FCSL is one of a handful of law schools offering online programs that currently holds accreditation by the ABA. This accreditation will help international lawyers, or foreign-born lawyers, to practice within the United States of America, as graduating from an ABA-accredited school is vital to sitting for the bar, which is administered by the ABA. Students who graduate from this school will be eligible to sit for the bar exam in Washington or California.
As an accredited law school, FCSL currently offers three separate online LL.M. degrees for students. These include U.S. Law for International Lawyers, General Law Studies, and Logistics and Transportation.
The LL.M. for General Law Studies was designed for attorneys not familiar with the U.S. legal system. It encompasses the legal systems generalities and complexities while ensuring that all students who graduate from this program are eligible to sit for the bar in Washington and California.
The LL.M. for Logistics and Transportation takes General Law Studies further. This degree focuses on a student’s knowledge of aviation law, maritime law, rail law, and military logistics law. It is the ideal secondary degree for any lawyer who is interested in transportation law and how it affects the international community.
The LL.M. in U.S. Law is considered to be the most popular program at FCSL. This one-year degree program focuses on foreign-born attorneys and teaching them about the dynamics at play within the U.S. legal system. Florida Coastal School of Law was the first law school in the country to offer an entirely online LL.M. in U.S. Law for International Lawyers.
FCSL’s LL.M. programs are open to any student who has already obtained a J.D. and is looking for a secondary online law degree to round out their academic portfolio. Interestingly, this degree is also open to non-lawyers for specific programs, and students who are interested in this are encouraged to speak with an advisor for more information.
Given that the suite of LL.M. programs are online, it will come as no surprise that all courses are delivered asynchronously, with many courses being available on a mobile app just for students. There are also live review sessions each term as well as guest lecturers and interactive online events. Students will never feel as though they are out of the loop at this university, giving them the chance to study law while being surrounded by a community that are pursuing the same goals as themselves.