A career in law requires years of dedicated study. Don’t wait - get started today with our ranking of the best online legal studies degrees.

A legal studies degree can lead directly to a job as a paralegal, criminal investigator, or law enforcement officer. It can also be the first step to a career as a lawyer.

No matter where you plan to go in the legal profession, you need an outstanding bachelor’s program to help you get there. The schools on our list combine the flexibility and convenience of online learning with uncompromising academic excellence.

What kind of legal studies degree should you get?

When many people think of college, they still think of living in dorms and sitting in lecture halls. For generations, that’s been the model of higher education.

A traditional on-campus program is a terrific way to earn a bachelor’s degree - if you’ve recently graduated from high school. If you’re a returning student with some previous college credit, a mid-career professional looking to transition into a new field, or an adult with a family of your own, an online program may be a better fit.

Visit our ranking of the Best Online Colleges and Universities for more top-tier options in distance education.

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How much money do people make with a legal studies degree?

After graduation, you may choose to get a job right away. As a paralegal, you can expect a median pay of $50,410 per year, or approximately $24.24 per hour. (The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides more details on working as a paralegal.)

On the other hand, you may use a bachelor’s degree in legal studies as a springboard into law school. If you choose to continue onto a professional law degree and become a licensed attorney, your earning potential is much higher. The median pay for lawyers is $119,250 per year.

What can you do with a bachelor’s degree in legal studies?

A baccalaureate degree in legal studies will open up a number of possible career paths.

While you’ll need years of additional schooling to become a practicing lawyer, you’ll be qualified for many roles in law-related fields as soon as you graduate with your bachelor’s degree. Here are some of the most common job titles for alumni of legal studies programs:

  • Paralegal in a law firm, corporation, or governmental agency
  • Court clerk
  • Law enforcement officer
  • Youth correctional officer
  • Criminal investigator

What are the requirements for a degree in legal studies?

To be successful in a law-related career, you’ll need strong skills in communication, logic and reasoning, and analytical thinking. Students who show an aptitude in these areas will likely be the most successful in a legal studies program.

Be sure to look closely at the admissions requirements for the schools where you plan to apply. Many programs have a minimum GPA requirement, which could range from 2.0 all the way up to 3.25 and above for the most competitive programs. Some universities also require a minimum score on the ACT or the SAT.

What are the best online legal studies degrees?

To create our rankings, our data analysts look at factors such as student return on investment (as determined by tuition costs and early career salaries), institutional reputation, and student satisfaction.

Data is pulled from top-quality sources such as U.S. News & World Report, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and individual college websites. We also perform a metadata analysis using student review sites like Cappex and RateMyProfessor.

For this particular ranking, we examined Legal Studies programs as well as programs in closely related fields, such as criminal justice and paralegal studies.

Here are the results of our investigation. We hope this list of the best online legal studies degrees helps you take the next step in your academic career.

Best Online Legal Studies Degrees

See our rankings methodology page.

#1

Liberty University

School Information
Location Lynchburg, Virginia
Admission Rate 51%
Graduation Rate 47%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 92% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The bachelor of science in paralegal studies program at Liberty University suits learners seeking a flexible online education. The private institution enrolls 78,511 remote degree-seekers. Students can choose from 30 online bachelor's programs with industry relevance. A supportive virtual community and other institutional resources benefit distance learners at the Lynchburg, Virginia, college.

Law students gain industry knowledge through interactive classes. The curriculum covers general education and advanced topics and lets learners modify classes and pick electives. Experiential learning opportunities supplement enrollees' academic experiences. Degree-seekers get first-hand experience of what it's like to work in the paralegal field through internships, externships, and research projects.

The admissions office can tell applicants more about the eligibility requirements for enrollment. Some form of financial aid goes to 99% of all enrollees, so students should check with the financial aid office to explore eligibility requirements for funding opportunities. Qualifying students can lower degree costs through scholarships, fellowships, and other aid opportunities.

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#2

American Public University System

School Information
Location Charles Town, West Virginia
Graduation Rate 40%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission

American Public University System offers a bachelor of science in legal studies that suits learners seeking a flexible remote education in law. From its campus in Charles Town, West Virginia, the college provides many institutional resources, including a supportive remote community.

Enrollees develop industry knowledge through engaging classes. The curriculum includes general education and advanced classes, with the opportunity to customize courses and pick electives. Experiential learning opportunities supplement degree-seekers' academic experiences. Learners who complete research, internships, or externships get first-hand experience of working in the legal field.

Applicants can talk to the admissions office to learn more about enrollment criteria. Students should check with the financial aid office to see if they qualify for any funding opportunities, since 100% of enrollees receive some type of financial aid. Fellowships, scholarships, and other types of aid let qualifying learners lower their degree costs.

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#3

University of Central Florida

School Information
Location Orlando, Florida
Admission Rate 44%
Graduation Rate 72%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 59% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

An Orlando-based public institution, University of Central Florida provides flexible education opportunities to all kinds of degree-seekers. Remote learners from around the United States can pick from 19 virtual bachelor's programs. Students who aspire to enter the legal field may find the bachelor of science in legal studies appealing. 

Enrollees get support from their peers and from premier faculty members. Degree-seekers complete relevant coursework and projects in a virtual learning environment. Many learners participate in internships, externships, or research projects led by faculty members. Choosing electives and customizing classes with an advisor's help lets degree candidates tailor their academic experience to their needs and interests.

A variety of internal and external funding opportunities help students lower their degree costs. Different kinds of financial aid, such as scholarships and fellowships, benefit eligible learners. At the college, 92% of enrollees decrease their educational expenses with some type of financial aid.

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#4

Dominican University

School Information
Location River Forest, Illinois
Admission Rate 64%
Graduation Rate 64%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 54% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Dominican University's bachelor of professional studies in legal studies offers a flexible education for learners interested in the legal field. The private college's 1,635 distance learners can choose from two premier online bachelor's programs.

Degree-seekers gain the tools needed for a successful legal career. Enrollees learn about both foundational concepts and advanced topics in law through a variety of classes. Degree candidates can increase their industry knowledge with hands-on learning experiences, helping their career aspirations. Learners can benefit from internships, externships, and industry-specific research projects. Academic advising and career services provide guidance to students throughout the course of their studies.

Eligible applicants can pursue scholarships, fellowships, or other funding opportunities from within or outside of the school to help lower degree costs. An online education leader, the college connects degree-seekers with financial aid to support their academic journey, awarding aid to 100% of all enrollees.

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#5

Tulane University of Louisiana

School Information
Location New Orleans, Louisiana
Admission Rate 13%
Graduation Rate 86%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 12% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Degree-seekers from all walks of life pick Tulane University of Louisiana because the private institution provides flexible education opportunities. Of these, the top-ranking bachelor of arts in general legal studies attracts learners interested in a law-related career.

Enrollees connect with premier faculty members and a supportive student body. Degree-seekers can advance their personal and professional goals by completing coursework and projects in a remote learning space. Internships, externships, and faculty-led research projects provide hands-on experience. Enrollees work with advisors to customize their academic experience by choosing electives and tailoring coursework to their individual needs and interests.

Since education can be costly, the college offers a variety of internal and external funding opportunities. Different types of financial assistance, like fellowships and scholarships, benefit qualifying students. About 79% of the school's enrollees use some kind of financial assistance.

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#6

Bellevue University

School Information
Location Bellevue, Nebraska
Graduation Rate 24%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 95% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

All kinds of degree-seekers choose Bellevue University because the private institution offers flexible learning opportunities. The Bellevue, Nebraska-based school supports 11,008 learners attending remotely from all over the United States, offering 54 online bachelor's programs. Of these, the top-choice bachelor of science in legal studies suits learners planning to go into law or a related field.

Degree candidates connect with supportive peers and distinguished faculty members. Enrollees complete classwork and projects relevant to their personal and professional goals in a distance learning environment. Many learners pursue faculty-driven research projects, internships, or externships. Picking electives and individualizing coursework with an advisor's help lets students customize their program to their needs and interests.

A variety of internal and external funding opportunities help with an education's costs. Eligible students can take advantage of scholarships, fellowships, and other kinds of financial assistance. The college reports that 84% of all enrollees receive some form of aid to offset educational expenses.

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#7

Purdue University Global-Indianapolis

School Information
Location West Lafayette, Indiana
Graduation Rate 27%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 99% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The bachelor's in legal studies at Purdue University Global-Indianapolis features a flexibility that appeals to many learners interested in an online education. The public school's 32 industry-relevant online bachelor's programs serve 37,913 remote degree-seekers. Located in West Lafayette, Indiana, the college supports its distance learners by offering institutional resources, including a tight-knit online community.

Interactive classes provide enrollees with industry knowledge. The curriculum includes courses on general education and advanced topics, with the option to individualize classes and choose electives. Enrollees can add to their academic experience with hands-on learning opportunities. Degree-seekers get first-hand experience of what it's like to work in the legal field through internships, externships, and research projects.

Prospective students should meet with the admissions office to discuss enrollment requirements. Of all enrollees, 76% receive some kind of financial aid. Degree candidates should check with the financial aid office to see if they meet the eligibility requirements for any funding opportunities. Aid opportunities, such as scholarships and fellowships, help qualified learners decrease their educational expenses.

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#8

Peirce College

School Information
Location Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Graduation Rate 42%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 89% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

From its campus in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Peirce College offers premier online degrees for students looking for a competitive program. The private institution's 10 online bachelor's programs enroll 1,052 remote learners. Degree-seekers interested in the legal field get a rigorous education through the bachelor's in paralegal studies program.

The program's virtual classroom space lets enrollees connect with peers, professors, and other members of the distance learning community. Degree-seekers take classes on foundational and advanced topics to gain relevant knowledge for a future career in the legal industry. Learners' competency for a future profession in is strengthened through hands-on practice and experiential learning opportunities like research projects and internships. Academic advising and career counseling are just some of the resources the institution provides degree-seekers.

Learners should ask a financial aid officer about funding opportunities to help lower degree costs. Scholarships, fellowships, and federal financial aid are some of the numerous funding opportunities available to the college's students. Some kind of financial aid goes to 100% of the school's enrollees.

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#9

University of Massachusetts-Lowell

School Information
Location Lowell, Massachusetts
Admission Rate 73%
Graduation Rate 66%
Accreditation Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 32% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Students interested in a flexible education that prepares them for a career in the legal field should check out the bachelor of science in criminal justice: paralegal program at University of Massachusetts-Lowell. The public college's 5,831 distance learners can choose from 11 premier online bachelor's programs.

The program helps students succeed in the field by giving them proper tools. Enrollees benefit from many different types of classes, covering both foundational and advanced topics. Degree-seekers strengthen their knowledge of the industry through experiential learning opportunities, furthering their career goals. Learners can also complete internships, externships, or industry-specific research projects to gain valuable knowledge. Academic advisors and career counselors assist students through the course of their degree.

Eligible applicants can pursue scholarships, fellowships, or other funding opportunities from within or outside of the school to help lower degree costs. An online education leader, the college connects degree-seekers with financial aid to support their academic journey, awarding aid to 90% of all enrollees.

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#10

Mississippi College

School Information
Location Clinton, Mississippi
Admission Rate 42%
Graduation Rate 57%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 56% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Clinton-based Mississippi College provides premier online programs for students seeking competitive study. With seven bachelor's programs available online, the private institution supports 2,635 virtual learners. The rigorous, industry-relevant education provided by the bachelor's in paralegal studies appeals to degree-seekers interested in the legal field.

Degree candidates benefit from a supportive learning remote community, connecting with classmates and faculty through a virtual classroom environment. Enrollees gain knowledge relevant to their future careers from classes covering foundational and advanced topics in paralegal studies. Learners strengthen their competency for a future job through hands-on practice and experiential learning opportunities, like internships and research projects. Academic advising and career counseling are just some of the student-success resources the institution offers.

Learners should ask a financial aid officer about funding opportunities to help lower degree costs. The college offers many fellowship, scholarship, and federal aid opportunities. Some form of financial aid goes to 100% of the institution's enrollees.

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#11

UMass Global

School Information
Location Irvine, California
Admission Rate 89%
Graduation Rate 60%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 96% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

A private institution, UMass Global provides flexible learning opportunities to degree-seekers from all walks of life. Virtual learners nationwide can select from 16 remote bachelor's programs at the Irvine, California, school. Students interested in a law-related career may find the bachelor's in legal studies especially appealing.

Enrollees benefit by connecting with premier faculty members and a supportive learning community. Degree-seekers can advance their personal and professional goals through classwork and projects they complete online. Internships, externships, and faculty-led research are some of the opportunities available to learners. Degree candidates can customize their academic experience by working with an advisor to choose electives and an individualized plan of study.

A variety of internal and external funding opportunities help with an education's costs. Qualified students benefit from scholarships, fellowships, and other types of financial assistance. At the college, 89% of enrollees receive some form of aid to help reduce degree costs.

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#12

Keiser University-Ft. Lauderdale

School Information
Location Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Graduation Rate 69%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 47% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Students seeking a flexible education that prepares them for the legal field should consider Keiser University-Ft. Lauderdale's bachelor's in legal studies. The private college connects 9,207 distance learners with a top online education, offering 24 bachelor's programs remotely.

The program provides students with the tools they need for a successful legal career. The broad curriculum includes different types of classes that cover both foundational concepts and advanced legal knowledge. Depending on their career aspirations, degree-seekers can complete hands-on learning experiences to increase their industry knowledge. Industry-specific research projects, internships, and externships impart valuable knowledge to learners. Academic advising and career services provide guidance to enrollees throughout the course of their studies.

Internal and external funding opportunities like scholarships and fellowships help applicants lower  their degree costs. As a leader in remote education, the college supports the academic endeavors of its enrollees, awarding aid to 89% of degree-seekers.

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#13

University of Maryland Global Campus

School Information
Location Adelphi, Maryland
Graduation Rate 15%
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 90% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

University of Maryland Global Campus provides flexible learning opportunities that attract many types of degree-seekers. Distance learners from all over the country can choose from 31 online bachelor's programs at the Adelphi-based school. Students interested in a legal career may find the bachelor's in legal studies especially appealing.

The program features premier faculty members and a tight-knit learning community to support enrollees. Relevant coursework and projects completed in a virtual learning environment help degree-seekers advance their personal and professional goals. Many learners participate in faculty-driven research projects, internships, or externships. Degree candidates work with advisors to customize their academic experience by choosing electives and tailoring coursework to their individual needs and interests.

Many different internal and external opportunities for financial assistance are available at the college to help with the high cost of an education. Scholarships, fellowships, and other kinds of financial assistance are available to eligible students. The college reports that 46% of all enrollees receive some form of aid to offset educational expenses.

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#14

Mississippi University for Women

School Information
Location Columbus, Mississippi
Admission Rate 97%
Graduation Rate 40%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 72% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Its flexibility makes the bachelor's in legal studies program at Mississippi University for Women a good choice for learners interested in an online legal education. The public institution offers four bachelor's program remotely, providing an industry-relevant education to 2,022 virtual degree-seekers. The Columbus-based college supports distance learners with institutional resources, like a helpful online community.

Interactive classes provide students with industry-relevant knowledge. The curriculum covers general education and advanced topics and can be customized. Experiential learning opportunities add to enrollees' educational experiences. Degree-seekers who complete research, internships, or externships get first-hand experience of working in the field.

Applicants can talk to the admissions office to learn more about enrollment criteria. Students should check with the financial aid office to see if they qualify for any funding opportunities, since 97% of all enrollees receive some type of financial aid. Qualifying learners can use scholarships, fellowships, and other aid opportunities to make their degree more affordable.

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#15

California University of Pennsylvania

School Information
Location California, Pennsylvania
Admission Rate 97%
Graduation Rate 50%
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 64% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Looking for a flexible education that prepares you for a career in the legal field? Check out the bachelor of jurisprudence at California University of Pennsylvania. The public college's 4,367 online learners receive a premier education, choosing from nine remote bachelor's programs.

Degree-seekers prepare for a successful legal career with the tools they gain in the bachelor of jurisprudence program. The curriculum includes a variety of coursework, giving enrollees broad knowledge of both foundational and advanced topics. If applicable to their career goals, degree-seekers can participate in experiential learning opportunities to strengthen their industry knowledge. Internships, externships, and industry-specific projects give valuable knowledge to learners. During the course of their program, students can speak with academic advising and career services for guidance.

Eligible applicants can pursue scholarships, fellowships, or other funding opportunities from within or outside of the school to help reduce degree costs. A leader in distance learning, the college supports degree-seekers' educational endeavors with financial assistance, awarding aid to 97% of enrollees.

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