Master of Legal Studeies Online Cost

Online master's in legal studies programs prepare learners for various law careers. Applicants typically need a bachelor's degree. Some programs require resumes, personal statements, and recommendation letters. Coursework covers negotiation, law and strategy, and data regulation and compliance. Learners can customize their degree with concentrations.

Graduates with a master's in legal studies degree can pursue careers outside the legal arena. They may work as human resources managers, senior compliance officers, or business analysts.

This page lists the most affordable online legal studies degrees. Read on to learn about common courses and salary potential for graduates.View Our Rankings List Here

Frequently Asked Questions About Legal Studies

Can you practice law with a master's in legal studies?

An on-campus or online master's in legal studies degree does not qualify graduates to practice law. Graduates can use the degree to pursue management-level roles in various industries.

What jobs can you get with a legal studies degree?

Graduates may work for law practices, corporations, government departments, or lobby groups. Many employers need professionals with in-depth knowledge of the law.

What field of law is most in demand?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the insurance and finance, healthcare, and consulting fields may experience a high need for lawyers.

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Why Get a Master's in Legal Studies?

Students pursuing an online master's in legal studies degree benefit from flexibility. Many programs run asynchronously, allowing enrollees to complete coursework at their convenience. Online learning also allows students to enroll in the most affordable programs without relocating. Distance learners can access the same resources as their on-campus peers.

Earning a master's degree can increase earning potential. Professionals with a master's degree earn about $13,000 more annually than those with only a bachelor's degree. Master's degree-holders experience only a 2% unemployment rate.

How Much Does a Master's in Legal Studies Degree Cost?

Degree costs vary by school and program length. The average cost of a master's degree is $66,340, according to Most master's in legal studies programs charge per-credit tuition. This rate benefits part-time learners balancing their education with work. However, part-time enrollees may need an extra year to graduate.

Learners can save money by attending public, in-state schools. Private schools may charge significantly higher tuition. Scholarships and grants can help degree-seekers pay for their education. Students should first complete the FAFSA to determine their eligibility for federal grants and loans.

Additional Online Student Fees

Online learners save money by avoiding a campus commute. However, they should budget for expenses such as books and online learning fees. Some programs also charge graduation fees. Students may need to buy new computers or upgrade their internet. Universities post technology requirements online.

Some graduates pursue professional certifications or join associations. Both require fees. Some organizations awarding certifications offer member discounts.

Courses in a Master's in Legal Studies Program

Affordable online legal studies degrees emphasize compliance, human resources, and negotiation fundamentals. Students develop a broad understanding of the law. Concentrations allow learners to align their degrees with their career aspirations. Some options include health law, intellectual property, and international trade.

See below for courses commonly found in master's in legal studies programs. Not all programs offer these courses. Learners should check with their prospective schools on specific offerings.

  • Contracts

    Many law disputes involve contracts between two parties. Learners analyze contract fundamentals, including purpose, structure, and requirements. This information helps students identify problems and parties reach agreements. Other learning outcomes include recognizing breach of contract and avoiding ethical conflicts.
  • Legal Writing

    Law professionals must know how to write and analyze legal documents. This course teaches research and writing best practices by assigning primary and secondary sources. Students engage with online legal databases and practice writing legal documents. Graduates use their skills to draft papers and give presentations.
  • Civil Procedure and Litigation

    These courses cover the processes involved in holding a trial. Students analyze different procedures, such as pleadings, discovery, and jury selection. Coursework highlights pretrial and how different courts interact. These assignments help learners understand how lawyers and judges operate within the justice system.

Career and Salary Outlook for Legal Studies

Online master's in legal studies graduates work in many industries. Learners can visit their school's career center website to take interest assessments, explore job boards, and prepare for interviews.

See below for three potential careers for legal studies degree holders. Salaries vary by geographic location and employer. Click the embedded links to learn more about each job.

  • Arbitrators, Mediators, and Conciliators

    A master's in legal studies degree provides the skills these professionals need to help disputing parties reach agreements. These professionals answer questions and draft contracts. They may work with local or state government agencies. Entry-level positions require bachelor's degrees. Master's degrees can lead to leadership positions.
  • Court Reporters and Simultaneous Captioners

    These professionals use their legal education to draft legal transcripts. They use stenography machines or other devices. Professionals need strong attention to detail. Learners with a master's need additional training to enter this field. A court reporting program takes 2-3 years to finish.
  • Paralegals and Legal Assistants

    These professionals help lawyers with research, organization, and evidence analysis. They draft legal documents and interview clients. Many professionals work for legal services agencies or the federal government. Paralegals and legal assistants need an associate degree. Some employers prefer applicants with advanced degrees.

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CareerMedian Annual SalaryProjected Growth Rate (2018-2028)
Arbitrators, Mediators, and Conciliators$66,13010%
Court Reporters and Simultaneous Captioners$61,6603%
Paralegals and Legal Assistants$52,92012%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Most Affordable Online Master's in Legal Studies Degrees


University of Southern California

School Information
Location Los Angeles, California
Admission Rate 11%
Graduation Rate 92%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 17% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

At the University of Southern California, degree-seekers can choose from a variety of online graduate programs. Learners with a bachelor's degree in legal studies may find the MSL program of particular interest. Enrollees have more control over their schedules by completing the rigorous graduate curriculum remotely.

The school’s 9-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio provides personalized learning opportunities to students. Learners complete specialized coursework and training focused on advanced theoretical concepts and practices in law. Obtaining this degree gives the holder an advantage in career advancement opportunities and higher pay negotiations.

California students pay a yearly average of $46,272, while those living elsewhere pay $46,272. The financial aid department can explore aid opportunities with degree-seekers, and the funding options may include scholarships and grants. Student loans are also available, with 26% of enrollees using them to finance all or part of their degree.

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Florida State University

School Information
Location Tallahassee, Florida
Admission Rate 36%
Graduation Rate 83%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 47% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The juris master program at Florida State University maintains high ranking among similar online programs for students. The JM program equips enrollees with advanced training valued by employers in their profession. Those who earn the JM can also choose to pursue a terminal degree, such as a Ph.D.

People see the appeal of remote learning, and that is a draw for the school. Students can fit in other responsibilities such as work, caregiving, and family life because of the program’s flexibility. The school ensures that enrollees receive the personalized attention they need, whether they study in person or online.

For consideration, applicants usually need to have a bachelor's degree. Though some programs post different averages, the school accepts about 36% of all who apply. Once accepted, students  pay $9,684 per year for in-state tuition, with grants, loans, and scholarships popular funding streams for those who qualify.

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Texas A&M University

School Information
Location College Station, Texas

Degree-seekers can choose from a variety of online graduate degrees at Texas A&M University. People with a bachelor’s in may want to explore the top-ranked LL.M. program. The program blends academic rigor and online course delivery that is flexible and affordable.

Learners receive strong preparation through a curriculum that emphasizes advanced theoretical concepts and practices in the legal field. Obtaining this degree is of great benefit to those who want to advance their careers and pursue higher-paying positions.

Many learners at the institution qualify for grants and scholarships to help reduce the price of tuition.

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Pepperdine University

School Information
Location Malibu, California
Admission Rate 32%
Graduation Rate 86%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 18% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Without significantly interrupting their lives, graduate students can earn degrees at Pepperdine University, an institution that emphasizes flexibility and accessibility. Located in Malibu, California, the school offers a ranked MLS program in its catalog of 12 online master's degrees. Accessibility is a key determining factor for many degree-seekers exploring graduate school, and this program addresses that concern with a flexible format.

A bachelor’s in the major is a typical requirement for many master’s programs, but criteria vary depending on the degree. The enhanced job opportunities and potentially higher pay make the program a worthy pursuit for many people. Some degree recipients interested in research, academia, or related positions will pursue a Ph.D. after this program.

The tuition rate depends on residency, with people living in California paying $34,900 per year and non-residents paying $34,900. Learners can fund their education with institutional and external grants and scholarships. Loans may also be available to help students pay for all or part of the program.

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George Washington University

School Information
Location Washington, District of Columbia
Admission Rate 41%
Graduation Rate 82%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 22% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

George Washington University is a private school located in the District of Columbia, with a strong catalog of academic programs and a learning experience tailored to meet learners’ needs. The institution’s 50 master's degrees available from a distance help make the university a leader in online graduate education. Among these is its master of studies in law program for graduate learners in the legal field.

The program allows students to earn an advanced degree without sacrificing rigor or other obligations. Caretakers, workers, and other busy enrollees may find it easy to work this master’s program into their schedules. Students receive the same advanced education as their on-campus peers in preparation for higher-level occupations.

According to the latest data, the school accepts about 41% of applicants each year, but that may vary by program. Master's degree-seekers usually need a bachelor's degree in the major or a related field to receive consideration. Consult with the department to find out more about application requirements and deadlines.

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Featured Online Legal Studies Programs

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