Best Online Law Schools 2022

Updated November 17, 2022

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Applicants to online law schools typically need a bachelor's degree. However, students with various backgrounds can receive admission.

CollegeChoice.net is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Online Law Degree Programs

Well paid and highly respected, lawyers draw on skills including public speaking, persuasion, and critical analysis. Law students learn to understand and practice the law. Attending a top-ranked school can lead to high-paying career paths in fields such as business and politics.

Applicants to online law schools typically need a bachelor's degree. However, students with various backgrounds can receive admission. Common undergraduate majors for law students include English, political science, history, and business.

This guide to online law schools provides an overview of available degrees, typical courses, and career options.

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Questions About Law School

Can I go to law school online?

Many schools offer hybrid JD programs, but few deliver fully online JD programs. Learners may pursue other law degrees entirely online.

What types of law degrees are there?

JD programs prepare students to practice law. Law students can also earn a master of science in law, a master of legal studies, or a juris master.

What degree do I need to get into law school?

Law school applicants need a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited school. Most programs accept students with any undergraduate major.

Featured Online Legal Studies Programs

Find a program that meets your affordability, flexibility, and education needs through an accredited, online school.

Most Affordable Online Law Schools 2022

#1 Best Online Law Schools 2022

West Virginia University

  • Morgantown, WV
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

West Virginia University is home to rigorous graduate programs, some available online. Learners who hold a bachelor's degree in legal studies will be especially interested in the school's master of legal studies program. Enrollees complete an accredited curriculum with little need to relocate or give up their full-time jobs.

The school’s 20-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio provides personalized learning opportunities to students. The biggest attraction is the educational attainment acquired when learners complete a rigorous curriculum delivered by experts. The program prepares graduates with the academic training necessary to succeed in a competitive workforce or a doctoral program.

West Virginia students can expect to pay $10,134 per year, and out-of-state students pay $26,154. The scholarships and grants available to many degree-seekers help them reduce the price of tuition. About 49% of enrollees take out student loans, so there are plenty of ways to fund this degree.

Average Tuition
In-state
$8,976
Out-of-state
$25,320
Retention Rate
79%
Admission Rate
84%
Students Enrolled
26,839
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
34% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#2 Best Online Law Schools 2022

University of Dayton

  • Dayton, OH
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

University of Dayton has a reputation for developing rigorous online graduate programs. The school's master of laws program offers many of the qualities bachelor's degree-holders need to advance their education in this field. Enrollees complete an accredited curriculum with little need to relocate or give up their full-time jobs.

The school’s 14-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio provides personalized learning opportunities to master's degree-seekers. The curriculum is steeped in advanced theoretical concepts and practices in law. Graduates leave the program equipped for more advanced career opportunities and the option to pursue a doctoral program.

The institution charges Ohio students $17,190 in tuition per year, and $17,190 for those living elsewhere. Grants and scholarships help eligible degree-seekers lower their education costs. There are also student loans available, an option taken by about 48% of enrollees at this institution.

Average Tuition
In-state
$44,100
Out-of-state
$44,100
Retention Rate
89%
Admission Rate
72%
Students Enrolled
11,473
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
15% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#3 Best Online Law Schools 2022

Thomas Jefferson School of Law

  • San Diego, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Thomas Jefferson School of Law enrolls students in one of the nation’s best programs for online degree-seekers. Learners receive the advanced training employers expect from highly skilled professionals. The master of laws program gives graduates the credential they need to pursue a terminal degree like a doctorate.

The school’s online format is a big draw for students who need adaptability. A big part of this program's allure is that it allows enrollees to manage other aspects of their lives without sacrificing their education. Another key benefit is the support degree-seekers receive from faculty and the academic community, whether they study on campus or online.

Unless otherwise stated, applicants need a bachelor’s to apply to this program. Once accepted, students will pay $1,620 per year in in-state tuition, with grants, loans, and scholarships popular funding streams for those who qualify.

Average Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
219
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
29% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

Why Get a Law Degree?

While earning an online law degree, learners build extensive legal knowledge. These programs prepare students for various legal careers. While law school is expensive, lawyers often earn high salaries. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that lawyers earn a median salary of $126,930 per year.

Many online law schools offer master's degrees in the field. However, fully online JD programs are rare. Learners who want to attend law school online may consider hybrid JD programs, which blend on-campus and online learning. Degree-seekers in hybrid programs may visit campus only a few times per semester.

How Much Does a Law Degree Cost?

Tuition rates for law degrees vary by school. However, EducationData.org reports an average tuition cost of $137,533 for JD programs. Most law programs require three years, but part-time options may take longer to complete.

As of 2022, only St. Mary's University in San Antonio, Texas, offers a fully online JD program with approval from the American Bar Association. However, many online law schools offer hybrid JD programs. Institutions may also deliver other fully online law degrees, such as a master of legal studies.

Additional Online Student Fees

Students who attend law school online may save on costs associated with relocating or commuting to campus. Online learners typically pay additional technology fees, which cover services such as tech support. Online students may also pay graduation fees.

For hybrid programs, learners must pay travel expenses for required in-person activities. Degree-seekers may attend conferences or visit campus regularly. Graduates of JD programs also pay to take the bar exam.

How Much Do Law School Majors Make?

Graduates of JD programs commonly become lawyers, who earn a median salary well above the median for all occupations. Lawyers with significant experience may secure positions as judges or magistrates, who earn an annual median salary of $141,080.

People with a law-related master's degree can apply their legal expertise to a variety of careers. Degree-holders may become hearing officers, who earn an annual median salary of $97,520. Graduates can also pursue roles as human resources managers, legal assistants, and lobbyists.

Courses in a Law Program

Law students gain a comprehensive understanding of the U.S. legal system and the practice of law. Learners develop skills in critical analysis, legal research, and writing.

Law programs cover topics including civil procedure, criminal law, and constitutional law. Many programs offer specializations such as environmental law and civil rights law. The following list highlights three courses common to law programs. Course titles and content vary by program.

  • Legal Research and Writing

    Writing and research play a major role in legal practice. This course focuses on legal writing strategies for documents such as trial memoranda and appellate briefs. Students explore the relationship of legal research to case preparation and analysis.
  • Property Law

    Property law focuses on the private ownership of land and personal property. This course covers topics such as landlord and tenant relationships. Other topics include land-use issues and forms of concurrent ownership. Students examine adverse possession and easements.
  • Constitutional Law

    Law programs explore the Constitution's role in determining citizens' rights and the overall government structure. Degree-seekers explore topics such as due process and congressional regulatory power. The course also explores courts' authority to declare various legislation unconstitutional.

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