This article highlights vital information for individuals researching online law school programs that confer a bachelor’s degree. In the following sections, you can learn about the most affordable online law schools, the benefits of earning a law degree online, and potential career paths.
Additionally, this page covers salaries for different jobs and provides links to the top outside resources where you can continue preparing for your education and career. Please use these links as they provide the most current information concerning projected job growth in the coming years, as well as requirements for becoming a lawyer in your home state.
In the following sections, pay attention to the financial advantages of attending law school online. You can not only avoid debt, but you can also build savings for a master of law (LLM), juris doctor (JD), or another graduate program. Finally, if you have questions about one of the schools in the following ranking, contact an academic or admissions counselor.
What Are the Most Affordable Online Law Degrees?
The following ranking spotlights the top online law degrees at the bachelor’s level. In creating this ranking, we considered each school’s quality, reputation, and alumni satisfaction. Most importantly, we compared these factors against the tuition rate. As a result, we know that the following programs provide the best value for prospective students like yourself.
Also, readers should not overlook out-of-state public schools. Although they may charge out-of-state learners a higher tuition rate, that rate still represents an excellent investment.
Finally, each entry contains a link to the program website, where you can learn more about the online law degree and its admission requirements.
CollegeChoice.net is an advertising-supported site. Featured programs and school search results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other information published on this site.
Recommended Online Programs
Most Affordable Online Law Schools for 2020
University of Central Florida
UCF in Orlando offers online bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in addition to graduate certificate programs. Students seeking a reputable, regionally accredited online law degree should consider UCF’s online bachelor’s degree in legal studies. The 120-credit program from the community innovation and education college gives learners a foundation in law and prepares them for careers as attorneys, court reporters, paralegals, and legal assistants.
The completely online program does not require any in-person commitments. However, degree-seekers can participate in internships and study-abroad opportunities. All full-time faculty members graduated from American Bar Association (ABA)-approved law schools and can offer personalized advising and mentorship to legal studies majors. Core curriculum includes courses in law and the legal system, professionalism and civility in the law, and legal research. Students can tailor their degree to reflect their career goals by adding a minor or certificate.
University of Central Florida is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Dedicated to serving working students, Peirce College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, offers career-relevant degrees in business, healthcare, and legal studies. Distance learners looking for online law school programs may want to consider Peirce’s ABA-approved bachelor of science in paralegal studies. Students gain the skills to serve the legal community or enter graduate school.
Curriculum includes advanced legal research, civil litigation, and real estate law. Paralegal studies majors also must complete a paralegal capstone. The 121-credit degree accepts up to 90 transfer credits and includes online and on-campus classes. Students must complete at least four foundation classes on the Peirce campus in Philadelphia or transfer their equivalents from another ABA-accredited program. Online students in the paralegal studies program pay the same tuition rate, regardless of where they live. Some learners may qualify for a corporate discount.
Peirce College is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
Pennsylvania State University-World Campus
State College, PA
Pennsylvania State University boasts more than 125 years of experience, delivering distance education programs. The world campus got its start in 1998, and today offers more than 150 online academic programs. The world campus offers the same tuition rate for residents and nonresidents.
Penn State’s bachelor’s in law and society covers American legal principles, the law, and legal processes and systems. Students also gain skills in legal writing, research, rhetoric, and logic. The 123-credit degree requires 15 credits of core coursework in classes, such as law and society, conflict resolution and negotiation, and rhetoric and the law. Online law and society students can apply for membership in Penn State’s Phi Delta Phi, the country’s oldest legal organization. Career opportunities for graduates of Penn State’s law and society program include legal assistant, contract negotiator, and arbitrator.
Pennsylvania State University-World Campus is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
Keiser University-Ft Lauderdale
Fort Lauderdale, FL
A private, nonprofit institution in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Keiser University offers dozens of online associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees. Established in 1977, Keiser’s founders wanted to create a university dedicated to serving career-focused learners.
Keiser offers a 120-credit BA in legal studies for students looking to attend an undergraduate law school online. The program takes about 40 months to complete. Distance learners who want to seek careers in law or law-related fields or pursue a graduate law degree should complete the general BA in legal studies. The program also offers the degree with a law office management concentration, which requires completion of five business and accounting courses.
Core curriculum includes classes in legal research and writing; wills, trusts, and estates; and legal interviewing and investigation. Students can take up to six electives, three of which must come from the legal studies curriculum.
Keiser University-Ft. Lauderdale is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
A private university founded in 1990, Hodges University in Naples, Florida, offers many accredited online associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees with accelerated options. Designed for professionals seeking legal training, the school’s online law degree develops practical legal skills that students can immediately apply in their workplaces. The program also prepares graduates to apply for graduate programs in law or related fields. Learners can complete the degree fully online or in a blended format.
The bachelor of science in legal studies features instruction from lawyers with relevant professional experience related to their courses. The program offers eLitigation law training and includes eLitigation and eDiscovery courses. Degree-seekers gain a foundation in legal practice and theory. The 120-credit degree includes 60 general education and 60 legal studies credits. Students take classes in data privacy and social media, advanced constitutional law, and statutory interpretation.
Hodges University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
California University of Pennsylvania
A public university founded in 1852, California University of Pennsylvania, located in California, Pennsylvania, boasts more than 200 academic programs. Cal U offers a fully online law school program for undergraduate students, including a bachelor of arts in jurisprudence with a concentration in legal studies.
The 120-credit degree includes advanced study of legal issues and the law, preparing students for careers in the legal profession and related fields. The curriculum explores issues such as legal research and writing, estates and trusts, ethics, litigation, and legal reasoning. Students take classes such as law, business, and the workplace; administrative law; and Anglo-American jurisprudence.
Cal U’s admission requirements include a high school diploma or GED and SAT or ACT scores. The school waives these requirements for applicants out of school two or more years. Applicants may optionally submit recommendation letters and a personal statement.
California University of Pennsylvania is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
Founded by the Reverend Jerry Falwell in 1971, Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, offers more than 400 online programs. The evangelical liberal arts university provides a bachelor of science in law and policy through its online law school. The 120-credit, fully online degree takes 3.5 years to complete and features eight-week courses. Students can transfer up to 75% of the required credits. The curriculum integrates a biblical worldview and explores the ways that Judeo-Christian values influence the legal system.
Designed for learners interested in law and public policy, the program prepares graduates for a variety of roles in legal and public affairs. Law and policy majors can choose a focus in pre-law or public policy. The pre-law focus prepares students for legal work or law school. Students who want to pursue policy work in areas of healthcare, education, and law can choose the public policy focus.
Liberty University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Veteran-founded in 1971, National University in La Jolla, California, offers more than 75 associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees. Students seeking an online law school can consider NU’s BA in pre-law studies. The 180-credit degree includes classes in current legal issues, legal aspects of business, and introduction to law and legal writing. Learners must complete at least 45 credits in residence at NU. The school accepts the rest in transfer credit.
The program features four-week classes, year-round enrollment, and tuition discounts to members of the military and their families. Students develop analytical, verbal, and critical-thinking skills and gain a foundation in legal studies. Graduates hold the knowledge and skills necessary to apply to graduate programs in law or pursue a career in government or business. Curriculum covers the negotiation process, contemporary legal issues, and development of legal arguments.
National University is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WASC).
Founded in 1966, Bellevue University in Bellevue, Nebraska, offers affordable, career-relevant academic programs. The university’s online law degree prepares students for jobs in the legal system or to continue their education at the graduate level. The school’s BS in legal studies provides a comprehensive overview of the American legal system and helps students develop reasoning and critical-thinking skills.
Curriculum covers topics in the legal and judicial systems, criminal justice, and political science. The 127-credit degree requires 36 general education, 40 major, and 51 elective credits. Required courses include constitutional law, liberty, and emerging policy; the rule and role of law in matters of life and death; and professional responsibility and ethics in law.
The program features instruction from experienced faculty with relevant professional experience. Students also get a chance to learn from guest lectures from judges, lobbyists, legislators, and other legal professionals.
Bellevue University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
River Forest, IL
A Catholic university in River Forest, Illinois, Dominican University offers fully online and hybrid programs in business, education, social work, and nursing. Students at Dominican can earn an interdisciplinary law degree online that provides a foundation in the legal system with an emphasis on social justice.
A flexible program designed for working students, Dominican’s bachelor of professional studies in legal studies boasts strong faculty, varied courses, and an accelerated pace. Degree-seekers take eight-week courses and can attend class year-round. The curriculum includes courses in religion and the law, legal ethics, and philosophical basis of the law.
Distance learners can tailor the program to reflect their professional interests and choose up to two concentrations in fields of social justice, paralegal studies, disability advocacy, or public administration. The program also lets learners design their own concentration. Dominican accepts academic transfer credits towards the degree. Students can potentially receive credit for other prior professional and life experiences.
Dominican University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
What Are the Requirements for a Degree in Law?
Before entering an online law school, know that top law professions require a graduate-level degree. The most popular graduate degree for law students, the JD qualifies degree-seekers to sit for the bar exam. After passing the bar, you can practice law in your home state. Additionally, each state has different requirements for out-of-state lawyers who want to join that state’s bar.
In addition to the JD, you can apply to a doctor of juridical science (SJD) program. This doctorate prepares you for a career in academia by emphasizing original research that leads to a dissertation. Some states allow individuals with an SJD to take the bar.
Another option for graduate school is the LLM, a degree that requires 1-2 years to complete. Coursework emphasizes administrative law and advanced legal research. Like with the SJD, states have different policies on whether LLM graduates can take the bar.
Considering the options graduate students have, start researching programs and review your career goals long before earning a bachelor’s from an online law school. Your school’s career center should possess excellent online resources — counselors, career guides, and interest inventories — to help you make an informed decision.
Why Do Students Choose Law School Online?
Students attend law school online for many reasons, most notably for the flexibility an online law degree provides. Online programs often use an asynchronous curriculum. Learners attend courses on their own time and interact with classmates and professors through discussion boards. With advances in technology, online learners’ satisfaction has risen dramatically over the previous decade.
One of the reasons online learners experience high satisfaction concerns finances. Degree-seekers can continue working full time or part time while earning a degree. Also, online students do not pay for housing, transportation, a meal plan, and in some cases, textbooks.
Finally, online law schools allow prospective students to explore educational opportunities throughout the United States. Although you may end up paying more as an out-of-state student at a public college or university, that online law degree may offer a better return on investment than any program in your home state.
What Can I Do With a Degree in Law?
Once you earn a bachelor’s degree in law, you can explore the field by starting a career as a paralegal. In this position, you work alongside lawyers and other legal professionals to gather and organize facts concerning a case. You also take notes during a trial and interview clients and witnesses.
Other entry-level career options include consulting positions that require significant knowledge of the law. On the job, management analysts analyze data, make recommendations to managers, and conduct interviews.
Other career tracks — arbitrators, mediators, and conciliators — require both knowledge of the law and on-the-job experience. These professionals help individuals or parties resolve a problem. In addition to experience, these and related positions may require a graduate degree and a state-issued license.
You may not need to earn a JD depending on the state where you plan to practice law. Some states allow aspiring attorneys to sit for the bar if they possess an LLM or other graduate degree. However, a JD program provides both a holistic educational experience and emphasizes your state’s unique laws and regulations.
If you earn a JD and pass the bar, your potential career paths narrow significantly. As a result, consider obtaining hands-on experience in the legal field before applying to a JD program.
How Much Money Will I Make With a Degree in Law?
An online law degree can prepare you for many jobs that require a bachelor’s. Also, many of these careers feature an excellent salary that can allow you to live comfortably.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the annual median salary for paralegals exceeds $50,000. Also, the BLS projects that the need for these professionals should grow 12% from 2018 to 2028. If this projection is accurate, you should have little trouble finding employment after earning a degree.
After gaining experience and additional education, you may pursue a career as an arbitrator or mediator. These professionals earn an annual median salary of $62,270. Also, the BLS projects that from 2018 to 2028, this field should experience 8% growth, outpacing the average projected growth for all positions.
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