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.
Most Affordable Online Law Schools for 2020
University of Central Florida
Location: Orlando, FL
Tuition Per Credit Unit: $327
UCF in Orlando offers online bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. It also offers graduate certificate programs. Students seeking a regionally accredited online law degree should consider these programs.
UCF offers an online bachelor’s degree in legal studies. The 120-credit program gives learners a foundation in law. It also prepares them for careers as attorneys, court reporters, and legal assistants.
The completely online program does not list any in-person commitments. But, degree-seekers can take part in internships and study-abroad opportunities.
All full-time faculty members graduated from schools accredited by the ABA. These professionals can offer personalized advising and mentorship to legal studies majors. The core curriculum includes courses in law and the legal system and legal research. Students can tailor their degree to their career goals by adding a minor or certificate.
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Tuition Per Credit Unit: $772
Peirce College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, offers degrees in business, healthcare, and legal studies. Distance learners looking for online law school programs should consider Pierce. The school offers a bachelor of science in paralegal studies. Students gain the skills to serve the legal community or enter graduate school.
The curriculum includes advanced legal research, civil litigation, and real estate law. Paralegal studies majors must also complete a paralegal capstone. The 121-credit degree accepts up to 90 transfer credits. Students attend both online and on-campus classes.
Students must complete at least four foundation classes at Pierce. They can also transfer credits from another ABA-accredited program. Online students in the paralegal studies program pay the same tuition rate. Some learners may qualify for a corporate discount.
Peirce College is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Pennsylvania State University
Location: University Park, PA
Tuition Per Credit Unit: $898
Pennsylvania State University boasts more than 125 years of experience. It also delivers distance education programs. The world campus got its start in 1998, and today offers more than 150 online academic programs. Residents and nonresidents pay the same tuition rate.
Penn State’s bachelor’s in law and society covers American legal principles. Other topics include 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.
Classes include law and society and rhetoric and the law. Students can apply for membership in Penn State’s Phi Delta Phi. It is the country’s oldest legal organization. Career opportunities for graduates include legal assistant, contract negotiator, and arbitrator.
Location: Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Tuition Per Credit Unit: $759
Keiser University offers dozens of online associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees. Established in 1977, Keiser’s founders created a university to serve career-focused learners.
Keiser offers a 120-credit BA in legal studies. Students looking to attend an undergraduate law school online should consider this program. The program takes about 40 months to complete. Distance learners looking for work in related fields can also complete this degree. Those hoping to go to graduate school for law could also use the BA.
The degree comes with a law office management concentration option. This requires completion of five business and accounting courses.
The core curriculum includes classes in legal research and writing. Other topics include 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.
Location: Naples, FL
Tuition Per Credit Unit: $560
Hodges University in Florida offers accredited online associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees. Some of them come with accelerated options. The school’s online law degree develops practical skills that students can use at work. The program also prepares graduates for graduate programs in law or related fields. Learners can complete the degree fully online or in a blended format.
Lawyers with field experience instruct students in this program. The program offers law training and includes e-litigation and e-discovery 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 and statutory interpretation.
California University of Pennsylvania
Location: California, PA
Tuition Per Credit Unit: $322
California University of Pennsylvania boasts more than 200 academic programs. Cal U offers a fully online law school program for undergraduate students. It is a bachelor of arts in jurisprudence with a concentration in legal studies.
The 120-credit degree includes studies in legal issues and the law. It aims to prepare students for careers in the legal profession and related fields. The curriculum explores issues such as legal research and writing. Other subjects include ethics, litigation, and legal reasoning. Students take classes such as law, business, and the workplace and administrative law.
Cal U’s admission requirements include a high school or GED diploma and SAT or ACT scores. The school waives these requirements for applicants out of school two or more years. Applicants may submit recommendation letters and a personal statement.
Location: Lynchburg, VA
Tuition Per Credit Unit: $565
Founded by Jerry Falwell, Liberty University offers more than 400 online programs. The school provides a bachelor of science in law and policy through its online law school.
The 120-credit, online degree takes 3.5 years to complete. Students can transfer up to 75% of the required credits. They complete coursework over eight-week periods. The curriculum integrates a biblical worldview into its legal studies.
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 can choose the public policy focus.
Location: La Jolla, CA
Tuition Per Credit Unit: $370
National University 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. Other topics include legal aspects of business and law and legal writing. Learners must complete at least 45 credits at NU. The school accepts the rest in transfer credit.
The program features four-week classes. Students can enroll year-round enrollment and tuition discounts are available for military families. Students develop analytical, verbal, and critical-thinking skills. Graduates gain the skills necessary to apply to graduate programs in law. They can also pursue a career in government or business. The curriculum covers the negotiation process and the development of legal arguments.
National University is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Colleges and Schools.
Location: Bellevue, NE
Tuition Per Credit Unit: $565
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. They can also continue their education at the graduate level. The school’s BS in legal studies provides an overview of the American legal system. It also helps students develop reasoning and critical-thinking skills.
The curriculum covers topics in the legal and judicial systems and political science. Other topics include criminal justice.
The 127-credit degree requires 36 general education, 40 major, and 51 elective credits. Required courses include topics in constitutional law, liberty, and emerging policy. More topics include the rule and role of law in matters of life and death.
The program features instruction from experienced faculty with relevant professional experience. Students may also learn from guest lectures such as judges and lobbyists.
Bellevue University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Location: River Forest, IL
Tuition Per Credit Unit: $850
The program is flexible for students with work lives. They also have the option of working on an accelerated schedule. Dominican’s bachelor of professional studies in legal studies boasts a strong faculty.
Degree-seekers take eight-week courses and can attend class year-round. The curriculum includes courses in religion and the law. Other topics include legal ethics and the philosophical basis of the law.
Distance learners can tailor the program to reflect their professional interests. There are many concentrations: 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.
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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