Most Affordable Online Law Schools 2021

Advertisement 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.

Are you ready to find your fit?

Most Affordable Online Law Schools badge

Legal studies students learn about the court system, build legal research and writing skills, and examine methods of dispute resolution. An online format offers flexibility for working professionals and busy students.

A bachelor’s in legal studies or pre-law prepares graduates for a variety of career paths, including as a paralegal, arbitrator, or mediator. Many of these fields offer above-average salaries and strong projected job growth. Other legal careers, such as attorney or judge, typically require a JD degree. However, an online bachelor’s program in legal studies enables graduates to apply to law school to become a lawyer.

Our list ranks the most affordable online law and legal studies programs to help prospective students find the best fit for their budget and career goals. This article also introduces requirements for entering a law program, the benefits of earning an online degree in law, and scholarships for online law students.

Top 3 Most Affordable Online Law Schools

Rank School Location
1 West Virginia University Morgantown, WV
2 University of Dayton Dayton, OH
3 Thomas Jefferson School of Law San Diego, CA
Advertisement 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.

Recommended Online Programs

FAQ


  • What is the difference between a juris doctor and a law degree?

    A juris doctor degree, or JD, offers professional training for lawyers. A three-year postgraduate degree, a JD prepares graduates to take the bar exam and practice law.


  • What degree do most lawyers have?

    Lawyers typically hold a JD degree and pass the bar exam to practice law. Other legal careers often require a bachelor’s degree, a master’s in law, or an associate degree.


  • What is the difference between a lawyer and an attorney?

    People often use the titles “lawyer” and “attorney” interchangeably. Lawyers and attorneys both possess legal training, but the title of “attorney” specifically refers to those qualified to practice law.


  • How long does an online law degree take?

    An online law degree at the undergraduate level typically takes four years for full-time students. Applicants with prior college credit often complete their degree in less time.


What Are the Goals of a Law Degree?

A law degree trains students in legal analysis, research, and writing. While lawyers need a JD to practice law, an undergraduate law degree offers foundational training in the legal system. Degree-seekers explore topics like the history of the American legal system, comparative laws, and economic regulations.

Within an online law program, majors often specialize their course of study with a concentration in paralegal studies, business law, or compliance. A concentration offers focused training that often leads to a specialized career path after graduation. The degree also prepares graduates for JD programs.

Why Get a Law Degree?



A law degree offers many personal and professional benefits for students. While strengthening analytical skills and studying the law, learners increase their earning potential and advance their career.

Gain Legal Training
During an online law degree, majors study legal writing, legal research, and the legal system. Legal training prepares graduates for a variety of opportunities, including as a paralegal or legal assistant.
Prepare for Law School
A pre-law degree helps undergraduates build foundational skills and prepare for a JD program. Graduates use their training and experience when applying for law school.
Strengthen Analytical Skills
Legal coursework builds strong analytical skills as majors examine legal rulings and interpret the law.
Advance Your Career
A bachelor’s degree opens more career paths, allowing professionals to advance in their current career or pursue a new career.
Higher Earning Potential
Professionals with a bachelor’s degree earn higher salaries than those with an associate degree or high school diploma. Completing a bachelor’s degree often increases your earning potential.

 
 

What Are the Requirements for a Law Degree?

Undergraduates interested in an online law program need to meet prerequisite requirements. At most colleges, that means holding a high school diploma or the equivalent and taking a standardized test like the ACT or SAT.

Transfer students often need to meet different requirements. Many colleges require official college transcripts showing a minimum GPA for transfer admissions. Applicants need to submit letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, or a resume, depending on the school.

After gaining admission, law students complete general education, major, and elective requirements. Programs often include a capstone project or thesis to graduate.

What is Accreditation and Why Does it Matter?

Professional Organizations for Law Students



Professional organizations help online law students prepare for the next steps after earning their bachelor’s degree, whether that means entering the workforce or applying to law schools. In the legal field, professional associations offer networking opportunities, professional development support, and training opportunities. Many also host career centers.


  • American Bar Association Founded in 1878, the ABA advocates for legal professionals and accredits law schools. Members benefit from free continuing education opportunities, legal tech resources, and the ABA career center. The ABA also offers career webinars, articles, and podcasts for students and early career professionals. The association offers a free membership to law students.

  • National Association for Legal Professionals An association for legal support professionals, NALS offers certification programs, a career center, and networking opportunities through conferences and forums. Members enjoy access to education and career services to identify job opportunities, build their skills, and advance their careers. The professional paralegal certification helps professionals demonstrate advanced knowledge and expertise.

Scholarships for Law Students

Undergraduates pursuing an online degree in law qualify for many scholarship opportunities. Professional organizations, private foundations, and law firms all offer scholarships for students studying the law. In addition to the following opportunities, students often look for scholarships based on their career goals, state, or school.

Ritchie-Jennings Memorial Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Offered by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, the scholarship supports students pursuing a career in an anti-fraud field. Eligible applicants attend an accredited school full-time. The scholarship application requires official transcripts and two letters of recommendation.
Amount: $10,000

Emery Reddy Scholarship for Legal Studies

Who Can Apply: Emery Reddy offers a scholarship for students studying the law, including students pursuing an online law degree. Eligible applicants demonstrate a dedication to the study of law by submitting a 500-word essay. Emery Reddy also offers a paralegal studies scholarship.
Amount: $2,500

Naqvi Injury Law Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Offered by a Las Vegas injury law firm, the scholarship supports college students pursuing a legal studies degree. Eligible applicants demonstrate a minimum 3.0 GPA and the scholarship gives preference to Nevada applicants. In addition to academic achievements, the scholarship takes financial need into account.
Amount: $2,000

Working Now and Then Undergraduate Scholarship

Who Can Apply: This scholarship opportunity welcomes applications from undergraduates planning a career in law. Applicants submit a transcript, resume, and essay on the greatest challenge facing workers’ rights in the future. The scholarship selects recipients based on their academic record, career promise, and the persuasiveness of their essay.
Amount: $1,000

Most Affordable Online Law Schools 2021



  1. West Virginia University
    Location

    Morgantown, WV

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Located in Morgantown, WVU offers an online master of legal studies designed for students who need a working knowledge of the law but do not plan to become lawyers. Students can choose from three concentrations: healthcare, justice systems, and homeland security.

    The 30-credit program focuses on regulation, policy, and compliance. Students take courses such as law and the legal system, law and society, and researching the law. Students take elective courses in their chosen concentration, including homeland security, healthcare law, or immigration and border security. Most students finish in just 18 months, and all courses occur on a flexible schedule.

    The graduate school requires a minimum GPA of 2.75 to begin the admissions process, but the department prefers at least a 3.0. Students may waive the GRE requirement with five or more years of relevant work experience or with a minimum GPA of 3.4.

    WVU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  2. University of Dayton
    Location

    Dayton, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Based in Dayton, Ohio, UD offers several online law programs, including a hybrid juris doctor (JD) and an online master of laws (LL.M.).

    The hybrid JD takes four years to complete and offers students more flexibility than a traditional law degree. Students attend weekly live classes through online frameworks and attend two to three on-campus experiences per year. Students can take the bar exam pending their state's requirements.

    The LL.M. in American and transnational law program occurs solely online, and students finish in as little as one year. Students gain an understanding of U.S. law and legal practice.

    Law school applicants submit applications through the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) and must submit LSAT scores or the GRE. LL.M. applicants must hold a JD and may apply through LSAC or the law school.

    UD is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and boasts departmental accreditation from the American Bar Association.

  3. Thomas Jefferson School of Law
    Location

    San Diego, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Located in San Diego, California, Thomas Jefferson offers several online law programs, including three master's degree concentrations and one doctor of juridical science (JSD) program.

    Master's concentrations include financial compliance and risk management, taxation, and financial services. Students take eight-week, asynchronous courses, allowing them to concentrate on fewer courses per term. Students with a law degree may opt for the master of laws track, while those with a bachelor's degree may choose the master of science in law track. JSD students complete 60 credits of in-depth, independent study to complete the program.

    Master's students may choose one of eight start dates per year and should contact the graduate admissions department for admission requirements. JSD applicants must possess a minimum GPA of 3.0 in a master's degree to qualify for admission.

    Thomas Jefferson is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission.

Also Check Out…

mini icon

Recommended Reading

Helping you prepare and gain the most out of your educational experience.


Most Affordable Online Law Schools 2021

Most Affordable Online Law Schools 2021

April 19, 2021   |   CollegeChoice Staff

A law degree can increase earning potential and career opportunities. Here, we list the best online programs available.

Best Online Colleges and Universities

Best Online Colleges and Universities

April 19, 2021   |   Staff Writers

According to the , 6,932,074 students enrolled in at least one distance education course at degree-granting postsecondary institutions in fall 2018. The year 2021 marks an ideal time to pursue...

Advertisement 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.

Discover a program that is right for you.

Search schools to find the program that is right for you.