Online Bachelor's Degree in Legal Studies
Learn about online bachelor's degree programs in legal studies and how they are conducted. Explore common course topics in this field of study, and find out about potential careers and their outlooks. Schools offering Juris Doctor degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
What Is an Online Bachelor's Degree Program in Legal Studies Like?
Bachelor's degree programs in legal studies often take four years to complete and require 120 credits. Some programs in this field are available online and thus allow for more flexible scheduling, which is beneficial to working professionals trying to earn their degree. Courses and assignments in an online program are similar to those in a campus-based program, except that lectures and class discussions are all conducted using a virtual interface. Undergraduate programs in legal studies typically lead to a Bachelor of Science.
To apply to a bachelor's program in legal studies, you must have at least a high school diploma or its equivalent. You may also have to submit ACT or SAT scores and letters of recommendation. Completing classes in business writing, research and history may be beneficial.
|Admission Requirements||High school diploma or equivalent; recommendation letters and ACT or SAT scores might be required|
|Common Course Topics||Research methodologies, legal writing, civil litigation, legal ethics, family law|
|Job Growth||6% growth projected between 2014 and 2024 (for lawyers)*; 8% growth projected between 2014 and 2024 (for paralegals and legal assistants)*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Courses Will I Take?
In an online bachelor's degree program in legal studies, you can expect to combine general education courses with legal theory, business theory, ethics training and legal history. Courses of study commonly culminate in a capstone project. Many programs facilitate internships, which help you gain professional experience. The following are examples of courses you might find in the curriculum:
- Probate practice
- Civil litigation
- Family law
- Bankruptcy law
- Environmental law
- Copyright law and trademarks
- Legal ethics
- Research methodologies for legal professionals
- Legal writing
What Can I Do With a Bachelor's Degree in Legal Studies?
A bachelor's degree program in legal studies could prepare you to pursue a graduate degree related to law, such as a Juris Doctorate (J.D.). Attaining a J.D. qualifies you to sit for your state bar exam; if you pass the bar exam, you may practice as a lawyer. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the employment rate for lawyers is expected to increase 6% between 2014 and 2024. These professionals had an average annual salary of $133,470 in 2014.
Alternatively, you could pursue careers in the legal field that don't require graduate education. Two common careers are legal assistants and paralegals; both help lawyers prepare for trials, conduct research and prepare legal documents. According to the BLS, employment of legal assistants and paralegals is expected to increase 8% between 2014 and 2024. Additionally, the BLS states that the average annual wage for this profession was $51,840 in 2014.
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