Online Criminal Law Schools
Many schools offer online and hybrid programs leading to undergraduate and graduate degrees related to criminal law. Review some of the fields you could pursue, such as paralegal studies, legal studies and criminal justice. Examine the educational requirements for becoming a lawyer, and find out if you can complete any of your Juris Doctor program through online study.
Academic paralegal studies programs are available in an online format at a variety of program levels ranging from a certificate to graduate degree program. Be sure to read this article, which looks at where to find online paralegal studies programs and what they cover, to make a more informed decision about your education.
Are There Online Paralegal Programs in Criminal Law?
At some schools, you can earn a Certificate in Paralegal Studies online. Certificate programs are self-paced and usually take six months to complete. You'll have access to lecture notes, interactive assignments and writing labs; your instructor may be a licensed attorney. Course topics can include contracts, criminal law, real estate law, ethics and laws of evidence. You'll also learn how to use online legal research tools like Westlaw and LexisNexis.
An Associate's Degree in Paralegal Studies may be earned online at a number of schools in as little as 15 months. You'll explore topics like personal injury law, torts, federal income tax, wills and estates, white collar crime and legal document preparation. Program content is usually delivered through live or recorded lectures; these may be accessed at your convenience. You might interact with classmates or instructors via online message boards or discussion forums.
What Other Degree Programs are Available?
A bachelor's program in legal studies may be available at some schools in a hybrid format - certain classes are taken on-campus while others are offered online. You might study legal research and writing, an overview of the paralegal profession and civil litigation. You may be required to complete an internship at an approved law office, government agency or corporate legal department.
If you already have a bachelor's degree, you might pursue an online Master of Science in Criminal Justice. An online master's program usually includes 33-36 credit hours of coursework. Most schools allow you to specialize in some aspect of criminal law, such as homeland security, corrections, administration or cybercrime. You'll take classes in criminology, criminal justice theory and research, criminal law procedures, administration and law enforcement. You may need to complete a final research project to graduate.
A bachelor's degree could help you obtain a paralegal or legal assistant position at a law firm, governmental agency, bank, insurance company or corporation. If you currently work in the criminal justice field, a master's degree might increase your chances of being promoted to a managerial or supervisory role. Depending on which state you live in, you may be qualified to teach at a community college.
Which Schools Offer Online Certificate Programs in Paralegal Studies?
Certificates in paralegal studies can be earned entirely online at multiple schools. Here are a few of them:
- Boston University delivers a online Paralegal Studies Certificate program
- Duke University hosts a Paralegal Certificate program online
- University of Massachusetts Lowell has an online Certificate Program in Paralegal Studies
Which Schools Offer Online Associate Degree Programs in Paralegal Studies?
Plenty of colleges and universities present an opportunity to earn an associate degree in paralegal studies online. Listed below are some examples:
- Liberty University provides an online Associate of Arts in Paralegal Studies degree program
- American Public University offers an Associate of Science in Paralegal Studies online
- Penn Foster Career School has a Paralegal Studies Associate degree program available online
Which Schools Offer Online Bachelor Degree Programs in Paralegal Studies?
Students can find online bachelor degree program in paralegal studies at a slew of institutions. A number are below:
- Liberty University houses an online Bachelor of Science in Paralegal Studies degree program
- Regent University has a Bachelor of Science in Paralegal Studies degree program entirely online
- Baker College delivers an online Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies degree program
Which Schools Offer Online Master Degree Programs in Paralegal Studies?
Master degree programs are also available online through a number of colleges and universities, such as those listed below:
- Arizona State University has a Master of Legal Studies degree programs available online
- University of Illinois Springfield hosts an online Master of Arts in Legal Studies degree program
- University of Cincinnati has an online Master of Science in Criminal Justice degree program
Can I Become a Lawyer Online?
The Distance Education and Training Council (DETC) states that there are three accredited schools in the United States where you can earn a Juris Doctor (J.D.) entirely online, all of which are based in California (www.detc.org).The DETC is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) as an accrediting body for postsecondary institutions.
Among its many activities, the American Bar Association (ABA) provides accreditation to law schools in the United States. According to the ABA's policy, you can't earn a J.D. entirely online at any accredited law school (www.abanet.org). All states, except California, use ABA accreditation to determine if you're eligible to sit for that state's bar examination.
However, the ABA notes that you may apply 12 credit hours obtained through distance education toward a J.D., provided the courses adhere to Association-set standards of student-faculty communication and course outcomes. All other credit hours must be completed at a brick-and-mortar law school. Additional rules set forth by the ABA require completion of at least 28 credit hours towards a J.D. before enrolling in online courses.
If you are looking for an online postsecondary education program in paralegal studies, you can find certificate, associate degree, bachelor degree, and master degree programs. All will prepare you either for additional education, which can also be completed online, or for a career in the field.