Online Legal Studies Degree
Graduates of online legal studies programs may seek employment across industries, working in law firms, government agencies, and private corporations. Legal studies graduates may find work as legal assistants, paralegals, jury consultants, or arbitrators.
Available Degree Levels
- Career Diploma: Varies
- Certificate: One to two years to complete
- Associate Degree: Two years to complete
- Bachelor’s Degree: Four years to complete
- Master’s Degree: One to two years to complete
- Doctoral Degree: Three to five years to complete
Online career diploma programs in legal studies prepare students for entry-level employment by introducing them to the basic principles and concepts of the legal field. Graduates of these diploma programs may seek positions as legal assistants or paralegals. These programs may provide students a background in various areas of law, including business, family, criminal, and contract law. Courses may introduce students to such topics as interviewing experts and witnesses, preparing legal documents, and research tools.
Legal studies certificate programs are designed either for individuals who are interested in applying to law school, or for those who do not have any previous schooling in the field. These programs arm students with knowledge surrounding the principles of law and the legal environment, and may also allow students to concentrate their studies in a focus area, such as real property, criminal law, or domestic relations. Coursework may cover constitutional law, legal research and writing, and drafting legal instruments.
Online associate-level degree programs in legal studies aim to equip students with an understanding of the legal system as it relates to business, government, and society. Curriculum for these programs typically integrate general education coursework with classes specific to the program, such as professional ethics, introduction to contracts, and corporate law. Upon completion of the program, students should have gained the critical-thinking and decision-making skills necessary to work as legal professionals.
Bachelor’s degree programs in legal studies typically introduce students to the theoretical and practical aspects of the law through a curriculum that focuses on the relationship between law and society, legal communications, and legal principles. These programs may serve as a stepping stone to law school, providing schooling on a range of topics, such as constitutional law and civil legal systems. Courses may focus on investigative techniques, legal communication, and legal principles.
Online master’s degree programs in legal studies allow students to explore advanced legal doctrines and concepts. These programs may equip students with an understanding of public policy and current social issues as they relate to the study of law and lawmaking. Some students may enter these programs after earning their bachelor’s degree and beginning a career in the legal field. Coursework may focus on developing students’ research and communication skills while discussing such topics as local, state, and federal laws and procedures.
Doctoral programs in legal studies often allow students to focus their studies on a specialized area, such as international business law or corporate governance. Courses may include business law and ethical theory.
Online legal studies degree programs may provide students an understanding of the complexities of the law as well as provide them with the training to communicate with lawyers, judges, and executives. Although graduates are not lawyers, they may find a range of career opportunities in the legal field and beyond. In addition to working for law firms, graduates may work for state legislatures and other government organizations as well as private corporations. Graduates of online legal studies programs may know how to prepare an argument, conduct research on laws, regulations, and legal articles, write reports, and educate others on policies of law.
Possible career fields include:
- Legal Assistant
- Jury Consultant