Affordable Legal Studies Degree & Schools Online

September 2nd, 2008, Kelly Gibson

Kinds of Legal Studies Degrees

You can pursue a degree in Legal Studies from two main sources: a conventional university or an online university. In the traditional university, students are required to attend regular classes in a classroom setting where they are lectured by experienced teachers from the legal profession.

Coursework

Online universities enable students to study online and require them to communicate with the professors and other students via the internet. The books and other academic related materials are found online or are bought by the student and shipped to their homes at any point in the world.

Both online and traditional Bachelors degree programs last approximately four years. In the Associate degree program, you can complete the coursework in just over two years and have enough training to be able to work as an entry level paralegal. The course work is much the same as the bachelors program but with some reduction in content and depth.

The degree in Legal Studies course work usually entail studies in the law categories of:

  • Civil Law
  • Law of Wills and Trust
  • Immigration Law
  • Real estate law
  • Family Law
  • Corporate Business Law

It will also contain interdisciplinary studies such as English, speech writing, mathematics, ethics, computer science and sociology.

Career Opportunities with a Legal Studies Degree

Pursuing a degree in Legal Studies gives an excellent foundation if you seek to pursue a career in, or further yourself in the growing professions of Paralegals and Legal Assistants. These types of careers assist attorneys in the preparation of civil and criminal cases, sourcing facts by conducting investigations, interviewing of clients, researching laws, drafting legal documents and assisting the attorney in court. After completing your degree in Legal Studies, it may serve as a precursor for entering law school to become an attorney.

Salary of a Legal Studies Degree Holder

Salary with a Legal studies degree is usually based on a number of factors including the popularity of the law firm, as a bigger and more profitable firm will be able to offer better salaries to attract more qualified and more experienced paralegals. The geographic location of the company is also another factor, as well as the qualification and experience of the individual.

For paralegals with least experience, the salary level usually hovers around the $25,000 to $35,000 per year range. For more experienced paralegals the salaries can reach as high as around $60,000 – $70,000 per year.

Pros and Cons of Earning a Paralegal Bachelor’s Degree Online

For online learning to be successful, the student must display excellent self discipline to study on their own. Studies have shown that the dropout rate of freshman legal studies students is about 40%. However, for the serious student pursuing their degree in legal studies online, there is the flexibility to work and study at the same time; at a time that is most convenient for them. Students are usually given a pre-scheduled list of assignments which must be submitted at a specified time. The online program also gives the student increased accessibility as they may pursue their studies from any where in the world as long as they have access to a computer and the internet.

Some online universities, however, have a problem with accreditation. Not all the universities are recognized by the bar associations and legal ministries of their regions. So, an individual considering pursuing their degree online has to be meticulous in researching the online universities before committing to any one.

Leading Schools for an Online Legal Studies Degree

Some of the universities which offer online degrees in Legal Studies are:

  • Kaplan University
  • California University of Pennsylvania
  • Strayer University Online
  • Everest University Online
  • Keiser University eCampus