Online Legal Studies Bachelor’s Degree

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November 20, 2020

A legal studies degree online prepares students for careers in the legal industry, but also for graduate and professional studies. Graduates can earn positions as paralegals or apply to law school for higher-paying positions as attorneys and judges. Programs include interdisciplinary coursework that prepares for occupations in other industries, such as writing, accounting, technology, and real estate.

This page examines ways to personalize legal studies programs and general skills learned during coursework, along with careers and salary expectations for graduates. By understanding this information, candidates can find the right career, choose a relevant program, and make career-related choices with program electives and fieldwork.

What are Legal Studies?

A bachelor's degree in legal studies explores the judicial system from historical, social, theoretical, and contemporary viewpoints. Students examine how the legal system works by studying judicial processes, court systems, and legal regulations. Programs teach students to participate in the legal process through critical thinking and research.

Learners can use legal studies degrees for entry-level industry positions. These occupations include paralegal and legal assistants, who earn a median salary of $50,410, and arbitrators, mediators, and conciliators who earn $60,670 as their median income. Online legal studies programs also qualify as stepping stones toward graduate and professional degrees that lead to advanced positions. Judges and hearing officers, for instance, earn a median income of $115,520, and lawyers take home a median salary of $119,250. These advanced careers require doctorates or professional degrees.

Top legal studies degrees also prepare students for careers outside the industry since coursework involves multiple disciplines. Candidates develop strong research skills which can lead to careers as historians, writers, and geographers. Learners may also explore financial concepts, such as bankruptcy, and cover possible careers as accountants, budget analysts, and financial managers.

Curricula for online legal studies degrees also include different types of law that relate to external industries. For example, students pursuing a political science career can choose a program with coursework on constitutional law, First Amendment rights, and government abilities. Students interested in healthcare can select a program with biomedical ethics and health law coursework.

What Can I Do with an Online Legal Studies Bachelor's Degree?

Earning a legal studies degree from a college that boasts accreditation builds skills for careers inside and outside the legal field. Each occupation comes with its own responsibilities and anticipated pay. Students should research options to find the right career and then choose a program with relevant coursework. Learners can also use electives and internships to explore topics that relate to their intended professions.

Skills and Knowledge Gained

Pursuing a legal studies degree online provides skill sets for multiple fields, such as research skills for professions as reporters, investigators, and detectives. Candidates also learn management skills for court preparation that apply to careers as superintendents and general managers.

Coursework may also include legal writing, based on heavy research and source interpretation. This skill can lead to technical writing careers where individuals earn a median salary of $70,930 per year. Curriculum also improves analysis skills for careers as data analysts and consultants.

The best online legal studies programs examine various law categories for careers outside the judicial system. As an example, students who intend to work in real estate can choose programs that cover real estate and property laws. Writers can explore trademark and copyright laws to determine legal use of outside sources in their works, and degree seekers who want to assist troubled children can take courses in family law and the juvenile justice system. Students can also earn legal studies degrees online that address business concepts, such as contracts, employment law, and patents. Accredited legal studies degrees may also explore wills, immigration, citations, ethics, income tax, and cyber law.

Learners can use elective courses to prepare for specific careers. Students who wish to work as lobbyists can take political science and communication courses as electives, while future investigators can enroll in criminal justice classes.

Curriculum for legal studies degrees online may also include internships that can allow students to participate in an outside industry. Learners interested in healthcare can intern at a medical facility. This process allows individuals to explore legal concepts in a healthcare setting while building valuable professional connections.

Careers and Salary Potential

Graduates of legal studies programs qualify for careers in multiple fields, which makes earning a cheap online law degree a financially sound idea. Affordable programs cost less out-of-pocket, and the many disciplines covered in legal studies curriculum open more career doors than programs that focus on a single concept. Students should consider occupations before enrolling to ensure coursework reflects career goals. Someone interested in information technology, for instance, should pursue a legal studies degree online that includes cyber law classes.

Paralegals and Legal Assistants

Annual Median Salary: $50,410

Paralegals and legal assistants perform administrative duties for attorneys and law firms, such as managing files and making phone calls. Candidates research laws related to cases, construct legal documents, and prepare case evidence.

Arbitrators, Mediators, and Conciliators

Annual Median Salary: $60,670

Arbitrators, mediators, and conciliators tend to legal disputes before cases enter courts. Responsibilities include scheduling meetings between disputing individuals and writing settlement agreements to resolve issues.

Contract Specialist

Annual Median Salary: $59,576

These candidates assist with purchasing labor and materials by searching for low prices and building ongoing relationships with providers. Specialists write contracts and manage any breaches.

Legal Assistant

Hourly Average Rate: $15.81

These assistants help attorneys with case management by reviewing files, arranging interviews, researching, and writing reports, and also tend to administrative tasks in law offices.

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