Best Online Master’s in Business Law Programs of 2021

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Published on October 27, 2021

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Online master's in business law programs prepare enrollees for diverse, interdisciplinary careers in law and business fields. This versatile degree builds advanced knowledge and skills for ensuring that businesses are in legal compliance with government regulations. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects job growth of 9% for lawyers during 2020-2030.

Online master's in business law programs generally cover organizational law and regulation topics, including partnership and bankruptcy. Enrollees also learn contract law and commerce regulations.

Read on to discover what you can expect from a program in business law. Plus, explore potential career paths for graduates with a master's degree in business law.

What Can I Expect From an Online Master's in Business Law Program?

Online business law master's program types vary. Learners may pursue MA or MS programs in business law. MS programs focus heavily on research and prepare graduates well for doctoral degrees.

Business law students who already hold Juris Doctor (JD) degrees often pursue a master of laws (LLM) degree in business law. Entrepreneurs and business professionals interested in legal compliance expertise often pursue MLS, M.Jur., or MBA programs in business law.

Business law covers the regulation of commercial transactions and organizations. Business law master's curricula vary by school, program, and concentration. Most programs entail around 30 credits and take about two years to finish.

Core courses usually include business law and ethics, legal research methods, and introduction to legal analysis. Enrollees study company law, partnership law, and contract law. Other topics include illegal trading, fraud, and intellectual property.

Many business law programs offer concentrations in fields such as taxation, real estate law, and compliance. Enrollees typically complete a capstone thesis or research project and an internship or practicum.

Master's program pricing varies widely by school and location. Master's degrees usually range from $30,000 to $120,000, averaging around $66,340 in total. Online degrees often cost less than in-person programs because enrollees save on university fees and transportation costs. Some online programs charge in-state or discounted tuition rates for distance learners.

Still Looking for the Right Fit? Discover Similar Degree Programs.

What Courses Will I Take in an Online Master's in Business Law Program?

Corporate Law and Finance

This course explores business financing regulations from both legal and economic perspectives. Enrollees learn how companies finance their operations. Common discussion topics include executive compensation, capital structure decision-making, and securities fraud.

Business Law and Ethics

This core course appears in virtually all business law master's programs. Business law and ethics courses discuss challenging issues in liability, employment, and international business law. The course also discusses changing business norms, including shifts toward social and environmental responsibility.

Introduction to Legal Analysis

Usually appearing early in business law course sequences, this core course examines legal research, analysis, and writing practices. Participants learn about the U.S. legal system and practice analyzing real-life case studies.

International Law

This course explores the sources of the international law system. Enrollees study how international laws were created, their interpretation, and how these laws are enforced. The course covers traditional and contemporary perspectives on international laws, institutions, and legal regimes. Course topics may include human rights law and trade law.

Legal Research Methods

This core course cultivates advanced skills in legal analysis and writing. Business law students learn how to choose effective research topics and utilize quantitative and qualitative research to influence legal decision-making. This course may complement a capstone research project such as a master's thesis. Enrollees practice finding and analyzing primary and secondary sources of legal authority.

Related Programs That Might Interest You

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

What Are Admission Requirements for an Online Master's in Business Law Program?

On-campus and online master's in business law programs typically feature the same admissions requirements. Most master's programs require bachelor's degrees from accredited colleges or universities. Some programs only consider students whose transcripts demonstrate 3.0 minimum GPAs.

Graduate admissions materials often include recommendation letters, resumes, and essays. Some programs require writing samples, standardized test scores, and admissions interviews. Most schools charge an application processing fee of $50-$100 dollars.

Learn more about common online master's in business law admissions requirements below.

Application

College application systems and requirements vary. Undergraduate programs often accept the Common App or the Coalition App, whereas graduate programs usually design their own unique applications.

Master's applications ask for basic information about the student's identity and background. Short-answer application questions may ask applicants' reasons for choosing the program, school, and career path. Applicants usually fill out applications online.

Test Scores

Law schools expect JD or LLS program applicants to submit LSAT scores, but master's in legal studies programs do not usually require this test. Some online master's in business law programs require applicants to take the GRE, which tests analytical and reasoning skills in mathematics, reading, and writing.

Letters of Recommendation

Most graduate program applications require the submission of 1-3 recommendation letters written by the applicant's current or former professors, advisors, or supervisors. Recommenders usually need to answer various questions about the applicants' academic performance.

When applying online, applicants enter the names and contact information for their recommenders. Recommenders then receive a link to an online recommendation form.

Resume and Work Experience

Many graduate programs require applicants to submit resumes or curriculum vitae detailing their professional experience. Online master's in business law programs do not usually require a certain amount of professional experience. However, evidence of strong performance at work can improve applicants' admission chances.

Essays

Business law programs look for candidates who communicate well, so most applications require applicants to submit essays. Some schools require additional writing samples. The graduate school application essay usually asks applicants to describe their professional or academic experience, career aspirations, and reasons for applying to the program in question.

Official Transcripts

Master's in business law program applicants must submit official copies of transcripts from current and prior higher education institutions. Some credits may transfer toward the applicant's new degree program. All applicants must request transcripts from their previous schools' registrar's office. That office then mails official transcripts to prospective schools listed on the transcript request form.

What Can I Do With an Online Master's in Business Law Degree?

Career Outlook

Business law master's degrees cultivate specialized knowledge and skills useful in ensuring businesses' legal compliance. This degree can open up many career advancement opportunities for legal or business professionals. Jobs for business law master's graduates include financial analyst, compliance officer, and corporate counsel.

October 2021 PayScale salary data cites an $87,000 annual salary average for MLS in business law graduates.

Business law master's graduates have a competitive edge over bachelor's-holders when competing for lucrative, sought-after careers such as compliance officer or financial analyst. The BLS indicates that professionals in these occupations earned median annual salaries of $71,100 and $83,660 in 2020, respectively.

Meanwhile, lawyers earned an even higher salary that year, making a median of $126,930. The BLS projects 9% job growth for lawyers between 2020 and 2030.

Career Paths

Compliance Officer

Compliance officers and managers make sure that businesses abide by relevant laws, regulations, and standards. These professionals monitor company records and generate procedures that meet regulatory and legal standards. Compliance officers may collaborate with governmental agencies and employees. Some professionals pursue the Certified Compliance & Ethics Professional credential.

Median Annual Salary: $71,100

Policy Manager

Like compliance managers, policy managers ensure organizational adherence to existing laws and regulations. Policy managers may analyze, update, and improve policies to better align an organization with current standards. Policy managers may also conduct policy research.

Average Annual Salary: $62,000

Business Lawyer

These professionals usually provide legal counsel to business clients. This job may require conducting research and representing clients in court. Job duties also may include preparing documents such as ownership agreements or contracts. Business lawyers need a JD degree to practice.

Median Annual Salary: $126,930

Financial Analyst

These professionals do market research, analysis, and consulting work focused on investment opportunities. Financial analysts prepare financial reports and investment and operations recommendations for businesses, organizations, or private clients. These analysts also may ensure compliance with business investment laws and regulations. Many financial analysts earn Chartered Financial Analyst certification.

Median Annual Salary: $83,660

Business Law Professor

Some business law graduates use their master's degree to teach at community colleges or to pursue doctoral degrees so they can teach at four-year universities. Business law professors may teach courses in either law or business schools. Job duties vary by school but typically involve at least some classroom teaching. Tenure-track professors also need to conduct and publish research in their field.

Median Annual Salary: $80,560

Business Law Not For You? Check Out These Related Careers.

Continuing Education

Online master's in business law degrees meet minimum educational requirements for many high-paying jobs in both law and business. To qualify for some specialized jobs, graduates may need additional professional certifications such as Chartered Financial Analyst or Certified Compliance & Ethics Professional.

Business law graduates seeking careers as lawyers or professors do typically pursue doctoral degrees. Prospective lawyers need to complete law school to earn their JD, the three-year professional doctorate degree that lawyers need to take the bar exam and practice law.

Some business law master's graduates pursue academic careers that require doctoral degrees. Community colleges sometimes hire master's graduates, but most universities expect tenure-track professors to hold terminal degrees in their field. To teach at university law schools, professors usually need a JD or a Ph.D. To teach in business schools, candidates often need a business-related Ph.D., although an MBA may suffice in some cases.

How Do I Choose an Online Master's in Business Law Program?

Cost

Master's degrees average around $66,340, but costs differ quite widely by school. In-state students at public institutions typically pay a fraction of what private school enrollees or out-of-state learners at public institutions pay.

Some online programs offer in-state or otherwise discounted tuition to distance learners. Take the time to compare programs and calculate the true cost of an online master's in business law.

Program Format

Online program formats also vary widely. Some programs allow asynchronous participation, which means that enrollees can watch recorded lectures and contribute to online discussions at any time. Other programs require synchronous attendance during scheduled class times.

Some schools offer part-time programs to accommodate working students. These programs usually take longer to complete than full-time programs. Learners may also opt for an accelerated program, which can reduce time-to-degree.

Location

Distance learners who choose programs at nearby schools benefit from the convenience of online learning while also enjoying the occasional networking and mentorship opportunities that in-person campus visits afford. Attending in-person events can enrich learners' experiences and expose them to peers, professors, and leaders in their field.

Some master's in business law programs require occasional in-person visits. Local distance learners can meet these requirements more easily than out-of-state students.

Accreditation

Good schools meet academic standards established by Council for Higher Education Accreditation-approved regional accrediting agencies. These agencies protect students' educational investments by evaluating and verifying school quality.

Top programs at law schools also maintain programmatic accreditation by the American Bar Association. Top business programs hold accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, or the International Accreditation Council for Business Education.

Student Support

Good online programs provide student support resources such as career services, online tutoring, and mentorship opportunities. Some schools also connect learners with internship opportunities.

Look for master's in business law programs and schools offering the kinds of online student services you may need or want as you pursue this degree.

2021 Best Accredited Online Master's in Business Law Programs

Rankings compiled by the the BestColleges Ranking Team

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The University of Alabama true View School Profile Tuscaloosa, AL

Located in Tuscaloosa, UA offers a master of law (LL.M.) with a concentration in business transactions. Students complete the degree's 24 credits in 1-2 years. UA requires students to attend an online summer orientation that acquaints participants with the program's policies and interactive online technologies.

All students complete coursework in subjects such as business entities, intellectual property, and securities regulation. Enrollees complete the program synchronously in the evenings from Monday through Thursday. LL.M. candidates sit for comprehensive exams after they complete three semesters. Applicants to this master's program must have a law degree and positive academic record.

Program Snapshot

  • Program URL: Visit Program
  • Cost per Credit: $1,822 per credit
  • Program Length: 1-2 years
  • Total Credits Required to Graduate: 24 credits
  • Instruction style: Synchronous
  • Format: Online
  • School Status: Public
  • Program Accreditation: American Bar Association
  • School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Champlain College true View School Profile Burlington, VT

A leader in online education, Champlain offers an online MBA with a concentration in employment law. Working professionals can choose part- or full-time enrollment. Students build expertise in various business functions such as accounting, financial decision-making, and risk management. They cultivate systems thinking and ethics in business planning.

The concentration allows students to become experts in employment and labor law, as well as the legal aspects of human resources. Students culminate the online master's in business law with a field-based project. Champlain prioritizes affordability and accessibility. Therefore, the school recommends applicants have a minimum GPA of 2.5 and doesn't require GRE or GMAT scores.

Program Snapshot

  • Program URL: Visit Program
  • Cost per Credit: $759 per credit; $398 per credit (active duty military)
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Total Credits Required to Graduate: 36 credits
  • Instruction style: Asynchronous
  • Format: Online
  • School Status: Private
  • Program Accreditation: N/A
  • School Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education
Western New England University true View School Profile Springfield, MA

WNE offers one of the region's top online MBA programs. Students develop expertise in various business functions and can also opt for a concentration in business law. The MBA program's core classes explore subjects such as accounting, managerial finance, and marketing management. Enrollees choose nine elective credits from a suite of business law topics such as contracts, income tax, and labor law.

Students attend asynchronous lectures and live sessions with faculty and peers. Working professionals typically finish the online master's in business law in 18-22 months. Part-timers taking one course per term do so in three years on average.

Applicants to the program must have a bachelor's degree and submit GRE or GMAT scores.

Program Snapshot

  • Program URL: Visit Program
  • Cost per Credit: $950 per credit
  • Program Length: 18-22 months
  • Total Credits Required to Graduate: 36 credits
  • Instruction style: Asynchronous and synchronous
  • Format: Online
  • School Status: Private
  • Program Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
  • School Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education
University of the Southwest true View School Profile Hobbs, NM

USW's online MBA offers a law enforcement and corrections specialization. The degree empowers law enforcement officials with business expertise applicable to their field. The core coursework explores subjects such as IT for managers, controllership, and financial management.

The specialization delves into criminal law and crime mapping. Students also learn about the administration of corrections organizations. The capstone focuses on organizational design and strategy.

Participants can complete the degree in just 12 months with credit for military and other professional experience. Degree-seekers can earn the MBA for less than $22,000, and tuition includes a laptop and books. Applicants do not need a business degree for admission to this MBA program.

Program Snapshot

  • Program URL: Visit Program
  • Cost per Credit: $625 per credit
  • Program Length: 12-24 months
  • Total Credits Required to Graduate: 36 credits
  • Instruction style: Asynchronous
  • Format: Online
  • School Status: Private
  • Program Accreditation: N/A
  • School Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Western Michigan University true View School Profile Kalamazoo, MI

The master of law (LL.M.) at WMU prepares law professionals who wish to specialize in representing corporations and other business entities. Students learn from practicing lawyers in litigation and transactional law. They complete coursework on business operations, advanced corporate transactions, and corporate governance and finance. Students in this master's in business law program also explore lawyers' legal, moral, and ethical responsibilities.

This LL.M. program also offers a specialization in global public companies law. Working professionals complete synchronous classes on weekday evenings and weekends. Applicants must have a J.D. or LL.B. and submit college transcripts and a legal writing sample.

Program Snapshot

  • Program URL: Visit Program
  • Cost per Credit: $1,200 per credit
  • Program Length: 12-24 months
  • Total Credits Required to Graduate: 24 credits
  • Instruction style: Synchronous
  • Format: Online
  • School Status: Public
  • Program Accreditation: American Bar Association
  • School Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Frequently Asked Questions About Master's in Business Law Programs

Is a master's in business law worth it? true

Graduate school demands considerable time and money. However, earning advanced degrees in business-related fields typically ends up being a good investment since graduate degrees often advance careers and boost annual salaries significantly. PayScale salary data from October 2021 indicates that MLS in business law graduates average $87,000 annually.

What can I do with a master's in business law? true

Graduates with a business law master's degree can pursue careers in both law and business fields. Some lawyers earn this additional degree to qualify for contract-based or full-time legal consulting or business attorney work. Legal professionals may use this degree toward careers as litigation attorneys or judges.

Some business professionals earn master's degrees in business law to pursue lucrative jobs such as financial analyst or compliance manager. Graduates may end up working as government officials, tax managers, or payroll managers. Other related jobs include human resources manager, employee relations manager, and policy manager.

Are business law majors in demand? true

This versatile, interdisciplinary degree equips graduates for growing careers such as human resources managers or business lawyers. The BLS projects 9% job growth for these career paths during 2020-2030. Some business law graduates may work as management analysts, a role with high 2020-2030 job growth projections (14%).

How much money can I make with a master's in business law?

MLS in business law graduates average $87,000 annually as of October 2021. However, salaries differ widely based on position, employer, and industry. Compliance officers, financial analysts, and management analysts earn median annual salaries of $70,000-$90,000.

Credentials and experience also influence salaries considerably. Professionals with master's degrees in business law often land higher on the salary scale than do professionals with bachelor's degrees.

What are the highest paying jobs with a master's in business law?

Managerial roles such as human resources manager or compensation and benefits manager garner median salaries of around $121,000-$125,000. High-level legal professionals such as judges, hearing officers, and lawyers earn median salaries in the $124,000-$127,000 range.

Employers and industry also heavily influence pay. PayScale salary data from October 2021 indicates that corporate lawyers average more than $23,000 more per year than attorneys and lawyers in general.

Find the Tools You Need to Get Started on Your Degree

Advance your knowledge of the law with a master's degree in legal studies. You can earn a degree online in one of our top-ranked programs. For students and working business professionals interested in enhancing their business acumen through flexible coursework, an online bachelor's in business administration can expand job opportunities and increase pay. Alongside practical business courses like accounting and management, students delve into best practices used by successful business professionals. The following guide reviews common coursework for online business […] We've ranked the top online bachelor's in legal studies programs. Compare options and learn how to earn your bachelor's in legal studies online.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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