Most Affordable Online Law Degree Programs of 2022

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If you want to work in law, earning an online bachelor's in law or legal studies is often the first step. These programs provide future law professionals with foundational skills in reading, writing, critical thinking, and understanding legal terms and documents. Graduates can apply to law schools or seek work immediately as paralegals or legal assistants.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), paralegals and legal assistants earned a median annual salary of $56,230 as of May 2021. The BLS projects 12% job growth for these professionals between 2020 and 2030, which eclipses the average projected growth rate for all careers (8%) during that period.

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While an associate degree is technically the minimum education requirement for paralegals, many firms now prefer or require bachelor's degrees.

Read on to learn more about admission requirements, typical courses, and possible postgraduate careers for bachelor's in law programs.

How Much Does an Online Bachelor's in Law Degree Program Cost?

An online bachelor's in law program can range from $500-$610 per credit, which translates to about $60,000-$73,200 in total tuition for 120 credits. Students can often pay lower tuition rates by enrolling at in-state, public universities as opposed to private colleges.

Online students can also frequently save on total program costs, avoiding fees like room and board, transportation, and parking. At some schools, distance learners can pay in-state tuition rates no matter where they live.

What Can I Expect From an Online Bachelor's in Law Degree Program?

Detail-oriented students who enjoy reading and understanding complex texts are well-suited for online bachelor's in law programs, which also require problem-solving and critical thinking skills.

Students learn legal theory and knowledge in the program, allowing them to pursue jobs in the legal field or further their education.

Most bachelor's in law programs require students to complete approximately 120 credits over four years of full-time study. Part-time students usually need an extra 1-2 years to graduate.

Most programs are generalized, covering research and legal writing. Although some schools allow students to pursue concentrations in pre-law, business law, and criminal justice.

Most legal studies curricula consist mainly of theoretical coursework, culminating in an internship, capstone project, or seminar.

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Popular Online Bachelor's in Law Degree Programs

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

What Courses Will I Take in an Online Bachelor's in Law Degree Program?

Contemporary Legal Issues

This survey course takes an interdisciplinary approach to current legal topics. Many schools use case studies and group projects to convey course material, studying issues individually.

The American Legal Process

This introductory course takes a broad approach to the roles, policies, and procedures that make up the U.S. legal system.

Conflict Resolution and Negotiation

Conflict resolution and negotiation are key skills for all legal professionals. Possible topics in this course include mediation, third-party intervention strategies, and conflict negotiation.

American Civilization

Many bachelor's in law programs include one or more courses in American history, providing a historical survey of topics like Reconstruction, the Civil War, and the colonial era.

Internships or Practicum

Some programs culminate in an internship or practicum, allowing students to gain hands-on experience working for a legal firm in their community.

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What Are the Admission Requirements for an Online Bachelor's in Law Degree Program?

Most online bachelor's in law programs have similar admission requirements to their in-person counterparts. In addition to the requirements listed below, some programs may ask applicants to complete an interview with a professor or member of the admissions department to ensure a good fit with an incoming cohort.

Application

All undergraduate programs, including bachelor's in law programs, require all prospective students to fill out an application form. Certain schools participate in application systems like the Common App and Coalition App, allowing undergraduate applicants to send materials to multiple schools at once.

Test Scores

While this requirement has become optional nationwide, some schools still require applicants to submit standardized test scores. Check to see if your school requires ACT or SAT scores, and make a plan to take an exam.

Letters of Recommendation

Some online bachelor's in law programs may require prospective students to send in 2-3 letters of recommendation. If you just finished high school, ask former teachers to write these letters on your behalf. If you have worked for several years since graduating high school, you can ask professional supervisors to write your letters.

Essays

Many online law programs require applicants to submit 1-3 college application essays, often 500-700 words. Possible prompts include a statement of purpose, a time you overcame a challenge, or why you want to pursue a career in law.

Official Transcripts

All undergraduate programs, including law schools, require applicants to submit official transcripts from all prior secondary and postsecondary education. If you have already completed an associate degree at a community college, you may be able to earn approximately 60 credits in transfer credit.

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

Career Outlook

An online bachelor's in law can lead to relatively strong career prospects. According to the BLS, as of May 2021, paralegals and legal assistants earned a median annual wage of $56,230, which is more than $10,000 higher than the median annual salary for all occupations. Between 2020 and 2030, the BLS projects 12% job growth for these professionals, which is 4% higher than the average.

Since paralegal is a common entry-level career option, legal studies is a popular major among undergraduate students. Social sciences and history, including legal studies, is the third-most-popular undergraduate major, according to BestColleges data.

The degree also allows students to continue to law school and become lawyers.

See where a bachelor's in law can take you.

Career Paths

Paralegal or Legal Assistant

Paralegals and legal assistants often work at law firms and perform various support and research tasks to assist lawyers. Traditionally, paralegals have only needed an associate degree, but more employers now prefer or require bachelor's degrees in law or legal studies.

Median Annual Salary: $56,230

Legal Secretary

Legal secretaries perform administrative assistant functions, handling legal documents, streamlining procedures, and processing paperwork. They may also help with research and summons, motions, and complaints. Legal secretary positions usually require an associate degree, so a bachelor's degree can provide a competitive advantage.

Median Annual Salary: $47,710

Court Reporter

Court reporters sit in on trials and depositions, creating accurate word-for-word transcriptions of proceedings. They usually need a postgraduate certificate from a community college and on-the-job training. A bachelor's degree in law may benefit applicants seeking these jobs.

Median Annual Salary: $60,380

Social and Community Service Manager

Social and community service managers supervise programs for nonprofit organizations, faith-based groups, and social services agencies. Bachelor's degree-holders in law can apply their legal expertise, problem-solving skills, and organizational capabilities to these positions. Job candidates usually need a bachelor's degree and several years of relevant professional experience.

Median Annual Salary: $74,000

Lawyer

Lawyers provide consultations and representation for individuals, groups, and organizations in legal proceedings. To practice, lawyers must pass a state bar exam after earning a Juris Doctor (JD) degree. Earning a bachelor's in law can serve as the first step on that path.

Median Annual Salary: $127,990

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Continuing Education

Continuing education is relatively common for bachelor's degree-holders in law. Graduates who want to become practicing lawyers must apply to grad school, earn a JD, and pass a state bar exam.

Those wanting to pivot to another field can pursue graduate programs in other disciplines. Graduates can also earn professional certifications or pursue a court reporter certificate.

How Do I Choose an Online Bachelor's in Law Degree Program?

Cost

U.S. News & World Report found that an average online bachelor's in law program costs $30,000-$70,000 in tuition, or about $250-$585 per credit. Distance learners can find the lowest tuition rates at in-state public universities, but they may be able to pay in-state tuition rates at online schools.

Program Format

Online students must decide whether synchronous or asynchronous learning suits them better. Synchronous learning involves live, scheduled online courses, while asynchronous learning does not. Prospective law students should also consider whether they can enroll full time, part time, or in an accelerated program.

Location

Even if you choose an online bachelor's in law program, you may want to pick a school near you. If the program includes in-person requirements, it is easier to complete coursework if you live near campus. Furthermore, the program might maintain relationships with local firms for potential job and internship opportunities.

Accreditation

You should only enroll at accredited schools. Otherwise, you cannot receive federal financial aid and might have a harder time finding work after graduation. Accreditation is a third-party review process overseen by the U.S. Department of Education that determines the quality of a school and its programs.

Student Support

Support services can provide resources for online students as they complete their degrees. Before enrolling at any school, check if your program offers mentorship opportunities, internship placements, career services, advising, and tutoring.

How Do I Pay for an Online Bachelor's in Law Degree Program?

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on the Federal Student Aid website should be a learner's first step when seeking financial aid. Some schools require you to fill out the FAFSA before awarding scholarships and grants.

Loans

Loans should be the final option for any prospective undergraduate student. While many students ultimately have to take out loans, they should apply to many grant and scholarship opportunities before seeking lenders. Federal loans typically charge lower interest rates than private loans.

Grants

Grants are sums of money allocated for specific purposes. Students can seek out grants from both schools and third-party organizations. They can also seek out grants from the federal government if they are majoring in a specific field or are willing to commit to working in a certain field after graduating.

Work-Study Programs

Work-study programs are part-time jobs that help students pay for their college tuition. Typically, students must seek out and apply for work-study jobs independently.

Scholarships

Most students regard scholarships as the optimal form of financial aid because they do not have to be paid back. Make sure to seek scholarships from your prospective schools and organizations before taking out loans.

Most Affordable Accredited Online Bachelor's in Law Degree Programs 2022

Rankings compiled by the the BestColleges Ranking Team

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#1 Most Affordable Online Law Degree Programs of 2022

University of Central Florida

  • Orlando, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Average Cost per Credit
In State | $179 per credit
Out of State | $716 per credit

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | N/A

A major public college based in Orlando, UCF hosts one of Florida's top online bachelor's in law programs. The school's BA/BS in legal studies highlights key law topics, including research, legal writing, and the U.S. legal system. Graduates commonly pursue law school or careers such as paralegal and court reporter.

UCF's online programs require transfer applicants to hold at least 12 undergraduate credits to enroll. Applicants must hold a minimum 2.0 GPA on all transfer coursework.

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,478
Out-of-state
$19,810
Retention Rate
91%
Admission Rate
44%
Students Enrolled
69,402
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
59% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#2 Most Affordable Online Law Degree Programs of 2022

National University

  • La Jolla, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online or Hybrid | Scheduled Classes

Average Cost per Credit
In State | $370 per credit
Out of State | $370 per credit

Credits to Graduate
180 quarter credits

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | N/A

Based in La Jolla, California, NU offers an online BA in pre-law studies that prepares graduates to enroll in law school. The program emphasizes critical thinking, legal argumentation, and ethical standards in law practice. Bachelor's in law candidates complete courses in four-week blocks, with online and campus options available.

Pre-law applicants must hold a high school diploma or equivalent. Incoming students may be required to complete the ACCUPLACER exam in math and English.

Average Tuition
In-state
$13,320
Out-of-state
$13,320
Retention Rate
50%
Admission Rate
89%
Students Enrolled
16,670
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
53% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission
#3 Most Affordable Online Law Degree Programs of 2022

University of Massachusetts Global

  • Irvine, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online or Hybrid | Scheduled Classes

Average Cost per Credit
In State | $500 per credit
Out of State | $500 per credit

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | N/A

A private affiliate of the University of Massachusetts, UMass Global offers a top-ranked bachelor's in law available fully online. The BA in legal studies explores the U.S. legal system, covering topics such as legal writing, constitutional governance, and legal ethics. The program offers concentrations in the paralegal profession or business law.

Program applicants should hold either a high school or GED diploma. Transfer applicants must provide transcripts from all colleges attended with a minimum 2.0 GPA.

Average Tuition
In-state
$12,000
Out-of-state
$12,000
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
89%
Students Enrolled
10,231
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
96% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission
#4 Most Affordable Online Law Degree Programs of 2022

Bellevue University

  • Bellevue, NE
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Average Cost per Credit
In State | $440 per credit
Out of State | $440 per credit

Credits to Graduate
127

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | Optional
Program Accreditation | N/A

A Nebraska-based private college, BU hosts an online BS in legal studies. The degree covers the U.S. legal system, legal research, and legal applications for businesses. Transfer students who hold at least 60 undergraduate credits can complete the program in an accelerated cohort format.

Bachelor's in law applicants must hold a high school diploma, GED diploma, or homeschool letter of completion. Transfer applicants must submit transcripts from all previously attended colleges.

Average Tuition
In-state
$7,176
Out-of-state
$7,176
Retention Rate
78%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
11,637
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
95% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission
#5 Most Affordable Online Law Degree Programs of 2022

Northcentral University

  • La Jolla, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Average Cost per Credit
In State | $300 per credit
Out of State | $300 per credit

Credits to Graduate
61

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | Yes
Program Accreditation | N/A

A top California college, NCU offers a BA in legal studies available fully online. The degree uses both synchronous and asynchronous courses. As part of the curriculum, candidates also earn a paralegal certificate, which prepares them for paralegal jobs.

NCU's bachelor's in law is a degree completion program, and students must hold at least 60 undergraduate credits to apply, including at least 39 general education credits. Applicants must hold a minimum 2.0 undergraduate GPA.

Average Tuition
In-state
$11,064
Out-of-state
$11,064
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
11,223
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
Not provided
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

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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#6 Most Affordable Online Law Degree Programs of 2022

Dominican University

  • River Forest, IL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Average Cost per Credit
In State | $490 per credit
Out of State | $490 per credit

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | Yes
Program Accreditation | N/A

A private college in River Forest, Illinois, DU hosts one of the state's top online bachelor's in law programs. The school's bachelor of professional studies in legal studies offers a broad overview of the legal system, including its history, philosophy, and economics. This accelerated degree completion program primarily serves working adults.

Applicants must also submit a resume and a two-page personal statement.

Average Tuition
In-state
$33,950
Out-of-state
$33,950
Retention Rate
77%
Admission Rate
64%
Students Enrolled
3,029
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
54% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission
#7 Most Affordable Online Law Degree Programs of 2022

University of Arizona

  • Tucson, AZ
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Average Cost per Credit
In State | $560 per credit
Out of State | $560 per credit

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | N/A

Based in Tucson, UofA offers Arizona's first online bachelor's in law program. The interdisciplinary BA in law combines knowledge in law, government, public policy, and social sciences. Degree candidates can pursue Arizona paralegal licensure or continue on to the school's master of legal studies program, available in an accelerated format.

Applicants must hold a high school or GED diploma, though UofA does not maintain specific GPA requirements for admissions. Transfer students must submit transcripts from all previous colleges.

Average Tuition
In-state
$10,990
Out-of-state
$33,273
Retention Rate
83%
Admission Rate
85%
Students Enrolled
44,577
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
42% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission
#8 Most Affordable Online Law Degree Programs of 2022

SUNY College of Technology at Canton

  • Canton, NY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Average Cost per Credit
In State | $295 per credit
Out of State | $353 per credit

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | N/A

Located in New York state, SUNY Canton offers a fully online BA in legal studies. The program emphasizes the intersection of business and legal practice and highlights key topics, including legal research, legal writing, and civil litigation. Candidates can also complete a professional internship as part of the degree curriculum.

Bachelor's in law applicants must hold either a high school or GED diploma. Admitted candidates may also need to take a prerequisite course in either expository writing or oral and written expression.

Average Tuition
In-state
$7,070
Out-of-state
$13,534
Retention Rate
70%
Admission Rate
85%
Students Enrolled
3,223
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
64% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
#9 Most Affordable Online Law Degree Programs of 2022

Liberty University

  • Lynchburg, VA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Average Cost per Credit
In State | $390 per credit
Out of State | $390 per credit

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | N/A

A private evangelical college, Liberty ranks among the country's largest online education providers. The school's BS in law and policy online pre-law degree explores law and public policy through a Christian worldview. The program prepares candidates to apply to law school or pursue law-related careers such as legal aid.

Applicants to the bachelor's in law program must hold a high school diploma with a minimum 2.0 GPA. Applicants with a GPA below 2.0 may be admitted conditionally.

Average Tuition
In-state
$15,417
Out-of-state
$15,417
Retention Rate
81%
Admission Rate
51%
Students Enrolled
85,586
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
92% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Frequently Asked Questions About Law Degree Programs

Is a bachelor's in law worth it?

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The value of any degree depends on your goals and personal situation. However, a bachelor's in law may be worth it for students. The degree can lead to strong entry-level career prospects as a paralegal or legal assistant. It is also a necessary step for students who aspire to go to law school, pass the bar, and become practicing lawyers.

Furthermore, a bachelor's in law provides students with several skills that can apply to careers in nearly any field. Undergraduate law students develop critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills throughout their studies.

What can I do with a bachelor's in law?

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Many graduates with bachelor's degrees in law immediately enter the workforce, pursuing careers as paralegals and legal assistants. They can also pursue entry-level legal careers as court reporters or legal secretaries or expand beyond law and find work in nonprofit organizations or social services agencies.

Bachelor's degree holders can also take the LSAT and apply to law schools. To become practicing lawyers, students must earn a JD from a law school and pass a state bar exam.

Are law majors in high demand?

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Yes, law majors are in high demand. Between 2020 and 2030, the BLS projects 12% job growth for paralegals and legal assistants. The average projected growth rate for all occupations during that period is 8%.

During the same decade, the BLS projects 9% job growth for lawyers and 15% for social and community service managers. Keep in mind that no single degree can guarantee you any specific job, no matter the demand.

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

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According to the BLS, paralegals and legal assistants earned a median annual wage of $56,230. The top 10% of earners in the field made more than $88,640, while the lowest 10% made less than $36,410.

Among other entry-level legal careers, court reporters made a median annual wage of $60,380, while legal secretaries earned $47,710 annually. Remember that salary potential depends on several factors, including location, employer, industry, and experience.

What are the highest-paying jobs with a bachelor's in law?

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While bachelor's degree-holders must complete further education to become practicing lawyers, a lawyer is likely the highest-paying job in the legal field. According to the BLS, in May 2021, lawyers earned a median annual wage of $127,990. The highest 10% of earners in the field made more than $208,000 annually.

To become a lawyer, graduates with a bachelor's degree in law must take the LSAT, apply to law school, complete their studies, and pass a state bar exam. While this is no small checklist, becoming a lawyer may be the ultimate goal for some students pursuing an online bachelor's in law.

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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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