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Legal Paralegal Degrees

Online Law Degree

As societies grow and become more complex, the need for human behavior regulation becomes critical. The importance of legal profession assumes the center stage; lawyers, judges, and mediators become the movers and shakers of the society.

The field of law is a broad, and is constantly evolving due to changing economic, social, and cultural factors. For many, it is difficult to imagine peace and justice in a society where there is no regulation.

It is in this backdrop that thousands pursue legal education in the United States every year to prepare for a possible lifelong career in law. There are many law schools across the country that specializes in offering various law degree programs. Prospective students can choose from the following:

  • Juris Doctor (JD)
  • Master of Laws (LLM)
  • Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD)
Learn how law regulates and protects our society with a degree in law.
Online Law Degree

Juris Doctor Degree

The Juris Doctor is a post-graduate law degree. This program is designed to prepare students for practicing law. JD degree holders are also eligible to sit for the bar examination in their state. The duration of the program is usually three years (full-time enrollment). Some of the courses covered in the program have been listed below.

  • Civil Procedure - This course is designed to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the body of laws and procedures that courts follow when adjudicating civil lawsuits.

  • Constitutional Law - In this course, students are exposed to a body of laws that governs relationships between various entities such as the state, legislature, and judiciary.

  • Contracts - A contract is defined as a legally-enforceable promise between two parties. In this course, students understand the different types of contracts and their nature.

  • Criminal Law - Criminal law covers all legal processes and laws that apply to criminal cases. Students acquire in-depth knowledge of crime and sentencing procedures. This course is usually included in many other law programs as well.

Master of Laws Degree

The Master of Laws or LLM is also a post-graduate law degree. This program is designed for two main purposes; to enable practicing American attorneys to exclusively focus on a particular area of law or help foreign qualified lawyers practice law in the US. It is typically a 1-2 year program which offers a variety of specializations like business and finance law, intellectual property law, environmental law, litigation and dispute resolution, etc. The program may be more focused in its curriculum than a JD degree. Some of the courses taught during the course of an LLM program may include:

  • Tor - In this area of law, students acquire a comprehensive understanding of the body of laws dealing with civil wrongs that are recognized in the United States.

  • International Law - This course highlights the body of laws designed to regulate international treaties, statutes, national legislation, common law, and more. Students will develop a strong foundation of knowledge and will get a chance to explore the area in-depth.

  • Criminal Law - Students who opt for criminal law acquire an understanding of criminal justice systems, types of crimes, sentencing, and corrections.

  • Family Law - This area of law deals with the issues and legal matters relevant to the domestic relations such as marriage, domestic partnership, and civil unions

  • Healthcare and the Law - In this course, students learn about legal policies and rules that apply to healthcare organizations, healthcare seekers, vendors, and payers in the nation.

Doctor of Juridical Science

This is the highest degree available in law. Individuals enrolled in this program have to undertake extensive research and cover a range of advanced topics relevant to their specialization area. The main emphasis is laid on the formulation and completion of a dissertation. Listed below are a few points regarding the program.

  • Students must successfully complete the required courses, each carrying a certain number of credit hours.
  • Students must conceive, develop and defend an argument that is clear, well-reasoned, and well-constructed.
  • Students must formulate a dissertation that is according to the minimum page/word count. This will vary slightly from college to college.

Online Law Degree Programs

Whether you are interested in enrolling in a JD or an LLM degree, you now have the option of either opting for campus-based or online classes. Many are opting for online degrees in law due to the following reasons:

  • Flexible courses work
  • No time-restrictions or class schedules
  • Self-paced programs
  • Lower costs

Law degree online admission requirements

The admission requirements will depend upon which law school you decide to enroll in as well as the type of law degree. Some general admissions requirements you may have to fulfill have been listed below:

  • A bachelor’s degree
  • Online admissions test
  • TOEFL (for international applicants)
  • A minimum GPA
  • A telephone interview

The American Bar Association (ABA) and online law degree

The American Bar Association is the leading professional organization that regulates legal work, designs and administers codes of conduct, accredits schools, supports legal professionals, and issues licenses to law-graduates who wish to practice law. The ABA does not accredit JD degree awarding distance-learning law schools, especially those that claim to offer it 100% online. There may however be exceptions in the case of LLM degrees, and so it is important that you check an online law school’s ABA accreditation before enrolling in it.

An ABA accredited law school will enable its graduates to take the bar exam in their state and work towards become a licensed attorney.

Career options

The career opportunities that become possible with a legal education are many. Some of the different types of careers you can consider are:

  • Legal careers (judges, attorneys, magistrates, mediators)
  • Public administration careers (state planning and public policy making)
  • Corporate careers (in-house attorney)
  • Higher education (postsecondary law teacher, dean of a law school)

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), lawyers earned a median annual income of $113,530 in 2012.  Their job numbers are expected to increase at a rate of 10% from 2012 to 2022, which is faster than the average job growth in all other fields in this period.

How Long Does It Take to Complete an Online Law Degree?

Many schools in California, such as the University of Southern California are offering online Law programs. Students can enroll in a 3-4 year Bachelor of Arts (B.A) in Law, a 16-month online Master of Studies in Law (M.S.L), or a 16-month Master of Law (LL.M.) program. They can also enroll in online certificate programs in Business Law, Compliance, Entertainment Law, and Human Resources Law. These certificate programs can be completed within 9-12 months.

What Are the Requirements to Complete an Online Law Degree?

Students enrolled in the online Master of Studies in Law (M.S.L) and the Master of Laws (LL.M.) programs have to complete around 21 units of study. Those enrolled in the Human Resources Law & Compliance Certificate, Business Law Certificate and Entertainment Law Certificate have to complete 12 units. Students are required to study modules like Contract Drafting and Strategy, Constitutional Law, Business Principles in Law, Corporate Governance and Entertainment Laws. Credit hour requirements may vary from university to university.

How Much Can I Make after Completing an Online Law Degree?

Online degrees and certifications can help students accelerate their legal careers. The graduates’ wages are highly dependent on the reputation of their graduate schools; hence it is advised that they enroll in online programs of well-reputed and accredited universities. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual median pay of Lawyers was $120,910 in May 2018. 823,900 professionals were employed in this field in 2018. Also, it is forecasted that the overall employment of Lawyers will grow by 6% from 2018 to 2028.

What can you do with a law degree?

With a law degree the most obvious path would be to clear the Bar Exam and practice law. And this is what most students do after getting their J.D. (Juris Doctor). However, there are other areas in which law graduates can use their expertise, such as:

Education - Instructor in legal training programs. More specifically, Continuing Legal Education Specialist (CLE).

Communications & Entertainment – The negotiation, persuasion and communication skills students learn in their J.D. could be very useful in PR, HR, advertising and marketing firms.

Business & Consultation - The services of corporate trainers are in demand. These trainings are conducted to increase productivity, understand ethics and different sociological factors when dealing with international clients.

Criminal Justice - Law graduates also work in law enforcement agencies. Also federal agencies such as the FBI and the CIA hire lawyers as in-house counsels.

Non Profit – Non federal organizations, think tanks and non profits also have lawyers working for them. These lawyers are mostly activists, researchers and analysts.

Salary Information

A degree in law would prepare you for legal/law related careers in the industry. You could work as a legal advisor, a lawyer, an attorney or even a paralegal. To work as lawyer, you will need to get a professional license by passing the bar examination in your state. Here are a few legal occupations you could consider pursuing along with their 2012 salary information provided by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics:

What Can You Do With a Law Degree

  • Lawyer
    Median Annual Income: $113,530
  • Arbitrator, Mediator and Conciliator
    Median Annual Income: $61,280
  • Judges and Hearing Officers
    Median Annual Income: $102,980
  • Paralegal
    Median Annual Income: $46,990

Frequently Asked Question(s)

Q:What areas are offered for specialization to students enrolled in online 1 yr degree programs in law and legal studies?

A:Students can always consider the option of earning degrees through online schools and begin a successful career. Degree programs are available in all fields of study such as business, arts, law, and medicine. Students interested in law can also pursue online 1 year degree programs in law and legal studies, and can specialize in the following areas: human rights, medical law and ethics, environmental law, criminal law, and intellectual property rights law.

Q:What are the different practice areas available after completion of Law and Legal Degrees?

A:After the completion of Law and Legal Degrees, students can practice law in a number of different professional areas. Following are a few areas: administrative, civil litigation, constitutional, administrative, corporate and commercial, environmental, family, criminal, intellectual property, labor and employment, real estate, immigration, tax, securities, health, municipal services, and many more.

Q:Can you name the courses taught in online Law and Legal Degrees?

A:Online Law and Legal Degrees emphasize on a comprehensive set of courses including the history of American legal system, philosophy of law, legal actions, conflicts resolution, research methods, and law functions in society, The courses offered in these degrees vary with the area of specialization chosen.

Q:What kinds of careers can I pursue with online law degrees?

A:A degree in law can open up the doors to various law careers. The job position and salary will depend upon your specialization and level of degree earned. Some of the main careers that can be opted for in law include the following: lawyers, advocates, judge, para-legal, attorney, law journalism, and civil service.

Q:Online law degree programs can be completed in which specialization areas?

A:Law is a very vast field covering all kinds of areas. The career opportunities are lucrative and broad. One can specialize in all kinds of law areas. Some of the main law specialization areas have been mentioned here: criminal law, real estate law, family law, accident law, corporate law, environmental law, agriculture law, employee benefits law, and more.

Q:Is an online law degree recognized by employers in the industry?

A:Online law degrees are recognized by employers in the industry as long as the program is accredited. Online education has gained much popularity over the years and is accepted by many industries. It is important to make sure you earn a degree from a school that is accredited by the relevant agency. Take a look at our page for more detail.

Q:Will I have to quit my job when doing online legal degree programs?

A:The purpose of an online legal degree program is that students are able to pursue full time work while studying for their chosen degree. You can take the program online which will allow you more comfort and flexibility regarding the timings and the course content. This way you'll be able to set a pace that will not disturb your job.

Q:What is covered in a Law Degree Online, can you tell me briefly?

A:A law degree will basically provide students with in-depth knowledge of the judicial system and legal industry. Students will learn about various aspects of law and how trials are conducted. The coursework will however vary slightly from school to school and will depend upon the type of degree being pursued.

Q:Can you give me some information about online law degree accredited program?

A:If you are interested in earning a law degree, there are a number of accredited schools that offer online law degrees. Whether you are seeking to earn a Juris Doctorate (JD) or a Masters of Law (LLM), there are online options that may suit you. The coursework is typically covered online via lectures and videos. It is important that you check an online law school's ABA accreditation before enrolling.

Q:What can you do with a law degree?

A:A law degree opens up many doors for you in a number of legal and related professions. With respect to legal careers, candidates can choose to become lawyers, judges, mediators, or magistrates. There is also the option of pursuing corporate and public administration careers such as in a corporate firm or in public policy. Prospective salaries will vary depending on which career path you intent to follow. For instance, in 2012 the annual median salary for lawyers was $113,530 whereas for mediators it was $61,280. (Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Q:Can I go back to school to earn a paralegal degree?

A:Yes, you can go back to college to earn a degree in paralegal studies. Many colleges are offering degree completion programs, short course, diplomas, and certificate programs designed for working individuals. You can also opt for online paralegal degrees. This mode of learning can be tailored to suit our lifestyle and work schedule.

Q:I am disabled and wish to pursue a degree in law. Can I become a lawyer despite my disability?

A:Did you know that there are over 2.4 million students with a disability are currently enrolled in a college according to the U.S Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics? Online learning has made education more accessible for individuals with disabilities. However, the effectiveness of online learning also depends on the kind of disability you have. In an online degree program, you can study from the comfort of your home without having to worry about travelling.

Q:What law degree program should I pursue after a master in business and education?

A:With a master in business and education, you are well equipped to pursue a degree in several branches of law. One of the most obvious choices could be a public policy law degree. Another degree you could go for could be a business law degree. There are many law schools in the United States who would be willing to accept graduates with non-law backgrounds.

Q:Currently, I have a masters degree in business leadership and i want to pursue a PhD in human right law. I would prefer a program that is online. What university can I apply to?

A:There are very few universities in the United States that offer accredited programs in human rights law online. A PhD program would require you to research extensively and take around 3-8 years of your time. Common graduation requirements include a doctoral dissertation. And to be eligible for admission into a PhD program, you will require a bachelor's or master's degree.

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