Legal studies, often classified as an interdisciplinary or liberal arts major, arms students with a theory-based approach to how the law works. A legal studies degree covers the law, its institutions, and practical application. Legal studies graduates may work as paralegals or legal assistants. Earning a bachelor's in legal studies online can also lead degree-holders to careers as lawyers, judges, or mediators.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects jobs for arbitrators, mediators, and conciliators will grow 8% between 2019 and 2029, which is much faster than other occupations. These professionals earn a median annual salary of $66,130.

The BLS reports that paralegals and legal assistants earn a median annual salary of $52,920 and projects jobs for these professionals to grow 10% between 2019 and 2029.

Read on for the top legal studies degrees, including common courses for students who pursue a legal studies degree online.

Q. What is legal studies?

Legal studies programs cover law terms, processes, and regulations related to the legal profession. Students learn to apply these principles and guidelines in the field.

Q. What kind of jobs can you get with a legal studies degree?

Degree-holders may work as paralegals, legal assistants, arbitrators, conciliators, and mediators. This degree allows learners to apply to a master's or juris doctor (JD) program.

Q. Is a legal studies degree worth it?

Learners pursuing a legal studies degree often find many career opportunities and flexibility within the major. Students who enjoy law but do not want to commit to law school often find this degree appealing.

Q. Are legal studies and paralegal the same thing?

The paralegal field is a narrower niche field under the broad umbrella of legal studies. 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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Why Get a Degree in Legal Studies?

Legal studies programs hone in on specific legal skills related to research, analysis, and writing. Professionals who earn a master's in legal studies often earn above-average salaries and can pursue careers with projected growth between 2019 and 2029.

By pursuing a legal studies bachelor's degree, enrollees often gain career-relevant skills within the legal studies profession. Learners typically take classes in accounting, healthcare, and education.

Degree-seekers may want to continue working while they study — one of the major benefits of online learning. In addition to flexible learning, enrollees also benefit from affordable tuition. Online learners also do not incur additional fees for room and board or commuting to campus.

How Much Does a Legal Studies Degree Cost?

The cost of a legal studies bachelor's degree varies widely depending on the school. Students may pay less to take online courses because colleges and universities often do not charge activity or technology fees. Some schools may waive other fees or impose additional fees related to online learning. However, students can generally expect a lower cost for online courses.

Break down your current financial situation, and receive a college tuition estimate you can afford to pay.

How Much Do Legal Studies Majors Make?

Students who pursue jobs as arbitrators, mediators, and conciliators earn a median annual salary of $66,130, while paralegals and legal assistants earn $52,920. Degree-seekers may work for the federal or state government, private corporations, or individual law practices.

Legal studies graduates can also pursue careers in real estate, law enforcement, and hospital administration. Some degree-holders work in business consulting, government affairs, or financial management. Job titles may include compliance officer and legislative assistant.

Many students continue their studies in graduate school and may pursue a JD or master of business administration.

Courses in Legal Studies

Legal studies courses help students develop research and analytical skills and a thorough understanding of the law. Degree-seekers may acquire these skills through original research projects or a thesis. See below for some common courses in legal studies programs.

  • Introduction to Law

    The foundational course provides a general introduction to law and the legal system, including an overview of both civil and criminal arenas. Students learn how the legal system operates and begin to apply qualitative analysis to modern-day law problems. The class lays out a comprehensive foundation for a legal studies program and career.
  • Western Legal Tradition

    The course includes an overview of divine, natural, canon, secular, and common law. Enrollees explore the history of the Magna Carta and study Western law practices. This course helps students understand the underpinnings of the origins of law.
  • The American Constitution

    The class covers major aspects of American constitutional law and its development, including the separation of powers in the American political system, within the federal government, and in individual states. Enrollees study the development of civil rights and liberties and learn how to develop and apply analytical techniques in the field.

Certifications and Licensure for Legal Studies

Many legal studies professionals need specific licenses and certifications. Some professionals choose to pursue specific certifications and licensure to advance their careers. See below for some potential credentials for legal studies professionals.

The national professional standard for paralegals, the CP designation requires successfully completing a rigorous examination. Recognized as a high-level achievement, the certification encourages positive growth within the paralegal profession. ACP courses help students advance their education by learning specific areas of law. This certification includes an assessment component and a 20-hour course. This credential from the National Federation of Paralegal Associations, Inc. involves critical assessment related to typical paralegal tasks. These tasks involve administration of client legal matters, development of client legal matters, research, writing, and office administration.

Scholarships for Legal Studies

Legal studies students can apply for many different types of scholarships. Degree-seekers should also inquire at their college or university for a list of institutional grants and scholarships. See below for three opportunities for students pursuing a legal studies degree.

Scholarships for Legal Studies
Scholarship Amount Who Can Apply

Ehline Law Firm Paralegal Scholarship

$750 Students enrolled in a paralegal program with a minimum 3.0 GPA may apply. Applicants can demonstrate exemplary student status through signed writing from an official instructor or supervising attorney (if not in school). All applicants must show proof of U.S. citizenship and complete an essay.

Annual Reiff Law Firm Legal Scholarship

$1,000 Learners who intend to work in the legal field may apply, including those pursuing a degree in paralegal studies. Students must be U.S. citizens and show proof of full-time enrollment at an accredited institution. Applicants need a minimum 3.0 GPA.

Bay Area Minority Law Student Scholarship

$10,000 The Justice and Diversity Center of the Bar Association of San Francisco offers this scholarship. Students from minority groups who attend eligible law schools in the Bay Area may apply. Applicants must submit official transcripts, a personal statement up to 500 words, a resume, and a copy of admission letters from eligible law schools.

Online Bachelor's In Legal Studies Programs

  1. Liberty University

    Lynchburg, VA



  2. Bellevue University

    Bellevue, NE



  3. California University of Pennsylvania

    California, PA



  4. University of Maryland-University College

    Adelphi, MD



  5. William Woods University

    Fulton, MO



  6. SUNY College of Technology at Canton

    Canton, NY



  7. Florida Gulf Coast University

    Fort Myers, FL



  8. Eastern Kentucky University

    Richmond, KY



  9. Valdosta State University

    Valdosta, GA



  10. Keiser University

    Fort Lauderdale, FL



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