United States Online Legal Studies & Law Graduate Degree Programs
Several graduate schools and online law schools might offer online legal studies and law graduate degree programs. Some of these online post graduate legal studies graduate programs may be designed for individuals who hold a strong interest in the law but have no intention to become attorneys. Other online law degree programs may be designed for current lawyers seeking knowledge in specialist areas such as international law or public policy.
What are Online Legal Studies & Law Degree Programs?
Online legal studies and law graduate degree programs offer postgraduate education in the law and law-related fields to both lawyers and non-lawyers. There are essentially three types of online legal studies and law graduate programs:
- Online law degree programs such as the Juris doctor, may be designed to prepare aspiring lawyers to take their state Bar exams.
- Master of Science and PhD in legal studies programs and law may be designed to provide comprehensive knowledge, leadership skills and ‘best’ practices to graduate students and working professionals (e.g. law enforcement and other fields).
- Online law degree programs such as the LLM degrees that might function as specialized knowledge for current attorneys who might want to expand or focus their law career in a specific direction.
DID YOU KNOW? When surveyed about their education, 34% of Law Professors reported having a Professional degree, 54% indicated they had a Doctoral degree and 11% responded they had a Masters degree.[i]
Online Law School or Online Graduate School?
Online law schools are specifically devoted to legal education. Online graduate schools may be traditional grad schools with online legal studies and law graduate programs or institutions completely devoted to distance education. Think about what your academic and vocational goals are and let those preferences inform your search. Choose a subject specialty from our menu bar, then refine by Masters, Doctorate and graduate certificate. ‘Specialty’ is a term that might refer to a very focused program such as;
- Online Environmental Law graduate programs
- Online Health Care Law graduate programs
- Online Intellectual Property Law graduate programs
- Online International Law graduate programs
- Online JD/Law programs
- Online LLM’s – Masters of Law
- Online Taxation Law graduate programs
Online Legal Studies and Law Masters Programs
Online Legal studies and law graduate degree programs might include Master of Science (MSL), Masters in Legal Studies, and Master of Laws (LLM) degree programs. These are postgraduate degrees, and equal in that they do not help graduates fulfill the requirements to practice law. Prospective students typically must have earned a Bachelors degree and fulfilled other program and school specific admissions requirements.
About the Online LLM Degree
An online LLM degree is typically a one-year full-time program (although program lengths might vary). Law students and adult professionals might pursue a Master of Laws online to gain expertise in a specialized are of law – taxation law, or international law, for example.
Online Legal Studies and Law Doctorate Degree Programs
At the doctorate level, online legal studies and law degree graduate programs include both the PhD and the Juris Doctorate (JD) degree. Some PhD Law programs may be designed for JD graduates, but they are not practice doctorates as much as prepare graduates to pursue potential career paths that might include legal scholars or postsecondary law or criminal justice teachers[ii]
About the Online JD Degree
An online JD degree is an abbreviated term for the Juris Doctor or Doctor of Jurisprudence degree. Law schools award the JD degree and it is considered a graduate-level entry professional degree in law. Typically, a three-year course of study (full-time), prospective lawyers might consider completing a Juris Doctor at a law school accredited by the American Bar Association[iii].
Online Legal Studies and Law Graduate Degree Programs: Potential Format
One important thing to know going into a search for online legal studies or law graduate degree programs is that each school might have its own way of formatting their courses, dealing with student issues or structuring their programs. That said, distance learning may be a convenient option for professionals seeking an advanced law or criminal justice education with minimal disruption and commute time. Some of the potential formatting options for online legal studies graduate degree programs might include;
- Some online legal studies programs may offer part-time and/or full time degree options which might translate into a manageable workload;
- Online students may be paired with a faculty member in some programs where a one-to-one learning model is used;
- Some online law degree programs may have 100% online coursework with no residency requirements. Students may be able to study on their own timetable if deadlines are respected;
- There may be an online law library for research and resource material and/or agreements with a local library in your community;
- Some online legal studies graduate programs might offer monthly course starts;
- Some programs may be designed and delivered by the same faculty who teach the on-campus program or a program may be specifically designed for web-based education
- Online learning management systems may make use of synchronous (live-streaming) and/or asynchronous (pre-recorded) course materials
- Digital tools might include online chat rooms and group discussion boards, emails, interactive learning tools, videoconferencing, MP3 recordings
Potential Career Paths for Law Graduates
Whether you are interested in potentially advancing a law-related career without taking the Bar exams in your state or you specifically want to work towards the law education needed to practice law (pass the Bar exams), there are a variety of potential career paths that law graduates might choose to pursue. These might include;
- Postsecondary law teachers
- Postsecondary criminal justice and law enforcement teachers
- Compliance officers
- Human Resources Managers
- Policy analyst
Find Accredited Online Legal Studies Graduate Programs
Students interested in online law schools or a Juris Doctor might consider an ABA-accredited law school where curricula and faculty meet certain standards which may be important vis a vis state Bar exam.[iii] Other universities with online legal studies and law graduate degree programs may be regionally accredited such as by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
Take the Next Step
Browse sponsored listings for online legal studies and law graduate degree programs using our on-page navigation to choose your specialty and degree level. Then submit a ‘request info’ form to get more details from prospective graduate schools and online law schools. Take the next step in your law and legal studies education today!
[i] onetonline.org/link/summary/25-1112.00 |[ii] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/postsecondary-teachers.htm |[iii] bls.gov/ooh/legal/lawyers.htm
Washington University in St Louis
Washington University School of Law’s online Master of Legal Studies is for non-lawyers who would benefit from legal training. The MLS can be completed in as little as one year. No GRE/LSAT required.
Walden UniversityUpcoming Start Date: February 25, 2019
Stay at the forefront of this evolving field as you study the latest theories and explore today’s increasingly sophisticated criminal justice issues.
Northcentral UniversityUpcoming Start Date: January 28, 2019
Northcentral University’s Master of Legal Studies (MLS) program will help students develop a comprehensive understanding of law and the U.S. legal system, including ethics, torts and contracts.
Trinity Law School
Over the years, job seekers have earned MBA degrees as a way to fast-track their career advancement. The problem is that so many MBAs have been awarded that the market is saturated, making it harder for candidates to stand out.
Purdue University GlobalUpcoming Start Date: February 27, 2019
Law is the most powerful tool in health care. Those who can communicate the intricacies of law and policy may be needed since today’s health care industry is heavily regulated by federal and state laws. While ever...
University of Edinburgh
The LLM in Information Technology Law by online distance learning focuses on the regulatory framework that governs information technology within international, European and domestic settings.
John Marshall Law School
University of Edinburgh
University of Alabama
St. Thomas University School of Law
In 1998, Director, William H. Byrnes, IV established the first onlineLL.M.
British American University
British-American University School of Law is a unique method of non-traditional correspondence law study.
Michigan State University
This is an Internet distance education program that consists of a series of region-specific courses taught completely over the Internet by an internat...
University of Illinois at Chicago
St. Thomas University
Nova Southeastern UniversityUpcoming Start Date: March 11, 2019
Innovative teaching and a 21st-century curriculum set the Shepard Broad Law Center apart from other law schools.
As a LLM in Taxation online student in the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law, you can become part of a distinguished and supportive learning community.
Abraham Lincoln University
The university provides working adults with a focused and practical online legal education.
University of California - Riverside
Become a liaison between the legal and health care professions by becoming a legal nurse consultant (LNC). LNCs, through nursing preparation and exper...
American Public University
The Master of Arts in Legal Studies degree program seeks to expand students' academic and professional development by providing...
- Boston, MABoston, MA
Boston UniversityUpcoming Start Date: March 19, 2019
A 20-credit blended online LLM program that advances experienced professionals' expertise in international business law.
- Daytona Beach, FLDaytona Beach, FL
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
This program is designed for professionals who aspire to leadership positions in the information security arena...
International Center For Legal Studies
The International Center For Legal Studies ("ICLS") embraces students from all countries who seek to earn a fully accredited law degree--completely on...