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Online Law School Options

In this ranking, we’re presenting you the top 20 online law school options that will allow you to earn a degree in the legal field from the comfort of your home or wherever your favorite study spot may be. We cover a range of online legal degrees from law schools all over the country.

Earning a Law Degree

A law degree is far more diverse than many people may think, so earning one can help you to advance your career even if you don’t want to practice law actively. You’re not limited to a job in the courtroom, by any means. The things you’ll learn throughout your course of study could be applied in other sectors like business, communications, auditing, compliance, and honestly, any other industry that you wish to apply yourself in. Law is a very multidisciplinary field, and the skills you will pick up along the way are highly desirable to employers. These include communication, professional writing, deductive reasoning, research, and more.

Inside the courtroom, you’ll find positions like working as a lawyer, a courtroom technology specialist, a legal reporter, a litigation specialist, a jury consultant, and more. Outside the courtroom, you could choose to pursue a career at a law firm working as a contract negotiator, claims examiner, and many others.

A law degree can also lead to plenty of alternative careers in the legal field such as teaching law at a college or university, working as a legal analyst, taking a recruitment position for legal jobs, working in customs, becoming a compliance officer, even entering politics. There is a broad scope of things that you can do when you’ve earned a law degree.

Online Law School

Going to law school online is another way to open yourself up to more diverse opportunities. Law schools near you may not offer the specific program of study you’re interested in; you will have a more comprehensive selection of concentrations and electives when you broaden your search to include distance degree options.

The good news is that there are a lot of colleges and universities offering fully-online programs with rigorous curricula that are industry-relevant and immediately applicable in the workplace. Going to law school online has other advantages as well. The schedule is going to be more flexible because many of the courses are asynchronous; even the synchronous classes are designed for adult learners and tend to take place in the evenings and often just once per week. You won’t have to put your life on hold, and you will be able to graduate on your terms.

The other advantage is arguably one of the most important, and that is affordability. There are typically fewer costs associated with distance learning programs, and you will still have access to financial aid and scholarship opportunities.

If an online degree seems right for you but you don’t have aspirations for law school, you may find what you’re looking for in our ranking of the Top 100 Best Online Colleges.


In order to rank the top 20 best online law schools, we began by creating a list of all of the institutions of higher education that were properly accredited and offered at least one fully-online or hybrid graduate program in law or a related field. For-profit schools and schools based outside of the United States were excluded.

We then scored those schools based on student opinion, graduation rate, and the average cost of attendance. Up to 100 points were awarded in each of these three categories, and then those numbers were added together to get a final score for each institution out of a possible 300 points. Those that had the highest final scores are presented here. Any time that two schools were tied for a position, the alphabetical ordering of their names was used to determine their order.

Data we collected to rank each school along with the information presented in this article was taken directly from the schools’ websites whenever possible. Additional information was obtained from the following sources:

Due to incomplete data, there may be some schools here that otherwise would have ranked that are not represented. It is important to note that no institution is ever given preferential treatment from our research editors for any reason.

Average cost represents the residential cost of attendance for each institution, and it was current at the time of writing. Due to the fluid nature of tuition rates and the differences in cost associated with studying online, you should always consult the financial aid office at your selected school to gain a more accurate picture of how much you would pay to attend.

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  1. MERIT: 274
    View Profile Average Cost: $74,361

    The Washington University School of Law at Washington University in St. Louis offers several options for those seeking an online law school. There are two different Master of Laws programs, as well as a Master of Legal Studies. We will be exploring the MLS program. In order to enroll in any of the three options, students are required to hold a bachelors degree or equivalent.

    This MLS program is offered 100% online and has been endorsed by the American Bar Association. The curriculum in this program spans a range of topics so that this degree can be used to bridge the gap between law and another field you’re passionate about. You’ll learn about contracts, health law, intellectual property, negotiation, international business, and corporate compliance.

    You’ll take a lot of the foundational courses that aspiring lawyers take so that you’ll have a fundamental understanding of our country’s legal system, legal procedure, legal writing, and more. These in-depth courses are combined with practical instruction in current topics in business and law, so you will have a very broad foundation upon which to build a professional life you can be proud of.

    This program consists of 24 credits, and it can be completed in as little as one year of full-time study. 21 of the required credits are electives, which really makes this degree customizable. Classes you’ll take are synchronous. You will log in at set times are participate in lives classes that utilize the Socratic method. Online students can choose to take part in optional in-person learning experiences on campus, as well as a commencement ceremony.

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  2. MERIT: 272
    View Profile Average Cost: $29,463

    Texas A&M University offers an online Master of Jurisprudence degree as well as a Master of Laws degree. You can choose to specialize in Wealth Management or Risk Management online for both of these programs of study. All of the online law degrees offered at TAMU have obtained acquiescence from the American Bar Association.

    The online LL.M. or Master of Laws is a 24-credit program that students can complete over the course of just one year. It is an advanced law degree that allows students to specialize in a particular area of law. Courses in both specializations offered are taught by expert faculty with real-world experience. All of the classes are presented asynchronously so this is a genuinely self-paced program. Students will take at least six credits per term.

    The Master of Jurisprudence program is also available entirely online and taught by the same experienced faculty. You will master the essential competencies in whichever areas of specialization you choose, picking up universally applicable skills in analytical thinking, deductive reasoning, and cross-referencing. This program of study was created to serve students who are already practicing lawyers as well as those of you who are just getting started in the field.

    Wealth management courses you’ll encounter include Insurance & Annuity Planning, Portfolio Management, Estate & Wealth Planning, Financial Innovation, and more. You will also complete a capstone as well as conduct research and complete a thesis. The Risk Management track will cover similar topics through the Financial Innovations and Portfolio Management courses. But, it also includes courses like Cybersecurity, White Collar Crime, Insurance Law, and more.

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  3. MERIT: 269
    View Profile Average Cost: $28,428

    Michigan State University’s online law degree is a Master’s in Global Food Law. Based on your educational and professional background, you can opt to take either a Master of Laws or a Master of Jurisprudence. Students will pay the same tuition rate regardless of which program of study they choose and regardless of where they live. You will also have access to an advisor that will help you select the best possible courses to meet your needs.

    The Master of Laws is the program for those who have already earned a law degree. It consists of 24 credits for the average student. The Master of Jurisprudence is the appropriate program of study for students who do not possess a law degree when they enroll. This option requires 27 credits and includes an additional course, Foundations of Law and Legal Research, to help students gain the fundamental understanding they need to succeed in their other classes.

    These online law school options differ by just one course. Both tracks offer three start dates throughout the year. Classes are held at a normal pace during the fall and spring, and then condensed seven-week courses are offered over the summer semester. You are not required to attend campus for any reason, but Michigan State welcomes all students to visit the campus at any time. Online students will have access to technical support and all of the same student support services that traditional students have.

    Classes are all asynchronous, which allows you to study whenever it is convenient for you. You will not have to step away from your current career or family obligations, or your hobbies. The degree has been designed to be flexible enough to fit into the lifestyle of a working adult. All students are required to take Food Regulation in the U.S., International Food Law, and Administrative Law: Food and Safety Labeling. The remainder of the credits are fulfilled by electives you select with an advisor to cover the subjects you’re interested in, and that will enhance your professional life.

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  4. MERIT: 267
    View Profile Average Cost: $70,758

    The USC Gould School of Law is another good option for an online law school. There are two masters-level degree programs offered as well as graduate certificates in Business Law, Online Compliance, and Entertainment Law and Industry. The degree programs available are a Master of Studies in Law and a Master of Laws. Both of these options are delivered 100% online and will take 12 months to complete.

    There are three start dates offered each year in January, May, and August. The Master of Studies in Law is provided in a 15-week semester structure year-round. The Master of Laws has rolling admissions for the three terms. If students are studying at a full-time pace, they may be eligible to receive financial aid from the university; students are also welcome to participate in the law school’s summer program in Law & English.

    You can also add a Graduate Certificate in Business Law to your program of study, for either degree, if you so choose. The Master of Laws differs from the MSL in the sense that it prepares graduates to sit for the bar exam in the state of California. Outside of that, the curriculum is the same. It was designed to establish a firm understanding of the law and its many applications across industry lines.

    Students have the opportunity to select specific courses that will allow them to advance the skills that will propel them into the careers they desire, regardless of which program of study best suits their needs. Some of the classes you’d have the option to take include Legal Research, Mergers & Acquisitions, Health Care Compliance, and Constitutional Law, among many others.

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  5. MERIT: 262
    View Profile Average Cost: $70,302

    Boston University operates the School of Law, which features an online Master of Laws in Taxation. The university was among the first in the country to establish a Tax LLM, and naturally, it was among the first to take this degree to the web in order to make it more accessible for lawyers with an already busy schedule and a desire to enhance their career by furthering their education.

    All students holding a first degree in law are welcome to apply to the program and will pay the same tuition rate as the residential students no matter where in the world they are located. This university has one of the most comprehensive curricula in the area of taxation nationwide. There are close to 40 courses offered every year, and each of them can be completed without ever setting foot in a traditional classroom.

    In addition to being one of the most diverse programs, this online Tax LLM is also one of the most flexible. Students can choose from three start dates and opt to study at a full-time or part-time pace based on the amount of time they have to dedicate to their studies. The 24 credits can be completed in as little as two sessions or stretched out over four years. The instructors are the same online and on campus, and online students have access to personalized advising, professional development resources, and can even attend recruiting events after earning their degree.

    Most of the courses are asynchronous but are not self-paced in that lectures are streamed within 24 hours after taking place in the classroom. A small selection of available classes is entirely self-paced. Concentrations are offered in Estate Planning, General Business Taxation, International Taxation, Transfer Pricing, and Financial Services. If none of these are in line with your needs, you can hand pick your courses with the help of an advisor to make the most of your time at this law school online.

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  6. MERIT: 260
    View Profile Average Cost: $68,232

    Villanova University offers an online Master of Laws in Taxation. This degree is provided through the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law which is accredited by the American Bar Association and is approved by the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar of the American Bar Association. This program consists of 24 credits and is entirely online.

    There are multiple start dates throughout the year and students can complete this online law degree in as little as 18 months of full-time study. There are three 16-week semesters each year, each of which is divided into two eight-week terms. Students take one course per term when studying full time. The curriculum has been designed to bring together concepts from law, accounting, and business; classes are taught by industry experts.

    Villanova prides itself on having an innovative law degree program that features a comprehensive course of study that perfectly combines theoretical knowledge with hands-on skills. The classes allow for interaction with your classmates and create abundant opportunities for hands-on learning, but they are still entirely asynchronous so that they can fit into your life.

    The core courses of the program include Survey of Tax, Taxation One and Two, Professional Responsibilities in Tax and Research & Writing, Taxation of Corporations and Shareholders, and Partnership Taxation. The remaining six credits hours are for your electives. You can choose courses that will drive your career forward like Executive Compensation, Employee Benefits, Tax Procedure, and Taxation of Real Estate Transactions, just to name a few.

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  7. MERIT: 255
    View Profile Average Cost: $33,274

    The Vermont Law School at the University of Vermont offers a variety of online law school programs. This school is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member institution of the Association of American Law Schools. Currently available is a Master of Laws in Energy Law; a Master of Laws in Environmental Law; a Master of Laws in Food and Agriculture Law; a Master of Energy Regulation and Law; a Master of Environmental Law and Policy and; a Master of Food and Agriculture Law and Policy.

    There are three start dates to choose from in the fall, spring, and summer semesters. The program was designed to meet the same high standards as the residential programs so that students who just can’t relocate can still receive a rigorous education that will advance their goals. All online students have experiential learning opportunities, learn from nationally-recognized faculty, and have access to various programs, centers, and essential student services.

    All of the online master’s degrees can be completed in as little as one year. The online LLM degrees consist of 30 credits and can be completed in 12 months of full-time study or 18 months of part-time study. However, you can also choose to earn your degree at a part-time pace. Courses at this online law school are taught sequentially. Students take one class at a time so that they can put all of their focus into mastering the subjects that matter. Accelerated courses are offered over summer, but the majority of classes are condensed into just seven weeks. Everything can be completed asynchronously.

    Each online law degree at the University of Vermont features a very focused curriculum that prepares you to specialize in a particular area of the law. You can also choose from the following available minors to add another skill set or improve the one that your program of study is already establishing: Business Law, China & Southeast Asia, Climate Change Law, Criminal Law, Dispute Resolution, Energy Law, Environmental Law, Food & Agriculture Law, International and Comparative Law, Land Use Law, Legal Writing, Restorative Justice, Tax Law and Policy, or Water Resources Law.

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  8. MERIT: 254
    View Profile Average Cost: $35,147

    New York University offers an Executive Master of Laws in Tax. The program consists of 24 credits and can only be taken at a part-time pace. Students are limited to taking six credit per semester in most cases, and working attorneys are limited to just four. While this may feel inconvenient, you can still graduate in as little as three years. Some perks of the Executive LLM is that it is NYU’s only program that offers remote proctoring service and even offers concentrations.

    The concentrations offered include General Taxation, Business Taxation, International Taxation, Estate Planning, and Tax Policy. You can also collaborate with an academic advisor to select courses that will create a custom concentration for you. NYU Law also offered Advanced Professional Certificates in Corporate Taxation, Estate Planning, and International Taxation.

    You will take classes like Survey of Tax Procedure, Tax Policy, Transfer Pricing, Corporate Tax, and more. You will be able to participate in summer sessions in addition to your regular studies. This executive format is only suitable for those who are actively practicing law, not those seeking entry-level employment. NYU also has a part-time program for tax practitioners who are not attorneys and would like to gain more experience in law.

    The Master of Studies in Law in Taxation is fully-online and is only offered on a part-time basis. The courses are the same as that of the Executive LLM in Taxation, but there is more of an emphasis placed on the foundations of law and the principles of business and how it relates to law. The curriculum seeks to bridge the gap between these two fields to create richer professional opportunities for its graduates. Both of these online law school options are asynchronous to increase their convenience.

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  9. MERIT: 253
    View Profile Average Cost: $24,935

    The University of Nebraska – Lincoln is ranked here for what is easily the most unique degree program on this list. It has a Master of Laws in Space, Cyber, and Telecommunications Law. This program is the first of its kind in the nation, and it seeks to equip students with essential legal knowledge to keep up with the rapidly-changing landscape of technology.

    Space law simply covers the governing of activities in space and activities that prepare items to be launched into space from Earth. Cyberlaw is the study of the relationship between technology and the law. Telecommunications encompasses all electronic communications and broadcasting that take place. This degree program combines those three particular areas because they are linked by the technology used in each one and the evolving legal environment surrounding them.

    The core courses of the curriculum explore each topic and teach you the principles of each one while demonstrating how they are so closely related. You will then expand on a particular area of focus with your research and electives. This program is only offered part-time and must be completed in six semesters. Less than ten students are admitted to the program every year which allows a truly personalized learning experience for you, but it also increases the competitiveness of the degree track.

    This is a hybrid program. Students must complete at least three credits in residence at UNL, on its main campus in Lincoln, Nebraska. After that, students can complete the entirety of their coursework online. This program is synchronous, so students must log in at specific times and participate in real time with their instructors and classmates.

    Applications are always accepted; however, it is strongly advised that you start during the fall semester. Students of this online law degree are held to the same standards as traditional students; the only difference is that distance learners have a longer timeframe in which to complete those requirements.

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  10. MERIT: 250
    View Profile Average Cost: $73,002

    Pepperdine University is a highly-recognized institution in the field of law. National Jurist ranked Pepperdine Law among the top five schools in the country for practical training. U.S. News & World Report‘s latest rankings put the school in first place for its dispute resolution program. It was also noted in The Princeton Review’s article about the top 10 best law school professors.

    The degree we are featuring Pepperdine University for is an online Master of Legal Studies. This is an ABA-accredited program that offers an optional concentration in Dispute Resolution. Students can also manipulate the ten elective courses they’re required to take to create a personalized concentration. The entire program is 32 units, and you can choose to complete it at a part-time or full-time pace. You could graduate in 28 months or 16 months, respectively.

    The core curriculum focuses on several areas of law that apply to a multitude of different career fields. Some examples include legal research, legal writing, regulatory compliance, negotiation, contracts, and more. There are start dates in January, May, and September. You will participate in live-streamed classes and then complete self-paced coursework each week, combining two formats to help you get the most out of your classes while remaining flexible.

    There are two residencies required to complete this program. During these weekend-long residencies you will get to network with faculty and your peers, gain hands-on experience practicing what you’ve learned and have the chance to enjoy Pepperdine’s beautiful waterfront campus in Malibu.

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  11. MERIT: 248
    View Profile Average Cost: $26,572

    The University of Alabama School of Law offers two different online LLM degrees. You have the choice of a Master of Laws in Business Transactions or a Master of Laws in Taxation. Both of these concentrations are available 100% online. The online law degrees at the University of Alabama consist of 24 credits and take the average student two years to complete. The University of Alabama School of Law offers a lot of student support resources including personal advising and career services.

    You will progress through the program in a cohort, beginning in August. You can opt to take four courses per semester to complete your degree in one year if you have the time to dedicate. The classes are presented in a synchronous format. You will sign in two evenings per week and participate live with your peers and professors through video conferencing. While this program may not be as flexible as one that is self-paced, it was still structured to be manageable for a working professional.

    The Business Transactions curriculum is interdisciplinary; it has six required courses which are Business Drafting, Advanced Business Ethics, Principles in Accounting, Advanced Securities Regulation, Intellectual Property for Technology and Business Development, and Mergers and Acquisitions. There are nearly a dozen electives that you can choose from to build upon the core curriculum, so it suits you.

    The Taxation degree track requires Tax Research, Personal Income Tax, Capital Transactions, Partnership, Corporate Tax, and Tax Procedure. If you select this option, you will have 12 electives to pick from to finish off your Tax LLM the way you want to. You can choose a set of electives to focus on Estate Planning or Business Tax based on what you want to do. Or, in consultation with an advisor, select them on your own.

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  12. MERIT: 247
    View Profile Average Cost: $24,916

    The University of Arkansas has an online Master of Laws in Agricultural and Food Law. The U of A School of Law was the first in the country to implement an advanced legal degree in agricultural and food law. U.S. News & World Report ranks it among the top 50 best public law schools in the country. Other publications have commended the school for its value, its incredible scholar faculty, and its dedication to this particular area of law.

    The University of Arkansas School of Law is accredited by the American Bar Association Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, so you know that you’re getting a degree that you can apply in a professional setting and obtaining a high-quality education that is industry-relevant. This online law degree requires 24 credits to graduate and gives you a choice on how you’ll earn them.

    This LLM is available entirely online, and you can enroll full-time or part-time based on the demands of your schedule. You can participate in asynchronous or synchronous classes as you tackle the curriculum that is made up of highly-specialized courses. If you live near the campus, you can opt to study in person for part of your degree. Depending on the pace you choose, you could graduate in just two semesters. Most of the courses are self-paced; the university also offers short intensives you could visit for.

    There are online four required courses in this program of study. The rest is up to you. You can work with an advisor to consider which of the diverse and comprehensive classes will enhance your career prospects the most. Some of your options include Specialized Legal Research and Writing, Business Human Rights & Corporate Social Responsibility, Environmental Regulation of Agriculture, Farmed Animal Welfare Law & Policy, and even Agricultural Biotechnology. You can focus on law and policy, litigation, regulation, taxation, and more.

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  13. MERIT: 246
    View Profile Average Cost: $27,009

    Arizona State University has spent years at the top of U.S. News & World Report’s ranking of the nation’s most innovative schools, so it’s no surprise that the ASU’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law offers an incredible online option for law school. The school ranks first in the state of Arizona for bar passage and has ranked among the top 25 for public law schools in its region, and in the country. Other areas where it has received accolades include its value, careers services, and financial aid.

    This highly-decorated school offers an incredible Master of Legal Studies online. This is a unique degree option for those who want to explore law professionally without becoming a lawyer. Students can finish all 30 credits in just one year. There are ten classes in the program, each lasting for just seven-and-a-half weeks each. The core curriculum explores the relationship between law and various topics in other fields.

    Graduates will have a solid grasp on how the law works, legal structures, legal reasoning, and how to apply the skills and expertise they’ve acquired to their specific field. There are six possible areas of emphasis to choose from, which are Sports Law, Law & Sustainability, HR & Employment Law, Intellectual Property Law, Criminal Law, and Corporate and Health Care Compliance. Students can also opt to select their own electives.

    The program can be completed entirely online, and the accelerated classes are presented asynchronously. There are six start dates every year and a variety of opportunities for you to receive financial aid or tuition discounts to help you keep costs low while you earn this outstanding degree. You will also benefit from the excellent student support you’ll receive at ASU from student orientation to degree planning, to career services, and beyond.

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  14. George Washington University
    MERIT: 246
    Average Cost: $70,443

    George Washington University provides students with a Master of Professional Studies in Law Firm Management online. This is a slightly different program than the others we’ve ranked, but the comprehensive curriculum, expert faculty, and prestige of the university were all contributing factors in its presence in this article. The Law Firm Management MPS consists of 30 credits of coursework, and it is distance-based. There are five short-term residencies required, which are held at the Alexandria, Virginia location.

    In order to ensure maximum convenience for students like you who are leading busy lives, dates for the short residencies are provided years in advance so you won’t have to stress about it. The program kicks off every summer, and you’ll proceed through the curriculum in a cohort. You can graduate in as little as 18 months. Outside of the face-to-face requirements, you will be studying asynchronously.

    Class sizes are kept exceptionally low in this program so you can have the personalized support that you deserve. You will also have academic advisors and access to career support services. The career services office will help you consider career options, tailor your degree, create a job search plan, craft a resume, and even prepare for interviews. GWU is committed to your success, even after you’ve earned your degree.

    This online law firm management program will help you to maximize your skills in organizational strategy, understanding economic trends, and more. It is also designed to help keep you on the cutting edge of emerging legal technologies. Courses you’ll encounter include Applying Strategic and Business Planning, Legal Technology and Knowledge Management, Principles of Leadership, and more. You can also supplement what you’re learning with electives in a specific area.

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  15. MERIT: 244
    View Profile Average Cost: $59,435

    The University of Tulsa College of Law has been named a Best Value School by both National Jurist and preLaw Magazine. It is one of the most affordable private law schools in America, and it is fully accredited by the American Bar Association. There are two online law degrees to choose from at TU, both of which are for non-lawyers. You can choose the Master of Jurisprudence in Energy Law or the Master of Jurisprudence in Indian Law.

    There are multiple start dates each year and students experience almost unparalleled flexibility when they choose to enroll in either of these programs. You can classes at a part-time pace, meaning between two and eight credits per term; you can take your classes at a full-time pace, meaning between nine and 12 credits per term. All of these options ensure that you only need to take the courses you can manage at a given time, but they also mean that you could condense a program of study that typically takes 18-24 months down to just one year.

    The online MJEL is designed to complement the work of energy and natural resource professionals. There are 24 credits in this program including just four required courses, a two-hour thesis, and the remainder of those credits are electives. You can use those electives to focus and do advanced study in areas like oil and gas, renewable energy and sustainability, or natural resources law. You will also strengthen your ability to conduct research, analyze data, and write professionally.

    TU also has the MJIL, a cutting-edge program that can’t be compared to any others. It includes six required courses, a capstone project, and plenty of room for electives. You will explore the basics of Tribal Government, Indian Law, and the Legal Administrative System in the required classes. You will also learn research methods and legal writing. You can use your electives to zero in on areas like tribal economic development, natural resources, or social services.

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  16. MERIT: 242
    View Profile Average Cost: $34,934

    Loyola University Chicago offers a variety of online law degree programs. All programs are approved and accredited by the American Bar Association, and the Loyola University Chicago School of Law is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. Students that choose Loyola will have access to an advisor that is well-versed in your area of study, individualized tutoring plans, practice exams, and a specially-designed bar exam preparatory class.

    Law graduates and practicing attorneys can pursue a Master of Laws in Business and Compliance Law or a Master of Laws in Health Law. Those who are looking to supplement their current degree or enhance their career opportunities by studying law can select a Master of Jurisprudence in Children’s Law and Policy, Compliance and Enterprise Risk Management, or Health Law. There are three different start dates each year.

    The online LLM in Business and Compliance Law is one of a select few programs of its kind in the nation that is accredited by the Compliance Certification Board; graduates of the program can also earn their Certificate in Compliance through strategic elective selection. Business planning, securities regulation, corporate compliance, and the other topics are all covered. The LLM in Health Law was ranked among the top ten programs of its kind by both U.S. News & World Report and The Law Street Media. Part-time students can graduate in just two years. Both options include a thesis and two on-campus immersion weekends.

    All three options for the online Master of Jurisprudence degree are offered exclusively online and are designed to be completed over two calendar years of part-time study, including summer sessions. You can choose to start three times a year. These programs all include immersion weekends on campus in Chicago. Each option has been featured in relevant rankings and is comprised of courses that equip you with essential theoretical knowledge in law, practical skills you’ll use to excel in your professional lives, and an overall excellent, relevant, field-specific education.

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  17. MERIT: 242
    View Profile Average Cost: $22,472

    West Virginia University has an online Master of Legal Studies with three areas of emphasis to choose from. These are healthcare, justice systems, and homeland security. This degree will not prepare you to practice law, but it will equip you with the theoretical knowledge of law and the legal system that you can apply to many different fields. Having this sort of expertise will also make you a more desirable candidate for a lot of jobs because employees who are well-versed in how the law works are in increasingly high demand.

    The curriculum can prepare you for positions as a mediator, a paralegal, a judge, compliance manager, social worker, and so much more. As a student at WVU, you will be in a supportive environment from the jump. An enrollment couch can help you select the perfect program, determine which of the three start dates will work best for you, if you need to study part-time or full-time to keep your life balanced, and more. Once you become a student, you will have a dedicated academic advisor and more. The university also helps ensure that parents have access to child care while they study and charges a flat tuition rate regardless of residency.

    In addition to being an excellent learning environment that centers on your success, the online legal studies degrees are comprehensive, relevant, and flexible. The programs each consist of 30 credits that you can finish in just 18 months if you can study full-time. The core curriculum covers dispute resolution, legal research, administrative ethics, different aspects of the legal process, and a capstone. Once you’ve completed that, you’ll take your emphasis electives.

    The healthcare program of study will teach you healthcare law, long-term care regulation, and elder law. You will gain a more analytical perspective of the healthcare field and will have the skills to ensure that all regulatory requirements are met. The justice system area of study is ideal for those who work in law enforcement or a similar career related to criminal law. The courses in this emphasis cover the judicial legal process and corrections. The homeland security emphasis teaches military justice, transportation security, immigration law, and other topics related to security and emergency response.

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  18. MERIT: 237
    View Profile Average Cost: $59,062

    Seton Hall University has two online law degrees currently available, a Master of Science in Jurisprudence and a Master of Laws. Each program has different focus areas to choose from according to your goals. You can choose to complete the degree program entirely online, or if you happen to live near the campus in New Jersey, there are hybrid options. Online courses are asynchronous and flexible, but they’re still collaborative and allow for individualized interaction with instructors.

    The MSJ is designed to help professionals understand the adaptive legal environment in their particular industries. There are concentrations in Health & Hospital Law, Life Sciences Law, Privacy Law & Cyber Security, Intellectual Property Law, and Financial Services Compliance. You can also pursue a joint concentration. The required credits regardless of your focus area are Introduction to Law and Legal Writing, Torts: Liability for Civil Wrongs, Fundamentals of Business Law, and Constitutional Law Survey. After that, the remainder of the required 31 credits are electives in your specified concentration and general electives.

    The LLM is a way for practicing attorneys to explore a specific area of the law to shift their career towards some they are interested in or passionate about. At Seton Hall, you can earn a Master of Laws in Health Law or a Master of Laws in Financial Services Compliance. Both options are entirely online and are 24 credits in total. These are advanced degrees that don’t have a shared core curriculum, all of the classes you’ll take are specific to your focus area. For those of you interested in the online Health LLM, there are an additional two subspecialties offered with that track: traditional health law or drug and biotechnology law.

    Regardless of the degree, you select, you will have access to an advisor that will help you choose the courses that are going to be the most beneficial to you. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, and classes start each fall. You will progress through your online law program in a cohort. Each of your classes will be in an eight-week condensed format. Classes have set start, end, and due dates but there are no synchronous components. If your schedule allows it, you can choose to study full-time and complete the entire online law degree you selected in just one year. Part-time students can finish in two years.

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  19. MERIT: 232
    View Profile Average Cost: $53,346

    Hamline University understands that law isn’t just for lawyers anymore, so they have created a Master in the Study of Law that has been designed for students of various industry backgrounds to gain a fundamental understanding of law and the legal system. The program is available entirely online; however, there are some individual electives that may only be offered on campus. Collaboration with your academic advisor will ensure that you won’t need to travel to Minnesota.

    There are two main components of this program, which is a total of 34 mandatory credits. The first 20 credits are your core legal courses, which are Foundations in Law, Legal Writing and Research, Civil Litigation Survey and Procedure, Transactions and Contracts in Business, and Regulation in America. Upon completion of these core courses, you will earn an ABA-approved Paralegal Certificate.

    The next component is 12 credits, and it is your concentration. Concentrations are offered in Conflict Resolution, Litigation Support, Professional Practice Management, and Social Justice. Each concentration includes mandatory courses and electives that center around the skills and theoretical base you will need to find lucrative career opportunities in each particular area. The program culminates in a Capstone that accounts for the final two credits.

    The program overview describes this as a hybrid program based on the potential that an elective you select may not be offered at a distance. However, you can create a plan of study that won’t require you to attend campus. There are start dates in February, June, and September and you have the option to study either full- or part-time. Full-time study would have you taking eight credits per term; this allows you to earn your Paralegal Certificate in one year. The remaining concentration courses bring the total time to completion to a mere 18 months.

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  20. MERIT: 231
    View Profile Average Cost: $69,392

    Drexel University Online is a long-standing department of the university that has truly innovated the concept of distance education throughout its history. For students who wish to earn a law degree online, there is Drexel’s Master of Legal Studies. This is another program that is designed for non-lawyers that would benefit from a deeper understanding of laws and the legal system and how they relate to various industries.

    You can choose to study full- or part-time and will enjoy completing your coursework when it suits you thanks to the asynchronous presentation of your classes. The core requirements of the program will lay a strong foundation in the legal field. You will graduate with a working knowledge in compliance, legal research, risk management, ethics, professional standards, analytical thinking, problem-solving, communication, and more. The Thomas R. Kline School of Law partners with faculty from several of Drexel’s other academic divisions, giving you access to interdisciplinary industry perspectives that will make you more competitive in the hiring process.

    You can choose to pursue the general Master of Legal Studies online degree, work with an advisor to customize the classes you take for your career aspirations, or you can choose from one of many curated concentrations. You can select up to two of the following specialty areas: Criminal Law, Cybersecurity and Information Privacy Compliance, Entrepreneurship and Law, Financial Regulatory Compliance, Health Care Compliance, Higher Education Compliance, Human Resources Compliance, and NCAA Compliance and Sports Law. The majority of the concentrations also offer graduate certificates.

    Drexel University also has nearly 30 minors that you can apply to any graduate program. Depending on the concentration you choose, you could also be eligible to sit for one or more Compliance Certification Board exams. This online legal degree consists of 30 credits and has three start dates each year.

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Is law school for me?

Deciding to take the next step in your education is not something you should take lightly, which is a big reason why we exist in the first place. We want to help you through that process the best way that we can. When deciding if law school is right for you, there are a few things that you should take into account. One thing you should know is that it is perfectly reasonable to be apprehensive about big decisions and that doesn’t mean you should completely write off the possibility.

Firstly, what are your career goals? Even if you don’t want to practice law, a lot of the things you learn in law school can help you to advance your career. If you have experience or aspirations in the health care, business, public health, public policy, education, sports, or even entertainment, you may benefit from the things you will learn in law school. You can use your skills to become a more versatile and competitive candidate for employers, or you can apply those things directly and find a legal job in the field that calls you the most.

What are the types of law degrees?

There are many types of law degrees, as well as types of legal degrees. What we’re going to explain here are the core types of law degree and how you might apply them.

  • Juris Doctor – This is the most common law degree available, and it is traditionally the first degree that you’d obtain when you went to law school. This degree is a prerequisite to practicing law; you can’t be a lawyer without earning this degree.
  • Master of Laws – This is the second highest law degree conferred. This type of degree is one that you would pursue in order to specialize in a specific area of law. This can be pursued after earning a Juris Doctor for those who want to be a lawyer in a particular area or can be pursued directly after an undergraduate degree. Alternate names for this degree include Master of Studies in Law, Master of Science of Law, Juris Master, or Masters of Jurisprudence. Some of these degrees can also be used for those who do not practice law but require a working knowledge of the law.
  • Master of Legal Studies – This could be used as an alternate name for the Master of Laws; however, it is also its own type of degree. This degree was created for those who need a working knowledge of the law in order to succeed in their career but will not go on to be practicing lawyers. Some of the degrees listed above may be used interchangeably with this term. This option allows you to study a specific area of law without being a practicing lawyer.

These are just the basics! There are other types of law degrees or degrees in the legal field, but these are the most common.

What is the best law school online?

The best law school online is the law school that you find that suits your academic needs, offers a program of study you’re interested in, holds the accreditation your career calls for and fits your budget. Finding the best school is always going to be a very personal endeavor. However, in our research, we have found that The Washington University School of Law at Washington University is the best online law school.

Based on our research, we found that this school meets all of our requirements that we look for in an online school and scored the highest based on the methodology we use. We examined accreditation, affordability, and indicators of academic performance and student satisfaction to make our selection. The Washington University School of Law offers three fully-online law programs; these are a Master of Legal Studies, a Master of Laws in U.S. Law, and a dual Master of Laws in U.S. Law and Transnational Legal Practice.

Students who aspire to practice law, as well as those who intend to study it for other reasons, are welcome to apply. One of the things that set this school apart is that the MLS program was endorsed by the American Bar Association even though it isn’t intended for practitioners of the law. The classes are in-depth and collaborative, and students can choose to attend face-to-face learning opportunities to enrich their education further.

How many years is law school?

The amount of time it takes you to complete law school is going to vary based on the type of degree you’re pursuing, and of course, the amount of time you have to dedicate to your studies. The typical student completes law school in three years; this refers to students who enroll in law school without a bachelor’s degree and take the traditional path of completing their course of study in three years. Conventional law schools don’t really allow for the flexibility that many students rely on, though, and rarely allow for extensions.

Online law school is very different. The main appeal of online law school is the flexibility that students can’t find in a traditional program. So, for those of you interested in study law at a distance, you may not necessarily see that same timeframe. In some instances, you could complete law school in just one year of full-time study. That time could be further reduced based on the eligibility of any transfer credits you might have.

Some schools will require you to take at least a certain number of credits per term, but others will allow you to study part-time. If you choose to study part-time, you will have a specific amount of time within which you must complete your degree. That amount of time will vary by school, but you could see it taking you longer than two or three years based on the demands of your schedule.

What are the prerequisites for law school?

A traditional law school that you would attend on campus doesn’t have any specific prerequisites. You may find that earning a bachelor’s degree in law, or some peripheral area of study that you’re interested in, might help you to be better prepared for law school. For those of you who want to go on to practice law, you might consider political science, history, criminal justice, philosophy, or something similar. This isn’t a requirement, though.

Online law school differs in this area as well. Most of the online law degrees we’ve outlined in this ranking are graduate degree programs that will require you to have an undergraduate degree. For those of you who do not want to go on to practice law and are simply seeking to study law at the graduate level to enhance your understanding of the law in order to further your career opportunities, you will also need an undergraduate degree in order to be eligible for enrollment.

There are no particular courses you need in order to study law at the graduate level or to be admitted into law school. However, you do need to make sure that your undergraduate degree comes from an accredited institution. You do not have to select a particular major, but you should choose one that is relevant to the legal field or your chosen professional field instead of choosing one that seems fast or easy just to get through it.

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