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Key Infor­ma­tion:

  • Pur­due Uni­ver­si­ty Glob­al has the #1 school for a fast online legal stud­ies bach­e­lor’s degree.
  • Grad­u­ates can enter var­i­ous legal fields and be qual­i­fied for roles in law firms, cor­po­rate legal depart­ments, and gov­ern­ment agen­cies.
  • Tai­lored for work­ing adults, these pro­grams offer mul­ti­ple start dates and flex­i­ble course­work schedules.

You may find a lot of advan­tages to earn­ing an accel­er­at­ed legal stud­ies degree. First, there are the advan­tages of get­ting a legal stud­ies degree at all, regard­less of the speed at which you earn it. A bach­e­lor of sci­ence gives prospec­tive legal pro­fes­sion­als a leg up.

A legal stud­ies degree can help you move your career for­ward. If you want to go to law school after you earn your bachelor’s degree, then a legal stud­ies pro­gram can help you gain the foun­da­tion you’ll need. If you want to become a para­le­gal, then a legal stud­ies degree can help you get to know the legal sys­tem before you start your career.

And then there are the ben­e­fits that come from earn­ing an accel­er­at­ed degree. Now, it’s impor­tant to note that with an accel­er­at­ed degree, you’ll be doing just as much course­work as you would do with a reg­u­lar degree. You’ll just fin­ish that course­work in a short­er amount of time. This gives you an increased course load, so if you’re plan­ning on enroll­ment in a fast legal stud­ies degree, make sure you keep that in mind.

The edi­tors at Bachelor’s Degree Cen­ter have researched accred­it­ed, legit­i­mate col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties offer­ing stu­dents a faster track to a legal stud­ies degree. Accred­i­ta­tion is a require­ment for fea­tures. We rank pro­grams accord­ing to stu­dent sat­is­fac­tion, grad­u­ate salary, and cost, using data from IPEDS and Niche.

1. Purdue University Global

Pur­due Glob­al has a BS in Legal Stud­ies and Ser­vices. This accel­er­at­ed legal stud­ies degree lets stu­dents choose a con­cen­tra­tion in para­le­gal stud­ies. The pro­gram has mul­ti­ple start dates and oth­er ways for stu­dents to add flex­i­bil­i­ty to their edu­ca­tion. Cours­es pre­pare stu­dents to work in law firms, busi­ness­es, health­care insti­tu­tions, and much more. They cov­er the foun­da­tion­al prin­ci­ples of the US legal sys­tem, as well as research skills and prac­ti­cal applications.

Pur­due Uni­ver­si­ty’s Glob­al Cam­pus offers the same Pur­due edu­ca­tion from a dis­tance. The Glob­al Cam­pus comes with a lot of ben­e­fits for work­ing adults. For exam­ple, under­grad­u­ate stu­dents can take a three-week intro­duc­to­ry peri­od to decide if Pur­due is right for them. Pur­due Glob­al offers strong aca­d­e­mics and guid­ance to help stu­dents meet their career goals. Its trans­fer pol­i­cy includes pre­vi­ous course­work, pro­fes­sion­al work, and mil­i­tary experience.

What We Like: 93% of first-year stu­dents at Pur­due Glob­al ranked their expe­ri­ence as “excel­lent” or “good.”

Degree: BS in Legal Sup­port and Services

Pur­due Global

2. Peirce College

The accel­er­at­ed legal stud­ies degree from Peirce Col­lege is approved by the Amer­i­can Bar Asso­ci­a­tion. It’s 100% online, and stu­dents can trans­fer up to 90 cred­its. The pro­gram teach­es the pro­fes­sion­al, aca­d­e­m­ic, and research skills that stu­dents will need for suc­cess in the legal field. That includes strong ana­lyt­ics skills, com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills, and a firm under­stand­ing of legal ethics. Stu­dents can also embed cer­tain cer­ti­fi­ca­tions into their degree, increas­ing their employability.

Peirce Col­lege start­ed as a way to help Civ­il War sol­diers tran­si­tion into civil­ian busi­ness life. Today, Peirce Col­lege still focus­es on work­ing adults, so fac­ul­ty mem­bers have a sol­id under­stand­ing of what non­tra­di­tion­al stu­dents need. Peirce is the only col­lege in Penn­syl­va­nia that focus­es specif­i­cal­ly on adult learn­ing. The school helps learn­ers on their career paths. Stu­dents can apply up to 102 trans­fer cred­its to their Peirce degree programs.

What We Like: Peirce Col­lege is a rec­og­nized Minor­i­ty Serv­ing Insti­tu­tion (MSI).

Degree: BS in Para­le­gal Studies

Peirce Col­lege

3. University of Maryland Global Campus

The Uni­ver­si­ty of Mary­land Glob­al Cam­pus offers an accel­er­at­ed legal stud­ies degree. This pro­gram pro­vides a firm back­ground of legal knowl­edge, includ­ing the­o­ry and prac­tice. Stu­dents learn what they need to know to suc­ceed in either the work­place or grad­u­ate school. Cours­es teach how to con­duct research and iden­ti­fy appro­pri­ate sources. They also instill day-to-day legal skills as well as crit­i­cal think­ing, com­mu­ni­ca­tion, and ethics.

UMGC is ded­i­cat­ed to mak­ing learn­ing afford­able and flex­i­ble. At the same time, it nev­er sac­ri­fices aca­d­e­m­ic qual­i­ty. Through UMGC, stu­dents can gain a sol­id foot­ing to make their career dreams come to life. They also ben­e­fit from addi­tion­al ser­vices, like a life­time access to UMGC’s career resources. Plus, dig­i­tal course mate­ri­als come at no costs, so stu­dents can save mon­ey on text­books. Over­all, UMGC was build with work­ing adults in mind, so it’s a good place for work­ing adults to find success.

What We Like: UMGC has been ranked as one of the most inno­v­a­tive cam­pus­es in the north­ern region.

Degree: BS in Legal Studies

Uni­ver­si­ty of Mary­land Glob­al Campus

4. Eastern Kentucky University

East­ern Ken­tucky Uni­ver­si­ty’s BS in Para­le­gal Sci­ence can make a great choice for those who want an accel­er­at­ed legal stud­ies degree. The pro­gram cov­ers the knowl­edge that stu­dents will need to become skilled para­le­gals and make an impact on the job. Stu­dents learn a blend of lib­er­al arts knowl­edge and spe­cif­ic law knowl­edge. This knowl­edge can help stu­dents per­form well in the work­force. Fac­ul­ty mem­bers rec­og­nize that para­le­gal work is very impor­tant to the US legal sys­tem, and they teach from a place that respects the profession.

East­ern Ken­tucky Uni­ver­si­ty has been offer­ing online degree pro­grams since 2006. It has more than 50 online pro­grams for busy learn­ers. Online stu­dents get the same edu­ca­tion as stu­dents who learn on the main EKU cam­pus. That edu­ca­tion includes empow­er­ment for the future. EKU is com­mit­ted to pro­vid­ing acces­si­ble and afford­able edu­ca­tion, both online and on campus.

What We Like: EKU Online was ranked as one of the most inno­v­a­tive online colleges.

Degree: BS in Para­le­gal Science

East­ern Ken­tucky University

5. Liberty University

Lib­er­ty Uni­ver­si­ty offers a BS in Para­le­gal Stud­ies. This accel­er­at­ed legal stud­ies degree pro­gram is designed for stu­dents who are pas­sion­ate about jus­tice. The pro­gram helps stu­dents take a prac­ti­cal role in the jus­tice sys­tem. Stu­dents get an edu­ca­tion that puts them on the fast track to a ful­fill­ing career. They gain a deep under­stand­ing of how the legal sys­tem works. They also learn impor­tant skills such as com­mu­ni­ca­tion, research, orga­ni­za­tion, and much more.

Lib­er­ty Uni­ver­si­ty is one of the top sources for Chris­t­ian high­er edu­ca­tion in the Unit­ed States. This school has a long his­to­ry of dis­tance edu­ca­tion, and it has a high­ly-ranked online plat­form. Stu­dents enjoy both afford­abil­i­ty and flex­i­bil­i­ty at Lib­er­ty. They can com­plete their assign­ments on their own sched­ules, which leaves room for work and oth­er respon­si­bil­i­ties. Lib­er­ty Online also pro­vides a high-qual­i­ty edu­ca­tion, so stu­dents can enjoy sev­er­al ben­e­fits at once.

What We Like: Lib­er­ty Uni­ver­si­ty is one of the top col­leges in Virginia.

Degree: BS in Para­le­gal Studies

Lib­er­ty University

6. Regent University

Regent Uni­ver­si­ty’s para­le­gal stud­ies pro­gram makes a good choice for those who want an accel­er­at­ed legal stud­ies degree. It helps stu­dents cul­ti­vate a worth­while career through legal knowl­edge, and it focus­es specif­i­cal­ly on the para­le­gal side of things. Stu­dents learn skills to help peo­ple and keep law offices run­ning as they should. They learn how to fos­ter com­mu­ni­ca­tion between attor­neys and clients, research case files, and use rel­e­vant tech­nol­o­gy. They also learn about mul­ti­ple areas of legal prac­tice, such as mar­riage and fam­i­ly, con­tracts, and others.

Regent Uni­ver­si­ty is a pri­vate Chris­t­ian uni­ver­si­ty with the goal to change the world. It has great aca­d­e­mics, of course, but Regent also offers more than that. For exam­ple, this school fos­ters lead­er­ship skills in its stu­dents, and it helps learn­ers find and ful­fill their pur­pose. Regent Uni­ver­si­ty is dri­ven by the val­ues of “excel­lence, inno­va­tion, and integri­ty,” and fac­ul­ty mem­bers infuse these val­ues into their class­es and assignments.

What We Like: Regent Uni­ver­si­ty is ranked among the top nation­al uni­ver­si­ties, accord­ing to rank­ings from US News and World Report.

Degree: BS in Para­le­gal Studies

Regent Uni­ver­si­ty

7. Post University

Post Uni­ver­si­ty has an accel­er­at­ed legal stud­ies degree. This pro­gram rec­og­nizes that para­le­gals play a key role in the jus­tice sys­tem, and it helps stu­dents to take on that role effec­tive­ly. Stu­dents learn about the day-to-day tasks of work­ing in a law office. They also learn over­ar­ch­ing skills like lead­er­ship and com­mu­ni­ca­tion. This legal stud­ies pro­gram uses a well-round­ed cat­a­log of cours­es, cov­er­ing both the­o­ry and prac­tice. Stu­dents can pre­pare to enter the work­force imme­di­ate­ly or go to grad school.

Post Uni­ver­si­ty is a for-prof­it uni­ver­si­ty ded­i­cat­ed to sol­id aca­d­e­mics and per­son­al­ized stu­dent sup­port. It per­forms well in online learn­ing. A large por­tion of stu­dents learn either ful­ly online or with a hybrid mod­el. Stu­dents work with a team of advi­sors who help them with their career path. They can per­son­al­ize their degree to meet indi­vid­ual career and aca­d­e­m­ic needs. The teach­ers at Post have prac­ti­cal expe­ri­ence in the fields that they teach.

What We Like: Post Uni­ver­si­ty is a mil­i­tary-friend­ly school.

Degree: BS in Legal Studies

Post Uni­ver­si­ty

8. Hodges University

Hodges Uni­ver­si­ty’s BS in Legal Stud­ies can make a great choice for stu­dents who want an accel­er­at­ed legal stud­ies degree pro­gram. Stu­dents can use this pro­gram to pre­pare for a career in a com­plex and evolv­ing jus­tice sys­tem. The pro­gram is built both for future para­le­gals and for those who want to go to law school. Cours­es cov­er a foun­da­tion of core legal knowl­edge for both para­le­gals and attor­neys. Stu­dents learn key skills that they’ll need on the job.

Hodges Uni­ver­si­ty is a small, pri­vate uni­ver­si­ty. It makes a sol­id choice for those who pre­fer lim­it­ed class sizes. Because the school is small, stu­dents get a lot of per­son­al­ized atten­tion. Teach­ers are ded­i­cat­ed to their work and com­mit­ted to help­ing stu­dents suc­ceed. Hodges per­forms espe­cial­ly well in online edu­ca­tion. Many stu­dents take their class­es exclu­sive­ly online. Many oth­ers mix online cours­es with on-cam­pus cours­es for a hybrid learn­ing experience.

What We Like: Mil­i­tary Times has ranked Hodges as one of the best uni­ver­si­ties for veterans.

Degree: BS in Legal Studies

Hodges Uni­ver­si­ty

9. Southern New Hampshire University

South­ern New Hamp­shire Uni­ver­si­ty offers a BS in crim­i­nal jus­tice with a con­cen­tra­tion in human ser­vices and advo­ca­cy. This degree is more spe­cif­ic than oth­ers, but it can make a great choice for stu­dents who want an accel­er­at­ed legal stud­ies degree. The pro­gram sup­plies an under­stand­ing of crime. Stu­dents learn how to apply that under­stand­ing to the jus­tice sys­tem. Cours­es cov­er things like child wel­fare, fam­i­ly ser­vice, and sim­i­lar top­ics. These cours­es can be espe­cial­ly help­ful for those who want to go into fam­i­ly law. Stu­dents grow their advo­ca­cy skills to help peo­ple con­nect with the ser­vices they need.

SNHU is a pri­vate uni­ver­si­ty. Though it does have over 3,000 on-cam­pus stu­dents, the vast major­i­ty of SNHU stu­dents learn online. This school has been rec­og­nized for its online edu­ca­tion plat­form. It also grows and evolves to fit the needs of con­tem­po­rary stu­dents. Fac­ul­ty mem­bers under­stand that stu­dents’ needs change over time. That’s one rea­son why SNHU ranks so high­ly for innovation.

What We Like: The USDLA award­ed SNHU with the 21st Cen­tu­ry Dis­tance Learn­ing Award for Excel­lence in Online Technology.

Degree: BS in Crim­i­nal Jus­tice — Legal Stud­ies and Advocacy

South­ern New Hamp­shire University

10. Berkeley College

Berke­ley Col­lege’s accel­er­at­ed legal stud­ies degree is avail­able both online and on cam­pus. The pro­gram is designed to help peo­ple start careers in the legal assis­tance field. It’s also designed to sup­port those who even­tu­al­ly want to earn a law degree. No mat­ter which career stu­dents ulti­mate­ly choose, this pro­gram cov­ers a broad range of legal knowl­edge. Stu­dents learn how to per­form effec­tive research, use rel­e­vant tech­nolo­gies, and oth­er impor­tant on-the-job skills.

Berke­ley Col­lege is a pri­vate, for-prof­it school that has earned sev­er­al awards and recog­ni­tions. It’s a career-focused col­lege that teach­es the prac­ti­cal skills stu­dents will need on the job. Berke­ley val­ues diver­si­ty and flex­i­bil­i­ty, with a par­tic­u­lar focus on serv­ing adult learn­ers. This school focus­es on the skills that stu­dents need most. The cur­ricu­lum is based on what the lat­est employ­ers are look­ing for.

What We Like: Berke­ley Col­lege is ranked high­ly for social mobility.

Degree: BS in Legal Studies

Berke­ley College

While pur­su­ing the fastest legal stud­ies degree may give you a packed sched­ule in the short term, in the long term, that sched­ule can pay off. The most obvi­ous perk is that when you fin­ish your degree faster, you can start your job search faster. If your sched­ule has a major open­ing right now, then you might take advan­tage of that open­ing by earn­ing your degree.

You may also save some mon­ey while earn­ing an accel­er­at­ed degree. Many online pro­grams have a low­er tuition rate, so you’ll ulti­mate­ly pay back less finan­cial aid. If you already have your gen­er­al edu­ca­tion and pre­req­ui­site cours­es out of the way, you can earn your cred­it hours more quick­ly whether you’re work­ing full-time or part-time.

You may pay the same amount in over­all tuition for your bach­e­lor of sci­ence in legal stud­ies, but you can save mon­ey on the lit­tle things. You might make few­er trips to cam­pus, for exam­ple, which can help you save gas money.

Prospec­tive stu­dents need not wor­ry about their high school GPA — online legal stud­ies degree under­grad­u­ate pro­grams have dif­fer­ent admis­sion requirements.

What If I Don’t Want a Full Bachelor’s Degree?

Depend­ing on what you want to do with your career, you may not need a full degree. Obvi­ous­ly, if you want to become an attor­ney, then you’ll need a bachelor’s degree so you can even­tu­al­ly get your law degree. For para­le­gals, how­ev­er, a bachelor’s degree isn’t always required. Many para­le­gals enter the field with an associate’s degree, which can be earned at a com­mu­ni­ty col­lege and takes about half the time to earn as a bachelor’s degree.

You have oth­er options, too, like earn­ing an online legal stud­ies cer­tifi­cates. Cer­tifi­cates, like full degrees, are offered by col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties. They teach the legal basics you’ll need to start a para­le­gal career or some­thing similar.

If you’ve already earned your bachelor’s degree in anoth­er area, or if you have a legal stud­ies degree but want to enhance your skills, then you might con­sid­er earn­ing a grad­u­ate cer­tifi­cate in legal stud­ies online. There are lots of options when it comes to this kind of legal stud­ies cer­tifi­cate online.

By earn­ing a cer­tifi­cate in legal stud­ies online, you can take your knowl­edge to a new lev­el with­out tak­ing class­es that don’t relate to legal stud­ies. While the lib­er­al arts can absolute­ly help you gain some well-round­ed knowl­edge, a cer­tifi­cate may sim­ply pro­vide a bet­ter fit for your needs. If that’s the case, you can still start a ful­fill­ing career with­out earn­ing a full degree.

Absolute­ly. You can find a lot of pos­si­ble careers in legal stud­ies. The most obvi­ous legal stud­ies career is an attor­ney career, but that’s not your only option. The Bureau of Labor Sta­tis­tics offers many examples.

In a legal stud­ies pro­gram, you’ll learn about:

  • legal research
  • crim­i­nal law
  • torts
  • legal writ­ing
  • civ­il litigation
  • con­tract law
  • con­sti­tu­tion­al law

All of these cours­es, plus spe­cial­ized elec­tives, give legal stud­ies majors a wide range of knowl­edge that can apply to many fields, not just in the legal envi­ron­ment. Pre-law isn’t your only course.

Oth­er legal stud­ies careers include para­le­gals. Para­le­gals, also called legal assis­tants, work for attor­neys. They help attor­neys with the behind-the-scenes work that goes into run­ning a law office. They main­tain com­mu­ni­ca­tion between the client and the attor­ney, research legal cas­es, keep files orga­nized, and more. Para­le­gals need a fair amount of legal knowl­edge, and a legal stud­ies degree can help them gain the knowl­edge they need.

Some peo­ple who look into legal stud­ies degree careers ulti­mate­ly go into law enforce­ment. The best way to enforce the law is to know what the law entails. With a legal stud­ies degree back­ground, law enforce­ment work­ers can gain a deep­er under­stand­ing of the law and the struc­tures that hold it up.

Those aren’t the only pos­si­ble careers with a legal stud­ies degree. In lots of careers, you can become an asset by under­stand­ing how the law works. If you start you own busi­ness, for exam­ple, you can make sure that you run that busi­ness with­in the bounds of the law.

Many of these careers are grow­ing steadi­ly, so hav­ing a bachelor’s degree in legal stud­ies can real­ly pay off in the long term. And if you ulti­mate­ly switch career paths, you can still use the knowl­edge that you gained for your degree. Skills like com­mu­ni­ca­tion, effec­tive research, and legal under­stand­ing can apply across vir­tu­al­ly any career path.

Relat­ed Rankings:

25 Best Bach­e­lor’s in Legal Studies

15 Best Online Bach­e­lor’s in Legal Studies

10 Most Afford­able Bach­e­lor’s in Legal Studies

15 Best Online Train­ing and Devel­op­ment Programs