If you’re interested in starting a career in legal studies, you’ll need to gain a comprehensive understanding of the legal system, how courts function, the duties of lawyers, and skills like legal research and legal writing. Through an online bachelor degree in legal studies, you can develop that knowledge and skill set, which can prepare you for work in law firms, corporate legal departments, government agencies, or non-profit organizations as paralegals or aides. Others may put their degree towards law school or a related graduate program.
Why a Bachelor’s Degree?
A bachelor’s degree in legal studies would help students interested in entering the legal field gain a solid foundation in legal theory and practice. Some jobs, such as paralegals, typically require a background in legal studies or a related field, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), so a bachelor’s in legal studies would set students on that career path. The degree can also help those with an associate degree in legal studies advance in the field. Students interested in attending law school or a related graduate program would also be able to put their bachelor’s degree towards a master’s degree in legal studies or related subject.
Getting Into a Bachelor’s Degree Program
Application requirements for online bachelor degree programs in legal studies will vary from school to school. But here’s a look at what is generally required of this degree level:
- High school diploma or its equivalent
- SAT or ACT score
- Letters of recommendation
Inside a Legal Studies Bachelor’s Degree Program
Bachelor’s degrees are designed to take about four years. This may be longer or shorter depending on your prior education and experience. During a bachelor’s in legal studies, students are introduced to various fields of law, legal theory, and legal practice. They also learn how to find relevant legal sources and develop skills in legal research, legal writing, and interviewing and investigation. Core legal studies courses might cover topics in litigation, professional ethics, and law specialties such as corporate, family, property, and personal injury.
Courses can often be completed fully online, with students collaborating with their professors and students via live seminars and discussion boards. Some programs, however, may require students to complete an internship at a law firm. This would provide them the opportunity to apply what they’re learning in the classroom to a real-world setting, as well as make valuable professional connections.
What’s Next for Legal Studies Bachelor’s Degree Holders?
A number of different career paths are available to students upon graduating. They might work as a legal assistant or paralegal, assisting lawyers in legal, business, government, healthcare, banking, real estate, or service industries. Positions as mediators, lobbyists, claims examiners, or jury consultants are also possibilities, depending on the student’s interests and experience.
A bachelor’s degree in legal studies can also serve as preparation for additional schooling. Students interested in practicing as lawyers, or advancing within their legal careers, may decide to pursue an advanced degree. This could mean law school or a graduate program in legal studies, public policy, government, or a related field.