Online Legal Studies Degree Programs

Legal studies are very important in many different career fields. Online legal studies degree programs provide students with a solid education background on legal issues and foster critical and analytical thinking. Students develop a strong understanding of law, legal terminology, and legal procedures and are prepared for challenging legal environments. Undergraduate legal studies programs help students gain the necessary professional and scholarly skills to pursue legal careers, law school, or advanced graduate programs. Read more about online legal studies degree programs.

Some Stats

In 2006, there were 10,391 associate degrees, 3,596 bachelor degrees, 4,486 master degrees, and 143 doctorate degrees conferred in legal professions and studies. There were 1,331 bachelor and 102 master degrees in general legal studies and 441 bachelor, 987 master, and 19 doctorate degrees in other legal professions and studies (1). Legal secretaries held 275,000 jobs in 2006 (2).

Employment Outlook

The employment outlook for legal studies graduates varies greatly on degree, field and position. Employment of legal secretaries is expected to grow faster than average for all professions from 2006 to 2016, increasing 12% and adding 32,000 new jobs (2). Legal secretaries with 1 to 4 years experience earn average annual salaries between $29,194 and $38,842 (3).

Specialties

Legal studies are a vast field that enables students to pursue many different specializations. Legal studies specializations include criminal law, client advocacy, legislative law, constitutional law, legal administration, legal technology, labor law, personal injury, tax law, environmental law and policy, real estate law, business law, administration law, law enforcement, juvenile law, civil law, public law, international law, and wills, trusts and estates. There are many different choices and students interested in a particular specialty should select a school that offers a strong program in the desired area.

What to Expect

Legal studies degree programs differ by degree, school, and program. Undergraduate legal studies degree programs require general education courses in areas such as English, composition, mathematics, science, history, and electives. Core and specialization coursework varies by program, but most legal studies programs require courses in criminal justice, investigation, psychology, accounting, economics, criminology, statistics, workers compensation, human resources, organizational behavior, public administration, legal theory, legal research, and a variety of law topics. Graduate legal studies degrees involve more in-depth study and prepare students for advanced positions.

The End Result

Undergraduate legal studies degrees open the door to many career options in a variety of profit, non-profit, government, education, and law settings. Graduate degrees prepare students to transition to higher level positions with larger salaries. Career opportunities for legal studies degree graduates include:

Legal Secretary
Legal Officer
Legal Services Specialist
Business Law Professor
Legal Nurse Consultant
Case Manager
Legal Assistant
Court Clerk
Appraiser
Legislative Assistant
Mediator
Lobbyist
Family Advocate

A legal studies career will be rewarding for individuals with a strong interest in law and legal topics. Legal studies professionals assist lawyers and other professionals with a variety of tasks. They must have great interpersonal and communication skills because they often meet with clients and other professionals. Legal studies professionals apply their knowledge and expertise to many different legal matters in a variety of career areas.

(1) SOURCE: U.S. National Center for Education Statistics, Digest of Education Statistics
(2) SOURCE: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2008-2009 Edition
(3) SOURCE: Payscale.com, Salary Survey Report

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