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Bachelor's Degree in Legal Studies: A Complete Guide (2024)

Legal Studies

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Check out what you need to earn a Bachelor's degree in Legal Studies, including what the degree is, the pros and cons, steps to get it, program length, online options, what you'll study, and career possibilities.

Key Points

  • A bachelor's degree in Legal Studies provides a comprehensive understanding of the legal system, legal research, and legal writing.
  • The program covers topics such as civil and criminal law, constitutional law, legal ethics, and alternative dispute resolution.
  • Graduates can pursue careers in law, government, non-profit organizations, and the private sector, or continue their education with a master's or doctoral degree.
  • The admission process involves meeting academic requirements, submitting an application, and exploring financial aid options.
  • The program typically takes four years to complete, and graduates can expect to develop critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills.

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What is a Bachelor's Degree in Legal Studies?

A bachelor's degree in Legal Studies is an undergraduate program that provides students with a broad understanding of the legal system, legal research, and legal writing. The curriculum covers a range of topics, including civil and criminal law, constitutional law, legal ethics, and alternative dispute resolution. The program is designed to prepare students for careers in law, government, non-profit organizations, and the private sector, or to continue their education with a master's or doctoral degree.

Pros and Cons of Pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in Legal Studies

Pros

  • Comprehensive understanding of the legal system and legal processes
  • Develops critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills
  • Prepares students for a variety of career paths, including law, government, and non-profit organizations
  • Opportunity to continue education with a master's or doctoral degree

Cons

  • The program may not provide the same level of specialized legal training as a Juris Doctor (JD) program
  • Graduates may need to complete additional coursework or certifications to meet specific job requirements
  • The job market for legal studies graduates can be competitive, depending on the location and industry

How to Get a Bachelor's Degree in Legal Studies

1. Meet the admission requirements: To be admitted to a bachelor's degree program in Legal Studies, you typically need to meet the following requirements:

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Minimum GPA (usually around 2.5-3.0)
  • Standardized test scores (SAT or ACT)
  • Transcripts from previous educational institutions
  • Personal statement or essay
  • Letters of recommendation

2. Apply to the Legal Studies program: Once you have met the admission requirements, you can apply to the Legal Studies program of your choice. This usually involves submitting an application, transcripts, and any other required materials.

3. Explore financial aid options: Financing your education is an important consideration when pursuing a bachelor's degree. Fortunately, there are various financial aid options available, including:

  • Scholarships: Offered by the university, private organizations, or government agencies based on academic merit, financial need, or other criteria.
  • Grants: Need-based financial assistance that does not need to be repaid, such as the Federal Pell Grant.
  • Student loans: Federal loans (e.g., Direct Subsidized Loans, Direct Unsubsidized Loans) or private loans that must be repaid with interest.
  • Work-study programs: Part-time employment opportunities provided by the university to help cover educational expenses.

4. Enroll and complete the program: Once you have been accepted and secured funding, you can enroll in the Legal Studies program. The program typically takes four years to complete and includes a combination of general education courses, core Legal Studies courses, and electives. Throughout the program, you will develop a strong foundation in legal research, writing, and analysis, as well as an understanding of the legal system and various legal specialties.

List of Online Bachelor’s Degree in Legal Studies

If you're exploring online bachelor's degree options in Legal Studies, Florida offers several choices. One notable website is Dreambound, which provides a flexible and economical Legal Studies degree program.

Dreambound is an online educational platform that teams up with accredited universities to offer high-quality and affordable degree programs. Their online bachelor's degree in Legal Studies caters to students seeking a flexible and accessible learning experience.

Programs and schools available through Dreambound include:

Liberty University Online

Program:

  • BS: Paralegal Studies: E-Discovery
  • BS: Paralegal Studies

Cost Range: $20,000 - $45,000

University of Maryland Global Campus

Program:

  • Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies

Cost Range: $30,000 - $40,000

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How Long Does it Take to Get a Bachelor's Degree in Legal Studies?

A bachelor's degree in Legal Studies typically takes four years of full-time study to complete. This includes a combination of general education courses, core Legal Studies courses, and electives. Some programs may offer accelerated or part-time options, which can shorten or extend the overall duration of the program.

What to Expect from a Bachelor's Degree in Legal Studies

When pursuing a bachelor's degree in Legal Studies, students can expect to develop a comprehensive understanding of the legal system, legal research, and legal writing. The curriculum covers a range of topics, including civil and criminal law, constitutional law, legal ethics, and alternative dispute resolution. Students will also have the opportunity to develop critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills, which are highly valued in various legal and non-legal careers.

What Can You Do with a Legal Studies Bachelor's Degree?

Graduate School Preparation

A bachelor's degree in Legal Studies can serve as a strong foundation for those who wish to continue their education with a master's or doctoral degree. Graduates may pursue advanced degrees in law (Juris Doctor), public policy, or other related fields, further specializing their knowledge and skills.

Entry-Level Legal Studies Roles

With a bachelor's degree in Legal Studies, graduates can pursue various entry-level positions, such as:

  • Paralegal
  • Legal assistant
  • Court clerk
  • Legal researcher
  • Compliance officer
  • Legal administrator

Career Opportunities

Individuals with a bachelor's degree in Legal Studies can find employment in a wide range of industries and sectors, including:

  • Law firms
  • Government agencies (e.g., law enforcement, public administration)
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Corporate legal departments
  • Financial institutions
  • Real estate companies

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average annual salary for legal assistants and paralegals was $60,970 in 2023, with a projected job outlook of 4% from 2022 to 2032, which is faster than the average for all occupations.

Final Thoughts

A bachelor's degree in Legal Studies is an excellent choice for individuals interested in the legal system, legal research, and legal writing. The program provides a comprehensive understanding of the law and prepares graduates for a variety of career paths, including law, government, non-profit organizations, and the private sector. Whether you plan to pursue a career in the legal field or continue your education with a master's or doctoral degree, a bachelor's degree in Legal Studies can be a valuable asset.

If this guide isn't quite what you had in mind, have a look at the other guides below to see if there's one that's a better match:

Joanna Paragas
Written by
Joanna Paragas

Joanna Paragas is part of the Growth team at Dreambound. Her primary role involves creating various automation to streamline workflows and make tasks more efficient for the entire team. Beyond her professional endeavors, Joanna enjoys spending her free time playing with her dogs and enhancing her knowledge by enrolling in online courses.

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