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Best 11 Bachelor’s in Legal Studies in 2021

March 26, 2021 | Staff Writers

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Pursuing a Bachelor’s in Legal Studies is a wonderful way to set yourself up for an exciting career focused on law and how it impacts the lives of everyday people. Legal Studies can help students understand the theoretical practice of law and give students the hands-on experience needed to perform legal research and analysis necessary for a comprehensive understanding of the law. Graduating with a Legal Studies Bachelor’s Degree can help lead to law school or a successful career as a paralegal.

Obtaining a Bachelor’s in Legal Studies will give students the necessary foundation to understand the legal framework. Upon graduation, students will understand the history of law and apply critical thinking to policymaking as it impacts the world currently. A Bachelor’s in Legal Studies is often considered a “pre-law” degree and will pave the way for a fast track into law school. 

What Are the Benefits?

Many Legal Studies programs are designed to be a pre-law curriculum, helping students learn the essential competencies required for law school. Completing a Legal Studies degree will often open a “fast track” to law school, reduce the amount of time spent in law school, or increase acceptance chances. Legal Studies can also lead directly to a career in legal-related fields. Many students who graduate with a Bachelor’s in Legal Studies work as a legal office manager, paralegal, or investigator.  

What is the Outlook and Salary?

Legal Studies is an exciting career path that is projected to grow about 10% in the next ten years. There are many careers for people with a Legal Studies Bachelor’s degree, ranging from a paralegal to an insurance adjuster. As with many professions, the salary associated with a Legal Studies degree will increase dramatically with experience. Recent graduates can average about $51,000 per year, while people with almost ten years of experience average $91,000 per year.  

Our team understands that perspective students have a great deal of information to sort through, and choosing a university can be difficult with so much riding on the line. That is why we hope to give you the best, most up-to-date information regarding the best Bachelor’s in Legal Studies programs. Below, we have put together a list of the top 12 programs to help students with the necessary information needed to make an informed decision about their school of choice.  

1. University of West Florida – Pensacola, Florida (19 Points)

This exciting program offered at the University of West Florida is the perfect opportunity for students who want to go into a career working closely with law and legal studies. This degree is intended for students who plan to work in a legal office or earn a law degree. At the University of West Florida, a Bachelor’s in Legal Studies can be considered a pre-law education.

The program consists of extremely small class sizes, giving students a better student-to-teacher ratio. The classes are designed to help students learn how to research the many facets of the law and allow students to learn critical thinking skills required for a successful career in law. This program gives students plenty of opportunities to work closely with the community in research-related capacities or enroll in exciting internships.  

  • Tuition: $801 per credit
  • Application Requirements: Application, Application Fee, ACT or SAT Test Scores, High School Transcripts

2. Dominican University – River Forest, Illinois (17 Points) 

Students who enroll in the Legal Studies program at Dominican University will have the opportunity to enroll in a fast-paced and exciting program that allows students to narrow their interest and hone their studies on a particular concentration. Students may choose from criminal justice, disability advocacy, labor relations, law and social justice, paralegal studies, public administration, and sustainability studies. These concentrations will help set students up for success in their particular field of interest later in their careers.

The program itself requires 120 credits to earn a Bachelor’s in Legal Studies. Up to 90 credits may be transferred from an outside school. This degree is a perfect program for students who are working full time while still earning a degree. Most of the courses are offered in the evening, and classes are structured into an 8-week format. This shorter format provides accelerated learning opportunities so that students can begin an exciting career in legal studies.  

  • Tuition: $1,434 per credit
  • Application Requirements: Application, Application Fee, High School Transcripts, SAT or ACT Test Scores, Minimum 2.75 GPA, Essay

2. Gannon University – Erie, Pennsylvania (17 Points) 

The Legal Studies program at Gannon University gives students plenty of opportunity to custom create a degree that perfectly suits a student’s career and future goals. Students may choose a certificate, Associate’s, or Bachelor’s degree in Legal Studies. Choose a certificate course of study to supplement your existing education, satisfy job requirements, or enroll in the Bachelor’s degree to prepare you for a pre-law education that will help you earn a law degree.

Students will learn the sought-after skills in Legal Studies, such as interviewing skills, legal research, and investigation. This degree requires an internship which will help give students hands-on experience working with local communities and corporations. Students will also have the opportunity to participate in mock trials to prepare them for the cadence and rhythm associated with a hearing and law proceedings.  

  • Tuition: $1,384 per credit
  • Application Requirements: Application, Application Fee, SAT or ACT Test Scores, High School Transcripts, Personal Statement 

2. Webster University – Webster Groves, Missouri (17 Points)

The Legal Studies program at Webster University gives students the chance to pursue a degree at the only ABA-approved program in the St. Louis area. This program is a comprehensive degree that helps prepare students for a career in a legal capacity. Students have the opportunity to understand both theoretical and practical legal studies and have the chance to focus their studies on a specialized concentration.

This degree requires 51 credits to complete the degree program. Students will take a broad range of courses which include core courses and electives. Classes range from ethics, civil litigation, real estate law, and corporate law. Students must also take at least six credits in advanced seminar courses or advanced law degree courses, including international law and American constitutional law.  

  • Tuition: $1,195 per credit
  • Application Requirements: Application, Application Fee, High School Transcripts, Minimum 3.0 GPA, Official SAT or ACT Test Scores, Letter of Recommendation, Essay, Resume

2. Wilmington University – New Castle, Delaware (17 Points)

Wilmington University allows students to specialize in their legal studies in a way that best works for them and their career goals. This school offers several certificate programs, as well as a Bachelor’s in Legal Studies. Further, students can earn a Master’s degree or take their education elsewhere to earn a law degree. This school offers three different concentrations for students to focus which include Legal Studies, Government and Public Policy, and Political Science.

Students will have the opportunity to work hands-on in this exciting career field with opportunities to work with communities and local businesses. Further, students who complete a Bachelor’s in Legal Studies at Wilmington University will have a fast track to law school at Widener University Delaware Law School.

  • Tuition: $478 per credit
  • Application Requirements: Application, Application Fee, Official High School Transcripts, ACT and SAT Scores NOT Required, but may help further application

6. Florida Gulf Coast University – Fort Myers, Florida (16 Points)

The Legal Studies program at Florida Gulf Coast University is competitive and fast-paced, offering a fun and enriching environment for students to learn. Students can have the option of using distance learning, allowing for online study for a portion of the required credits. This option makes the Legal Studies program at Florida Gulf Coast University perfect for students working full-time or managing a difficult schedule.

The Florida Gulf Coast University program focuses on contract law and ethics, but students may have the opportunity to further their studies in a concentration of their choosing. Concentrations are varied but include real estate law, litigation, wills and trusts, and international law.  

  • Tuition: $1,048 per credit
  • Application Requirements: Application, Application Fee, Official High School Transcripts, ACT or SAT Test Scores

7. Stevenson University – Owings Mills, Maryland (15 Points)

Students who graduate from the Legal Studies program at Stevenson University will have comprehensive knowledge about legal proceedings. Students will be well versed in legal terminology and be able to prepare legal documentation. Further, students will understand how to perform in-depth legal study and work as a professional member of a legal team.

This program is a great way to prepare for a professional law degree. Many students pursue exciting careers in several legal facilities, including sports law, litigation, legal writing, family law, or criminal law. This program also paves the way to start early entry into law school.

  • Tuition: $1,547 per credit
  • Application Requirements: Application, Application Fee, Official High School Transcripts, Minimum 3.0 GPA, SAT or ACT Test Scores, Letters of Recommendation, Essay 

8. Ball State University – Muncie, Indiana (13 Points)

With a Bachelor’s in Legal Studies that the ABA approves, Ball State University’s program is one of fewer than 300 programs across the country with an accredited and approved program for students. Many students who complete a Bachelor’s in Legal Studies are set up to go onto a law degree with a solid basis of knowledge, hands-on practice, and theoretical research practices.

This program focuses on several common law areas, including criminal law, family law, administrative law, constitutional law, and business law. Students must complete core curriculum courses under Ball State University minimum graduation requirements and a range of courses in their chosen law path. Options for students include business law or public law.  

  • Tuition: $1,116 per credit
  • Application Requirements: Application, Application Fee, Official High School Transcripts, Minimum GPA, Official SAT or ACT Test Scores

9. University of Pittsburgh – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (9 Points)

A Bachelor’s in Legal Studies from the University of Pittsburgh will set students up for a successful law career. Students will better understand the way law impacts the businesses, communities, and practices surrounding them in everyday life. Students will have a basic understanding of both theory and practice. This option is a great program that will pave the way for students to apply to law school following graduation.

The program consists of 120 credits. The University of Pittsburgh allows for blended study mixing online learning with in-person learning. This option makes the Legal Studies program at this school particularly attractive to people juggling a full-time career with school.  

  • Tuition: $1,406 per credit
  • Application Requirements: Application, Application Fee, Official High School Transcripts, SAT or ACT Test Scores, Optional Essay

10. Tulane University – New Orleans, Louisiana (8 Points)

Students enrolled in Tulane University’s Legal Studies program will have the chance to learn essential skills necessary to be successful in a legal-focused career. Students will learn critical thinking, writing and analysis, and law office technology. Further, students will understand how to perform and evaluate complicated law research about companies and the community.  

Upon graduation, students will be prepared to enter the workforce in several exciting fields. Students will be prepared to work as a paralegal, law office manager, insurance adjuster, count clerk, or investigator. Completing a Bachelor’s in Legal Studies will also give students an advantage when applying to and completing a law degree.

  • Tuition: $2,366 per credit
  • Application Requirements: Application, Application Fee, Official High School Transcripts, Letter of Recommendation, SAT or ACT Test Scores

11. University of California – Berkeley, California (4 Points)

Students enrolled in the Legal Studies program at the University of California – Berkeley will have the opportunity to examine law and how it pertains to a historical reference and everyday life. Students will understand the way law works in theory and practice and understand the ways law has created a framework for the way communities and industries function.

Students must maintain at least a 2.5 GPA to be considered for the Legal Studies program. Further, to be enrolled in the Honors Program for Legal Studies, students must maintain at least a 3.5 in Legal Studies coursework. This degree is only available as a major and is not offered as a minor.  

  • Tuition: $1,833 per credit
  • Application Requirements: Application, Application Fee, Official High School Transcripts, Official ACT or SAT Test Scores, Minimum 3.0 GPA (3.4 GPA for non-residents)

11. University of Wisconsin – Madison, Wisconsin (4 Points) 

The Legal Studies program at the University of Wisconsin is ideal for students who want to earn a law degree following graduation. This degree is a full-time program that helps give students the information needed to understand law both in practice and theory. 

The Legal Studies program is divided into five themes which help organize the necessary coursework for the program. The themes include Legal Institutions, Process of Legal Order and Disorder, Law and Social Forces, Law and Culture, and Law and Theory.

  • Tuition: $1,574 per credit
  • Application Requirements: Application, Application Fee, Official High School Transcripts, Official SAT or ACT Test Scores, Letters of Recommendation, Two Essays

Methodology

To rank the best schools to receive your Bachelor’s in Legal Studies, we have created a ranking system based on points. Schools can earn points based on two scoring metrics. The first metric used is the cost of tuition on a per-credit basis. If a school’s tuition is given as a yearly cost, the tuition price is divided in half, assuming two semesters, and then further divided by 12, taking an average of 12 credits per semester. In all cases, out-of-state tuition was used for the calculation. Schools with the lowest cost per credit are given the most amount of points and thus the most favorable ranking.

The second metric that is used to score the best schools to earn a Bachelor’s in Legal Studies is the overall enrollment size. Smaller schools are assumed to have a better student-to-teacher ratio, giving students the best opportunity to learn and engage one-on-one with their professors. The schools with the smallest enrollment are given the most points and the most favorable ranking. The points earned from both the tuition and enrollment scores are totaled together, giving one final score. The school with the most amount of points receives the highest ranking on our top schools list to earn a Bachelor’s in Legal Studies.

If your school is featured on our list, we would love to hear from you. We understand that information and requirements are constantly changing for each school. If you notice that the information we have listed is out of date, just let us know. We would be happy to update our information to give our students the most up-to-date information. We understand choosing a college is a big decision, so we want to give students every tool and resource possible to help them make the best choice for their future studies and career.  

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