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27 Most Affordable Bachelor’s in Legal Studies for 2020

Great Value Colleges - Most Affordable

In this article ranking the 27 most affordable Bachelor’s degrees in Legal Studies, we will explore a few degrees like:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies
  • Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies
  • Bachelor of Professional Studies in Legal Studies
  • Bachelor of Applied Science in Legal Studies
  • Bachelor of Legal Studies

Are you interested in law? What about public administration, politics, or public affairs? If you are, you might want to consider a low-cost legal studies Bachelor’s degree. Whether you’re looking to become a paralegal, a legal assistant, or a lawyer, a legal studies degree is the place to start. You’ll get a solid foundation in the legal system, and that will help you become successful with any path you take. To help you in your search, we’ve listed the most affordable Bachelor’s degrees in Legal Studies below.

Rating and Ranking Methodology

To develop this ranking of the top affordable Bachelor’s in Legal Studies programs, our editors searched for schools that offered cheap undergraduate programs in Legal Studies.  To rate and rank these programs, we applied the methodology below, using information from Google, the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES), Payscale.com, the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, and each program’s website. In cases of a tie, the more affordable school pulled the higher rank. If the information didn’t fit within the parameters, zero points were awarded for that category.

Tuition

  • Net Price Below $10,000: 4 points
  • Net Price Below $15,000: 3 points
  • Net Price Below $20,000: 2 points
  • Net Price Below $25,000: 1 point

Student to Faculty Ratio

  • Less than 20:1: 1 point
  • Less than 15: 1: 2 points
  • Less than 10: 1: 3 points

Return on Investment (ROI) According to Payscale.com

  • Top 500: 1 point
  • Top 300: 2 points
  • Top 150: 3 points

Student Support Network (faculty mentors/advisors, writing/technology support, etc.) – 1 point per item

Concentrations/Specializations – 1 point per item

Accreditation (School-Wide and Program-Specific) – 1 point per item

Campus Diversity Support Network – 1 point per item

“Wow” Factor – 1 point (anything that would mark a program as unique. Special qualities that make a program “stand out from the crowd”)

#27 Brandman University

Irvine, California

BA in Legal Studies

Website

Student Faculty Ratio: 17 to 1

Undergraduate Enrollment: 4,276

Standardized Testing Requirements: scores not required

Points: 7

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Though Brandman University’s home base is in Irvine, California, that’s not the only place you can earn your low-cost BA in Legal Studies. In fact, you can earn this degree from BU at 19 different campus locations or fully online. Students can choose between two areas of concentration: Paralegal or Business Law. Core courses in the major include:

Foundations of Law, White Collar Crime, Ethics in a Legal Environment, and Interviewing, Negotiation, and Alternative Dispute Resolution.

Brandman University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.

Net-Price: $27,446

#26 Nova Southeastern University

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

BS in Legal Studies

Website

Student Faculty Ratio: 17 to 1

Undergraduate Enrollment: 4,904 

Standardized Testing Requirements: scores required

Points: 9

nova-southeastern-university

Nova Southeastern University offers an affordable legal studies program leading to a Bachelor of Science degree. Students can choose between a Pre-Law Track or an International Law track. Notables to consider include an optional internship, advanced courses in First Amendment rights and war crimes, and a practical, interdisciplinary program. NSU also offers a dual admission program, which enables students to enroll in both their Bachelor’s and Master’s program simultaneously. Nova Southeastern University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

Net-Price: $25,867

#25 University of Illinois at Springfield

Springfield, Illinois

Bachelor’s Degree in Legal Studies

Website

Student Faculty Ratio: 12 to 1

Undergraduate Enrollment: 2,814

Standardized Testing Requirements: scores required

Points: 9

The University of Illinois at Springfield offers a low-cost Bachelor’s Degree in Legal Studies. Students will take the following major classes:

  • Introduction to the American Legal System
  • The American Constitution and Civil Liberties
  • American Constitution: Government Powers and Institutions
  • Legal Research And Citation
  • History of American Law
  • Law and Society
  • American Law in Comparative Perspective

An honors program is available, and an internship is required unless you choose to waive it (see program for more details). All students have access to an academic advisor. The University of Illinois at Springfield is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Net-Price: $10,733

#24 University of Massachusetts-Lowell

Lowell, Massachusetts

Bachelor of Liberal Arts with a concentration in Legal Studies

Website

Student Faculty Ratio: 17 to 1

Undergraduate Enrollment: 14,004

Standardized Testing Requirements: scores required

Points: 10

UMass Lowell offers an affordable degree in legal studies through its Bachelor of Liberal Arts program with a concentration in Legal Studies. Through the College of Fine Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, you’ll take major classes like Legal Aspects of Cyberspace, International Law, Family Law, and Women and the Law. In addition, you’ll sharpen many marketable skills, like communication, critical thinking, and analytical skills. UMass Lowell is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

Net-Price: $18,257

#23 Hodges University

Naples, Florida

BS in Legal Studies

Website

Student Faculty Ratio: 12 to 1

Undergraduate Enrollment: 853

Standardized Testing Requirements: no information given

Points: 11

This is an award-winning legal studies program. You can earn your low-cost BS in Legal Studies from Hodges University. And whether you want to be a paralegal or a lawyer, you’ll have the foundation you need to be successful. Classes are delivered during the day or at night to accommodate your busy life. You can also choose a blend of online and on-campus coursework. Coursework includes eLitigation and Litigation Support, Statutory Interpretation, and Introduction to Constitutional Law.

Graduates will be able to easily transition to careers as Legal Contracts Manager, Child Welfare Adoption Specialist, Arbitrator/Mediator, Office Manager, or Title Examiner. Hodges University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

Net-Price: $18,686

#22 SUNY College of Technology at Canton

Canton, New York

BS in Legal Studies

Website

Student Faculty Ratio: 18 to 1

Undergraduate Enrollment: 3,213

Standardized Testing Requirements: scores required

Points: 11

suny-college-of-technology-at-canton

SUNY College of Technology at Canton offers its cheap legal studies degree through the College of Business. Students will earn a BS in Legal Studies and also participate in a real-world internship. Classes include Business Law, Civil Litigation, Constitutional Law, Criminal Practice, Family Law, Negligence and Intentional Torts, Real Property Law, Wills, and Trusts & Estates.

Students can also earn a Bachelor’s + Law degree in just 6 years through Canton’s partnership with the University of Buffalo’s Law School. SUNY College of Technology at Canton is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Net-Price: $12,954

#21 Washburn University

Topeka, Kansas

Bachelor of Legal Studies

Website

Student Faculty Ratio: 12 to 1

Undergraduate Enrollment: 5,719

Standardized Testing Requirements: scores vary and are required for applicants under 21 years of age

Points: 11

The affordable legal studies degree offering at Washburn University requires a set of university core courses first, including First-Year Writing and the Washburn Experience. Next, the curriculum will be broken down into three sections:

  • 30-credit hours of legal studies core requirements
  • 21-credit hours of directed electives
  • 18-credit hours of legal studies correlates

Sample classes include Legal Research, Wills & Estate Administration, Introduction to Contracts, and Comparative Law International Travel Experience. An internship experience and capstone course are both required. Washburn University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Net-Price: $12,551

#20 Post University

Waterbury, Connecticut

BS in Legal Studies

Website

Student Faculty Ratio: 20 to 1

Undergraduate Enrollment: 9,049

Standardized Testing Requirements: recommended but not required

Points: 11

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The cheap legal studies program at Post University is one to look at closely. Not only is the net-price tuition under $10,000, but you’ll also get a well-rounded education. The program will address the following areas of legal studies:

  • legal research and writing
  • civil litigation
  • real estate closings
  • probate practice
  • family law and practice
  • environmental law and practice
  • intellectual property practice
  • business organizations and practice
  • bankruptcy practice

An internship experience is not required, but the experience working with local legal offices or affiliations could be beneficial! Post University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

Net-Price: $9,395

#19 National University

La Jolla, California

BA in Pre-Law Studies

Website

Student Faculty Ratio: 19 to 1

Undergraduate Enrollment: 7,735

Standardized Testing Requirements: requirements not clear

Points: 12

As San Diego’s largest private nonprofit university, National University offers a low-cost legal studies degree. This BA in Pre-Law Studies presents its coursework in 4-week segments. That way, you’ll only focus on one subject area per month. Plus, with year-round enrollment and various delivery methods, you can truly design a program that works for your life. Upper level electives include:

  • Law School Portfolio Project
  • Facilitation Fundamentals
  • Mediation Fundamentals 
  • Communication & Conflict
  • Issues in Conflict Management 
  • Ethics and Neutrality

National University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.

Net-Price: net-price tuition not reported to the National Center for Education Statistics, but the school reports $370 per quarter credit.

#18 Gannon University

Erie, Pennsylvania

BA in Legal Studies

Website

Student Faculty Ratio: 13 to 1

Undergraduate Enrollment: 3,291

Standardized Testing Requirements: SAT score of 1090 or higher or ACT score of 21 or higher

Points: 12

Students enrolled in the affordable legal studies program at Gannon University will certainly get the preparation they need. Not only will the liberal arts core prepare you, but you’ll also gain valuable skills like critical thinking and analytical skills. In addition, you’ll gain the professional skills you need to be successful in your legal profession. Sample courses include Public Records Research and Title Abstracts, Legal Research and Writing, and Computers in the Law.

Students also have access to the Legal Studies Student Club, in which students can participate in mock trials and the Wills for Heroes project. Gannon University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Net-Price: $22,431

#17 Wilmington University

New Castle, Delaware

BS in Legal Studies

Website

Student Faculty Ratio: 12 to 1

Undergraduate Enrollment: 9,042

Standardized Testing Requirements: no testing required

Points: 12

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If you’re looking for a program that will give you the credentials you need, take a good look at Wilmington University’s low-cost BS in Legal Studies. It’s one of the few programs approved by the American Bar Association. The program is designed for students who want to become a paralegal or legal assistant, or who want to continue to graduate school or law school. After taking core legal studies classes like Advanced Litigation Skills and Interviewing & Investigating, students can choose from directed electives like Food and Drug Law and Policy, Cyberlaw, Global Financial Compliance, or American Legal History. Wilmington University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Net-Price: $13,814

#16 Florida Gulf Coast University

Fort Myers, Florida

BS in Legal Studies

Website

Student Faculty Ratio: 22 to 1

Undergraduate Enrollment: 13,877

Standardized Testing Requirements: scores required

Points: 12

Florida Gulf Coast University offers an affordable Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies. Students will take major core classes, as well as electives in areas of litigation, wills, trusts and estates, real estate, family law, criminal law, and international law. The program will prepare students for law school or a professional career in paralegal or legal assisting. In fact, the students will be prepared for several certification exams. Among the 120-credits is coursework like Introduction to Law, Legal Research and Writing, Contracts, and Torts. A Civic Literacy element is required. Florida Gulf Coast University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

Net-Price: $11,716

#15 University of West Florida

Pensacola, Florida

BA in Legal Studies

Website

Student Faculty Ratio: 21 to 1

Undergraduate Enrollment: 9,733

Standardized Testing Requirements: requirements vary

Points: 12

Through the College of Education and Professional Studies, the University of West Florida offers an affordable BA in Legal Studies ideal for students who desire careers in the legal field. Benefits of the program include knowledgable faculty, small class sizes, research opportunities, and student organization club opportunities. For aspiring attorneys, you’ll love UWF’s partnership with Stetson University College of Law that enables students to take accelerated, combined coursework. The University of West Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

Net-Price: $9,091

#14 Stevenson University

Stevenson, Maryland

BS in Legal Studies

Website

Student Faculty Ratio: 14 to 1

Undergraduate Enrollment: 3,113

Standardized Testing Requirements: scores required

Points: 13

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At Stevenson University, students will earn a low-cost BS in Legal Studies that is practitioner-based. This means that you’ll get instruction from faculty that are lawyers or judges themselves. You’ll even get to take that classroom theory into action by working with licensed lawyers on your own legal work. Coursework includes Estates and Trusts, Civil Litigation and Pleading, Business Organizations Law, and Law Office Technology. In addition, the program is the only ABA-approved bachelor’s degree paralegal education program in Maryland. Stevenson University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Net-Price: $26,663

#13 Peirce College

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

BS in Paralegal Studies

Website

Student Faculty Ratio: 9 to 1

Undergraduate Enrollment: 1,271

Standardized Testing Requirements: scores not required

Points: 13

Peirce College offers a 121-credits cheap legal studies degree in the form of a BS in Paralegal Studies. This program, approved by the American Bar Association, delivers its coursework in a hybrid method. This means you’ll take some classes online and some classes on-campus. Coursework includes The Paralegal Profession, Professional Legal Responsibility, Advanced Legal Technology, and Legal Writing. Through the Rutgers Law School, a Bachelor’s to Juris Doctor program is also available. Peirce College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Net-Price: $6,395

#12 University of Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

BA in Legal Studies

Website

Student Faculty Ratio: 14 to 1

Undergraduate Enrollment: 19,330

Standardized Testing Requirements: scores required

Points: 14

The University of Pittsburgh, located in its namesake Pittsburg, PA, offers a 120-credit affordable BA in Legal Studies. Students will take two core courses in Law & Politics and Intro to Legal Studies, then round out the program with 18-credits of legal studies electives and 6-credits from outside interdisciplinary electives. Sample electives include Trial Advocacy, Critical Issues in Criminal Justice, Consumer Law, and Separation, Divorce, and Custody. Graduates will be ready for careers in banking, legal research, and judicial administration. The University of Pittsburgh is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Net-Price: $24,040

#11 Webster University

Saint Louis, Missouri

BA in Legal Studies

Website

Student Faculty Ratio: 12 to 1

Undergraduate Enrollment: 3,058

Standardized Testing Requirements: scores required

Points: 14

The legal studies offering at Webster University will prepare students for careers in the legal field or post-graduate study. As the only approved American Bar Association program in the St. Louis area, students can know their investment (time and money!) are being used well. Sample classes include:

  • Legal Ethics
  • Civil Litigation
  • Criminal Litigation
  • Corporations and Business Organizations
  • Computers and the Law

A unique study-abroad opportunity is available in Leiden, the Netherlands for interested students. After graduation, students also have the opportunity to enroll in the school’s Master of Arts in Legal Studies. Webster University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Net-Price: $22,727

#10 Morehead State University

Morehead, Kentucky

BA in Legal Studies

Website

Student Faculty Ratio: 18 to 1

Undergraduate Enrollment: 9,395 

Standardized Testing Requirements: minimum ACT of 18 or SAT of 860 required

Points: 14

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As one of the few schools approved by the American Bar Association, Morehead State University offers an affordable BA in Legal Studies that combines the theory in the classroom with hands-on experience, fit with participation in several community projects. Benefits of the program include small class sizes, access to the latest legal technology, and the opportunity to work with real clients. In addition, students will have an internship component as well. A variety of complementary minors are available. Morehead State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

Net-Price: $12,528

#9 West Virginia University at Parkersburg

Parkersburg, West Virginia

Bachelor of Applied Science in Legal Studies

Website

Student Faculty Ratio: 15 to 1

Undergraduate Enrollment: 2,403

Standardized Testing Requirements: test scores not required

Points: 14

To apply to West Virginia University at Parkersburg’s cheap legal studies program, you’ll first need an Associate’s degree in a related field or a minimum of 58 transferable credits. Among the coursework in the 120-credit program include Legal Professional Development, Law Office Management, Legal Research and Writing, and Civil Procedures. An internship is required. Students can focus their electives and graduate with a focus area as well, including Business, Criminal Justice, Law, or Entrepreneurial Studies. Graduates will be prepared for the Certified Paralegal Exam. WVU at Parkersburg is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Net-Price: $7,209

#8 University of California-Berkeley

Berkeley, California

BA in Legal Studies

Website

Student Faculty Ratio: 20 to 1

Undergraduate Enrollment: 30,853 

Standardized Testing Requirements: scores required

Points: 16

The University of California at Berkeley offers a low-cost Bachelor’s in legal students that will result in a BA degree. The program will be an interdisciplinary, liberal arts education. Courses include options like Theories of Law and Society, Aims & Limits of Criminal Law, American Law & Legal Institutions, and Immigration and Citizenship. No minor is required. An honors program is available for students who meet the requirements and will require a written thesis and a presentation at the Legal Studies Undergraduate Research Conference. UC-Berkeley is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.

Net-Price: $17,862

#7 Liberty University

Lynchburg, Virginia 

BA/BS in Law and Policy: Pre-Law

Website

Student Faculty Ratio: 18 to 1

Undergraduate Enrollment: 45,935

Standardized Testing Requirements: scores required

Points: 17

The affordable legal studies degree at Liberty University will prepare students for law school, the LSAT, or the bar exam. Graduates will earn either a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science in Law and Policy with an emphasis in Pre-Law. All studies will be presented through a Christian point of view. Courses include:

  • Logic and Legal Reasoning
  • Criminal Law
  • Jurisprudence
  • Legal Research & Writing
  • American Constitutional Law

Related minors in areas like Criminal Justice, Government, International Relations, Politics & Policy, and Strategic Intelligence Studies are also available. Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

Net-Price: $27,432

#6 Ball State University

Muncie, Indiana

BA/BS in Legal Studies

Website

Student Faculty Ratio: 16 to 1

Undergraduate Enrollment: 16,160

Standardized Testing Requirements: tests optional

Points: 17

If you’re thinking about pursuing a career in the legal profession, then take a good look at Ball State University’s low-cost Bachelor’s degree in Legal Studies. As a program approved by the American Bar Association, you can rest assured you’re getting the quality education you’re paying for. In addition, you’ll get to choose between a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts. After completing the university core curriculum, you can also choose between two areas of concentration: Business or Public Law. Sample curriculum includes:

  • Advanced Legal Research and Writing
  • Advanced Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Law and Economics
  • Principles of Business Law

All students will participate in a hands-on internship with local professionals in the legal field. Ball State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Net-Price: $13,642

#5 University of Southern Mississippi

Hattiesburg, Mississippi 

BA in Legal Studies (Pre-Law or Paralegal)

Website

Student Faculty Ratio: 17 to 1

Undergraduate Enrollment: 11,920

Standardized Testing Requirements: scores required

Points: 18

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At the University of Southern Mississippi offers a cheap legal studies degree that is customizable. You’ll earn a Bachelor of Arts and can choose between two paths of concentration: Pre-Law or Paralegal. The Pre-Law specialization is best for the student who desires a career as a lawyer. This 124-credit program is approved by the American Bar Association (ABA). Classes include Family Law, The Legal Environment of Law, Women and the Law, and Mock Trial. An internship worth 3-9 credits is also required. The University of Southern Mississippi is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

Net-Price: $13,773

#4 University of Alaska-Anchorage

Anchorage, Alaska

BA in Legal Studies

Website

Student Faculty Ratio: 14 to 1

Undergraduate Enrollment: 13,885

Standardized Testing Requirements: scores not required

Points: 19

The University of Alaska-Anchorage offers a cheap Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies. Coursework in the program includes classes like Tribal Courts and Alaska Native Rights, Aviation Law and Regulations, Family Law, Movies and the First Amendment, and Torts, Workers’ Compensation and Insurance Law. Students must maintain a “C” average in major courses in order to be considered in good standing for graduation. To make your degree more versatile, consider adding an Undergraduate Certificate in Civic Engagement or a minor in Justice. The University of Alaska at Anchorage is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Net-Price: $13,288

#3 University of Wisconsin-Madison

Madison, Wisconsin

BS/BA in Legal Studies

Website

Student Faculty Ratio: 17 to 1

Undergraduate Enrollment: 31,705

Standardized Testing Requirements: no minimum score required, but test scores must be reported

Points: 20

university-of-wisconsin-madison

The affordable Legal Studies major at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is offered through the College of Letters and Science. Though the program is suitable for pre-law students, it is not necessarily preparation for law school. Instead, the program will examine and explore the different perspectives of law and society, not on-the-job training. Students can expect the curriculum to address 5 different themes:

  • Legal Institutions
  • Processes of Legal Order and Disorder
  • Law and Social Forces
  • Law and Culture
  • Law and Theory

Enrolled students with an overall GPA of 3.3 and a 3.5 GPA or higher in the major courses can apply for honors. The University of Wisconsin-Madison is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Net-Price: $14,169

#2 Dominican University

River Forest, Illinois

Bachelor of Professional Studies in Legal Studies

Website

Student Faculty Ratio: 10 to 1

Undergraduate Enrollment: 2,106

Standardized Testing Requirements: an ACT composite score of 21 or 1060 SAT or above

Points: 22

The cheap legal studies degree program at Dominican University is truly a customizable degree. You will gain valuable skills and real-world experiences. This Bachelor of Professional Studies in Legal Studies also offers something much more unique. You can customize your degree with up to two concentrations, or you can design your own concentration–all with the help of your advisor. Areas of specialization include paralegal studies, public administration, labor relations, social justice, disability advocacy or criminal justice. Plus, you can customize your delivery method by doing your coursework on-campus, fully online, or a combination of both. And to make it even better? Classes will be accelerated, so you can earn your degree in about 20 months. You can even take several graduate courses that count towards your subsequent degree while you are still an undergraduate. Dominican University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Net-Price: $18,037

#1 University of Central Florida

Orlando, Florida

BA/BS in Legal Studies

Website

Student Faculty Ratio: 30 to 1

Undergraduate Enrollment: 58,821

Standardized Testing Requirements: scores required

Points: 23

Through the College of Community Innovation and Education, students enrolled in the University of Central Florida’s low-cost legal studies program can choose between a BA or BS degree. The Bachelor of Arts path requires two college courses in a foreign language. Both programs are also available online for interested students. All students have access to a personal advisor. The Princeton Review, Kiplinger, and Forbes have all named UCF a best-value school. UCF is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

Net-Price: $13,016

About an Affordable Bachelor’s Degree in Legal Studies

The field of Legal Studies is probably broader than you think. As a foundation, you’ll study topics like contract law, real estate law, torts, professional ethics, criminal procedure, and legal research and writing, among others. While you can go on to become a lawyer, earning a degree in Legal Studies doesn’t mean that you have to. In fact, job opportunities are far and wide. So if you’re interested in the field of law in any capacity, check out this major. Because the field is so broad, the good news is that it won’t lock you into one specific career. You can work in the legal field, but you can also continue your schooling or pursue professions in business, public affairs, public service, politics, international affairs, management, real-estate, or non-profit organizations.

Coursework in the Major:

Coursework in a legal studies degree will provide a liberal arts curriculum coupled with a solid understanding of the legal system. The curriculum will place high importance on research, writing, and important skills (like critical thinking, analytical, and communication).

If you decide an affordable degree in Legal Studies is in your future, you can expect to take coursework in the following areas:

  • American Politics 
  • Sociology of Law
  • Legal Systems in American Society 
  • Constitutional Law 
  • Business Law
  • Contract Law
  • Legal Ethics 
  • Legal Writing and Research
  • Law and Culture

Additional specific courses listed in this ranking include (some are electives!):

Civil Litigation, Criminal Practice, Family Law, Negligence & Intentional Torts, Real Property Law, Wills, Trusts & Estates, Legal Aspects of Cyberspace, International Law, Family Law, Women and the Law, Facilitation Fundamentals, Mediation Fundamentals, Communication & Conflict, Issues in Conflict Management, eLitigation & Litigation Support, Statutory Interpretation, The Paralegal Profession, Professional Legal Responsibility, Advanced Legal Technology, Tribal Courts &Alaska Native Rights, Aviation Law & Regulations, Family Law, Movies & the First Amendment, Workers’ Compensation & Insurance Law, Separation, Divorce, & Custody

Possible Areas of Concentration:

An area of concentration is a focus within your major, most times characterized by dedicating a couple of courses to a more specific area of the larger legal studies field. These concentrations are usually offered through the program’s same department. A few that we mention in this ranking are:

  • Paralegal
  • Business Law
  • Pre-law
  • International Law
  • Public Administration
  • Labor Relations
  • Social Justice
  • Disability Advocacy
  • Criminal Justice
  • Public Law

Possible Options for Minors:

Some programs don’t offer an area emphasis but instead encourage you to choose a related minor. A concentration will dive deeper into a sub-field of legal studies and will include coursework inside your same department. A minor will branch out just a bit. A minor gives you a complement to your degree outside of your field of study and will create a multi-disciplinary approach to your education. A few minors offered by schools on this rankings list include:

  • Criminal Justice
  • Government
  • International Relations
  • Politics & Policy
  • Strategic Intelligence Studies
  • Justice

You might see the same field of study listed in both “minors” and “concentrations” because every school places its Legal Studies in a different department–and that can determine whether your complementary studies are viewed as a minor or an area of specialization.

Online vs. On-Campus Bachelor of Legal Studies Programs

This ranking addresses low-cost legal studies programs that are on-campus. But if that’s not for you, there are a number of programs you can take entirely online, or even as a combination of the two (hybrid). There are benefits to both. On-campus programs allow you to have maximum support and to build community with like-minded peers. Online programs allow you maximum flexibility for a busy life.

Part-time vs. Full-time Bachelor of Legal Studies Programs

Most schools will allow you to take your coursework on a part-time basis. This option is good for students who also work or have a tough home or life obligations. Attending school part-time will certainly help you balance your school and home life. Just remember that taking your classes part-time will lengthen the time it takes for you to earn your degree. If you take your classes full-time, however, you could finish in just 4 years (or sooner depending on your specific program and any previous credits). There is no right or wrong choice. It’s completely up to you. But whatever you do, make the choice that will ensure your success!

Getting Admitted to a Low-Cost Bachelor’s in Legal Studies Program

Each programs process and requirements for admission will vary, but generally, you can expect that you’ll need:

  • a high school diploma or equivalent with an official transcript (your high school GPA does matter for admission!)
  • a completed application
  • standardized test scores (although some schools do not require them or make them optional–check your program for details)
  • letters of recommendation
  • entrance essay

Make sure to check your school and its program for details, as every school requires different factors.

Affordable Bachelor of Legal Studies FAQs

Q: Is legal studies a good degree?

Yes, absolutely! Getting a degree in legal studies doesn’t mean you’re married to a career in law. It’s a great foundation for law, but also other areas like public administration, political science, public affairs, and more!

Q: What kind of Bachelor’s degree will I get in Legal Studies?

A: This will depend specifically on the program that you enroll in. Some programs focus on a liberal arts curriculum (a B.A), and some focus on a science-based education (a B.S.). You’ll need to decide if you prefer to take more foreign language/liberal arts classes or more math and sciences! Neither is right or wrong–it just depends where your strengths and interests lie. 

Q: What is the difference between Legal Studies and Paralegal Studies?

Legal Studies and Paralegal Studies are in the same field. The difference between them is that legal studies are a broad umbrella term for the entire legal profession, while paralegal studies is a specific career path within the larger field.

Q: What is the difference between a degree in Legal Studies and a degree in Pre-Law?

Legal studies will prepare you for a broader array of legal professions, not just law. You can get into law school with that major, but you don’t have to choose law school. Pre-law, however, is a major that prepares students to enter law school and follows a certain curriculum to help students become successful in the area of law.

Q: Do I need a Bachelor’s degree to become a Paralegal?

Technically, no, you do not. An Associate’s degree is sufficient. However, more and more employers are desiring a Bachelor’s degree in the profession, so it could be wise to pursue one.

Q: Should I be looking for my legal studies program to have a special accreditation?

While it isn’t required for your program to have a special accreditation, it might be wise to consider one. One such accredited agency is the American Bar Association. The ABA upholds standards for paralegal education programs and has accredited 265 programs–so there’s plenty for you to pick from!

Q: What skills do I need to study the field of Legal Studies?

A: Besides learning the fundamentals of the legal studies field, you’ll also need to acquire some skills so you can be successful in your job! A few skills you will need to acquire in this field could include:

  • critical thinking skills
  • problem-solving skills
  • analytical skills
  • written and communication skills

Q: What kind of student resources will schools offer on-campus?

A: Academically, you’ll have all kinds of support from tutoring, to career services, to writing centers. Most schools also have multi-cultural support centers, as well as programs to support those with disabilities or who identify in the LGBTQ community. In addition, many schools have counseling or wellness centers, women centers, and centers for minorities. Some schools will even have program-specific student organizations to help you network and learn from peers in the same field.

Q: What are some related degrees I could pursue?

Other degree paths that are similar to Legal Studies could include Criminal Justice, Paralegal Studies, Business, and more.

Q: How long will it take to earn my affordable degree in Legal Studies?

A: Typically, when you take your classes on a full-time basis, you can earn your degree in just 4 years. Other factors can affect that number, like if you take your classes part-time or if you enroll in an accelerated program. 

Q: Can I work while I get my affordable undergrad degree in Legal Studies?

A: Technically, yes, you can work while you go to school! But it’s important to remember that college will take a lot of your time, and it might take some getting used to. So, if you must work, consider a job on campus to cut down on commute time, or a quiet desk job that allows you to read and study while you work. Once you get a semester or two under your belt, you can re-evaluate and find a balance that works for you.

Q: Will I need any subsequent degrees?

If you are seeking entry-level legal professional jobs, you won’t need any subsequent degrees for your position. However, you could need additional certifications (like for the paralegal profession.) But, if you want to become a lawyer, you will need to continue to law school.

Q: Is it required to send my SAT/ACT scores to the university for admission?

Requirements for standardized testing varies by school. Some schools don’t require them at all. Some schools are test-optional and some have strict guidelines on scores. You’ll want to check the admission requirements of the specific schools you are considering to make sure your scores will cut it. 

Low-Cost Bachelor of Legal Studies Career FAQs

Q: Is a cheap Bachelor’s degree in Legal Studies worth it?

The answer to this question will depend on what you plan to do with your degree. For example, the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics predicts that careers like Paralegals and Legal Assistants will increase in number by 12% over the next 10 years, which is higher than average. Likewise, jobs for arbitrators will increase by 8%. So those careers? Yes, they are definitely worth it. On the other hand, jobs in the claims examiner field are projected to decline by 4%.

Q: What can I do with an affordable Bachelor’s degree in Legal Studies?

  • Legal Assistant/Paralegal
  • Court administrator 
  • Personnel administrator 
  • Law enforcement official 
  • Lobbyist 
  • Arbitrator
  • Claims examiner

Q: What kind of salary can I expect with a degree in Legal Studies?

While the salaries you earn will vary, you can expect a general salary between $40,000 and $70,000. The salaries below are generated from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics data from 2018. Below are a few specific salaries you can expect:

  • Legal Assistant/Paralegal: $50,940 per year 
  • Court, Municipal, and License Clerks: $41,100 per year
  • Arbitrator: $62,270 per year 
  • Claims examiner: $65,670 per year 

Q: What is the highest paying job I can get with a Legal Studies degree?

While continuing to law school and becoming a lawyer will produce the highest salary, if you don’t choose that path, then one of the highest paying careers at the Bachelor’s degree level for this discipline is the field of Claims Adjusting, Appraising, Examining, and Investigating with an average salary of about $65,000.

Q: Are there any professional organizations available for people in the Legal Studies field?

Yes, there are! Here are a few to check out:

GVC Staff

February 2020

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