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2022-05-11

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Best Accredited Online Law Schools

  Anyone who wants to practice law must earn a Juris Doctorate (JD), then take and pass the Bar Exam. This test is difficult, and the effort required for JD students to do well is substantial, but the rewards are limitless and long-term. The American Bar Association ensures a baseline quality standard of legal education within the United States by accrediting all law schools in the country. There are a wide variety of ABA-accredited law schools available to attend for those pursuing a law degree or certification. For those with busy schedules and commitments outside of their education, earning a convenient online form of your Juris Doctorate may be the best route to take.

  Unfortunately, California is the only state that allows online law school graduates to take the Bar Exam. Once you pass, you will be licensed to practice law anywhere in California. If you do not plan to practice law in California, you will need to attend a brick-and-mortar law school in person.

  Leading up to that Juris Doctorate, however, you can still complete the undergraduate prerequisites wholly online, and there are plenty of options available. EDsmart has gathered a list of the best pre-law majors for you to peruse and choose from here. We also have plenty of lists of the best online degree options, depending on which major you’d like to pursue.

  Online law degrees are available from several brick-and-mortar colleges and universities. EDsmart’s evaluation will guide you in finding the best value for online law degrees.

   

  Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Ranking Methodology
The Best Affordable Online Law Schools ranking is based on four main data points in four categories:

  Affordability (net price)Student Satisfaction (retention rate)Academic Quality (4-year graduation rate)Student Outcome (20-year Return on Investment according to Payscale.com)
Each data point is ranked with equal weight. Schools received a weighted overall ranking score for each individual point mentioned above–100 being the highest score possible.

  In the case of a tie in scoring, the average net price was the determining factor for which school received the higher rank–the lower the net price, the higher the ranking.

  All data was gathered from the National Center for Education Statistics, College Scorecard, Payscale, and individual school websites.

  Score: 100

  Average Net Price: $27,427

  Retention Rate: 97%

  Graduation Rate: 92%

  ROI: $640,000

  Washington University in St. Louis’s Law School has been helping students achieve world-class careers since its founding in 1867. The institution is recognized nationally for its high-quality legal reasoning and practice preparation programs. WashU’s JD program places emphasis on twelve different areas, such as constitutional law & civil rights, criminal justice, or labor & employment law. For additional, topic-specific education, JD students can earn specialized certifications or take elective courses. The system also supports online master’s degrees in legal studies, laws in taxation, and U.S. law, even offering a dual-master of laws in U.S. and transnational legal practice. Classes function in an interactive, live-feed format that enables students to collaborate weekly with professors and fellow students.

  WUSTL currently enrolls over 15,000 students, most of whom are working on completing their degrees from 100 different countries throughout the world. Out-of-state students make up 90% of the student population, and 80% pursue multiple majors and minors. Basic undergraduate tuition sits at around $54,000 per year.

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  Score: 98.5

  Average Net Price: $24,593

  Retention Rate: 94%

  Graduation Rate: 91%

  ROI: $639,000

  Emory University takes part in an upstanding tradition of pursuing prominent research and maintaining educational excellence. It is one of the most well-known private higher education institutions in the country. Currently, the school enrolls only 864 students in total, and tuition costs average around $47,954 annually. Emory provides a limited array of online programs for students pursuing certificates, ‘, or doctoral degrees, but these virtual programs are some of the most prestigious in the nation. Specifically, the Juris Master (JM) program offers an 18-month track for health care law, policy and regulation, and business law and regulation. Courses are taught by a faculty of researchers and world-renowned law practitioners, meaning that students can collaborate with field professionals and market themselves enough to land highly sought-after positions in the law field post-graduation. Ultimately, Emory is a highly distinguished establishment of post-secondary education where students come to thrive and build their futures.

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  Score: 97.5

  Average Net Price: $30,453

  Retention Rate: 97%

  Graduation Rate: 92%

  ROI: $637,000

  The University of Southern California is a private institution based in Los Angeles that has operated as a leading post-secondary educational institution since its 1880 founding. Today, it is home to over 599 students and 203 faculty and staff. One-quarter of the students are international, which makes the globally-operated Gould School of Law a naturally popular program. Through this format, a law student can pursue a master’s of law degree (LLM) while finding global networking opportunities with over 10,000 USC law school alumni from across the world. At USC, students who want to get a head start on their path to success within the legal field have every opportunity at their feet.

  The Gould School of Law is accredited by the American Bar Institution, and U.S. News and World Report rank it at #19 among the best law schools in the country. Tuition for the online program sits at just over $53,800 per semester. As an institution, USC earns accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, sitting at #24 among national universities on U.S. News’ list of best colleges in the U.S. It also holds its place at #8 among the best colleges for veterans. Ultimately, the University of Southern California is one of the best prospects for aspiring learners who want to establish strong foundations and create their own success.

  Score: 96.8

  Average Net Price: $10,744

  Retention Rate: 93%

  Graduation Rate: 80%

  ROI: $362,000

  Florida State University is one of the most sought-after schools in the nation. The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Council on Social Work Education. According to U.S. News and World Report, it is the #1 school in the state of Florida. Among national universities, it sits at #58, placing #30 among best colleges for veterans, and standing at #123 among best value schools.

  The College of Law at Florida State supports just 547 students in total, boasting some of the lowest law school tuition rates in the country. The U.S. News and World Report ranks it at #48 among the best law schools in the nation. Its online Juris Master program enables off-site students to pursue masters’ degrees in law, with concentrations in fields like financial regulation and compliance, legal risk management and HR compliance, and even health care regulation. This program requires students to fulfill 30 credit hours of part-time schooling, during which they acquire valuable skills that will aid them throughout their future careers. Florida State University aims to promote the advancement of lifelong learning, instilling within its students an invaluable work ethic and a drive for success that they will take with them into every endeavor of their lives.

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  Score: 96.5

  Average Net Price: $32,129

  Retention Rate: 95%

  Graduation Rate: 88%

  ROI: $664,000

  Wake Forest University is one of the top-tier post-secondary educational institutions in the U.S. With tuition averaging around $46,409 per year, the university’s accompanying School of Law enrolls only 496 students in total. These individuals have the freedom to combine their undergraduate and JD studies into an individualized dual degree program. The online certificates and degree programs use Canvas as both a learning and a teaching medium. Wake Forest awards online MSL master’s degrees in business law & compliance, health law & policy, and human resources. These programs enable aspiring law students to gain firsthand experience in their chosen fields and specializations, giving them a leg up in the competition for post-graduation careers.

  The U.S. News and World Report ranks the Wake Forest School of Law at #41 among best law schools in the U.S. Overall, the university ranks among the top 30 schools in the nation, currently sitting at #28 among national universities, #44 in best undergraduate teaching, and #24 among best value schools.

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  Score: 95.8

  Average Net Price: $40,134

  Retention Rate: 95%

  Graduation Rate: 90%

  ROI: $696,000

  Founded in 1842 as the only Augustinian Catholic university in the country, Philadelphia’s Villanova University is comprised of six schools of study that offer over 100 different bachelor’s and master’s degrees. The school also awards doctoral degrees and has one of the highest-rated law schools in the country. The Charles Widger School of Law maintains a total enrollment of just 565 students, with a tuition averaging around $46,535 annually. Through its convenient online format, students can pursue a master’s in taxation degree or even earn their certification in employee benefits, estate planning, and state and local taxation. These widely-renowned virtual opportunities set Villanova apart from other online schools, and provide distance learners with all of the same opportunities they would have had access to on campus.

  The U.S. News and World Report ranks the Charles Widger School of Law at #53 among the best law schools in the country. On U.S. News and World Report’s list of best college rankings, the school sits at #53 among national universities, #36 among best undergraduate teaching, and #64 in best value schools. Overall, Villanova University aims to enrich the lives of its students by making every opportunity accessible to them and equipping them with the skills necessary to become successful in their legal careers.

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  Score: 94.5

  Average Net Price: $18,984

  Retention Rate: 91%

  Graduation Rate: 80%

  ROI: $480,000

  Michigan State University has been in operation since 1885 and has been broadening its students’ horizons for over 160 years. Today, the innovative institution offers an online food law degree that learners can take advantage of from anywhere in the world. This track runs through the Desire2Learn system. Students complete modules, readings, discussion boards, and have full access to instructors’ lectures through this virtual arrangement, all from the comfort of their own homes. Law students can earn their master of laws (LLM) or their master of jurisprudence (MJ) through the online food law track, during which they also collaborate with field professionals like patent lawyers, VPs, directors, and analysts. Overall, the online food law program at MSU opens up countless doors to new opportunities for its aspiring legal students.

  The school prides itself on its outstanding research programs and award-winning faculty and staff. According to the U.S. News and World Report, it ranks #80 among national universities. Overall, the university is a well-established and widely-renowned institution of higher learning that prioritizes its students and equips them with the skills necessary to be successful in their future careers and throughout their lives.

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  Score: 94.3

  Average Net Price: $30,729

  Retention Rate: 94%

  Graduation Rate: 85%

  ROI: $583,000

  Founded in 1839 in the very heart of Beantown itself, Boston University is a private, non-profit institution that hosts nearly 35,000 students participating in over 300 various programs of study. BU is well known for its celebrity alumni, which include Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Geena Davis, Howard Stern, and Tipper Gore. Besides its many claims to fame, however, the school is widely renowned for its excellent academic programs and award-winning faculty and staff. The U.S. News and World Report rank it at #42 among national universities.

  According to U.S. News and World Report, Boston’s law program sits at #20 among the best law schools in the country. With its LLM Graduate Tax Program (GTP), BU provides the means through which students can earn their master’s in taxation degrees on campus, online, or through a convenient combination of both. Earning the LLM credential is very impressive to future employers, and BU alumni often find jobs at law firms within the first year after graduating. Overall, Boston’s law program is among the top seven LLM programs in U.S. law from colleges all over the country. The institution is one of deep-seated national esteem and academic rigor, pushing toward the future while upholding its long-standing creed: Learning, Virtue, Piety.

  Score: 93

  Average Net Price: $11,644

  Retention Rate: 87%

  Graduation Rate: 66%

  ROI: $475,000

  Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law enrolls a total of just 779 full-time students. The law school involves a 30-credit hour, year-long, online MLS program, which is especially convenient for students with commitments outside of school. Students can focus their legal studies in one of eight different concentrations: conflict resolution, construction law, corporate and health care compliance, criminal law, H.R. and employment law, intellectual property law, law, and sustainability, or sports law and business. These online law programs provide students with the skills necessary to find success in the legal field.

  According to the U.S. News and World Report, it sits at #25 among best law schools, and Times Higher Education places it in the top one percent of the world’s most prestigious universities, as well as among the top 100 universities in the world for research and teaching. The Institute of International Education also considers Arizona State the number one university choice for international students.

  Score: 92.8

  Average Net Price: $42,397

  Retention Rate: 94%

  Graduation Rate: 85%

  ROI: $611,000

  With campuses located in both Abu Dhabi and Shanghai, New York University is an extensive globalized institution. Tuition and fees cost $66,422 per year. NYU’s school of law is one of wide renown, and its online format offers students the chance to earn an executive LLM in tax or even an MSL in taxation. The online master’s degree program, specifically, equips future accountants and other types of financial professionals with invaluable skills required in those fields. Ultimately, the school strives to promote academic excellence and cultivate a strong work ethic within its students, equipping them with skills necessary to become successful in the legal field. According to the U.S. News and World Report, it sits at #6 among the best law schools in the country, as well as #29 among national universities.

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  Score: 92.5

  Average Net Price: $33,734

  Retention Rate: 92%

  Graduation Rate: 84%

  ROI: $632,000

  George Washington University is a private institution located at the heart of the nation’s capital. It operates one of the best law schools in the country, currently enrolling over 1,600 students in its legal program–for whom tuition sits at around $60,790 annually. The U.S. News and World Report place the university’s law institution at #27 among the best law schools in the country.

  George Washington’s online law school offers a healthcare corporate compliance graduate certificate and a paralegal studies graduate certificate to online students. It also awards master’s degrees in both professional studies in law firm management and paralegal studies, both of which can be completed in as little as eighteen months. Because GWU is committed to opening up doors for all of its attendees, online law students have every opportunity to pursue successful careers in their chosen fields, all from the convenience of their own homes.

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  Score: 91.5

  Average Net Price: $22,817

  Retention Rate: 88%

  Graduation Rate: 69%

  ROI: $471,000

  Since 1929, the Higher Learning Commission has accredited the University of Tulsa, alongside the American Bar Association, which also certifies the institution’s College of Law. The law school currently enrolls just 255 students, whose tuition sits at around $25,254 annually. The college has a program available for students to complete their JD within six years, and they can also complete the online master of jurisprudence in approximately 18-24 months or even specialize in Indian law.

  The U.S. News and World Report ranks UT at #143 among national universities and #55 in best value schools. UT’s College of Law sits at #111 in best law schools. Ultimately, the University of Tulsa aims to equip its students with the tools necessary to become successful in the field of law.

  Score: 90.5

  Average Net Price: $18,086

  Retention Rate: 83%

  Graduation Rate: 69%

  ROI: $411,000

  The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is a public land-grant institution that holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The university strongly emphasizes its research institutions and has been recognized in the category R1: Doctoral Universities – Highest Research Activity by the Carnegie Institute. The U.S. News and World Report ranks the university at #133 among national universities and #101 in best value schools.

  The Nebraska College of Law supports only 379 full-time students. According to the U.S. News and World Report, it sits at #87 among the best law schools in the country. The online class format is designed for part-time L.L.M. students, enabling them to complete the online law degree requirements within just six semesters. The timing aspect makes it easy for distance learners with JD degrees from A.B.A.-accredited law schools to further their educations and establish themselves in the law community while maintaining responsibilities outside of school. Despite the program’s highly competitive nature and the rigorous coursework involved, it enables students from all walks of life to receive individualized training and career-building opportunities. U.N.L. ultimately aims to equip its students with the skills necessary to succeed in the field of law and become responsible, contributing world citizens.

  Score: 90.5

  Average Net Price: $34,701

  Retention Rate: 91%

  Graduation Rate: 83%

  ROI: $508,000

  Pepperdine University is a private, Christian institution that operates campuses throughout California and several other locations. The School of Law at Pepperdine enrolls 473 full-time students, and tuition sits at around $55,892 per year. Students who take part in Pepperdine’s online master’s of legal studies program collaborates with award-winning faculty and have the chance to participate in a wide variety of network-building residencies. Despite the online class format, online students are exposed to comprehensive coursework that fully equips them with legal expertise in as few as 16 months. The virtual courses make earning a legal degree more convenient than ever, making it possible for students with busy schedules and extraneous responsibilities to find success in any field they choose.

  According to the U.S. News and World Report, the university sits at #49 among national universities, and the School of Law at Pepperdine ranks #46 out of all law schools in the country. Ultimately, the school is one of wide renown, upholding its motto–“Freely ye received, freely give”–as it equips students with the skills necessary to enter the world prepared to change it.

  Score: 89.5

  Average Net Price: $16,642

  Retention Rate: 83%

  Graduation Rate: 63%

  ROI: $434,000

  The University of Arkansas is the leading institution in the state’s university system. Initially established in 1871 as a land-grant institution, the university now receives full accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. According to the U.S. News and World Report, it sits at #160 among national universities and places #163 among the best value schools in the country.

  The University Of Arkansas School Of Law has a long list of well-known alumni, including both Bill and Hillary Clinton. According to the National Jurist magazine, the university has had the best value since 2011. The U.S. News and World Report set it at #96 for best law schools in the country. For in-state students, law school tuition costs average around $16,188 per year, while out-of-state students pay $36,250. The online master’s of laws in agricultural and food law is a comprehensive program that caters to a high-demand field. The curriculum is designed to enable U.A. law students to establish skill sets that will help them find success in their future careers.

  Score: 89.3

  Average Net Price: $22,232

  Retention Rate: 87%

  Graduation Rate: 67%

  ROI: $397,000

  The University of Alabama has been the leading higher learning institution in its state since its 1820 founding. The university holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, and the American Bar Association accredits the university’s Hugh F. Culverhouse Jr. School of Law. The U.S. News and World Report rank the school at #143 among national universities and #127 among the best value schools in the nation. The Hugh F. Culverhouse Jr. School of Law sits at #25 among the country’s best law schools.

  For distance students, U.A. offers two different online law program options. The available L.L.M. concentrations include degrees in taxation and business transactions, both of which provide valuable networking opportunities for students. Business transaction degrees qualify students to pursue fields in ventures, transactions, and laws regarding dissolutions and recession. U.A.’s taxation degrees provide foundational skills for career advancement in the tax law field. Ultimately, the University of Alabama is dedicated to providing a comprehensive education to students from all walks of life, equipping them with skills vital to success in future law careers and legal/business spheres.

  Score: 89.3

  Average Net Price: $33,631

  Retention Rate: 89%

  Graduation Rate: 64%

  ROI: $629,000

  Drexel University is known for having one of the best co-op programs in the country, and they were one of the first major universities to launch . The Thomas R. Kline School of Law supports a full-time enrollment of 431 students, for whom tuition sits at around $44,195 annually. The U.S. News and World Report rank Drexel’s law program at #81 among the best law schools in the country, in addition to placing them at #133 among national universities.

  The university’s comprehensive online law school runs three different master’s programs and eight . Students can earn anything from a master’s of legal studies to a graduate certificate in criminal law. Overall, Drexel operates one of the most affordable and advanced online law schools in the nation. It aims to create opportunities for all of its students, providing them with the skills necessary to enter a competitive field and find successful careers.

  Score: 89

  Average Net Price: $14,553

  Retention Rate: 82%

  Graduation Rate: 61%

  Salary After Attending: $461,000

  The University of Arizona’s James E. Rogers College of Law holds several accreditations from the American Bar Association and the Association of American Law Schools. The U.S. News and World Report rank it at #46 among the best law schools in the country and #97 among national universities.

  The law school’s online courses are equally comprehensive and challenging. Off-site students have the option of earning a bachelor’s of arts in law, a master’s of legal studies, or graduate certificates in health law online. UA students have the option of earning their bachelor of arts in law, which is the only undergraduate law degree available at any university in the nation. Students pursuing the MLS online have the option of building their own curriculum, and health law students work internationally with industry leaders and collaborative faculty to receive graduate certificates in their field. All of these programs enable students to establish a strong foundation in law before continuing into the workforce and finding success in their specialized fields.

  Score: 88.8

  Average Net Price: $18,686

  Retention Rate: 51%

  Graduation Rate: 35%

  ROI: $121,000

  NapHodges University was founded as a private institution in 1990. Today, the university holds accreditations from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, the International Accreditation Council for Business Education, and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Its fully comprehensive online programs offer associate’s degrees in paralegal studies, as well as both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in legal studies. There are currently 12 associates, 13 bachelors, six masters, and 17 certificate programs available online. All of these programs equip students with valuable skills that they will take with them into the legal workforce.

  Ultimately, the school’s mission is to provide high-quality education for students from all walks of life, and its online system effectively accomplishes that. Students who receive a Hodges education know how to put themselves on the right track for future success.

  Score: 88.8

  Average Net Price: $25,529

  Retention Rate: 85%

  Graduation Rate: 74%

  ROI: $377,000

  Rowan University is a public, postsecondary educational institution located in Glassboro, New Jersey, operating as one of the top research institutions in the state. The U.S. News and World Report places it at #187 among national universities, as well as at #128 among the best value schools in the nation.

  Rowan offers several online and hybrid programs. For students pursuing degrees in law, Rowan’s online bachelor of arts in law and justice includes a comprehensive curriculum that focuses on students’ learning about the criminal justice system and its operation. It equips students with an understanding of law enforcement, court services, corrections, and human services. Ultimately, the virtual courses set students on a path to obtain graduate degrees and professional studies in this particular field in as little as 120 total credit hours. Rowan University is committed to affording its students an accessible and convenient path to success, equipping them with the skills necessary to develop a strong sense of professionalism and dedication in the field of law.

  Score: 88.5

  Average Net Price: $27,563

  Retention Rate: 85%

  Graduation Rate: 66%

  ROI: $463,000

  Seton Hall University is one of the oldest Catholic universities in the nation, established in 1856 by Bishop James Roosevelt Bayley. This private institution’s School of Law offers part-time tuition rates of $40,778 and full-time rates of $54,090 per year. The U.S. News and World Report rank the School of Law at #70 among the best law schools in the country, and it sits at #133 among national universities in general.

  The university operates online courses for students pursuing their master’s degree in law. Seton Hall’s health law education offers the full scope of performance and preparation, and students will find that the online format enables them to collaborate directly with faculty members while maintaining the rigorous daily schedules of their everyday lives. Seton Hall’s primary goal is to incorporate real-world principles into its curriculum, giving its students the ability to create their own success in the workforce.

  Score: 87

  Average Net Price: $11,938

  Retention Rate: 61%

  Graduation Rate: 43%

  ROI: $428,000

  Bellevue University was established as a private non-profit university in 1966. Today, the institution holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, and Washington Monthly magazine named it among the Top 10 Colleges for Adult Learners. The university also made it onto College Factual’s list of Top 10 Best Colleges for Returning Adults and Non-Traditional Students.

  Bellevue’s online bachelor of science in legal studies incorporates emphases in law, policy, and ethics, as well as legal and judicial systems, political science, and criminal justice. Coursework prepares students to evaluate legal writings and grasp complex ethical concepts, granting them the skills they need to apply both moral and judicial reasoning to real-world scenarios. The online format allows distance learners to pursue their individual education goals from the comfort of their own homes and ultimately leads them to successful careers in the legal field.

  Score: 87

  Average Net Price: $29,032

  Retention Rate: 88%

  Graduation Rate: 69%

  ROI: $235,000

  As a Christian-based, private teaching and research university, Samford holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The university consists of ten different schools of study, including the Cumberland School of Law, which has a full-time student enrollment of just 425 students, for whom tuition rates settle at around $40,150 a year. The U.S. News and World Report place Samford at #143 among national universities, placing the Cumberland School of Law at #144 among the best law schools in the country.

  Through its high-quality online JD program, the Cumberland School of Law enables students to take up to 15 required credit hours online. This is highly convenient for adult students and those with responsibilities outside of school. Online course options include admiralty, business drafting, internet privacy law, sales, and more. During the summer term, virtual students have two-course options: a class in advanced contracts (issues in e-commerce) or a course on the endangered species act, specifically. Overall, Samford’s Cumberland School of Law is a well-established institution that aims to set students on the path to a successful law career.

  Score: 86.5

  Average Net Price: $19,221

  Retention Rate: 57%

  Graduation Rate: 39%

  ROI: $511,000

  Pennsylvania State University’s online World Campus is the second-largest in the world. The World Campus offers more than 150 degree and certificate programs to over 20,000 online students in total. The online system runs a wide variety of legal courses exclusive solely to Penn State online. Virtual students that take less than 12 credits per semester pay tuition per credit, while students that take more credits pay a flat tuition rate. The online undergraduate degree options include bachelor’s of science degrees in criminal justice or political science, as well as bachelor’s of arts degrees in international policy, law, and society, or even energy and sustainability policy. Online students have the opportunity to earn a master’s of professional studies in community and economic development, as well as in criminal justice and policy administration. Virtual learners also have access to the master of public administration program.

  Ultimately, Pennsylvania State University aims to create an expansive learning environment for its students, equipping them with the skills necessary to find success in the field of law, and in life in general.

  Score: 85

  Average Net Price: $18,403

  Retention Rate: 77%

  Graduation Rate: 43%

  ROI: $353,000

  Regent University holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, as well as the Council for Higher Education, and the Regent University School of Law is an ABA accredited law school. Regent’s online learning system offers both undergraduate and graduate programs in government, criminal justice, and legal studies, with specializations in law, financial planning, paralegal studies, and law & national security. Its criminal justice bachelors’ degrees incorporate specialties in corrections, homeland security, and law enforcement. Online students can also pursue graduate programs in government, national security studies, or public administration. These programs equip students with the skills necessary to build successful careers in the legal field.

  Score: 84.8

  Average Net Price: $32,435

  Retention Rate: 81%

  Graduation Rate: 61%

  ROI: $476,000

  Hofstra University is a private, nonsectarian university that was founded in Hempstead, New York, in 1935. The institution’s partnering law school–the Maurice A. Deane School of Law–hosts just over 700 students in total, and tuition rates vary according to attendance. The U.S. News and World Report rank it at #119 among the best law schools. In addition to its hybrid courses, the distance learning program also offers a variety of fully comprehensive online options. For example, Hofstra’s online master’s in health law and policy requires no campus residency or LSAT/GMAT/GRE pre-examinations. Virtual students even have the opportunity to earn a master’s in health law and policy entirely online. This is just one of the many convenient and Hofstra affords its students.

  The U.S. News and World Report placed it at #160 among national universities and #92 among best value schools. Hofstra’s online legal studies program offers a convenient and high-quality path to students pursuing future success in legal fields and careers.

  Score: 83.3

  Average Net Price: $25,816

  Retention Rate: 79%

  Graduation Rate: 47%

  ROI: $313,000

  Nova Southeastern University’s Shepard Broad College of Law ranks at #147-193 among best law schools according to the U.S. News and World Report. This institution offers online degrees in sports law, masters in cybersecurity law, and even incorporates education, employment, and health law concentrations. To form their concentration, students must take a specific combination of 14 different electives. Overall, the legal programs at Nova Southeastern are some of the finest in the country, preparing aspiring legal students for real-world application of ethical principles so that they can become the best-licensed professionals in their fields.

  The U.S. News and World Report rank NSU at #227 among national universities and #113 for top performers on social mobility. Ultimately, the school aims to promote positive change and a strong sense of community within its ranks, and it does so by providing students with all of the tools they need to create successful lives and careers.

  Score: 82.3

  Average Net Price: $27,883

  Retention Rate: 83%

  Graduation Rate: 40%

  ROI: $170,000

  Established by the Baptist minister Jerry Falwell, Liberty University has remained a top-tier institution of postsecondary education, rooted in Christian values and doctrinally-centered teachings since its 1971 founding. Today, the school earns accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission. It offers more than 280 online study programs, including associates’ degrees in paralegal studies and criminal justice, as well as both bachelors’ and masters’ in criminal justice. These programs enrich the lives of law students with Christian principles that help them to evaluate the ethical weight of every real-world legal scenario. Courses run on 8-week tracks, ensuring convenience and accessibility for all participating students. These courses equip students with vital skills that will benefit them as they enter the workforce.

  Arizona State University (ASU) is the #1 law school in America, according to our analysis of the best online law schools.

  These 9 ABA-accredited law schools offer hybrid online Juris Doctor (J.D.) degrees. Hybrid online JD degree programs combine on-campus courses with online courses.

  Loyola University Chicago School of LawMitchell Hamline School of LawSeton Hall University School of LawSouthwestern Law SchoolSyracuse University College of LawTouro CollegeUniversity of Dayton School of LawUniversity of Denver Sturm College of LawUniversity of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce School of Law
Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Online Juris Doctor Degree Programs for 2022

  If you are looking for a flexible online law degree that enables you to sit for the bar exam, you might want to consider an online or hybrid program. Online Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree programs are a combination of online courses and on-campus instruction ideal for working professionals through an online hybrid or a weekend-based format. Read on to learn about the online J.D. programs approved by ABA and common admissions requirements, and compare different types of online formats to find the J.D. program best for you. 

  Aspiring attorneys can earn their Juris Doctor degree through any of the 199 schools and programs accredited by ABA. Among these schools, only a few offer hybrid online J.D. programs that combine online courses with on-campus components. There are also law schools that offer fully online J.D. degrees, but none are approved by the ABA.

  To determine which one is the best fit for you, consider your career goals, learning style and financial budget. Here are some ABA-approved law schools offering online and hybrid J.D. programs:

  Attending a law school accredited by the ABA allows you to take the bar exam in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, according to the Association of American Law Schools (AALS). The ABA seal of approval means your school meets the association’s quality standards for legal education.

  The ABA has yet to accredit any law school with courses offered entirely online. But as law schools increasingly expand into online instruction, the ABA has begun to issue waivers to hybrid programs–those that mix traditional campus learning with online courses–so they can apply for accreditation. With trained faculty and significant technological investment, distance learning proponents even argue that law degree programs can be completed exclusively online.

  Attending an ABA-accredited school isn’t the only way to become a lawyer. In New York, California, 29 other states and the District of Columbia, you can sit for the bar exam with a law degree from a non-ABA accredited school. But it’ll likely be more complicated to enter law practice that way, as some employers look for candidates who have graduated from accredited institutions.

  Before you decide to attend a school without ABA accreditation, be sure to research bar admission limitations and ensure that the school will provide you with adequate legal training to enter the field. You can also refer to the ABA’s Comprehensive Guide to Bar Admission Requirements 2021 (PDF, 1.3 MB), for guidance.

  An online law degree should teach you to think critically and creatively, educate you on a variety of legal doctrines, and expose you to subjects ranging from economics to sociology to help broaden your perspective. This holds true whether your program is offered on campus or in the hybrid online format.

  But there are differences between online law degrees, such as the time to graduation, the level of flexibility in your school schedule, access to externships and other outside opportunities, and admissions requirements.

  Here are some common admissions requirements for J.D. programs:

  A bachelor’s degree. Most schools don’t specify student’s disciplines in college, but strong reading comprehension and writing skills are normally preferred.LSAT/GRE scores. Most traditional law schools accept only the LSAT; many hybrid and online programs accept either your LSAT or GRE score. In most cases, you must have taken the test within the past five years.Transcripts.Letters of recommendation (the number of letters varies but two is typically the minimum).Personal essay.Resume.

You can expect to take similar courses no matter the law school you attend. Some online and hybrid courses are taught by the professors who teach on-campus classes. Your J.D. curriculum may include:

  Meet GPA requirement: Graduation requirements typically include maintaining a minimum grade point average and completing the core curriculum.Complete externships: Some schools may have a minimum number of credit hours for experiential learning, which may take the form of externships, clinics and simulated courses in which you will be required to solve a legal problem as if you were practicing in the real world.Finish a capstone project: Another requirement is a capstone project on a legal topic to demonstrate your analytical, research and writing skills.

The answer to whether a juris doctor degree is equivalent to a Ph.D. is both complex and controversial. A Ph.D., called a doctorate, is the most advanced degree you can earn in many disciplines, typically taking five or more years to complete. You need a master’s degree before entering a Ph.D. program.

  Many people view a J.D. degree as a functional, but not an absolute equivalent to a Ph.D. For one thing, a J.D. is not the highest law degree. You can earn a Master of Laws (LL.M.) or Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) after your J.D. Also, law schools require only a bachelor’s degree, not a master’s, for admission into a J.D. program.

  But on practical terms, a J.D. is often viewed as the highest academic distinction for lawyers. Most U.S. law professors, for example, do not have a Ph.D. (PDF, 610 KB).

  A J.D. degree is a portal to more than just joining a law firm. People with legal training play a role in virtually every sector of the economy. They work at Silicon Valley startups in courtrooms and halls of academia and government.

  The rigorous, analytical thinking that is the foundational skill of legal training can be an asset in many professions. President Barack Obama graduated from Harvard Law. Dozens of CEOs for Fortune 500 companies hold J.D.s.

  Law typically pays well, and it can pay extremely well at the highest levels of seniority and tenure. The top 10% of lawyers earn over $208,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

  The growing number of online or hybrid J.D. programs can make it possible for you to earn a law degree while you keep your current job. Distance learning opens up more schools to choose from.

  The flip side is that the legal field can be grueling, intense and competitive. In 2021, there were 1.33 million actively practicing attorneys in the United States (PDF, 207 KB), according to the ABA National Lawyer Population Survey. Many large corporations are trying to economize by cutting back on outside counsel and reassigning tasks to paralegals and legal assistants.

  To ensure your J.D. degree is a worthwhile investment of money and time, have a clear career goal and think through how your preferred degree program will help you meet that goal. Once enrolled, take full advantage of externships, networking opportunities, and your school’s career resources. Earning a J.D. is an important, but still just one, step toward your legal profession.

  Information on this page was last retrieved in November 2021.

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