24 Best Bachelor’s Degrees in Legal Studies

If you have an interest in the legal field, then pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in Legal Studies could be the first step in an exciting career. This degree program can prepare you for many different career options, including becoming a paralegal, working as a legal assistant, and even going on to attend law school. 

Earning a Bachelor's Degree in Legal Studies prepares you for well-paying careers; according to PayScale, graduates of this degree make an average salary of $60,000. Paralegals earn an average of $45,000 each year, while legal assistants make about $40,000 each year. The 24 Best Bachelor's Degrees in Legal Studies can help you to pursue this exciting career. 

Finding the right legal studies degree will partially depend on your career plans. If you're completing this degree to become a paralegal, then you will want to look for a degree that is approved by the American Bar Association. You should also consider whether a program offers a specialization in the particular area of law that interests you. If you plan to go to law school, a Bachelor's Degree in Legal Studies may be a natural choice. While law schools do not require this degree for admission, the background and foundation information that this degree provides can leave you well-prepared for the challenges of law school. Many of these degree programs offer or require that students complete internships, which can provide valuable experience to prepare you for your career or further schooling. 

Selection Criteria

Best Value Schools publishes college degree rankings with the belief of how one's higher education should be, both, affordable and an investment of continued value for the students who pursue them. The staff of BVS collects data from reputable sources in order to calculate Net Price and the short and long-term value of every ranked degree. Collected data is simplified into weighted categories before scoring and then scaled through a BVS Score up to 100. The weighted categories are:

  • Degree Investment Return (25%)
  • Student & Alumni Evaluation (25%)
  • Cost Value (25%)
  • Matriculation (10%) 
  • Academic Success (15%) 

No matter what degree you decide on, we hope our research and support has made the selection process easier. There are numerous resources BVS utilizes to collect information on degrees, and we encourage you to check them out for yourself! 

Here are the 24 best Bachelor's Degrees in Legal Studies for 2020!

1. University of California Berkeley – Berkeley, CA

Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies

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The University of California Berkeley's Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies is a liberal arts degree that is designed to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the legal process. During this degree, students will learn about legal ideas and legal institutions to better understand how the law works. Students take courses in topics such as American legal history, philosophy of law, property law, and the criminal justice process. While this degree isn't specifically created to prepare students for law school, many students who intend to go to law school do select this major. 

Outstanding students in this program have the opportunity to join the Legal Studies Honors Program as seniors. Students enrolled in the Honors Program can conduct research on a topic of their interest and present their work at the Legal Studies Undergraduate Research Conference in the spring. Students who wish to apply to the Honors Program must have an overall UCB GPA of 3.5 or higher, and their Legal Studies Major GPA must also be at least 3.5. 

Net Price: $18,178

Score: 100

2. University of Central Florida – Orlando, FL

Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies

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At the University of Central Florida, undergraduates can pursue a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies. The BA requires students to take two semesters of a foreign language, while the BS requires only two years of foreign language studies at the high school level. Both programs are available entirely online, making them ideal for students who live off-campus or don't wish to relocate to campus for the school. 

The online BA and BS degrees in legal studies were recognized by the U.S. News & World Report's 2019 Best Online Bachelor's Degree Programs and Best Online Bachelor's Degree Programs for Veterans rankings. In addition to the BA and BS degrees, UCF offers a minor in legal studies as well as undergraduate certificates in Individual Liberties, Litigation and Advocacy, Spanish for the Legal World, and Urban Real Estate Development. 

Net Price: $15,341

Score: 92.4

3. Ball State University – Muncie, IN

Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies

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Ball State University offers a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies. While there are 1,000 paralegal education programs in the United States, the program at Ball State is one of less than 300 such programs that are approved by the American Bar Association. During this degree program, students take courses across many practice areas such as constitutional law, administrative law, business law, and civil and criminal litigation. Students must decide to focus on either Public Law or Business Law and will complete an internship working with attorneys and paralegals. 

These degrees are suitable for students considering attending law school, as they offer a comprehensive foundation in law. Legal Studies majors go on to hold many different careers, including working as investigators, attorneys, court clerks, and policy developers. The Department of Political Science gives out scholarships and awards to students in recognition of their academic success. In addition, program graduates go on to attend prestigious law schools, such as Michigan State, Indiana University, and Notre Dame.

Net Price: $13,535

Score: 91.7

4. University of Pittsburgh – Pittsburgh, PA

Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies

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Students can pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. During this 120-credit-hour program, students will take courses such as Society and the Law, Freedom of Speech and the Press, Human Rights in World History, American Constitutional Law, and Deviance and Social Control. This program qualifies students to pursue graduate work in legal studies, business, law, and the administration of justice. Program graduates go on to work in many fields, such as social services, insurance, and social security. 

The University of Pittsburgh offers an internship guarantee; any students who take the university's Internship Prep Program and complete all related requirements are guaranteed to find placement in at least one internship or an experiential learning opportunity while an undergraduate. Students are also encouraged to explore the many study abroad opportunities available, including semester-long and one-, three-, or five-week programs. 

Net Price: $22,848

Score: 91.2

5. University of West Florida – Pensacola, FL

Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies

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The University of West Florida's Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies is particularly well-suited for students who wish to attend law school or who hope to work as a paralegal or office administrator in the legal profession. During this program, students acquire valuable skills for these career options, such as persuasive writing, oral advocacy, and ethical awareness. Small class sizes and talented faculty ensure students receive a quality education, and program participants can participate in internships, join student organizations, and conduct research. 

The Legal Studies Program hosts several annual events. The program hosts a panel of legal professionals and alumni each Fall who speak about their careers and meet students interested in the legal field. In the Spring, the program hosts a UWF Spring Law School Forum where attendees can learn about and get advice on applying to law schools. Additional events include a trip to the Supreme Court, law school tours, an LSAT prep course, and an Argo Invitational Mock Trial Tournament. 

Net Price: $11,550

Score: 91.1

6. Washburn University – Topeka, KS

Bachelor of Legal Studies

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Washburn University's Bachelor of Legal Studies is a four-year 120-hour program. Students must earn a grade of a "C" or better in their university and general education requirements. During this program, students will take courses such as Legal Research, Personal Injury Law, Family Law, Philosophy of Law, and Technology & Society. 

Washburn University consists of five different schools, including the School of Law. The university charges per-credit tuition, and students from Colorado, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, or Texas also pay the reduced Kansas in-state student tuition. At Washburn, students can choose from over 200 courses, and with 71% of full-time faculty holding a doctorate or terminal degree, students receive a quality education from highly-qualified faculty. Over 1,000 students participate in internships each year, and some majors require students to complete internships to graduate. 

Net Price: $13,170

Score: 87.4

7. Gannon University – Erie, PA

Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies

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Students at Gannon University can pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies. This degree prepares students to pursue law and related jobs, paralegal positions, or law school. During the program, students receive training and job placement assistance and also have the opportunity to participate in internships. The curriculum focuses on legal specialty courses that offer skills training, equipping students with the skills that many employers value. 

Gannon University, a Catholic, Diocesan university, was founded in 1925. More than 3,200 undergraduate and 1,000 graduate students attend the university. Gannon University offers a 13:1 student-to-faculty ratio to facilitate plenty of student support, and students can also choose to participate in the university's more than 140 clubs and organizations. Gannon students are awarded over $37 million in financial aid each year, and the university offers 22 different varsity sports teams. 

Net Price: $21,793

Score: 85.5

8. Nova Southeastern University – Fort Lauderdale, FL

Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies

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At Nova Southeastern University, students can pursue a Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies with a pre-law or international law track focus. This interdisciplinary major includes a focus on communication, history, philosophy, political science, and literature, giving students a comprehensive understanding of the law. Program graduates are prepared to hold careers in politics, business, trade, public affairs, and public service, and while many graduates go on to law school, other graduates pursue programs in nonprofit operations, politics, management, and more. 

Students who wish to diversify their skills may select legal studies, history, international law, philosophy, or other minors. If students plan to pursue a master's or doctoral degree that's related to the field, NSU's Dual Admission Program can help them to prepare for that advanced degree. With the Dual Admission Program, undergraduates enrolled at NSU's College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences can receive early acceptance into one of NSU's graduate and professional degree programs. 

Net Price: $26,740

Score: 83.8

9. Dominican University – River Forest, IL

Bachelor of Professional Studies in Legal Studies

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Dominican University's Bachelor of Professional Studies in Legal Studies is an accelerated interdisciplinary major. Students can choose up to two concentrations in fields such as paralegal studies, social justice, and disability advocacy, or students can even design their concentrations. Advisors help students to tailor their program to focus on their professional goals, and students learn valuable skills such as how to research issues, analyze data, write, and solve real-world problems. 

One of the defining features of this degree program is that it can be taken entirely online, in the classroom, or a combination of delivery methods. The program is designed with the scheduling flexibility needs of the working professional in mind. Students can transfer college credit toward the degree and can earn credit for the skills they've already gained through life experiences, allowing them to progress through the degree more rapidly. The program is delivered in an accelerated eight-week year-round format so that students can complete the program in approximately 20 months. 

Net Price: $18,250

Score: 83.7

10. Florida Gulf Coast University – Fort Myers, FL

Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies

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At Florida Gulf Coast University, students can pursue a Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies that prepares them for law school or to pursue careers in law-related professions, such as legal assisting or as a paralegal. Throughout the program, students develop critical thinking and writing and research skills that are valuable in nearly any profession. By taking elective courses, students can focus on particular topics such as wills, real estate, family law, and trusts and estates. 

This program is available both on-campus and in a distance learning format online, and students complete internships that allow students to combine theory and practice in a real-world setting. Students who wish to take the Certified Legal Assistant's Exam will be well-prepared by this program. Program graduates have also gone on to pursue law school and employment in law firms, government offices, and private businesses. 

Net Price: $13,456

Score: 83.5

11. Webster University – St. Louis, MO

Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies

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Webster University's Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies is the only American Bar Association-approved program in St. Louis. The BALS offers a broad education that prepares students who wish to enter the legal profession. This education focuses on both the theoretical and practical law and includes courses such as Civil Litigation, Computerized Legal Research, Contract Law Practice, Real Estate Law Practice, and more. 

Students can complete courses both online and in the classroom, and have the option to pursue one, to four-week-long summer abroad programs in the Netherlands. Webster professors are working judges and attorneys, meaning they can offer a comprehensive education that encompasses the latest legal trends and expectations. Faculty come from varied backgrounds and include criminal prosecutors, United States attorneys, intellectual property lawyers, and even judges from the Missouri Court of Appeals. 

Net Price: $23,835

Score: 83.4

12. University of Maryland – Largo, MD

Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies

Website

At the University of Maryland, students can obtain a Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies online. While all courses are available online, some are offered as hybrid models, with students studying partially online and partially on campus. UMD's BSLS helps to prepare students for law school or careers in the legal field, such as in legal research, writing, or advocacy. The university recommends that applicants have professional experience in a law firm or court since this experience can contribute to their success as students. 

UMUC is the largest online public university in the country and has been offering quality education to students for over 70 years. The university offers more than 90 programs and specializations in undergraduate and graduate fields. UMUC provides a streamlined admissions process that doesn't require SAT or GRE scores, and the university's multiple start dates each year mean that students don't have to wait to begin their education. The university's online courses are accessible anywhere, and in most cases, nearly every textbook is offered online at no cost to students. 

Net Price: $15,256

Score: 82.9

13. Tulane University – New Orleans, LA

Bachelor of Arts in General Legal Studies

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The University of Tulane's Bachelor of Arts in General Legal Studies is offered both on-campus and in an on-campus/online combination format. This program equips students to work as paralegals or to pursue an advanced legal degree. Students receive an education from faculty who are practicing attorneys or paralegals and enjoy flexible course schedules with courses offered on both nights and evenings. The American Bar Association's Standing Committee on Paralegals has approved this program since 1981. 

The Bachelor of Arts in General Legal Studies is part of the Tulane School of Professional Advancement, which provides educational opportunities for professionals. Students enrolled through Tulane SoPA can access undergraduate and graduate degrees relevant to their career goals. Classes are offered on convenient schedules, and many programs and courses are available online. As a military-friendly school, SoPA can offer elective credits to active duty military, veterans, and even training academy graduates. 

Net Price: $33,886

Score: 82.8

14. University of La Verne – La Verne, CA

Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies

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The University of La Verne's Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies is approved by the American Bar Association and accepts new students each semester. The legal studies courses meet once each week during the evenings. Students have access to the University of La Verne College Law Library in the City of Ontario, as well as the University of La Verne Wilson Library, located on Central Campus. Students are required to complete an internship in a legal setting, such as within a law firm, corporate legal department, or governmental office. 

Founded in 1891, La Verne offers 55 undergraduate programs as well as master's and doctoral degrees, as well as credential programs. La Verne educates over 8,000 traditional and adult learners. Forty-four percent of the students are first-generation college students, and over 70% of students at the university receive financial aid. The university's 15:1 student-to-faculty ratio means faculty can provide students with individualized feedback, making for quality education. 

Net Price: $27,718

Score: 82.4

15. Wilmington University – New Castle, DE

Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies

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Wilmington University provides a Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies equips students for several careers, including working as paralegals, court clerks, and claims analysts. Students who wish to attend law school and who graduate from this degree program may be admitted to the Delaware Law School via an express admission. Students can also transfer course credits or an associate degree to graduate from this program faster, and all students will complete internships with local law firms and organizations for valuable real-world experience. 

WilmU was founded in 1968 and educates about 18,000 students each year. The university offers flexible learning options to suit every student, including day, evening, and weekend classes. Most classes are offered in weekend modular, seven-week, and 15-week formats. WilmU also offers Fusion courses which blend both online and face-to-face learning for increased scheduling flexibility. All students pay in-state tuition no matter where they live, and many of these degree programs are career-focused, developing the skills and knowledge that employers look for in job candidates. 

Net Price: $14,955

Score: 80.3

16. Stevenson University – Owings Mills, MD

Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies

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Stevenson University's Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies teaches students both the theory and practice of law. All of the program faculty have practiced law or served as judges, and this program was the first in the state to be approved by the American Bar Association. By the second year of the program, students work as legal assistants or paralegals, gaining valuable work experience that prepares them well for their careers. Students also have the opportunity to participate in the university's Mock Trial program, which competes against teams from the mid-Atlantic region. 

Stevenson designed the BSLS to prepare students for employment or law school, and 100% of qualified applicants from this program are accepted into law school. Students can also choose to minor in Real Estate to prepare for a real estate career. Pre-law advisors work with students during their education, ensuring that they are well-prepared for the demands of law school. Program graduates go on to hold jobs in a variety of fields, including employment law, sports law, child and family law, and legal research and writing. 

Net Price: $8,040

Score: 79.4

17. St. John's University – Queens, NY

Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies

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Students who pursue a Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies at St. John's University are prepared for law school, graduate school, or entry-level employment in law-related fields. Program graduates have gained acceptance at major law schools including Georgetown, NYU, George Washington, Pace, Fordham, and more. While enrolled at St. John's, students have also held internships in city, state, and federal politicians' offices, in federal and state courts, and at the Legal Aid Society. 

The university is home to over 180 student clubs and organizations, including the Legal Society, the Criminal Justice Association, and the College of Professional Studies Honor Society. Over 21,000 students attend St. John's each year, and the university's alumni network is 184,000 strong. This Catholic and Vincentian university was founded in 1870 and offers more than 100 undergraduate programs today. St. John's is also home to 17 NCAA Division I athletic teams. 

Net Price: $31,845

Score: 76.6

18. University of Wisconsin-Madison – Madison, WI

Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies

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The University of Wisconsin-Madison's Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies focuses on both the theory and operation of law. This education examines law as a social phenomenon, and students will learn about its evolution and its function. Because the program focuses more on the broad questions of law, rather than on focused training for the law profession, it's not intended to serve as a law school preparation degree. However, pre-law students can finish this BALS prior to law school. 

Over 44,000 students attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where they can choose from more than 200 undergraduate majors and over 250 master's, doctoral, and professional programs. Students receive a quality education from more than 2,000 expert faculty. In 2015, Madison was ranked as the top football town in the country by the NCAA, and over 80,000 fans pack the Camp Randall Stadium to cheer on the university's 23 Big Ten varsity teams.

Net Price: $6,818

Score: 75.6

19. University of Miami – Miami, FL

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a major area of specialization in legal studies

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Students interested in pursuing fields including risk management, human resources, finance and accounting, and compliance can pursue a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a major area of specialization in legal studies. This degree, offered by the University of Miami, can also serve as a foundation for students who wish to study law. Students will take courses such as Business Analytics, Corporate Law, Intellectual Property Law, Law of Entrepreneurship, and Health Care Law and Ethics. 

Founded in 1925, the University of Miami is a major research university with an enrollment of over 17,000 students. The university offers over 180 majors and programs through its 11 schools and colleges. The University of Miami has a vibrant campus life, and students can participate in 40 service organizations and over 270 clubs. The university also has a student-operated newspaper, a radio station, and many fraternities and sororities. 

Net Price: $42,204

Score: 74.7

20. University of Alaska Anchorage – Anchorage, AK

Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies

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The University of Alaska Anchorage offers a Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies provides a broad education in law and policy. Program graduates are prepared for careers in several legal service settings, including in federal and state agencies, private law offices, and corporate legal departments. The program is also suitable for students who plan to pursue graduate programs in law. During this program, students will take courses such as Construction Law, Boundary Law, and Constitutional Law. To graduate, students need to earn a C or higher in each legal studies core course or elective. 

UAA offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate degree programs across its seven schools and colleges. The university's Community and Technical College also offers an Apprenticeship in Alaska program through which students gain training and skills in fields such as automotive technologies, computer networking, diesel technologies, and culinary and hospitality services. The campus is home to many student clubs and organizations, an active arts and entertainment culture, and six fraternities and sororities. 

Net Price: $12,543

Score: 72.3

21. Morehead State University – Morehead, KY

Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies

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Morehead State University's Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies prepares students to immediately enter the legal field under the supervision of an attorney after graduating. Morehead BALS students contribute to community projects such as conducting mock trials with elementary, middle, and high school students, or staffing pro se divorce clinics. Students have opportunities to work with actual clients and enjoy small class sizes that contribute to skill development. From 2010 to 2015, every program graduate who applied to law school was accepted to at least one school. 

Founded in 1887, Morehead State University is a public university that offers undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs. Students can choose from 142 undergraduate and 69 graduate programs offered across four schools and colleges. Classes average just 19 students in size, and 70% of full-time faculty hold doctoral degrees in their fields. Nearly 94% of undergraduates receive financial aid. Morehead State University is home to more than 68,000 alumni. 

Net Price: $12,136

Score: 71.9

22. University of Southern Mississippi – Hattiesburg, MS

Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies

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The University of Southern Mississippi offers a Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies with concentrations in pre-law or paralegal studies. Students learn from professors who are all lawyers, and the program covers all areas of law. The pre-law concentration is available on the Hattiesburg campus, while the paralegal studies concentration is offered both on the Hattiesburg and the Gulf Park campuses. Program graduates go on to work as paralegals, lawyers, and as administrators in higher education. 

Founded in 1910, the University of Southern Mississippi is a Carnegie R1 research institution. The university offers undergraduate and graduate-level degree programs as well as 30 study abroad opportunities. The student body represents 71 countries, and each year, students participate in about 100,000 volunteer service hours. The University of Southern Mississippi offers 17 Division I sports teams. 

Net Price: $12,506

Score: 71.9

23. Post University – Waterbury, CT

Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies

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Post University's Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies offers students a comprehensive education in topics such as real estate closings, civil litigation, family law, environmental law, and more. Students learn from faculty who are practicing attorneys and gain valuable one-on-one support. While this program does not require that students complete internships, many internship opportunities are available. 

Post University provides a BSLS either on-campus and online, and flexible day, evening, and weekend courses allow students to pursue an education around their schedule. Since being founded in 1890, Post University has evolved to encompass students' needs, and today, many courses are offered entirely online or in hybrid formats. In 2019, the U.S. News & World Report included Post University in its Best Online Graduate Business and Education Programs and Best Online Graduate Education Programs for Veterans rankings. 

Net Price: $18,220

Score: 68.3

24. West Virginia University at Parkersburg – Parkersburg, WV

Bachelor of Applied Science in Legal Studies

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West Virginia University at Parkersburg offers a Bachelor of Applied Science in Legal Studies that prepares students to develop a legal career or to take the Certified Paralegal Exam. During this program, students complete a capstone project during which they perfect their resume and prepare a portfolio. Students take courses such as Civil Procedures, Legal Research and Writing, and Legal Professional Development. 

WVU Parkersburg was founded in 1961 and is a community and technical college affiliated with West Virginia University. Students complete their first one or two years of study at WVU Parkersburg and may then transfer on to WVU where they complete their four-year programs. While at WVU Parkersburg, students can participate in a variety of clubs and organizations, including the Collegiate 4-H Club, Breakthrough Campus Ministries, Criminal Justice Organization, and Legal Studies Society. 

Net Price: $6,910

Score: 67.8