20 Best Bachelor’s Degrees in Legal Studies 2020

Studying legal studies in college provides several opportunities across the job market. Many with a degree in this discipline go on to become paralegals or lawyers, and employment of both of these is expected to grow between now and 2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. For lawyers, who had a median pay of $120,910 per year in 2018, the job market is likely to grow by eight percent in that time. For paralegals, this rate is 15%, which is much faster than the average for all professions.

When considering which Bachelor's Degree in Legal Studies might be the best fit, it is important to consider several characteristics of these programs. First, does the program offer any specializations or concentrations? These could range from international law to advocacy to business, and they provide additional credentials that can be helpful when starting a career or going onto graduate school.

Additionally, if one wishes to become a paralegal, it is important to see if the program is an American Bar Association-approved degree. This accreditation, according to the ABA, is designed to foster high-quality paralegal education and training. Finally, for students who want to become lawyers, many programs also offer 3+3 or 3+4 programs that allow for early admission into law school. That being said, start your search with one of the 20 Best Bachelor's Degrees in Legal Studies 2020!

Methodology

Best College Reviews provides degree rankings, such as the 15 Best Bachelor Degrees in Journalism 2020, from carefully researched data sets published from government and nonprofit organizations across the United States. Five primary factors affect how we rank degrees:

  • 25% Student Satisfaction
  • 30% Earning Potential
  • 15% Retention Data
  • 20% Affordability
  • 10% Acceptance Rates

For an in-depth breakdown of how we calculate each ranking, check out our Methodology page.

 

#20 UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN – MADISON

MADISON, WI
BACHELOR OF ARTS OR BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN LEGAL STUDIES
Website
Score: 69.80

The University of Wisconsin-Madison starts off this list with both its Bachelor of Arts and its Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies, which is housed within the Center for Law, Society, and Justice. Both degrees require 120 credits of coursework, and they draw from five themes, which are Legal Institutions, Process of Legal Order and Disorder, Law and Social Forces, Law and Culture, and Law and Theory. These, along with psychology, sociology, political science, and history courses, form the body of a student's curriculum. Then, students must complete a senior thesis that spans two semesters for graduation. High-achieving students can earn honors in the department.
Net Price: $6,818

#19 ST. JOHN'S UNIVERSITY

QUEENS, NY
BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN LEGAL STUDIES
Website
Score: 70.76

St. John's University offers a 120-credit Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies geared toward preparing students for law school and employment in the legal profession. Courses in this program include Insurance Law, Trial and Appellate Advocacy, and Reading and Applying Corporate Contracts. Through this program, students have also interned at organizations including the Queens Volunteer Legal Services, the Legal Aid Society, the District Attorney's Offices and then have gone to law school at institutions like New York University, Georgetown, Fordham, and others. This degree is also an American Bar Association-approved paralegal education program.
Net Price: $31,845

#18 WILMINGTON UNIVERSITY

NEW CASTLE, DE
BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN LEGAL STUDIES
Website
Score: 74.28

Students can get started in the legal field with a 120-credit Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies at Wilmington University. Approved by the American Bar Association, students of Wilmington are eligible to receive an express admission to Delaware Law School for their post-graduate law degree. Students who already have an associate's degree can take a customized version of the bachelor's curriculum if their degree is from an ABA-approved paralegal or legal studies program can finish a completion degree Courses in this degree program include Global Financial Compliance, American Legal History, and Food and Drug Law and Policy.
Net Price: $14,955

#17 UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND UNIVERSITY COLLEGE

BALTIMORE, MD
BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN LEGAL STUDIES
Website
Score: 75.96
University of Maryland University College Top Online Bachelor's in Finance

The University of Maryland University College provides its students with the skills to prepare and review legal paperwork, analyze and interpret legal precedents, and conduct legal research through its Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies. This degree requires 120 credits of coursework, including courses with titles like Legal Writing, Torts, Domestic Relations, and Contract Law. High-achieving students at UMUC can also get involved with Lambda Epsilon Chi, the national honor society started by the American Association for Paralegal Education. Students are encouraged to have a background in the legal field from working in a law firm or court setting.
Net Price: $15,256

#16 FLORIDA GULF COAST UNIVERSITY

FORT MYERS, FL
BACHELOR OF SCIENCE
Website
Score: 77.96

Florida Gulf Coast University offers a Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies degree that understands the importance of critical thinking, effective writing, and conducting research in the legal field. This program takes a holistic approach to law, requiring courses in contract law, torts, ethics, criminal procedure, and legal research. Students can gain experience with areas of interests that include litigation, wills, trusts and estates, real estates, family law, criminal law, and international law. To complete the requirements of the degree, students take 48 credits of upper levels courses. This degree also prepares students to take the Certified Legal Assistant's Exam as well as the Paralegal Advanced Competency Exam.
Net Price: $13,456

#15 DOMINICAN UNIVERSITY

RIVER FOREST, IL
BACHELOR OF ARTS IN LEGAL STUDIES
Website
Score: 80.95

Dominican University's Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies considers law from a variety of angles, taking into account philosophical, theological, ethical, economic, and historical views. Students in this program can complete up to two concentrations, and the options include Criminal Justice, Law and Social Justice, and Paralegal Studies. For those who work full-time, there is the flexibility to complete coursework online or in the evening in an eight-week format. In total, students take 120 credits worth of classes to graduate. Dominican also allows students to complete an accelerated BA/Master of Arts in Conflict Resolution. High-achieving students can also take advantage of a pathway directly to John Marshall Law School.
Net Price: $18,250

#14 STEVENSON UNIVERSITY

OWING MILLS, MD
BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN LEGAL STUDIES
Website
Score: 82.14

Stevenson University's Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies stands out because all of its faculty members have either practiced law or served as judges, meaning that students are learning from seasoned professionals. By students' second year in the program, they will have experience working as a legal assistant or a paralegal, and this degree has also been approved as a paralegal education program by the American Bar Association. Students must finish 61 credits in the major itself in addition to core curriculum coursework. They can also follow the Pre-Law Option to prepare for law school or pursue the BS/Master of Science option in which students can earn both degrees in as little as five years.
Net Price: $8,040

#13 WASHBURN UNIVERSITY

TOPEKA, KS
BACHELOR OF LEGAL STUDIES
Website
Score: 82.23

At Washburn University, students can complete a Bachelor of Legal Studies by finishing 120 credit hours of coursework. Built into this program is an internship, meaning that they will have gained valuable professional experience while earning their degree. Potential courses include Philosophy of Law, Personal Injury Law, Interviewing & Investigation, and Mass Media Law. The degree culminates in a capstone, bringing together coursework and preparing students for graduation. Graduates of this program are prepared to work in civil, legal, political and military settings, drawing from Washburn's well-rounded curriculum. Finally, Washburn University has also been ranked 29th on the Top Public Schools list by U.S. News and World Report.
Net Price: $13,170

#12 WEBSTER UNIVERSITY

PHILADELPHIA, PA
BACHELOR OF ARTS IN LEGAL STUDIES
Website
Score: 83.48

Webster University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies that is approved by the American Bar Association. It is also in good standing with the American Association for Paralegal Education. This means that students can benefit from their professional lives from the affiliations held by the university. They can also interact with other practicing legal professionals because their faculty members range from the Missouri Court of Appeals to U.S. Attorneys. There are also opportunities to study abroad in the Netherlands. The degree, in total, requires 128 credit hours. Courses include Paralegal Clinical Studies, American Constitutional Law, and Computers and the Law.
Net Price: $23,835

#11 UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD

SPRINGFIELD, IL
BACHELOR OF ARTS IN LEGAL STUDIES
Website
Score: 84.46

The University of Illinois Springfield prides itself on its values of social action, community engagement, and experiential learning, and each of these plays a role in the Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies program. UIS ensures that students receive a professional experience through internships, and some of its undergraduates have interned with the Illinois State Legislature, the City of Springfield Corporate Counselor, and the Illinois Innocence Project. In terms of coursework, students are expected to complete 34 credits, which includes requirements include Law and Society, American Law in Comparative Perspective, and the American Constitution and Civil Liberties.
Net Price: $23,835

#10 UNIVERSITY OF WEST FLORIDA

PENSACOLA, FL
BACHELOR OF ARTS IN LEGAL STUDIES
Website
Score: 85.05

The University of West Florida combines the law and ethics in its Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies program. It helps pre-law students to be ready for their first year of law school and through its emphasis on research, advocacy, and critical thinking. UWF has also partnered with both Stetson University College and Florida State University on 3+3 programs, shortening the time it would take students to earn their law degree. In preparation for this, students can do internships at the Florida Department of Children and Families, the Public Defender's Office of the First Judicial Circuit, the UWF Office of General Counsel, and other law firms. The program requires 120 credits of coursework.
Net Price: $11,550

#9 UNIVERSITY OF LA VERNE

LA VERNE, CA
BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN LEGAL STUDIES
Website
Score: 85.12

The University of La Verne awards a Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies program. The 128-credit degree is approved by the American Bar Association and designed to help its students succeed in any type of legal profession, ranging from paralegals to lawyers. All courses specific to this program are held in the evening, making it ideal for students who work, and students can start in both the fall and spring semesters. The BS degree also requires an internship, and students can benefit from the ULV College of Law Library on campus.
Net Price: $27,718

#8 UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI

MIAMI, FL
BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION IN LEGAL STUDIES
Website
Score: 85.57
University of Miami

At the University of Miami, students can study the intersection of law and business in the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Legal Studies. It not only prepares students to go on to law school but also to go into business, non-profit management, government, and human resources. Students in this program complete 120 credits of coursework, spending time in classes like Legal and Social Aspects of Business Regulation, Intellectual Property Law, and the Law of Risk. Additionally, it's important to note that the University of Miami was also ranked No. 26 on U.S. News and World Report's list of Best Colleges for Veterans.
Net Price: $42,204

#7 GANNON UNIVERSITY

ERIE, PA
BACHELOR OF ARTS IN LEGAL STUDIES
Website
Score: 85.70

Students can earn their Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies from Gannon University. There, they are prepared to work across the legal field, interning with a variety of offices within the Erie, PA, community, including with banks, corporations, law firms, and courts. This program requires 128 credits of coursework, which includes 24 credits of legal studies courses. It is also a program that has been approved by the American Bar Association, and students who have completed classes in other ABA-approved programs may transfer in credit. Courses in this program include Computers in the Law, Trial Preparation and Procedure, Public Records Research and Title Abstracts, and Immigration Law.
Net Price: $21,793

#6 NOVA SOUTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL
BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN LEGAL STUDIES
Website
Score: 86.22

Nova Southeastern University has a Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies program that readies students for careers in law and public affairs. They can complete pre-law and international law tracks that allow them to specialize. NSU also conducts an annual seminar that is geared to helping pre-law students through the steps needed to apply to law school. There is also the option to take advantage of the Dual Admission Program, through which students can get early acceptance into a graduate program. The degree requires 120 credits, and examples include Crime and the Constitution, the First Amendment, and Judicial Politics and Process.
Net Price: $26,740

#5 BALL STATE UNIVERSITY

MUNCIE, IN
BACHELOR OF ARTS OR BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN LEGAL STUDIES
Website
Score: 86.46

Ball State University offers students the opportunity to complete either a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies. They also have the option to choose between a concentration in Public Law or Business. Depending on which of these a student opts for, the degree can range from 69-72 credits of legal studies coursework required for graduation. Some of these courses include Intergovernmental Conflict and Cooperation, Environmental Law and Policy, and Women and Politics. Graduates of this program have gone onto law school at Michigan State, Indiana University, the University of Dayton, and Notre Dame University.
Net Price: $13,535

#4 UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL FLORIDA

ORLANDO, FL
BACHELOR OF ARTS OR BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN LEGAL STUDIES
Website
Score: 89.16

The University of Central Florida allows students to finish either a Bachelor of Arts or Science in Legal Studies. The difference between either degree lies in the necessity of a foreign language requirement in the BA program. Students can also complete concentrations in Law and Policy, Advocacy, and Law and Business. In total, 120 credits are required for graduation. They can also take advantage of 3+3 Accelerated Law Programs that partner with Touro College Law Center, Barry University School of Law, and Florida State University College of Law. Students can also get involved with Mock Trial and Moot Court.
Net Price: $15,341

#3 TULANE UNIVERSITY

NEW ORLEANS, LA
BACHELOR OF ARTS IN LEGAL STUDIES
Website
Score: 89.16

Tulane University offers one of the oldest American Bar Association-approved Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies programs in the region. This degree requires 120 credits and prepares students for work in the legal field as well as for in human resources, insurance, and others. Some of the courses in this program include Legal Research, Litigation, Legal Technology, and Legal Writing. Students' coursework all comes together in a practicum that includes an internship and discussion of career skills and networking that prepares them for graduation. This degree can also be finished wither on campus or through a combination of on-campus and online courses.
Net Price: $33,886

#2 UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH

PITTSBURGH, PA
BACHELOR OF ARTS IN LEGAL STUDIES
Website
Score: 92.25

The University of Pittsburgh brings together social sciences with the law in its Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies. This program prepares students for professions in banking, advocacy, corporate sales, research, human resources, and the government. It requires 120 credits of coursework for completion, and students can choose from electives with titles like Psychology and the Law, Sex, Law, and Marriage, Law, Literature, and Cinema, and Emerging Issues in legal and Social Policy. They also have the option to complete an independent study. Pitt also has an Early Admission Option for Graduate Study in which students can begin their graduate work early in programs in public health, international affair, and law.
Net Price: $22,848

#1 UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY

BERKELEY, CA
BACHELOR OF ARTS IN LEGAL STUDIES
Website
Score: 100.00

The No. 1 Best Bachelor's in Legal Studies 2020 goes to the University of California, Berkeley's Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies. In this program, students think critically about the interactions of the law with all aspects of society. Thirty-two units of legal studies courses are required in this program, and students take courses including Theories of Justice, The Supreme Court and Public Policy, and Law, Politics and Society. For those who are interested in research, there is also the opportunity to do a thesis or an independent study, and then take part in the California Legal Studies Journal or the Undergraduate Legal Studies Research Conference.
Net Price: $18,178