Online Legal Studies Degree and Certificate Programs

Looking for a legal studies program that aligns with your career goals?

Immerse yourself in the laws, processes, and regulations relating to domestic, international, and individual concerns while preparing to solve issues as advocates for others. As the largest provider of legal support services programs in the U.S., we offer undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs that prepare students with a solid understanding of the legal system, legal research and writing, legal administrative skills, and legal theory and practice.

Our legal studies programs include a broad knowledge of the law required by many professions both inside and outside the legal field. And because your classes are 100% online, it's easy to create a study schedule that fits within your life.

See Notes and Conditions below for important information.

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Concord Law School

Law degrees prepare you with the advanced skills and knowledge to serve as an advocate for others in a variety of dispute resolution forums. Our law degree programs are offered under Concord Law School, the very first online law school.

Want the advanced knowledge and skills of a lawyer but don't want to practice law? Build the legal expertise needed to make an impact in health care, IT, business, finance, criminal justice, education, and other professions.

COURSE EFFORT
15–18 hrs/week
CREDITS REQUIRED
72
AVERAGE TIME TO COMPLETE
3 years
  • Health Law
  • Education Law
  • Business Law
  • Law and Technology

If your goal is to become a licensed attorney, consider Concord Law School's Juris Doctor (JD) program. JD graduates meet the legal education requirement of the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State Bar of California.

COURSE EFFORT
15–18 hrs/week
CREDITS REQUIRED
92
AVERAGE TIME TO COMPLETE
4 years

    Industry Partnerships, Accreditations, and Designations

    Prepare for Certification

    NALA, the professional association for paralegals, recognizes the Associate of Applied Science in Legal Support and Services, the Bachelor of Science in Legal Support and Services, and the Pathway to Paralegal Postbaccalaureate Certificate as meeting the coursework criteria for eligibility to sit for the Certified Paralegal Examination.

    What Are the Admissions Requirements?

    To get started as a Purdue Global student, you must meet certain academic requirements and complete an enrollment application. Here’s what you’ll need to begin:

    For Undergraduate Programs

    • GED or high school diploma for associate’s and bachelor's degrees

    For Graduate Programs

    • Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university for master's degrees and certificate programs

    Want to know if online learning is right for you before you enroll?

    Watch a virtual campus tour to learn more about the online experience.

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    Understanding Your Investment

    How long? How much? These are important questions! Try our online Calculator to estimate when you'll finish and see how your prior credits and experience can save you time and money.

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    Ready to Enroll?

    Purdue Global makes the process easy. You can apply online today (self-guided) or contact us to walk you through the process.

    Upcoming Start Dates

    We offer multiple start dates throughout the year. Choose the one that works best for your schedule.

    Which Program Is Right for You?

    Discover your interests and set your goals for success. Take our Career Assessment to chart your ideal path.

    Take 3 Weeks to Get to Know Us

    Start an undergraduate program with no financial obligation and no cost to apply.

    Legal Industry Resources

    Explore career outcomes and industry trends, and choose the program that best suits your needs.

    Want to work in the legal field, but don't want to practice law? Get familiar with eight non-lawyer legal career paths.

    Becoming a paralegal, also known as a legal assistant, is a rewarding and accessible path into the legal field—but what does a typical day look like?

    Legal Studies Programs

    Why choose Purdue Global for your associate’s, bachelor’s, or master’s degree in legal studies?

    Law Degree Programs

    Further develop legal knowledge through law degree programs offered by Concord Law School at Purdue Global.

    Dedicated Faculty Offer Rich Experience

    Purdue Global faculty members share knowledge gained through the powerful combination of higher learning and real-world industry experience.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    • Legal studies is a broad field covering the laws, processes, and regulations relating to domestic, international, and individual situations. You may choose to study within an interdisciplinary program largely focused on theory or pursue a specialized online law degree as a pathway to becoming a lawyer or paralegal.

      For those looking to practice law, Purdue Global offers a state-accredited Juris Doctor degree under Concord Law School, the nation's first online law school.

      There are many degrees related to law that aren't paths to practicing as an attorney, however. For example, Purdue Global's Paralegal Certificate, Bachelor of Science in Legal Support and Services, and Master of Science in Legal Studies, and Concord Law School's Executive Juris Doctor programs can lead to roles in corporate legal departments, health care institutions, contract-driven industries, the court and judicial system, legal firms, insurance companies, and more.

      See Notes and Conditions below for important information.

    • Purdue Global's online legal studies degree programs focus on the theory and ideas of laws and practices as a broad concept, preparing you to critically analyze the world around you. This is the main difference between legal studies and law: graduate law programs are designed to prepare you with the specialized knowledge and skills to advocate for others and influence law.

      You can earn an online law degree under Concord Law School, the nation's first online law school, accredited by the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State Bar of California. These include the Juris Doctor and Executive Juris Doctor programs, which largely focus on advanced legal analysis, research, writing, and learning to represent clients in court.

      See Notes and Conditions below for important information.

    • Nearly every industry has a need for legal professionals. In fact, there are a variety of non-lawyer jobs in the legal field that you may qualify for with a legal studies degree.

      According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for jobs in legal support services, including paralegals and legal assistants, is expected to grow as firms try to increase efficiency of their legal services and reduce costs.

      Legal studies careers require strong communication, analytical problem-solving, research writing, and ethical skills. Graduates receive a well-rounded education that's valuable in a variety of settings, from law firms to health care, government agencies, and more.

      So, what can you do with a legal studies degree? Here are some legal studies careers you may qualify for, depending on your program:

      Lawyer
      Lawyers resolve disputes on behalf of individuals, businesses, and government agencies. Their employment is expected to grow 9 percent from 2020 to 2030.

      Paralegal or Legal Assistant
      Paralegals assist lawyers and law firms in a variety of tasks. Employment is expected to grow 12 percent from 2020 to 2030.

      Court Reporter or Simultaneous Captioner
      Court reporters create transcriptions at trials and other legal proceedings. Their employment is expected to grow 3 percent from 2020 to 2030.

      Arbitrator, Mediator, or Conciliator
      Arbitrators facilitate negotiation between disputing parties to help resolve conflicts outside of the court system. Employment is expected to grow 10 percent from 2020 to 2030.

      See Notes and Conditions below for important information.

    • The length of time it takes to complete your legal studies degree depends on the type of degree you're studying for and any previous experience. Many students enroll at Purdue Global with a range of prior learning credits and experience. Our student body includes everyone from professionals looking to advance in their role to career-changers who are new to the field of law. To make things easy, we provide a graduation date calculator to help you determine your expected graduation date based on your unique situation.

      Average Completion Times

      Depending on the degree, average completion times vary from student to student—but here are some sample degree completion time estimates (based on full-time study):

      JD: 4 years
      EJD: 4 years
      Master of Public Health: 1.5 years
      MS in Legal Studies: 1 year

      Undergraduate law studies programs take an average of 4 years.

      For weekly time commitments, we estimate Purdue Global students should plan for the following:

      • Students enrolled in 10-week terms: ~15–18 hours per week, per course
      • Students enrolled in 12-week terms: ~20–25 hours per week, per course

      (These estimates include time spent in the online classroom in addition to offline study. Advanced courses may require additional time.)

      Shorten Your Path to a Degree

      We offer various ways to shorten your path to a law degree. For example, completing the associate's degree in legal support and services allows you to transfer your degree into a Purdue Global bachelor's degree in legal support and services, covering half of the program's requirements.

      Our flexible degree pathways also allow you to pursue a Purdue Global master's degree in public administration, human services, legal studies, or psychology while you earn your bachelor's degree. Complete both your bachelor's and master's in less time and at a lower cost than completing both programs separately.

      See Notes and Conditions below for important information.

    NOTES AND CONDITIONS

    Credit for Prior Learning: Purdue Global does not guarantee transferability of credit. See the University Catalog for the Prior Learning policy.

    Concord Law School Accreditation: Concord Law School is part of Purdue Global, which is regionally accredited. Concord Law School is accredited by the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State Bar of California. Due to its accreditation by the Committee of Bar Examiners, Concord has the authority to offer a Juris Doctor degree that qualifies recipients to take the California Bar Examination and obtain admission to the practice of law in California.

    Study at, or graduation from, Concord does not qualify graduates to take the bar examination or satisfy the requirements for admission to practice law in jurisdictions other than California. A student who intends to seek admission to practice law in a jurisdiction other than California should visit Purdue Global's page for state-specific requirements. Students are highly encouraged to confirm state requirements from the appropriate bar admissions office for their state of residence.

    Concord is not on the list of schools approved by the American Bar Association. The ABA Standards for the Approval of Law Schools currently do not allow for JD programs that are delivered fully online.

    Concord Law School EJD Program: Except as provided in rule 4.30 of the Admissions Rules (Legal education in a foreign state or country), completion of a professional law degree program at this law school other than for the Juris Doctor degree does not qualify a student to take the California Bar Examination or satisfy the requirements for admission to practice law in California. It may not qualify a student to take the bar examination or to satisfy requirements for admission to the practice of law in any other jurisdiction. A student who intends to seek admission to practice law should visit Purdue Global’s page for state-specific requirements. Students are highly encouraged to confirm state requirements from the appropriate bar admissions office for their state of residence.

    Employment or Career Advancement: Purdue Global does not guarantee employment placement or career advancement. Actual outcomes vary by geographic area, previous work experience and opportunities for employment. Additional training or certification may be required. Prior experience may be necessary for leadership positions.

    Future Programs: The University cannot guarantee that students will be granted admission to any future programs. Speak to an Advisor about transfer credit opportunities and see the University Catalog for the Prior Learning policy.

    Job Growth—Legal Occupations: Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Legal Occupations. National long-term projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.

    Job Growth in the Legal Field: Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Lawyers; Paralegals and Legal Assistants; Court Reporters and Simultaneous Captioners; Arbitrators, Meditators, and Conciliators. National long-term projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.

    Largest Provider of Legal Support Services: Source: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), 2018–2019 Total Degrees and Certificates Conferred, First Major, Legal Support Services, https://nces.ed.gov/IPEDS. Based on total number of degrees and certificates granted by Purdue Global compared to other Title IV institutions.

    Legal Studies Programs: The coursework in Associate of Applied Science and Bachelor of Science in Legal Support and Services programs fulfill the academic requirements to apply for the National Association of Legal Assistants' (NALA) Certified Paralegal examination. The University cannot guarantee students will be eligible to sit for or pass exams. In some cases, work experience, additional coursework beyond the Purdue Global program, fieldwork, and/or background checks may be necessary to be eligible to take or to successfully pass the exams.

    Paralegals are not lawyers and cannot practice law or give legal advice. Graduates are not authorized to practice law and will not be eligible to sit for any state’s bar examination. This program was not designed to meet any state-specific requirements for licensure or certification. Refer to Purdue Global's State Licensure and Certifications page for state-specific licensure information.