Getting an online law degree these days can be a wise choice if you’re looking to start a new career. Online degrees are mainly for people who can’t take out the time to attend a class physically. If you’re struggling to find time between your job and your personal life for a degree – you should consider opting for an online degree. If you’re aiming to start your career in the UK or the US, there are a few factors you should know that affect your choices.
Try to understand first what the degree entails and how your university is offering an online law degree. When you’re studying online, there are different formats your college might ask you to follow. Some colleges follow a hybrid format, and some offer a degree entirely online. If the college you enroll in follows a hybrid format, there will be a certain number of classes that you’ll have to take on campus. But if your college offers classes entirely online, you won’t have to attend any classes on campus.
Apart from different learning formats, some online law degrees also offer you the chance to choose your own curriculum. When you choose your own curriculum, you can study at a pace that suits you, which is one of the most prominent reasons why students opt for an online degree. There are several universities in the US and the UK that offer law degrees. You can choose to get a Bachelor’s or a Master’s degree in law. Following are some of the universities that have various programs in Law, Legal Studies and Criminal Justice:
- University of Essex Online
- The Open University UK
- The University of Law
- London School of International Business
- London School of Planning and Management
- De Montfort University
- Walden University
Online Law Degrees in the UK vs. US
In the UK, students can opt for a BA in Law or an LLB as their bachelor’s education. These degrees cover various topics in legal subjects. These include Public Law, European Union Law, Criminal Law etc. When you’ve completed your bachelor’s degree, you’re going to have to take a legal course. You can also choose to take a one-year Bar Training Course (but this depends on if you want to be a solicitor or a barrister).
In the US, law degrees are considered professional graduate degrees, also known as a Juris Doctor. After you’ve completed your degree, you’re qualified for passing the bar exam. If you’re pursuing an undergraduate degree in the US, you are not required to study law. In fact, there aren’t many options either that let you study law. Some of the few options that allow you to get a Law-related Bachelor’s in the US are Law Studies or Criminal Justice.
But with that being said, many students choose to enter a Juris Doctor program after majoring in a few social science subjects.
The Costs of an Online Law Degree
Many online law degrees are affordable because online education allows you to cut down on a lot of your secondary expenses. First and foremost, when you’re taking a course online, you don’t have to pay for the hefty travelling expenses that are associated with travelling to college. Apart from the travelling expenses, an online law degree also saves you from the costs of buying course material.
When you’re studying online, your course facilitator will provide you with the material you need to study the course. This material will be in a soft copy version, which saves you from the costs associated with buying books that you’re only going to use for three months. Tuition rates, however, are more or less the same when you’re studying online. You also need to keep in mind that the institute has to pay for their online domain and the digital resources they are utilizing.
Before you apply, make sure you analyze the program you’re applying for extensively. Try to analyze if it’s an investment that is worth your time, and who knows? With enough probing, you might be able to find scholarship options that can help you fund your online degree.
Career Prospects After Graduating
Many people are under the assumption that an online law degree isn’t respected. To clarify that assumption, we need to analyze a few factors that ultimately determine the value of your online law degree in front of your employer. Like any degree earned from a traditional on-site classroom – the reputation of the institution matters greatly.
Chances are, if you earned your online law degree from a reputable institute, the employer wouldn’t even ask you to mention if you earned your degree online or on-site. Another factor that comes into play is the accreditation your degree has. Accreditation is a huge factor that separates good law degrees from bad ones. If you want to make sure your online law degree is respected in the law community, you have to make sure that your degree is accredited.
An accreditation ensures that a regional or a national body has authorized your degree. This ensures that your degree will be looked at with respect. An employer’s judgment of your online law degree also depends on their experience with online education. If your employer has a favorable experience with online education, it’s more than likely that you’ll get a favorable verdict too.
But with that being said, not all law degrees lead to high-paying careers. Before you decide to opt for an online law degree, look into the statistics to determine how many online law degree graduates go on to get high-paying jobs. Use this information to make an informed decision.
Online Law Degrees in the US
Online law degrees provide students with an understanding of how the US legal system works and how justice can translate into law. Graduates then use their online law degrees to start their careers as paralegals, legal assistants, public administrators, or law enforcement agents. Online law degrees that are associate degrees are mostly linked with legal writing and research.