A master’s in legal studies online provides a promising career path for learners who wish to advance in the criminal justice system or the legal profession. To be clear, a master’s in legal studies is not the typical career path for those who wish to become lawyers. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is a 12% projected job growth for paralegal professionals and a 10% job growth for arbitrators, mediators, and conciliators. With online accelerated master’s programs, students can complete their studies without leaving their full-time job. Additionally, accelerated programs can typically be completed within one to two years, depending on how many classes students take at a time. Part-time students typically take three or more years to graduate. Many accredited universities with great reputations now offer master’s degrees in legal studies online. Although most legal studies jobs do not require licensure, most hiring managers prefer certifications. For example, paralegals can earn a certificate from a nationally recognized organization in order to improve their chances of landing a job. Courses vary from school to school but may include negotiation theory, administrative law, and law and policy studies, to name a few. Students also typically learn problem-solving, arbitration, negotiation, and legal analysis while pursuing their masters in legal studies. There are numerous concentrations available that may appeal to a student’s area of interest. Some specializations include dispute resolution, compliance and risk management, and legal paraprofessional studies.

Methodology: Ranking the Most Affordable Accelerated Master’s in Legal Studies Online

Fast Online Master’s editors want Legal Studies Students to find a program that pays off for them. That’s why we feature only trustworthy, accredited institutions. In the Most Affordable ranking, we present programs in order from lowest tuition to highest, according to current IPEDS stats.

1. The University of Illinois at Springfield

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The University of Illinois at Springfield offers online accelerated Master’s programs for students who are interested in pursuing a degree in legal studies. Students learn many skills, including how to conduct research, organize evidence, and prepare briefs that attorneys can use in a trial setting. With this type of online accelerated Master’s in legal studies degree programs, students can earn their degree in as little as 18 months. With the convenient online format, students can study and work at the same time and still care for their families. The University of Illinois at Springfield is one of the most well-known universities in the Midwest when it comes to providing quality online degree programs. The degree programs are designed to provide working professionals with all of the tools and resources they need to succeed. Classes are small, allowing each student to receive the one-on-one instruction they need if they are experiencing any type of difficulties.

2. Arizona State University

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Arizona State University offers an online accelerated Master’s in Legal Studies to students who want to pursue a career that allows them to explore opportunities in the legal and judicial fields. The advanced online platform provides students with a variety of skills they can use to be efficient and productive in a legal environment. Online accelerated Master’s programs offer students an option that will allow them to complete their education while they are exploring new options within the workplace. Arizona State University is a world leader when it comes to accelerated online educational programs. The university offers a student-centered environment that provides access to continued support throughout their educational journey. Students and faculty members work together to create a productive learning environment. The university’s primary goal is to provide the highest quality education to working professionals who want to advance their careers.

3. Nova Southeastern University

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Nova Southeastern University provides students with online Master’s programs that give them the skills, abilities, and resources they need to be effective in the legal field. Students gain access to resources and advanced degree programs in an online format that will allow them to study when it is best for them. This flexibility provides the option to continue working while moving forward with their education. Earning an online accelerated Master’s in Legal Studies degree gives students the opportunity to complete their degree much faster than if they had pursued a more traditional path. Nova Southeastern University is one of Florida’s most well-known schools devoted to online degree programs and offering quality degree programs to minorities. The school ranks within the top five in the country when it comes to the number of minor graduates. The university has been ranked within the top tier of schools for many of its online degree programs. Faculty members have also been recognized for their continued commitment to excellence in education.

4. West Virginia University

West Virginia University gives access to online accelerated Master’s programs for degrees in the legal field. Students will receive the education they need to build a career within the legal field. Through the state-of-the-art online platform, students have access to the most advanced legal studies degree programs in the country. An online accelerated Master’s in legal studies degree program allows students both options and opportunities to pursue a quality education while they continue to make a living for themselves and their families. West Virginia University is one of the most affordable universities in the country. Degree programs that are offered over an online format are just as effective as those in a classroom and provide students with access to faculty and staff whenever assistance is needed. The online format ensures a smaller class size and a more intense degree program that can be completed months sooner than a traditional one. Faculty members are recognized professionals who have years of experience and are committed to their students.

5. Liberty University

Liberty University offers many of the best online accelerated Master’s programs for students who are interested in legal studies. These programs offer much needed skills and information over an online learning platform that students can utilize no matter where they are. With an online accelerated Master’s in legal studies degree programs, students have the option of continuing to work while they attend school. This added benefit allows them an opportunity to gain experience and start to build their career. As a faith-based school, Liberty University offers students a learning environment, both online and in-person, that allows them to continue to focus on their beliefs. Faculty members offer guidance and encouragement to students who are trying to complete their education while still holding down a full-time job. Students are able to place their focus where it is needed and still earn an education that will help to boost their careers.

6. Regent University

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Regent University offers the best online accelerated Master’s programs that can be found in a faith-based educational system. The degree programs provide the necessary knowledge and skills for students across the world who want to make a difference in their communities. Earning an online accelerated Master’s in legal studies degree program gives them the tools they will need to be both effective and productive in any area they choose to pursue. Regent University is one of the most prominent faith-based universities in the country. It is known across the globe as a leader in education that holds to the highest Christian values. Students choose the online learning platform for its smaller class size as well as the flexibility of its schedule and continued commitment to academic excellence. No matter where they are in the world, students can enroll in the school’s degree programs and know they will get a quality education.

7. Hodges University

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Legal Studies Online for 2018
Hodges University provides students with quality online accelerated Master’s programs in legal studies that provide them with the required skills they will need to work within their chosen career field. They will be able to take on new opportunities and challenges much faster with an accelerated program that allows them to complete their education in less time than a traditional degree program. In some cases, an online accelerated Master’s in legal studies degree program can be completed in as little as 18 months. Hodges University is one of the most promising universities when it comes to offering online degree programs that are both accredited and accelerated. Students are able to pursue their goals by studying on an online learning platform that has been designed for maximum effectiveness and flexibility. Both students and faculty members are able to work together to create a learning environment that students can thrive in without taking them under financially.

8. Florida State University

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Florida State University offers students the opportunity to enroll in online accelerated Master’s programs in legal studies that will prepare them for working in many different capacities within their chosen career path. These degree programs are condensed into fewer lessons that offer much more information in each session. Students who choose to enroll in online accelerated Master’s in legal studies degree programs are able to continue on at their job while they finish their education. Florida State University offers students a state-of-the-art online learning platform and advanced degree programs that enable them to pursue their goals as soon as they set foot in their virtual classroom. The university is a world leader when it comes to offering quality degree programs to minority students. No matter where a student lives, they can rely on the school to supply them with the learning resources they need as well as reputable faculty members who can guide them through the process.

9. Saint Leo University

Affordable Accelerated Master's in Public Safety Administration Online Saint Leo University
Saint Leo University offers students the best online accelerated Master’s programs in the southeastern United States. The university makes it possible for students to learn in an online environment where they can excel. During this time, they can also continue to hold down a full-time job so they can fulfill their financial obligations. With an online accelerated Master’s in legal studies specialization, criminal justice students can direct their career paths in any direction they choose. Saint Leo University is one of the most affordable online schools in the state of Florida. The university is able to offer flexible schedules and accelerated degree programs that give students an opportunity to graduate up to six months faster than if they had enrolled in a more traditional degree program. Faculty members can provide students with one-on-one instruction whenever they are experiencing any type of difficulty. This guarantees they will receive the education they deserve.

10. University of Oklahoma

The University of Oklahoma provides online accelerated Master’s programs for criminal justice students who are interested in a legal studies degree. With an online accelerated degree, students can expect to learn skills much faster and be able to take on more responsibilities in a more timely fashion. Students who are working can enjoy the flexibility offered by an online accelerated Master’s in a legal studies degree program that will allow them to complete their education. The University of Oklahoma is one of the most well-respected schools in the country that offers online degree programs. Students who choose the school can expect an affordable degree program that is designed to provide quality education in a much shorter amount of time. Students can explore new opportunities along with the guidance of experienced instructors who are successful in their own right. Graduates are able to enjoy the flexibility of an online format while at the same time taking advantage of new challenges.

11. Trinity International University

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Legal Studies Online for 2018
Trinity International University offers online accelerated Master’s programs in the legal studies field that are ideal for criminal justice students. The programs are designed to provide all of the necessary skills a graduate will need to thrive in a legal environment once they complete school. With an online accelerated Master’s in legal studies, students are able to complete their education in less than 18 months, cutting almost six months off of their time in school. Trinity International University is a faith-based school that is proud to offer online degree programs to students from all over the world. Students have a flexible schedule that allows them to travel or work. They can work through the online learning platform and complete their studies from anywhere in the world where they have a connection to the internet. Professional faculty members use their knowledge and expertise to provide the best guidance and support possible for each student in their classes.

12. The University of Arizona

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The University of Arizona offers many online accelerated Master’s programs in both the legal studies and criminal justice fields. The programs provide both skills and opportunities for students who are trying to earn their diplomas while working a full-time job. With an online accelerated Master’s in legal studies, students have time on their side and can graduate up to six months earlier than if they had graduated from a traditional classroom degree program. The University of Arizona has an award-winning staff and accredited degree programs that provide each student with the best possible education. Students choose online degree programs that allow them to work while going to school. An accelerated program decreases the amount of time spent in school by six months or longer, depending on the length of the program. The more they can learn in a shorter amount of time, the more opportunities they can take advantage of while they are on the job.

13.  Hamline University

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Hamline University gives students a chance to pursue online accelerated Master’s programs in legal studies and other criminal justice specializations. The programs are designed to make sure students have the knowledge they need to thrive in any type of legal environment. Students who are already working on building a career often choose online degree programs that will allow them to gain real-life experience and go to class at the same time. Hamline University is known for providing unique learning opportunities for each of its students. The online learning platform allows students to accept internships and other employment opportunities that can turn into long-term careers. With the accelerated programs offered by the university, students are able to move forward much faster, allowing them to begin pursuing their careers at a more advanced pace. The online format of an accelerated degree program makes all of this possible.

14. Northeastern University

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Northeastern University offers online accelerated Master’s programs in the legal studies field. Criminal justice students can enroll in these programs and get the legal skills they need to pursue the type of career they can take pride in. Earning an online accelerated Master’s in legal studies gives students in the legal field advanced skills they will need to be better at their jobs. The online format makes it possible for them to earn and work at the same time. Northeastern University’s School of Law offers state-of-the-art online degree programs that give students every opportunity to advance within their chosen careers. Distinguished faculty members offer students one-on-one instruction within a learning environment they can thrive in. Each student has access to university resources as well as a flexible schedule that allows them to pursue career options where they can gain additional experience. Students get the very best of both worlds.

15. SUNY at Albany

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Legal Studies Online for 2018
SUNY at Albany offers each student online accelerated Master’s programs within the legal studies and criminal justice fields. The student has access to many skills and abilities they can use to create the perfect career for their interests. Legal studies involve many skill sets outside those associated with being a lawyer. Graduates who earn an online accelerated Master’s in legal studies can now pursue many different careers that are associated with the legal and criminal justice fields. SUNY at Albany provides quality online degree programs that offer flexible schedules that working students can rely on to help them gain the advantage. Faculty members are able to help students navigate their way through the education process so they can build a better life for themselves after they graduate. Accelerated degree programs make it possible for students who are working to capitalize on new opportunities much sooner than later. Students can apply for and accept promotions long before they graduate.

16. Webster University

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Webster University provides online accelerated Master’s programs for students who want to work in the legal field but don’t want to become lawyers. This is an ideal program for students who are earning a degree in criminal justice with a legal studies specialization. An accelerated Master’s in legal studies gives students the opportunity to maintain their current employment and still work toward completing their education. Students are able to complete their education at a much faster pace than other degree programs. Webster University has a history of providing quality education to students from across the world. With over 138 countries represented within its student body, the online learning platform the school uses is effective at bridging the gap between quality education and students from across the globe. Faculty members take pride in their accomplishments and strive to make sure each student has everything they need to succeed after graduation.

17. Loyola University Chicago

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Loyola University Chicago gives students online accelerated Master’s programs for students who are interested in entering the legal field in one way or another. The accelerated degree programs offer a traditional degree program in a much shorter period of time. With some degree programs, six months or more may be taken off the length of the course. Students who enroll in an online accelerated Master’s in legal studies. With more information being taught in a much shorter period of time, students can accept jobs and promotions they would not have had a chance at before enrolling in school. Loyola University Chicago School of Law is one of the most well-known and well-respected universities in the world. As a faith-based school of higher learning, the university offers the most advanced degree programs in terms of legal studies and criminal justice. Each student has access to school resources and experienced faculty members who can guide them through any obstacles they face as they work through their degree program and begin to take the first steps on their career path.

18. Seton Hall University

Top 20 Most Affordable Accelerated Master's in Legal Studies Online for 2018
Seton Hall University provides online accelerated Master’s programs for students who wish to pursue a degree in legal studies. The skills the degree programs offer are just what the student needs to be efficient in their duties within the legal field. Accelerated degree programs allow students to learn faster and more efficiently so they can begin to take advantage of new opportunities they are offered. Enrolling in an online accelerated Master’s in legal studies allows the student to continue working while they go to school. Seton Hall University is one of the most technologically and academically advanced schools in the country when it comes to legal studies and how they are used within the criminal justice field. Using the online learning platform, students are able to take advantage of a flexible schedule while still having access to the most experienced and reputable faculty members in the country. Graduates of the university have access to everything they need to be successful once they leave school.

19. St. Mary’s University

St. Mary’s University offers online accelerated Master’s programs to students who are already and employed and looking to advance their careers. An accelerated degree program condenses classes into fewer sessions that contain much more information than what would be included in a traditional degree program. With an online accelerated Master’s in legal studies, students are able to study when it works best for them and they can get the most out of their classes. St. Mary’s University is one of the best Catholic schools in the country. Each student has access to the highest quality degree programs available. In addition to the fast-paced degree programs, students also have access to distinguished faculty members who understand what it takes to be successful in the legal field. Students can take advantage of many school resources and utilize them to their fullest potential. Each student is able to go to work and build their career by pursuing their degree over an online platform.

20. American University Washington College of Law

American University Washington College of Law offers online accelerated Master’s programs in many different specializations, as well as legal studies. The skills that are provided give students the ability to take on any task in their chosen career field. For many students who are pursuing a criminal justice degree, an accelerated Master’s in legal studies may be just what they need to gain the advantage in their current job. New opportunities can be accepted much earlier with an accelerated degree program. American University Washington College of Law offers the best possible degree programs for students pursuing a legal studies degree. The school ranks in the top ten when it comes to providing the highest quality legal education, according to U.S. News & World Report. With award-winning faculty members, students have at their disposal a learning environment that is second to none in the country. Students are able to explore new career options while they are still in school.

21. Fordham University

Fordham University offers the best online accelerated Master’s programs for students who are interested in advancing their legal careers. An accelerated degree program allows students to learn more information in a much shorter period of time. The ability to study online allows them to continue working or looking for work. Online degrees give both flexibility and convenience to the student who may need to hold down a full-time job. With an accelerated Master’s in legal studies, students can accomplish that goal. Fordham University is one of the most well-known schools in the area. From its award-winning degree programs to the experienced faculty members, each student has an opportunity to take what they learn and use it to their fullest advantage. Students have access to faculty members who can provide them with the guidance and support they may need if they find themselves having difficulties in class. Graduates are able to move forward with their careers and be as successful as possible.

22. Wake Forest University

Wake Forest University offers online accelerated Master’s programs for students who want to advance into the legal studies field. With online degrees, students can take advantage of being able to study when it is best for them. They can study during their lunch hour at work or after their children go to bed. This gives them the best chance for success. With an online accelerated Master’s in legal studies, the student has the best of both worlds, allowing them to learn at a much faster pace than ever before. Wake Forest University is a world-renowned school that is considered to be one of the best when it comes to the legal field. Known for its academic excellence, the degree programs are able to provide an education the student can rely on to help them succeed. Faculty members are always accessible to students over the online learning platform and can help them make it through the most difficult of situations. Each student is given every chance to succeed as they complete their education.

23. New York University

New York University gives students access to online accelerated Master’s programs they can use to advance their careers. Students can learn twice as fast with accelerated degree programs that make it possible for them to graduate up to six months sooner than expected. With the advanced online learning platform, students can study when they want and where they want. With an accelerated Master’s in a legal studies degree program, students can start looking for their dream job long before they actually graduate. New York University is one of the best schools on the east coast for students who want the best accelerated online degree programs. The school has some of the most well-respected faculty members on staff. These staff members have committed themselves to provide each of their students a higher level of education that they can rely on. They will be able to face any challenge head-on and push past any obstacles that get in their way.

24. Drexel University

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Drexel University is able to provide the best online accelerated Master’s programs in legal studis in the area. The online program offers the most advanced skills and the most up-to-date information possible. Accelerated programs provide condensed lesson plans that allow the student to gain more information in less time so they can graduate sooner. The online accelerated Master’s in legal studies degrees can be used for criminal justice positions or for work within a legal office. Drexel University is one of the most advanced schools when it comes to using the best online learning platform. The in-depth degree programs and experienced faculty members are able to give students every opportunity for success. Faculty members have the knowledge and expertise they need to be effective teachers and educators. They are able to provide much-needed support and guidance when the students need it the most.

25. Pepperdine University

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Pepperdine University offers the best online accelerated Master’s programs for students who are pursuing a degree in legal studies. Online degrees give students the best possible chance to succeed in the legal field. Accelerated degree programs provide more information in less time, making it possible for the student to graduate much sooner than expected. An accelerated Master’s in legal studies that are earned online allows students to continue working as they attend school. Pepperdine University is a world leader when it comes to advanced education. Known for its academic excellence and state-of-the-art technology, the university is one of the most popular schools for students who are interested in earning a legal degree. Faculty members have reputations for being solid educators and being able to provide a unique and welcoming learning environment. Each student makes their way through their program guided by faculty members who have their best interest at heart.

Is a Masters in Legal Studies Worth It?

Online accelerated master’s programs expedite the time it takes to receive a degree. However, it will also require more commitment on the part of the student. Therefore, students should carefully consider whether they have the time to devote to both a full-time job, if they work, family obligations, and a rigorous course schedule. With a master’s in legal studies, students who already work in the field can improve their chances of promotion and deepen their knowledge in their area of concentration. All this can directly or indirectly lead to additional remuneration, promotions, and improved job performance. An accelerated master’s in legal studies can help students quickly realize their goals of becoming part of a law enforcement agency, taking on managerial roles, or pursuing jobs in administration. However, those with intense jobs, a growing family, or other responsibilities may wish to pursue their degrees part-time with regularly paced programs.

What Jobs Can I Get With a Master’s of Legal Studies?

There are numerous careers for those who obtain a master’s in legal studies. Those who wish to become a legal assistant, paralegal, business analyst, legal mediator, or legal counselor in a corporate environment will find this degree useful. With a master’s of legal studies, graduates will obtain deep knowledge of many nuances of the legal system. They may also develop public speaking skills and find themselves eligible for higher-paying positions. Of course, graduates who wish to pursue their doctoral degrees will find that a master’s in legal studies prepares them for terminal degrees in the field. This might be the goal of those who wish to pass on their knowledge through teaching or training positions.

How Much Can I Make with a Masters in Legal Studies?

How much money can graduates make after completing a master’s in legal studies online? With an accelerated master’s in legal studies, students can expedite their academic goals and enter the workforce more quickly. According to the BLS, paralegals and legal assistants make an average of $52,000. The lowest 10% of those in this field made approximately $33,000 while the highest 10% earned more than $85,000. Paralegals and legal assistants in top industries include those working for the federal government for an average of $69,000. Those working in finance and insurance can expect to make $66,000, while those working for local governments might make $53,000. Graduates working in state government jobs might make an average of $40,000, while graduates taking jobs in legal services can expect to make $51,000. Another area of specialization includes mediators, arbitrators, and conciliators, who average $66,000 per year. The lowest 10% of wage earners in this group make less than $30,000, while the highest 10% make more than $131,000, according to the BLS. Arbitrators, mediators, and negotiators often find jobs working for local governments outside of hospital and education environments. This group of legal services professionals averages $70,000 per year. Graduates focusing on this concentration bring home approximately $70,000, while those working in healthcare and social assistance can depend on an average salary of $46,000. State government jobs that require a master’s in legal services command salaries of $67,000.

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