Earning an Online Master's Degree in Legal Studies

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  Earning an Online Master's Degree in Legal Studies

Everything you need to know about getting an online master's degree in legal studies.

By Ashley Henshaw

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Earning an Online Master's Degree in Legal Studies
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Overview of Online Master's Degree Program in Legal Studies

An online master's degree program in legal studies is generally for mid-level professionals who have a limited knowledge on the law. People who plan on transferring into a court or other legal position, such as a paralegal or legal secretary can benefit from earning this degree. Although a bachelor's degree can sometimes suffice, a master's degree in this field can give you a leg up in the legal and business industries.

This program typically takes two years to complete, but could take longer depending on the amount of classes you take each semester. You may also be able to find an accelerate program that allows you to graduate in less than two years. The online program is a great option for working professionals who cannot afford to take time off of their careers.

Programs that require students to complete a thesis are usually more theoretical in nature, and are designed for those students who plan on earning their doctoral degree.

Applying to an Online Master's Degree Program in Legal Studies

Some individuals who apply to an online master's degree program in legal studies earned their bachelor's degree in criminal justice, or a business related field such as human resources management, human services or healthcare administration. If you do not have your bachelor's degree in any of those disciplines, then it is helpful if you have work experience in business or the legal field.

When applying to an online master's degree program, there are common admissions materials that you will most likely have to submit to each school. In addition to your college transcripts, you typically will have to submit two to five letters of recommendation, a personal statement and your Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores. Typically online graduate programs require students to have earned a 3.0 GPA during college. However, you may be able to find programs with a lower GPA requirement.

How to Choose a Master's Degree Program Online in Legal Studies

In order to choose the best legal studies online master's degree program for your career goals, you must have a clear idea of why you are pursuing your degree. Some students have been working as a paralegal and need to earn their master's degree in order to increase their salary potential or to earn promotion. Other students want to attend this degree program in order to have the credentials to be accepted to a PhD program in a discipline related to legal studies.

Programs that require students to complete a thesis are usually more theoretical in nature, and are designed for those students who plan on earning their doctoral degree. However, programs that offer practicums are more geared towards students who want utilize their skills in a career immediately.

Some online programs are offered 100% online. However, there are other programs that have residency requirements in which students must fulfill a certain number of hours, classes or semesters on campus. You may have to attend a seminar at the beginning of a semester, or you may choose a blended program in which you need to complete a portion of each course on campus.

What to Expect in an Online Legal Studies Master's Degree Program

In the online master's degree program in legal studies, students learn a comprehensive foundation in the fundamentals of legal studies. Courses in legal studies are designed to prepare students for the real-world problems they may encounter on the job after graduation. During your program you may take courses such as introduction to legal studies, ethics or moral issues, logic, family law , criminal law, and debate.

If you’ve never taken online courses before, you may be confused as to how they are structured. Most likely your program has an online orientation available for you to view in order to familiarize yourself with the structure. There are different ways in which a program delivers lectures to students. Some programs require you to sign in for a live video feed, or you may simply need to pop in a DVD or download a pre-recorded lecture. Other programs provide written lecture, which can be accessed at your convenience. Tu web Exclusiva con Cientos de Letras en Graffiti ,Descargalas Gratis y aprende Cómo hacerlas para Expresar tu Arte Urbano Letras en Graffiti Gratis | Descubre Todos los Estilos

Student to professor interaction is made easy through e-mail, telephone or chat forums. Students can also communicate with their peers through the discussion based chat forum. Some people find that this type of discussion yields the most knowledge, as students and teachers have the time to carefully construct their responses.

To demonstrate the skills you have learned in your classes, most programs offer a thesis option to their students. Completing a thesis is an intensive process. You must choose a specific area of law to research and then write an in depth paper describing your findings. If you goal is to move on to a doctoral program, then you should choose the thesis option as it will prepare you for your dissertation.

If you do not have to write a thesis (and even if you do) you will most likely have to complete a practicum, or internship, in a law office. Employers look for applicants who completed an internship, as they know that these students have already gained hands-on experience and will most likely need less on-the-job training.

Top 5 Online Grad Schools for a Master's Degree in Legal Studies

  1. Grand Canyon University
  2. Kaplan University, Portland
  3. Capella University - Online School
  4. California University of Pennsylvania - Online School
  5. West Virginia University - Online School

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