Bachelor's degrees in legal studies can take you down different paths, whether you are preparing for law school or increasing your knowledge of the law for another occupation. Legal studies could lead you to careers in which legal savvy is essential, ranging from corporate administrator to mediator to government official.
The curriculum for bachelor's degrees in legal studies covers core subjects like English composition, communication, humanities, mathematics, social science and physical science. This major includes courses like these:
- Constitutional law
- Introduction to the law
- Law and society
- Legal analysis and research
- Legal philosophy and torts
- Technology and the law
Some programs explore the history of the U.S. legal system or the role of the law in business and modern society. Most degrees require an internship or capstone project.
Legal studies careers, outlook and salaries
Knowledge of the law is useful in related career options such as law enforcement officer, legislative assistant, journalist and lobbyist. The Bureau of Labor Statistics considers lobbyists similar to public relations managers and specialists, who earned 2010 median wages of $57,550. Job growth of 21 percent is predicted for these professionals between 2010 and 2020.
Legal studies could lead to law school and an eventual career as an attorney. You might also choose to go straight to work in a support position in the field before applying to law school. Legal assistants saw median annual pay of $46,680 in 2010, and the BLS predicts 18 percent job growth, 2010-2020. Lawyers earned an annual salary of $112,760 in 2010, and the BLS expects an increase in employment of 10 percent.
Beyond your degree in legal studies
Some schools provide bachelor's to master's degree transitional options for aspiring managers. Employers in health care, nonprofits, educational institutions, corporations and government need managers who have knowledge of the law.
Concentrations for post-graduate degrees include criminal justice, environmental policy, public administration, emergency management, homeland security, ethics, business law, human rights and political theory. Doctoral programs can prepare you for teaching and research in law or business schools as well as high level corporate and government positions.
Convenient online degree programs in legal studies provide the opportunity to gain work experience while you're furthering your education -- whether you're headed for a law degree or the legal expertise you need for a career outside the courtroom.