What does it entail to work on a law degree? What schools offer the degrees? One option is to work toward the Juris Doctor Program. Another option is to get a Master of Science in Law. The Master of Science in Law (MSL) degree at Champlain College helps non-lawyers gain legal knowledge to increase their effectiveness and advance their careers. Regardless of the program you choose for your law degree, be sure to obtain your degree from an accredited institution. You do not want to lose money and time on a program that will not qualify you to take the bar exam or to practice. A law degree is an advanced degree pursued after obtaining a 4-year degree. Some schools offer bachelor degrees in pre-law but other majors such as criminal justice and political science business, English, criminal justice, and international relations.
Law School Education and Training
Entry into law school depends on your undergraduate GPA and scores on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). Different law schools will require different scores, and the most prestigious institutions only accept the top percentage of applicants. So be sure to prepare well for the LSAT test. Law programs are designed to provide you with legal knowledge you can use in business, government, health care, or legal services. In that case an Executive JD Program might be option.
As with campus-based programs, online law degrees usually takes 3-4 years for full time students. At the end of the program a student would earn a Juris Doctor (JD) degree in the US or a LLB in Europe. Then you would need to write the bar exam. Some classes you would cover in law school would be Civil Procedure, Contracts, Criminal Law, Legal Research and Writing, and Constitutional Law. To specialize you would select other classes in your area of interest for example immigration law or corporate law.
Many institutions offer online law degrees to help you attain either a Juris Doctor, which allows you to practice law once you pass the state bar exam, as well as an Executive Juris Doctor, for those who want to study law but not practice it.
Those who enroll in executive juris doctor programs do so to develop analytical thinking skills and effective communication skills that will help them advance in their current careers. Some institutions also offer a master’s degree in health law which is perfect for working nurses, paramedics and other health care practitioners.
Remember that top law schools have stringent requirements for accepting applicants in their programs, whether it is their on-campus programs or in their online programs. Accredited law schools look for good grades, a talent for communication, and analytical thinking are among the many specifications that admission centers look for in potential law students.
Law School Curriculum
What prerequisite courses are needed before applying for online law degrees? While a majority of law schools do not require prerequisite classes for admission, having completed some courses will be to your advantage. This might include: history, government, civics, psychology, political science, international relations, criminal justice courses, philosophy and logic, sociology, and English composition and literature courses. Keep in mind that this are just suggestions and an admissions counselor would be able to provide you with more specific guidance.
While, the sequence of classes in the law school curriculum will vary by program, it is not uncommon to take the most demanding, rigorous classes in the first year. The reason for this is to provide you with the necessary groundwork for the rest of law school and of course your future career in law.
Courses you might take in the first year might include: Criminal Procedure, Criminal Law, Torts, Contracts, Constitutional Law, Property Law, Civil Procedures and Legal Procedures, Legal Writing and Research, and Legal Methods. Most law programs use the “case method” approach to teaching law.
After the first year in many online law degrees, you would take courses in concentrations like: Intellectual Property, Tax, Bar Review, Business Law, Trial Practice, Environmental Law, etc. While there is no standard law school curriculum, almost all states require a Juris Doctor degree from an American Bar Association ‘(ABA) approved law school before being allowed to admission to the bar.
Careers in Law
There are many exciting opportunities available for law school graduate. Take the time to research all the possibilities and rewards before completing online law degrees. In a business and professional climate highly regulated and rich in legal dimensions, the law is so important that everyone should understand it.
A law degree is ideal for individuals who would like to get a law degree but do not have an interest in practicing law. For example, nurses, paramedics and other health care practitioners can choose specially designed Health Law Track within the Executive JD program to further their careers.
When searching for law careers, the question to ask is, “What do lawyers do with their degrees?” We think of lawyers as people who argue cases in courtrooms. Actually lawyers do other things as well. They do research, conduct interviews, or write documents in preparation for litigation.
Being an attorney requires excellent communication skills. Some people with a law degree donâ€™t practice law at all. They use that to open other doors in the legal field and other areas as well. In that case the Executive JD program is a good option.
A lawyer, also called an attorney, has extensive training to help people understand and interpret the laws. Their primary role is to provide guidance. A criminal lawyer works with the court system, usually as a prosecutor or defense attorney, but there are many other areas in which lawyers can specialize in, for example:
- Criminal Law
- Medical Malpractice Law
- Non-Profit Law Career
- Real Estate Law
- Environmental Law
- Corporate Law
- Entertainment Law
- Tax and Probate Law
- Entertainment Law
- Intellectual Property and Technology Law
- Bankruptcy Law
- Stock Market and Finance Law
- Civil Liberties Law
- Environmental Law
- Labor Law
- Family Law
- Health Care Law
- Personal Injury Law
Estimated Income and Projected Career Growth
A career in law is rewarding and worthwhile, provided you have the essential abilities and skills to pursue a career in law and the willingness to face the challenges ahead. You can work in business or self practice, where you can have your own business setup such as a consultancy firm providing legal consultation and guidance to your clients, self-practice legal representation in courts, or drafting legal papers for clients.
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics(BLS) reports that the employment of lawyers is expected to grow 13% between 2008 and 2018.
The BLS also reports that in 2008, the median annual wages were $110,590 with the middle 50% earning between $74,980 and $163,320. When entering the job market with a campus or online law degree, you also have various options which include teaching, working with law firms, and with companies and corporations as a legal adviser and attorney.
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