Paralegals and legal assistants are integral members of a law firm. They help research legal precedents and investigate the facts of a case for the attorneys they work with. In many firms, paralegals continue to take on more and more duties to help bring down the cost of legal services and allow attorneys to work more efficiently.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics projects positions for paralegals and legal assistants to increase 15% through 2026, with 11% growth in employment for other legal support workers. An online legal studies degree provides you with the skills necessary to take on these critical roles while also preparing you for further legal specialization, and a high-paying career with a median salary of $50,410 per year.

For more degree and career information, jump to:

Legal Studies Associate Degree Programs

Note: Because numerous types of degrees fall under the umbrella of “associate in legal studies,” the following sections display top-ranked programs from several related ranking articles on our website. To learn more about these different degrees, follow the link at the end of each section to their corresponding ranking article.

For a specific program type, jump to:

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Online Associate in Legal Studies Degree Program Ranking Guidelines: We selected the degree programs based on the quality of program and range of courses provided, as well as school awards, rankings, and reputation.

Our Methodology

Here at TheBestSchools.org, we take the trust and welfare of our readers very seriously. When making our school and program rankings, our top priority is ensuring that our readers get accurate, unbiased information that can help them make informed decisions about online education. That's why we've developed a rigorous ranking methodology that keeps the needs of our readers front and center.

Our proprietary, multi-criteria ranking algorithm analyzes key data indicators — as collected by the federal government — for each school or program. What data we use depends on the focus of each specific ranking, but in all cases, our ranking methodology is impartial: Schools cannot buy better rankings at TBS.

While specific criteria under consideration can vary by ranking, there are a few data points that we value most highly. They are affordability, academic quality, and online enrollment. Below, we break down our algorithm to help you understand what you're getting when you use one of our rankings.

  • Academics
  • Affordability
  • Online Enrollment

Data Sources

The data used in TBS rankings comes primarily from the federal government, and much of it is provided by the schools themselves. We aggregate and analyze this data to build our rankings.

The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) is our primary source. Its data comes from annual surveys conducted by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Every college, university, or technical school with access to federal financial aid must participate in these surveys, which include questions about enrollment, graduation rates, finances, and faculty qualifications. This is publicly available data, which you can access yourself through the College Navigator.

Additionally, because we value a personal touch and the professional experience of our staff and Academic Advisory Board, we vet all results and adjust rankings as necessary based on our collected knowledge of schools and degree programs. Depending on the ranking, we may obtain additional input from AcademicInfluence.com, subject matter experts, prior TBS ranking lists, or other sources we deem relevant to a particular ranking.

Breakdown of Our Rankings Methodology

About Our Ranking Factors

Here at TBS, we value what you value: quality education, affordability, and the accessibility of online education. These factors guide all of our program rankings.

Each of these factors are further broken down into weighted subfactors. For example, retention rates are weighted more heavily than availability of program options because they are a better indicator of student success.

We chose the following factors for our rankings because of their influence on learning experiences and graduate outcomes. However, students should always balance our rankings against their personal priorities. For instance, a learner who needs a fully online program may prioritize online flexibility more than our rankings do. Our rankings are designed to help you make a decision — not to make a decision for you.

Academics - 75%
Affordability - 15%
Online Enrollment - 10%

In all our school rankings and recommendations, we work for objectivity and balance. We carefully research and compile each ranking list, and as stated in our advertising disclosure, we do NOT permit financial incentives to influence rankings. Our articles never promote or disregard a school for financial gain.

If you have questions about our ranking methodology, please feel free to connect with our staff through contact page.

We thank you for your readership and trust.

The Best Online Associate in Legal Studies Degree Programs

#1 The Best Online Associate in Legal Studies Programs

Tallahassee Community College

  • Tallahassee, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Florida-based Tallahassee Community College boasts a highly ranked online associate in paralegal/legal studies, one of three online associate programs. Enrollees benefit from industry-relevant coursework, preparing them for future careers in the legal field. Graduates can apply their course credits toward a bachelor's degree.

Enrollees can access career services, academic advising, and other success-centered resources. Distance learners can receive one-on-one guidance from virtual library services and academic tutoring resources.

Online students can access scholarships, fellowships, and other funding opportunities, receiving an average of $4,518 in aid. Approximately 68% of all incoming learners receive financial aid, with 25% receiving student loans.

Tallahassee Community College at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, 4-year or above

Location: Tallahassee, Florida

Admission Rate: Data not available

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 25-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $2,002

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $7,982

Transfer Credit Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$2,002
Out-of-state
$7,982
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
11,683
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
45% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#2 The Best Online Associate in Legal Studies Programs

Saint Louis Community College

  • Bridgeton, MO
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Saint Louis Community College supports three online associate programs from its main campus in Bridgeton, Missouri. Students in the associate in legal studies for the paralegal program gain industry-relevant knowledge and skills, preparing them for the demands of a legal career. Graduates seeking to advance their studies can apply their credits toward a bachelor's degree.

Enrollees benefit from institutional resources, such as career services and academic advising. Distance learners can access other resources such as virtual library services and academic tutoring.

Typically, enrollees receive $4,698 in financial aid awards. The institution reports that 76% of all learners receive financial aid and 7% receive student loans.

Saint Louis Community College at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, 2-year

Location: Bridgeton, Missouri

Admission Rate: Data not available

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 19-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $4,320

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $6,120

Transfer Credit Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,320
Out-of-state
$6,120
Retention Rate
63%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
17,294
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
30% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#3 The Best Online Associate in Legal Studies Programs

North Central Missouri College

  • Trenton, MO
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Distance learners seeking flexible study in criminal justice should consider North Central Missouri College's online associate in criminal justice. Degree candidates benefit from industry-relevant coursework, preparing them for future careers in the field. Associate degree-holders can pursue further study, such as a bachelor's degree, and apply their college credits toward a four-year institution.

The college connects students with career services, academic advising, and other success-geared resources. Distance learners can access other resources such as virtual library services and academic tutoring.

Typically, enrollees receive $5,895 in financial aid. Around 95% of incoming learners receive financial aid and around 21% receive student loans.

North Central Missouri College at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, 2-year

Location: Trenton, Missouri

Admission Rate: Data not available

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 20-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $4,440

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $5,370

Transfer Credit Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,440
Out-of-state
$5,370
Retention Rate
55%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
1,746
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
63% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#4 The Best Online Associate in Legal Studies Programs

Trinity Valley Community College

  • Athens, TX
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Students looking for a flexible online degree should consider Trinity Valley Community College. Enrollees pursuing the associate in criminal justice gain foundational knowledge and skills relevant to the field through coursework and experiential learning opportunities. Typically, students can apply their associate degree credits toward future educational endeavors, like a bachelor's degree.

Throughout the program, students can access career services, academic advising, and other institutional resources. They can also access virtual library services and academic tutoring.

Students seeking to defray degree costs should know that the average enrollee receives $5,818 in financial aid. Of its degree-seekers, the college reports that 82% receive financial aid and 20% receive loans.

Trinity Valley Community College at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, 2-year

Location: Athens, Texas

Admission Rate: Data not available

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 17-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $1,170

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $4,500

Transfer Credit Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$1,170
Out-of-state
$4,500
Retention Rate
51%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
6,233
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
49% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#5 The Best Online Associate in Legal Studies Programs

Pensacola State College

  • Pensacola, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

At Pensacola State College, the associate in criminal justice technology is one of five online associate programs. Enrollees gain foundational knowledge and skills relevant to the field through coursework and experiential learning opportunities. Graduates who want to advance their education can apply their credits toward a bachelor's degree.

The college connects degree-seekers with resources such as academic advising and career resources. Further resources available to online students including virtual library services and academic tutoring.

The college reports that the average student's financial aid award package totals $5,565. The college notes that 75% of all students receive financial aid awards, with 7% receiving loans.

Pensacola State College at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, 4-year or above

Location: Pensacola, Florida

Admission Rate: Data not available

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 23-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $1,887

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $7,547

Transfer Credit Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$1,887
Out-of-state
$7,547
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
9,713
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
38% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#6 The Best Online Associate in Legal Studies Programs

Northeast Community College

  • Norfolk, NE
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

At Northeast Community College, the associate of applied science in criminal justice is one of 13 online associate degrees. The program prepares students for the demands of the field through foundational and advanced coursework. Graduates can apply their course credits toward further study, such as a bachelor's degree.

Enrollees can access college resources geared toward student success. Online learners can further access virtual library services and academic tutoring.

Distance learners can access scholarships, fellowships, and other funding opportunities, with the average award package totaling $4,456. The college reports that 90% of degree candidates receive financial aid, with 21% using student loans.

Northeast Community College at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, 2-year

Location: Norfolk, Nebraska

Admission Rate: Data not available

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 17-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $2,970

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $4,170

Transfer Credit Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$2,970
Out-of-state
$4,170
Retention Rate
68%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
5,258
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
39% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#7 The Best Online Associate in Legal Studies Programs

Spartanburg Methodist College

  • Spartanburg, SC
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Looking for a flexible associate degree? Consider Spartanburg Methodist College's online associate in criminal justice. The program builds foundational knowledge in criminal justice, preparing graduates for entry-level careers in the field. Students seeking further education can apply their credits to a bachelor's degree.

Enrollees benefit from career services, academic advising, and other institutional resources throughout their studies. The institution also provides online enrollees with virtual library services and academic tutoring resources, including writing tutoring.

Degree candidates can explore numerous funding options, with 99% of enrollees receiving some form of financial aid and 68% opting for student loans.

Spartanburg Methodist College at a Glance:

Type of School: Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above

Location: Spartanburg, South Carolina

Admission Rate: 61%

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 19-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $15,750

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $15,750

Transfer Credit Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$15,750
Out-of-state
$15,750
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
61%
Students Enrolled
933
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
7% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#8 The Best Online Associate in Legal Studies Programs

Ulster County Community College

  • Stone Ridge, NY
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

From its main campus in Stone Ridge, New York, Ulster County Community College supports six online associate programs, including an associate in criminal justice. The online program prepares students for the field through comprehensive coursework. Associate degree-holders can apply their course credits toward future educational opportunities, such as a bachelor's degree.

Students can access career services, academic advising, and other support during their studies. Other institutional resources include virtual library services and academic tutoring.

Online learners can access scholarships, fellowships, and other funding opportunities, receiving an average of $6,567 in aid. The college notes that 81% of all degree-seekers receive financial aid, with 11% using loans.

Ulster County Community College at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, 2-year

Location: Stone Ridge, New York

Admission Rate: Data not available

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 21-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $4,680

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $9,360

Transfer Credit Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,680
Out-of-state
$9,360
Retention Rate
57%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
3,550
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
24% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#9 The Best Online Associate in Legal Studies Programs

Southeastern Community College

  • Whiteville, NC
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

From its main campus in Whiteville, North Carolina, Southeastern Community College supports two online associate programs, including an associate in criminal justice technology. Enrollees gain industry-relevant knowledge and skills, preparing them for the demands of a career. After graduation, students can apply their college credits toward a bachelor's degree or other educational endeavors.

A leader in student success, the college connects students with career services, academic advising, and other resources. Distance learners benefit from virtual library services, academic tutoring, and other resources.

Attendees benefit from financial aid opportunities, receiving an average of $5,788 in awards. Eligible students can access scholarships, fellowships, and federal financial aid.

Southeastern Community College at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, 2-year

Location: Whiteville, North Carolina

Admission Rate: Data not available

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 9-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $2,432

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $8,576

Transfer Credit Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$2,432
Out-of-state
$8,576
Retention Rate
65%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
1,524
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
72% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#10 The Best Online Associate in Legal Studies Programs

San Antonio College

  • San Antonio, TX
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Looking for a flexible associate program? Consider San Antonio College's online associate of applied science in criminal justice. The program prepares students for the demands of the field through foundational and advanced coursework. Students seeking further education can apply their credits to a bachelor's degree.

The college connects degree candidates with resources such as academic advising and career resources. Other institutional resources include virtual library services and academic tutoring.

The college reports that the average student's financial aid award package totals $5,601. Of its enrollees, the college reports that 78% receive financial aid and 6% receive loans.

San Antonio College at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, 2-year

Location: San Antonio, Texas

Admission Rate: Data not available

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 24-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $6,450

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $13,980

Transfer Credit Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$6,450
Out-of-state
$13,980
Retention Rate
67%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
19,499
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
34% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#11 The Best Online Associate in Legal Studies Programs

Lincoln Land Community College

  • Springfield, IL
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Distance learners seeking flexible study in criminal justice should consider Lincoln Land Community College's online associate in criminal justice. Degree-seekers gain foundational and advanced knowledge relevant to the field. After graduation, students can apply their college credits toward a bachelor's degree or other educational endeavors.

Enrollees can access career services, academic advising, and other success-centered resources. Other resources available for distance learners include academic tutoring and virtual library services.

The average student receives $5,377 in financial aid. Of its enrollees, the college reports that 74% receive financial aid and 22% use loans.

Lincoln Land Community College at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, 2-year

Location: Springfield, Illinois

Admission Rate: Data not available

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 20-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $6,312

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $9,468

Transfer Credit Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$6,312
Out-of-state
$9,468
Retention Rate
68%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
5,446
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
32% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#12 The Best Online Associate in Legal Studies Programs

Fox Valley Technical College

  • Appleton, WI
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Fox Valley Technical College hosts 16 online associate programs, including an associate in criminal justice. Students can build their knowledge of the field through coursework and experiential learning opportunities. Typically, graduates can apply their associate degree credits toward future educational endeavors, like a bachelor's degree.

Learners can access career services, academic advising, and other success-centered resources. As part of an online learning community, students can benefit from virtual library services, academic tutoring, and other resources.

On average, degree candidates receive $4,669 in financial aid. Around 69% of incoming students receive financial aid and around 15% use student loans.

Fox Valley Technical College at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, 2-year

Location: Appleton, Wisconsin

Admission Rate: Data not available

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 11-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $4,095

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $6,143

Transfer Credit Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,095
Out-of-state
$6,143
Retention Rate
74%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
12,239
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
26% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#13 The Best Online Associate in Legal Studies Programs

Ashland University

  • Ashland, OH
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Looking for a flexible associate degree? Consider Ashland University's online associate of arts in criminal justice. Degree candidates complete courses relevant to the field, preparing them for their future careers. Graduates seeking to advance in further studies can apply their credits toward a bachelor's degree.

Learners receive guidance throughout the duration of their studies and can access career services and academic advising. The online learning community connects students with virtual library resources and academic tutoring.

The institution reports that 99% of all enrollees receive financial aid and 61% use student loans.

Ashland University at a Glance:

Type of School: Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above

Location: Ashland, Ohio

Admission Rate: 71%

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 16-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $20,950

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $20,950

Transfer Credit Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$20,950
Out-of-state
$20,950
Retention Rate
75%
Admission Rate
71%
Students Enrolled
5,091
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
51% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#14 The Best Online Associate in Legal Studies Programs

Keiser University-Ft. Lauderdale

  • Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Florida-based Keiser University-Ft. Lauderdale boasts 13 online associate programs, including its highly ranked associate in criminal justice. Degree-seekers gain industry-relevant knowledge and skills, preparing them for the demands of a career. Graduates can apply their course credits toward future educational opportunities, such as a bachelor's degree.

Enrollees can access career services, academic advising, and other success-centered resources. Distance learners can access other resources such as virtual library services and academic tutoring.

Typically, 89% of all degree-seekers receive financial aid, with 69% receiving loans.

Keiser University-Ft. Lauderdale at a Glance:

Type of School: Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above

Location: Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

Admission Rate: Data not available

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 14-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $19,808

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $19,808

Transfer Credit Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$19,808
Out-of-state
$19,808
Retention Rate
75%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
19,567
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
47% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#15 The Best Online Associate in Legal Studies Programs

Finger Lakes Community College

  • Canandaigua, NY
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Finger Lakes Community College hosts 20 online associate programs, including an associate in criminal justice. Enrollees gain knowledge and industry-relevant skills through coursework and experiential learning opportunities. Graduates can apply their earned credits toward a bachelor's degree, certificates, and educational credentials.

The college connects degree-seekers with career services, academic advising, and other success-geared resources. Distance learners can receive one-on-one guidance from virtual library services and academic tutoring resources.

The institution reports the average financial aid award as $5,990. Of its enrollees, 82% receive financial aid and 25% receive student loans.

Finger Lakes Community College at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, 2-year

Location: Canandaigua, New York

Admission Rate: Data not available

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 20-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $4,722

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $7,083

Transfer Credit Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,722
Out-of-state
$7,083
Retention Rate
53%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
5,649
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
26% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#16 The Best Online Associate in Legal Studies Programs

Herkimer County Community College

  • Herkimer, NY
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Distance learners seeking flexible study in criminal justice should consider Herkimer County Community College's online associate in criminal justice. Degree candidates complete courses relevant to the field, preparing them for their future careers. Upon graduating, students can apply their course credits toward a bachelor's degree.

Learners can access numerous college resources such as career services and academic advising. The institution also provides online enrollees with virtual library services and academic tutoring resources, including writing tutoring.

Degree candidates benefit from significant financial support, receiving an average of $6,877 in financial aid awards. Around 83% of incoming students receive financial aid and around 37% receive student loans.

Herkimer County Community College at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, 2-year

Location: Herkimer, New York

Admission Rate: Data not available

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 18-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $4,870

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $7,500

Transfer Credit Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,870
Out-of-state
$7,500
Retention Rate
62%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
2,396
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
36% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#17 The Best Online Associate in Legal Studies Programs

University of Maine at Fort Kent

  • Fort Kent, ME
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Students looking for a flexible online degree should consider University of Maine at Fort Kent. The associate in criminal justice is one online program that prepares students for the field through comprehensive coursework. Associate degree-holders can pursue further study, such as a bachelor's degree, and apply their college credits toward a four-year institution.

The college connects students with career services, academic advising, and other success-geared resources. The institution also provides online enrollees with virtual library services and academic tutoring resources, including writing tutoring.

Online degree-seekers can expect to receive an average of $6,573 in financial aid. The college notes that 94% of all students receive financial aid , with 31% receiving loans.

University of Maine at Fort Kent at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, 4-year or above

Location: Fort Kent, Maine

Admission Rate: 99%

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 15-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $7,170

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $11,460

Transfer Credit Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$7,170
Out-of-state
$11,460
Retention Rate
65%
Admission Rate
99%
Students Enrolled
1,589
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
56% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes New England Commission on Higher Education

#18 The Best Online Associate in Legal Studies Programs

Ocean County College

  • Toms River, NJ
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Ocean County College hosts nine online associate programs, including an associate in criminal justice. The program builds foundational knowledge in the field, preparing graduates for entry-level careers in the criminal justice. Associate degree-holders can apply their credits toward a bachelor's degree or other educational endeavors.

Enrollees can access college resources geared toward student success. Distance learners benefit from virtual library services, academic tutoring, and other resources.

Typically, students receive $5,503 in financial aid. The college notes that 59% of all students receive financial aid, with 16% receiving loans.

Ocean County College at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, 2-year

Location: Toms River, New Jersey

Admission Rate: Data not available

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 22-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $4,170

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $6,750

Transfer Credit Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,170
Out-of-state
$6,750
Retention Rate
73%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
8,171
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
36% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#19 The Best Online Associate in Legal Studies Programs

Shoreline Community College

  • Shoreline, WA
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

From its main campus in Shoreline, Washington, Shoreline Community College boasts a highly ranked online associate in criminal justice, one of nine online associate degrees. The program prepares students for the field through comprehensive coursework. Enrollees can apply their earned credits toward a bachelor's degree, certificates, and educational credentials.

Degree candidates can access college resources geared toward student success. The college supports its online learning community through online-specific resources, such as virtual library services and academic tutoring.

Typically, students receive $5,555 in financial aid. The college reports that 58% of degree-seekers receive financial aid, with 8% using student loans.

Shoreline Community College at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, 2-year

Location: Shoreline, Washington

Admission Rate: Data not available

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 13-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $3,588

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $6,351

Transfer Credit Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$3,588
Out-of-state
$6,351
Retention Rate
59%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
5,884
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
42% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

#20 The Best Online Associate in Legal Studies Programs

St. Petersburg College

  • Clearwater, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Looking for a flexible associate degree? Consider St. Petersburg College's online associate in criminal justice technology. Enrollees prepare for the demands of the field through instructive study and industry-relevant coursework. Graduates can apply their course credits toward further study, such as a bachelor's degree.

The college connects students with resources such as academic advising and career resources. Distance learners can connect with virtual library services, academic tutoring, and other resources.

On average, students receive $8,559 in financial aid. The institution reports that 73% of all enrollees receive financial aid, and 25% use student loans.

St. Petersburg College at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, 4-year or above

Location: Clearwater, Florida

Admission Rate: Data not available

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 22-to-1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $1,943

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $7,774

Transfer Credit Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$1,943
Out-of-state
$7,774
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
28,853
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
59% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Educational Paths

If you’re interested in earning an associate legal studies degree, online schools offer multiple options that can prepare you for the workforce. Also, attending an accredited school ensures you’ll be able to continue your education with a bachelor’s and master’s degree. Additional training may allow you to move into new career fields, such as mediation.

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Careers with an Associate in Legal Studies

The research, communication, and legal specialty courses in an online legal studies degree not only prepare you for a career as a paralegal or legal assistant but a few other professions in the legal field as well. Many graduates may find their skills and interests lead them to work in law enforcement, either as a police officer or in a managerial role, or to continue their studies with an academic law degree.

  1. Paralegal:
    Law firms are the largest employers of paralegals and legal assistants. Paralegals may also work in corporate law offices preparing legal documents for financial disclosures or regulatory compliance. You’ll need top-notch skills in research, including computer-assisted legal research, as well as organizational ability and interpersonal skills to work effectively with clients and supervising attorneys.
    • Median Annual Salary: $50,410
  2. Probation Officer:
    Probation officers assist individuals trying to rehabilitate their lives after being found guilty of a crime. They ensure their clients comply with all court-mandated provisions, such as job training or employment and substance abuse counseling. Educational requirements vary, but many jurisdictions seek applicants with a bachelor’s degree in a field related to criminal justice or social work.
    • Median Annual Salary: $51,410
  3. Administrative Assistant:
    Legal secretaries perform a variety of administrative tasks, such as or data entry or setting appointments. They often work under the direction of a paralegal or attorney and provide quality assurance to legal briefs or assist with legal research. They have an understanding of legal terminology and processes and often prepare routine legal documents.
    • Median Annual Salary: $37,870

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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