Best Accredited Online Law Schools

best_affordable_online_law_schoolsAnyone who wants to practice law must earn a Juris Doctorate (JD), and then take and pass the Bar Exam. This test is difficult, and the effort required to do well is substantial, but the rewards are limitless and long-term. The American Bar Association ensures a baseline quality standard of legal education within the United States by accrediting all law schools in the country. For those pursuing a law degree or certification, there are a wide variety of ABA-accredited law schools available to attend. For those with busy schedules and commitments outside of their education, earning a convenient online form of your Juris Doctorate is the best route to take.

Earning this virtual degree is an excellent choice for students who aspire to practice law. Unfortunately, however, California is the only state that allows online law school graduates to take the Bar exam. Once they pass, they are licensed to practice law anywhere within California. If you do not plan to practice law in California, you will need to attend a brick-and-mortar law school on-location, as has historically been required.

The undergraduate work required to complete the Juris Doctorate can still be done wholly online, however, and there are plenty of options available.

Online law degrees are available from several sources. Some are less expensive than others, and EdSmart’s evaluation will guide you in finding the least expensive options. However, it is still up to you to make the right lifestyle choices during college to keep yourself out of debt. Low-cost college experiences are the result of careful planning, good grades, deciding what “luxuries” you will go without, learning which grants are available in your state, and consistently applying for scholarships for which you may qualify.

Ranking Methodology

The Best Affordable Online Law Schools ranking is based on four main data points in four categories:

  • Affordability (net price)
  • Student Satisfaction (retention rate)
  • Academic Quality (4-year graduation rate)
  • Highest Salary After Attending (the median annual earnings of former students one year after graduation. Only data from students who received federal financial aid is included in the calculation.)

Each data point is ranked with equal weight. Schools received a weighted overall ranking score for each individual point mentioned above–100 being the highest score possible.

In the case of a tie in scoring, the average net price was the determining factor for which school received the higher rank–the lower the net price, the higher the ranking.

All data was gathered from the National Center for Education Statistics, College ScorecardPayscale, and individual school websites.

Best Accredited Online Law Schools

1. Washington University in St. Louis

Score: 100

Average Net Price: $28,540
Retention Rate: 96%
Graduation Rate: 93%
ROI: $617,000

Washington University in St. Louis’s Law School has been helping students achieve world-class careers since its founding in 1867. The institution is recognized nationally for its high-quality legal reasoning and practice preparation programs. WashU’s J.D. degree places emphasis in twelve different areas, such as constitutional law & civil rights, criminal justice, or labor & employment law. For additional, topic-specific education, J.D. students can earn specialized certifications or take elective courses. The system also supports online master’s degrees in legal studies, laws in taxation, and U.S. law, even offering a dual-master of laws in U.S. and transnational legal practice. Classes function in an interactive, live-feed format that enables students to collaborate weekly with professors and fellow students.

WUSTL currently enrolls over 15,000 students, most of whom are working on completing their degrees from 100 different countries throughout the world. Out-of-state students make up 90% of the student population, and 80% pursue multiple majors and minors. Basic undergraduate tuition sits at around $54,000 per year. Niche.com awards Washington University in St. Louis an overall grade rating of ‘A+’ and, according to the U.S. News and World Report, the school sits at #19 among the best colleges in the country.

2. Emory University

Score: 98.5

Average Net Price: $26,760
Retention Rate: 94%
Graduation Rate: 91%
ROI: $605,000

Emory University takes part in an upstanding tradition of pursuing prominent research and maintaining educational excellence. It is one of the most well-known private higher education institutions in the country. Currently, the school enrolls only 864 students in total, and tuition costs average around $47,954 annually. Emory provides a limited array of online programs for students pursuing certificates, masters’, or doctoral degrees, but these virtual programs are some of the most prestigious in the nation. Specifically, the Juris Master (JM) program offers an 18-month track for health care law, policy and regulation, and business law and regulation. Courses are taught by a faculty of researchers and world-renowned law practitioners, meaning that students can collaborate with field professionals and market themselves enough to land highly sought-after positions in the law field post-graduation.

According to the U.S. News and World Report, Emory sits at #21 among national universities. Its School of Law ranks at #26 among the best law schools in the country. Money magazine ranks the institution at #3 on a list of best universities for transfer students. Ultimately, Emory is a highly distinguished establishment of post-secondary education where students come to thrive and build their futures.

3. University of Southern California

Score: 98.5

Average Net Price: $30,232
Retention Rate: 96%
Graduation Rate: 92%
ROI: $608,000

The University of Southern California is a private institution based in Los Angeles that has operated as a leading post-secondary educational institution since its 1880 founding. Today, it is home to over 48,500 students and 27,652 faculty and staff. One-quarter of the students are international, which makes the globally-operated Gould School of Law a naturally popular program. Through this format, students can pursue a master’s of law degree (LLM) while finding global networking opportunities with over 10,000 USC law school alumni from across the world. At USC, students who want to get a head start on their path to success within the legal field have every opportunity at their feet.

The Gould School of Law is accredited by the American Bar Institution, and U.S. News and World Report ranks it at #17 among the best law schools in the country. Tuition for the online program sits at just over $53,800 per semester. As an institution, USC earns accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, sitting at #22 among national universities on U.S. News’ list of best colleges in the U.S. It also holds its place at #5 among best colleges for veterans and #56 for best undergraduate teaching. According to Niche.com, the university earned an overall grade rating of ‘A+’. Ultimately, the University of Southern California is one of the best prospects for aspiring learners who want to establish strong foundations and create their own success.

4. Wake Forest University

Score: 97.3

Average Net Price: $33,382
Retention Rate: 95%
Graduation Rate: 88%
ROI: $638,000

Wake Forest University is one of the top-tier post-secondary educational institutions in the U.S. With tuition averaging around $46,409 per year, the university’s accompanying School of Law enrolls only 496 students in total. These individuals have the freedom to combine their undergraduate and J.D. studies into an individualized dual degree program. The online certificates and degree programs use Canvas as both a learning and a teaching medium. Wake Forest awards online MSL master’s degrees in business law & compliance, health law & policy, and human resources. These programs enable aspiring law students to gain firsthand experience in their chosen fields and specializations, giving them a leg up in the competition for post-graduation careers.

The U.S. News and World Report ranks the Wake Forest School of Law at #31 among best law schools in the U.S. Overall, the university ranks among the top 30 schools in the nation, currently sitting at #27 among national universities, #23 in best undergraduate teaching, and #25 among best value schools. Niche.com awards the university an overall grade rating of ‘A+’ for its students’ outstanding academic achievements and top-of-the-line degree programs.

5. Villanova University

Score: 96.5

Average Net Price: $41,849
Retention Rate: 95%
Graduation Rate: 90%
ROI: $699,000

Founded in 1842 as the only Augustinian Catholic university in the country, Philadelphia’s Villanova University is comprised of six schools of study that offer over 100 different bachelor’s and master’s degrees. The school also awards doctoral degrees and has one of the highest-rated law schools in the country. The Charles Widger School of Law maintains a total enrollment of just 565 students, with a tuition averaging around $46,535 annually. Through its convenient online format, students can pursue a master’s in taxation degree or even earn their certification in employee benefits, estate planning, and state and local taxation. These widely-renowned virtual opportunities set Villanova apart from other online schools, and provide distance learners with all of the same opportunities they would have had access to on campus.

The U.S. News and World Report ranks the Charles Widger School of Law at #71 among best law schools in the country. Niche.com awards Villanova with an overall grade rating of ‘A+’ for its high-quality programs. On U.S. News and World Report’s list of best college rankings, the school sits at #46 among national universities, #49 among best undergraduate teaching, and #54 in best value schools. Overall, Villanova University aims to enrich the lives of its students by making every opportunity accessible to them and equipping them with the skills necessary to become successful in their legal careers.

6. Florida State University

Score: 95.5

Average Net Price: $14,582
Retention Rate: 93%
Graduation Rate: 81%
ROI: $336,000

Florida State University is one of the most sought-after schools in the nation, ranked at #3 among best-value public colleges for out-of-state students by Kiplinger. The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Council on Social Work Education. According to U.S. News and World Report, it is the #1 school in the state of Florida. Among national universities, it sits at #57, placing #30 among best colleges for veterans, and standing at #114 among best value schools.

The College of Law at Florida State supports just 547 students in total, boasting some of the lowest law school tuition rates in the country. The U.S. News and World Report ranks it at #48 among best law schools in the nation. Its online Juris Master program enables off-site students to pursue masters’ degrees in law, with concentrations in fields like financial regulation and compliance, legal risk management and HR compliance, and even health care regulation. This program requires students to fulfill 30 credit hours of part-time schooling, during which they acquire valuable skills that will aid them throughout their future careers. Florida State University aims to promote the advancement of lifelong learning, instilling within its students an invaluable work ethic and a drive for success that they will take with them into every endeavor of their lives.

7. Michigan State University

Score: 95.5

Average Net Price: $18,576
Retention Rate: 91%
Graduation Rate: 80%
ROI: $463,000

Michigan State University has been in operation since 1885 and has been broadening its students’ horizons for over 160 years. Today, the innovative institution offers an online food law degree that learners can take advantage of from anywhere in the world. This track runs through the Desire2Learn system. Students complete modules, readings, discussion boards, and have full access to instructors’ lectures through this virtual arrangement, all from the comfort of their own homes. Law students can earn their master of laws (LLM) or their master of jurisprudence (MJ) through the online food law track, during which they also collaborate with field professionals like patent lawyers, VPs, directors, and analysts. Overall, the online food law program at MSU opens up countless doors to new opportunities for its aspiring legal students.

Michigan State is the #2 postsecondary educational institution in the state. The school prides itself on its outstanding research programs and award-winning faculty and staff. According to the U.S. News and World Report, it ranks #84 among national universities. The Wall Street Journal places the institution at #81 on a list of more than 800 national colleges and universities. Overall, the university is a well-established and widely-renowned institution of higher learning that prioritizes its students and equips them with the skills necessary to be successful in their future careers and throughout their lives.

8. Boston University

Score: 94.0

Average Net Price: $37,065
Retention Rate: 93%
Graduation Rate: 85%
ROI: $559,000

Founded in 1839 in the very heart of Beantown itself, Boston University is a private, non-profit institution that hosts nearly 35,000 students participating in over 300 various programs of study. BU is well known for its celebrity alumni, which include Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Geena Davis, Howard Stern, and Tipper Gore. Besides its many claims to fame, however, the school is widely-renowned for its excellent academic programs and award-winning faculty and staff. Niche.com awards the school an overall grade rating of ‘A+’, and the U.S. News and World Report ranks it at #40 among national universities.

According to U.S. News and World Report, Boston’s law program sits at #23 among the best law schools in the country. With its LLM Graduate Tax Program (GTP), BU provides the means through which students can earn their master’s in taxation degrees on campus, online, or through a convenient combination of both. Earning the LLM credential is very impressive to future employers, and BU alumni often find jobs at law firms within the first year after graduating. Overall, Boston’s is among the top seven LLM programs in U.S. law from colleges all over the country. The institution is one of deep-seated national esteem and academic rigor, pushing toward the future while upholding its long-standing creed: Learning, Virtue, Piety.

9. George Washington University

Score: 93.8

Average Net Price: $31,956
Retention Rate: 91%
Graduation Rate: 82%
ROI: $576,000

George Washington University is a private institution located at the heart of the nation’s capital. It operates one of the best law schools in the country, currently enrolling over 1,600 students in its legal program–for whom tuition sits at around $60,790 annually. The U.S. News and World Report places the university’s law institution at #22 among the best law schools in the country, and Niche.com awards the institution with an overall grade rating of ‘A’ for its esteemable programs and widely-renowned scholastic pursuits.

George Washington’s online law school offers a healthcare corporate compliance graduate certificate and a paralegal studies graduate certificate to online students. It also awards master’s degrees in both professional studies in law firm management and paralegal studies, both of which can be completed in as little as eighteen months. Because GWU is committed to opening up doors for all of its attendees, online law students have every opportunity to pursue successful careers in their chosen fields, all from the convenience of their own homes.

10. New York University

Score: 93.8

Average Net Price: $40,336
Retention Rate: 93%
Graduation Rate: 84%
ROI: $589,000

With campuses located in both Abu Dhabi and Shanghai, New York University is an extensive globalized institution. Tuition and fees cost $66,422 per year. NYU’s school of law is one of wide renown, and its online format offers students the chance to earn an executive LLM in tax or even an MSL in taxation. The online master’s degree program, specifically, equips future accountants and other types of financial professionals with invaluable skills required in those fields. Ultimately, the school strives to promote academic excellence and cultivate a strong work ethic within its students, equipping them with skills necessary to become successful in the legal field.

In terms of legal specialties, NYU places #1 for its international law courses, #3 among intellectual property law courses in the U.S., and #5 for its clinical training programs. According to Niche.com, the school earned an overall grade rating of ‘A+’, and, according to the U.S. News and World Report, it sits at #6 among the best law schools in the country, as well as #29 among national universities.

11. Arizona State University-Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law

Score: 93.5

Average Net Price: $11,163
Retention Rate: 86%
Graduation Rate: 66%
ROI: $451,000

Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law enrolls a total of just 779 full-time students. The law school involves a 30-credit hour, year-long, online MLS program, which is especially convenient for students with commitments outside of school. Students can focus their legal studies in one of eight different concentrations: conflict resolution, construction law, corporate and health care compliance, criminal law, H.R. and employment law, intellectual property law, law, and sustainability, or sports law and business. These programs provide students with the skills necessary to find success in the legal field.

For its online programs, ASU sits at #2 in best online bachelor’s programs and #6 among best online MBA programs in the country. According to the U.S. News and World Report, it sits at #27 among best law schools, and Times Higher Education places it in the top one percent of the world’s most prestigious universities, as well as among the top 100 universities in the world for research and teaching. The Institute of International Education also considers Arizona State the number one university choice for international students.

12. University of Tulsa

Score: 93.0

Average Net Price: $23,948
Retention Rate: 89%
Graduation Rate: 70%
ROI: $468,000

Since 1929, the Higher Learning Commission has accredited the University of Tulsa, alongside the American Bar Association, which also certifies the institution’s College of Law. The law school currently enrolls just 255 students, whose tuition sits at around $25,254 annually. The college has a program available for students to complete their J.D. within six years, and they can also complete the online master of jurisprudence in approximately 18-24 months or even specialize in Indian law.

According to Niche.com, the University of Tulsa earns an overall grade rating of ‘A’, with the U.S. News and World Report ranking it at #121 among national universities and #57 in best value schools. UT’s College of Law sits at #87 in best law schools. Ultimately, the University of Tulsa aims to equip its students with the tools necessary to become successful in the field of law.

13. University of Arizona

Score: 90.5

Average Net Price: $14,821
Retention Rate: 82%
Graduation Rate: 62%
Salary After Attending: $455,000

The University of Arizona’s James E. Rogers College of Law holds several accreditations from the American Bar Association and the Association of American Law Schools. The U.S. News and World Report ranks it at #39 among the best law schools in the country and #117 among national universities. Overall, the institution received a grade rating of ‘A’ from Niche.com for its renowned programs and dedicated, professional faculty and staff.

The law school’s online courses are equally comprehensive and challenging. Off-site students have the option of earning a bachelor’s of arts in law, a master’s of legal studies, or graduate certificates in health law online. UA students have the option of earning their bachelor of arts in law, which is the only undergraduate law degree available at any university in the nation. Students pursuing the MLS online have the option of building their own curriculum, and health law students work internationally with industry leaders and collaborative faculty to receive graduate certificates in their field. All of these programs enable students to establish a strong foundation in law before continuing into the workforce and finding success in their specialized fields.

14. Pepperdine University

Score: 90.5

Average Net Price: $33,814
Retention Rate: 90%
Graduation Rate: 83%
ROI: $449,000

Pepperdine University is a private, Christian institution that operates campuses throughout California and several other locations. The School of Law at Pepperdine enrolls 473 full-time students, and tuition sits at around $55,892 per year. Students who take part in Pepperdine’s online master’s of legal studies program collaborate with award-winning faculty and have the chance to participate in a wide variety of network-building residencies. Despite the online format, online students are exposed to comprehensive coursework that fully equips them with legal expertise in as few as 16 months. The virtual courses make earning a legal degree more convenient than ever, making it possible for students with busy schedules and extraneous responsibilities to find success in any field they choose.

According to the U.S. News and World Report, the university sits at #50 among national universities, and the School of Law at Pepperdine ranks #51 out of all law schools in the country. Overall, the institution earns a grade rating of ‘A’ for its high-quality academics and top-of-the-line faculty, according to Niche.com. Ultimately, the school is one of wide renown, upholding its motto–“Freely ye received, freely give”–as it equips students with the skills necessary to enter the world prepared to change it.

15. University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Score: 90.3

Average Net Price: $17,784
Retention Rate: 83%
Graduation Rate: 66%
ROI: $395,000

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is a public land-grant institution that holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The university strongly emphasizes its research institutions and has been recognized in the category R1: Doctoral Universities – Highest Research Activity by the Carnegie Institute. The U.S. News and World Report ranks the university at #139 among national universities and #115 in best value schools. According to Niche.com, the school earned an overall grade rating of ‘A-‘ for its academic programs and world-class faculty.

The Nebraska College of Law supports only 379 full-time students. According to the U.S. News and World Report, it sits at #77 among the best law schools in the country. The online format is designed for part-time L.L.M. students, enabling them to complete the degree requirements within just six semesters. The timing aspect makes it easy for distance learners with J.D. degrees from A.B.A.-accredited law schools to further their educations and establish themselves in the law community while maintaining responsibilities outside of school. Despite the program’s highly competitive nature and the rigorous coursework involved, it enables students from all walks of life to receive individualized training and career-building opportunities. U.N.L. ultimately aims to equip its students with the skills necessary to succeed in the field of law and become responsible, contributing world citizens.

16. The University of Alabama

Score: 90.0

Average Net Price: $21,973
Retention Rate: 87%
Graduation Rate: 67%
ROI: $366,000

The University of Alabama has been the leading higher learning institution in its state since its 1820 founding. The university holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, and the American Bar Association accredits the university’s Hugh F. Culverhouse Jr. School of Law. Overall, Niche.com grants U.A. an overall grade rating of ‘A’ for its academic performance and dedicated faculty and staff. The U.S. News and World Report ranks the school at #153 among national universities and #129 among the best value schools in the nation. The Hugh F. Culverhouse Jr. School of Law sits at #25 among the country’s best law schools.

For distance students, U.A. offers two different degree options. The available L.L.M. concentrations include degrees in taxation and business transactions, both of which provide valuable networking opportunities for students. Business transaction degrees qualify students to pursue fields in ventures, transactions, and laws regarding dissolutions and recession. U.A.’s taxation degrees provide foundational skills for career advancement in the tax law field. Ultimately, the University of Alabama is dedicated to providing a comprehensive education to students from all walks of life, equipping them with skills vital to success in future law careers and legal/business spheres.

17. Drexel University

Score: 90.0

Average Net Price: $37,427
Retention Rate: 89%
Graduation Rate: 64%
ROI: $613,000

Drexel University is known for having one of the best co-op programs in the country, and they were one of the first major universities to launch online degree programs. The Thomas R. Kline School of Law supports a full-time enrollment of 431 students, for whom tuition sits at around $44,195 annually. The U.S. News and World Report ranks Drexel’s law program at #100 among the best law schools in the country, in addition to placing them at #97 among national universities. Niche.com gives the institution an overall grade rating of ‘A-‘ for its academic programs and distinguished faculty and staff.

The university’s comprehensive online law school runs three different master’s programs and eight certificate programs. Students can earn anything from a master’s of legal studies to a graduate certificate in criminal law. Overall, Drexel operates one of the most affordable and advanced online law schools in the nation. It aims to create opportunities for all of its students, providing them with the skills necessary to enter a competitive field and find successful careers.

18. Rowan University

Score: 89.5

Average Net Price: $23,692
Retention Rate: 85%
Graduation Rate: 72%
ROI: $334,000

Rowan University is a public, postsecondary educational institution located in Glassboro, New Jersey, operating as one of the top research institutions in the state. Niche.com gives it an overall grade rating of ‘B’ for its comprehensive academic programs and groundbreaking research endeavors. The U.S. News and World Report places it at #166 among national universities, as well as at #120 among the best value schools in the nation.

Rowan offers several online and hybrid programs. For students pursuing degrees in law, Rowan’s online bachelor of arts in law and justice includes a comprehensive curriculum that focuses students’ learning on the criminal justice system and its operation. It equips students with an understanding of law enforcement, court services, corrections, and human services. Ultimately, the virtual courses set students on a path to obtain graduate degrees and professional studies in this particular field in as little as 120 total credit hours. Rowan University is committed to affording its students an accessible and convenient path to success, equipping them with skills necessary to develop a strong sense of professionalism and dedication in the field of law.

19. University of Arkansas

Score: 89.3

Average Net Price: $16,069
Retention Rate: 82%
Graduation Rate: 63%
ROI: $400,000

The University of Arkansas is the leading institution in the state’s university system. Initially established in 1871 as a land-grant institution, the university now receives full accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. According to the U.S. News and World Report, it sits at #153 among national universities and places #167 among the best value schools in the country. Niche.com awards the school with an overall grade rating of ‘A-‘ for its top-of-the-line academic programs and student success rate.

The University Of Arkansas School Of Law has a long list of well-known alumni, including both Bill and Hillary Clinton. According to the National Jurist magazine, the university has had the best value since 2011. The U.S. News and World Report sets it at #91 for best law schools in the country. For in-state students, law school tuition costs average around $16,188 per year, while out-of-state students pay $36,250. The online master’s of laws in agricultural and food law is a comprehensive program that caters to a high-demand field. The curriculum is designed to enable U.A. law students to establish skill sets that will help them find success in their future careers.

20. Seton Hall University

Score: 89.0

Average Net Price: $27,563
Retention Rate: 85%
Graduation Rate: 66%
ROI: $445,000

Seton Hall University is one of the oldest Catholic universities in the nation, established in 1856 by Bishop James Roosevelt Bayley. This private institution’s School of Law offers part-time tuition rates of $40,778 and full-time rates of $54,090 per year. The U.S. News and World Report ranks the School of Law at #59 among the best law schools in the country, and it sits at #139 among national universities in general. According to Niche.com, Seton Hall earns an overall grade rating of ‘A-‘ for its outstanding academic programs and top-of-the-line faculty.

The university operates online courses for students pursuing their master’s degree in law. Seton Hall’s health law education offers the full scope of performance and preparation, and students will find that the online format enables them to collaborate directly with faculty members while maintaining the rigorous daily schedules of their everyday lives. Seton Hall’s primary goal is to incorporate real-world principles into its curriculum, giving its students the ability to create their own success in the workforce.

21. Bellevue University

Score: 87.3

Average Net Price: $11,938
Retention Rate: 61%
Graduation Rate: 43%
ROI: $415,000

Bellevue University was established as a private non-profit university in 1966. Today, the institution holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, and Washington Monthly magazine named it among the Top 10 Colleges for Adult Learners. The university also made it onto College Factual’s list of Top 10 Best Colleges for Returning Adults and Non-Traditional Students. BestColleges even included the university in their top 10% of Online Schools of Distinction, and according to Niche.com, the entire institution earns an overall grade rating of ‘B+’ for its outstanding academic achievements. The U.S. News and World Report ranks Bellevue’s online programs at #230 among the best online bachelor’s programs in the nation.

Bellevue’s online bachelor of science in legal studies incorporates emphases in law, policy, and ethics, as well as legal and judicial systems, political science, and criminal justice. Coursework prepares students to evaluate legal writings and grasp complex ethical concepts, granting them the skills they need to apply both moral and judicial reasoning to real-world scenarios. The online format allows distance learners to pursue their individual education goals from the comfort of their own homes and ultimately leads them to successful careers in the legal field.

22. Samford University

Score: 87.3

Average Net Price: $29,032
Retention Rate: 88%
Graduation Rate: 69%
ROI: $237,000

As a Christian-based, private teaching and research university, Samford holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The university consists of ten different schools of study, including the Cumberland School of Law, which has a full-time student enrollment of just 425 students, for whom tuition rates settle at around $40,150 a year. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford at #3 in the nation for its student engagement, and overall, Niche.com awards the school a comprehensive grade rating of ‘A-‘ for its academic programs and esteemable faculty. The U.S. News and World Report places Samford at #147 among national universities, placing the Cumberland School of Law at #146 among the best law schools in the country.

Through its high-quality J.D. curriculum, the Cumberland School of Law enables students to take up to 15 required credit hours online. This is highly convenient for adult students and those with responsibilities outside of school. Online course options include admiralty, business drafting, internet privacy law, sales, and more. During the summer term, virtual students have two course options: a class in advanced contracts (issues in e-commerce) or a course on the endangered species act, specifically. Overall, Samford’s Cumberland School of Law is a well-established institution that aims to set students on the path to a successful law career.

23. Pennsylvania State University – World Campus

Score: 87.0

Average Net Price: $19,221
Retention Rate: 57%
Graduation Rate: 39%
ROI: $483,000

Pennsylvania State University’s online World Campus is the second-largest in the world. The World Campus offers more than 150 degree and certificate programs to over 20,000 online students in total. The online system runs a wide variety of legal courses exclusive solely to Penn State online. Virtual students that take less than 12 credits per semester pay tuition per credit, while students that take more credits pay a flat tuition rate. The online undergraduate degree options include bachelor’s of science degrees in criminal justice or political science, as well as bachelor’s of arts degrees in international policy, law and society, or even energy and sustainability policy. Online students have the opportunity to earn a master’s of professional studies in community and economic development, as well as in criminal justice and policy administration. Virtual learners also have access to the master of public administration program.

Overall, Pennsylvania State University-World Campus earns an overall grade rating of ‘B-‘ from Niche.com for its academic programs and world-class faculty and staff. The U.S. News and World Report ranks its virtual learning system at #5 for the best online bachelor’s programs in any school in the country. Ultimately, Pennsylvania State University aims to create an expansive learning environment for its students, equipping them with the skills necessary to find success in the field of law, and in life in general.

24. Keiser University

Score: 86.3

Average Net Price: $29,344
Retention Rate: 91%
Graduation Rate: 61%
ROI: $226,000

Arthur and Evelyn Keiser founded this university, which bears their name, in 1977. Since then, Keiser has become the third-largest, nonprofit, private institution of postsecondary education in the state of Florida. Its online legal system offers bachelors’ degrees in both criminal justice and legal studies. Online graduate students can complete their masters’ of arts in criminal justice or homeland security in an online, on-site, or hybrid format, depending on what is most convenient for them.

The university holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. In the U.S. News and World Report’s college rankings survey, it sits at #272 among national universities and #34 among top performers in social mobility. Overall, the institution ranks #52 among best online graduate criminal justice programs in the country. Keiser’s mission statement promotes the academic achievement of all students, providing them with relevant educations that will open up their future opportunities for success.

25. Hofstra University

Score: 85.8

Average Net Price: $32,240
Retention Rate: 81%
Graduation Rate: 61%
ROI: $476,000

Hofstra University is a private, nonsectarian university that was founded in Hempstead, New York, in 1935. The institution’s partnering law school–the Maurice A. Deane School of Law–hosts just over 700 students in total, and tuition rates vary according to attendance. The U.S. News and World Report ranks it at #100 among the best law schools. In addition to its hybrid courses, the distance learning program also offers a variety of fully comprehensive online options. For example, Hofstra’s online master’s in health law and policy requires no campus residency or LSAT/GMAT/GRE pre-examinations. Virtual students even have the opportunity to earn a master’s in health law and policy entirely online. This is just one of the many convenient and affordable options Hofstra affords its students.

According to Niche.com, the university earned an overall grade rating of ‘B+’ for its academic achievements and professional faculty and staff. The U.S. News and World Report placed it at #162 among national universities and #97 among best value schools. Hofstra’s online legal studies program offers a convenient and high-quality path to students pursuing future success in legal fields and careers.

26. Regent University Online

Score: 85.5

Average Net Price: $17,842
Retention Rate: 78%
Graduation Rate: 45%
ROI: $324,000

Regent University holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, as well as the Council for Higher Education, and the American Bar Association accredits the Regent University School of Law. Regent’s online learning system offers both undergraduate and graduate programs in government, criminal justice, and legal studies, with specializations in law, financial planning, paralegal studies, and law & national security. Its criminal justice bachelors’ degrees incorporate specialties in corrections, homeland security, and law enforcement. Online students can also pursue graduate programs in government, national security studies, or public administration. These programs equip students with the skills necessary to build successful careers in the legal field.

The U.S. News and World Report ranks the school’s online programs at #42 among the best online bachelor’s programs in the country. Out of 147 schools, Regent placed at #18 among the best online colleges in America, according to Niche.com. The university also takes the #1 spot among online programs in the state of Virginia.

27. Nova Southeastern University

Score: 83.5

Average Net Price: $26,606
Retention Rate: 77%
Graduation Rate: 46%
ROI: $300,000

Nova Southeastern University’s Shepard Broad College of Law ranks at #146 among best law schools according to the U.S. News and World Report. This institution offers online degrees in sports law, masters in cybersecurity law, and even incorporates education, employment, and health law concentrations. To form their concentration, students must take a specific combination of 14 different electives. Overall, the legal programs at Nova Southeastern are some of the finest in the country, preparing aspiring legal students for real-world application of ethical principles so that they can become the best-licensed professionals in their fields.

According to Niche.com, the university merits an overall grade rating of ‘B+’ for its academic achievements and professionally-managed programs. The U.S. News and World Report ranks NSU at #246 among national universities and #165 for top performers on social mobility. Ultimately, the school aims to promote positive change and a strong sense of community within its ranks, and it does so by providing students with all of the tools they need to create successful lives and careers.

28. Liberty University

Score: 82.8

Average Net Price: $27,573
Retention Rate: 83%
Graduation Rate: 44%
ROI: $152,000

Established by the Baptist minister Jerry Falwell, Liberty University has remained a top-tier institution of postsecondary education, rooted in Christian values and doctrinally-centered teachings since its 1971 founding. Today, the school earns accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission. It offers more than 280 online study programs, including associates’ degrees in paralegal studies and criminal justice, as well as both bachelors’ and masters’ in criminal justice. These programs enrich the lives of law students with Christian principles that help them to evaluate the ethical weight of every real-world legal scenario. Courses run on 8-week tracks, ensuring convenience and accessibility for all participating students. These courses equip students with vital skills that will benefit them as they enter the workforce.

According to Niche.com, Liberty merits an overall grade rating of ‘A-‘ for its well-established programs and upstanding faculty members. The U.S. News and World Report ranks it at #293 among national universities and #335 for top performers on social mobility. The law programs also place the institution at #146 among the best law schools in the country.

29. Hodges University

Score: 81.8

Average Net Price: $19,746
Retention Rate: 36%
Graduation Rate: 38%
ROI: $153,000

NapHodges University was founded as a private institution in 1990. Today, the university holds accreditations from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, the International Accreditation Council for Business Education, and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Its fully comprehensive online programs offer associate’s degrees in paralegal studies, as well as both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in legal studies. There are currently 12 associates, 13 bachelors, six masters, and 17 certificate programs available online. All of these programs equip students with valuable skills that they will take with them into the legal workforce.

According to Niche.com, Hodges earns an overall grade rating of ‘B-‘ for its programs and staff. Out of 1,692 schools, the institution sits at #385 among most conservative colleges in America. Ultimately, the school’s mission is to provide high-quality education for students from all walks of life, and its online system effectively accomplishes that. Students who receive a Hodges education know how to put themselves on the right track for future success.

Full List of Most Affordable Online Law Schools

School NamesAverage Net PriceRetention RateGraduation Rate (4-year)ROI
Arizona State University$11,16386%66%$451,000
Bellevue University$11,93861%43%$415,000
Florida State University$14,58293%81%$336,000
University of Arizona$14,82182%62%$455,000
University of Arkansas$16,06982%63%$400,000
University of Nebraska-Lincoln$17,78483%66%$395,000
REGENT UNIVERSITY ONLINE$17,84278%45%$324,000
Michigan State University$18,57691%80%$463,000
PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY-WORLD CAMPUS$19,22157%39%$483,000
HODGES UNIVERSITY$19,74636%38%$153,000
The University of Alabama$21,97387%67%$366,000
Rowan University$23,69285%72%$334,000
University of Tulsa$23,94889%70%$468,000
Nova Southeastern University$26,60677%46%$300,000
Emory University$26,76094%91%$605,000
Seton Hall University$27,56385%66%$445,000
Liberty University$27,57383%44%$152,000
Washington University in St. Louis$28,54096%93%$617,000
Samford University$29,03288%69%$237,000
keiser University$29,34491%61%$226,000
University of Southern California$30,23296%92%$608,000
George Washington University$31,95691%82%$576,000
Hofstra University$32,24081%61%$476,000
Wake Forest University$33,38295%88%$638,000
Pepperdine University$33,81490%83%$449,000
Boston University$37,06593%85%$559,000
Drexel University$37,42789%64%$613,000
New York University$40,33693%84%$589,000
Villanova University$41,84995%90%$699,000

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