Corporate Law Degrees: Bachelor's & Online Course Info

About this article
What will you learn in a corporate law bachelor's degree program? Read about degree requirements, the pros and cons of a bachelor's degree and potential careers.
View available schools

Study Corporate Law: Degrees at a Glance

Currently there aren't any bachelor's degree programs with majors specifically in corporate law. However, similar training is available through bachelor's degree programs in legal studies, paralegal studies or even business administration with a concentration in business law. Earning a degree in one of these fields will not qualify you for a career as a lawyer, but it can make you eligible for entry into law school.

After completing law school and being admitted to the bar, you could go on to work as a corporate lawyer for a company or law firm. Additionally, a bachelor's in paralegal or legal studies can qualify you to gain entry-level experience as a paralegal or legal assistant.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected that all legal occupations should see an 11% growth in employment from 2010-2020. For lawyers, growth in the business sector may be constrained as companies increasingly turn to paralegals or accountants to take care of legal issues.

Bachelor's
Who is this degree for? Individuals interested in attending law school and becoming corporate lawyers
Common Career Paths (with approximate mean salary) Paralegal or legal assistant ($50,000)*
Time to Completion Four years, full-time
Common Graduation Requirements - At least 120 credit hours
- Senior project or capstone
- Elective coursework, such as an internship or field experience
Prerequisites High school diploma or equivalent
Online Availability Yes

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2011 figures).

Bachelor's Degree Programs Related to Corporate Law

There are a variety of available bachelor's programs related to corporate law, such as the Bachelor of Arts in Legal Assistant/Paralegal Studies, Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies and Bachelor of Science Business Administration (BSBA) with a business law option. These programs can introduce you to the regulations and legal procedures pertinent to the business world, such as those involved in the process of a merger or the negotiation of employee contracts.

Paralegal and legal studies programs emphasize legal ethics and law office administration and tend to focus on career preparation for paralegals in a broad range of settings, including corporations, government agencies and law firms. You can also find that select legal studies programs offer concentrations in corporate law. Business administration programs in business law are more general in nature, focusing on legal practice as it pertains to various business principles and tactics.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Can qualify you for admission into law school
  • BSBA programs can lead to a variety of careers in business or legal fields
  • Programs often offer hands-on training through internships or field experiences

Cons

  • Becoming a corporate lawyer will require at least three additional years of study
  • Admission to law school is highly competitive
  • Lawyers often work long hours and face high-pressure situations
  • Licensure is required to practice law, which will require passing the bar examination

Courses and Requirements

In a 4-year program related to corporate law, your law-specific studies will cover topics like legal research and writing, civil procedure, torts, constitutional law, real estate law and criminal law. Other coursework may include accounting, logic and office administration, and you may be allowed to take additional business electives.

Programs typically offer elective field experience or internship courses. In your senior year, you can expect to complete a senior project or capstone requirement.

Online Degree Options

Many schools offer paralegal and legal studies programs in distance-learning format. These programs are available both entirely online and as a hybrid option that combines online and in-class coursework. BSBA programs are also available online, though these programs are typically general in nature and do not offer concentrations in the corporate or business law fields. Be sure to select a school that is nationally or regionally accredited in order to qualify for law school.

Stand Out with this Degree

The BLS suggests that aspiring lawyers take on part-time or summer employment in legal settings in order to familiarize themselves with the day-to-day functions of the job and gain exposure to different legal specialties. You could gain such employment as a paralegal or legal assistant during your undergraduate studies, since completion of a formal training program is not mandatory for these positions; some employers will hire paralegals and legal assistants who have no education or experience.

During college, you may also want to expand your computer skills and familiarize yourself with technology common in the corporate law field. Lawyers often use accounting and project-management software, databases, data-retrieval programs and document management software.

Degree Alternatives

Individuals interested in going into corporate law do not need to study a major specific to law at the undergraduate level. Law schools accept applicants from various backgrounds, from art to computer science to philosophy. Some common pre-law majors include history, English, business and political science. Note that the American Bar Association recommends taking courses that sharpen your skills in writing, critical reading, speech, research and problem solving, which are particularly important for this line of work.

Popular Schools

  • Online Programs Available
    1. Kaplan University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor: Tax Accountancy
      • Undergraduate in Legal Studies
      • Bachelor: Auditing-Forensic Accountancy
  • Online Programs Available
    2. Colorado Technical University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • BS - Criminal Justice
  • Online Programs Available
    3. American InterContinental University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor or Science - Criminal Justice: Forensic Science
      • Bachelor or Science - Criminal Justice: Corrections and Case Management
      • Bachelor or Science - Criminal Justice: Generalist
      • Bachelor or Science - Criminal Justice: Law Enforcement
      • Bachelor or Science - Criminal Justice: Homeland Security and Crisis Management
  • Online Programs Available
    4. Excelsior College

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • BS in Criminal Justice (Criminal Justice Administration)
      • BS in Criminal Justice (Without Concentration)
  • Online Programs Available
    5. Keiser University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • B.A. - Legal Studies
      • B.A. - Criminal Justice
  • Stanford, CA

    Stanford University

  • Online Programs Available
    7. Indiana Wesleyan University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • B.S. Criminal Justice
      • B.S. General Studies - Criminal Justice

Featured Schools

Kaplan University

  • Bachelor: Tax Accountancy
  • Undergraduate in Legal Studies
  • Bachelor: Auditing-Forensic Accountancy

Which subject are you interested in?

Colorado Technical University

  • BS - Criminal Justice

Are you a US citizen?

American InterContinental University

  • Bachelor or Science - Criminal Justice: Forensic Science
  • Bachelor or Science - Criminal Justice: Corrections and Case Management
  • Bachelor or Science - Criminal Justice: Generalist

Are you a US citizen?

Excelsior College

  • BS in Criminal Justice (Criminal Justice Administration)
  • BS in Criminal Justice (Without Concentration)

What is your highest level of education completed?

Keiser University

  • B.A. - Legal Studies
  • B.A. - Criminal Justice

What is your highest level of education?

Indiana Wesleyan University

  • B.S. Criminal Justice
  • B.S. General Studies - Criminal Justice

What is your highest level of education?