2015-2016 Undergraduate Catalog 
    Dec 03, 2022  
2015-2016 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Legal Studies, Paralegal Studies Concentration, B.S.

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B.S., Legal Studies

The legal studies major provides students with an understanding of fundamental principles of law and analyzes the role and function of the American legal system within a societal and political context. The interdisciplinary course of study develops critical thinking and writing skills and prepares students for law-related careers, law school or graduate school. Three concentration options allow students to focus on particular career aspirations and interests.

The legal studies international track provides an opportunity for students to study abroad for a semester, expanding their experience and knowledge of global legal and policy issues, while directly furthering requirements for their bachelor’s degree. In partnership with universities in England, Ireland, Scotland, and Australia, legal studies students with a minimum 3.0 GPA may study abroad in either the spring semester of their sophomore year or fall semester of their junior year.

A two-semester internship in the final year of study combines classroom learning with on-the-job experience, enhancing employment opportunities after graduation. Placements are geared to the student’s area of concentration.

Students earning a B.S. degree in legal studies must complete a minimum of 125 credits, including the University Core Curriculum, common courses for legal studies majors, and designated courses for a legal studies concentration.

Following are common courses required for the major in legal studies:

Restricted Electives

Legal Studies majors are also required to take the following courses as restricted electives, some of which may be used to satisfy University Core Curriculum requirements:


Students select an area of concentration for the elective portion of the program. The concentrations consist of five courses that focus on a specific approach to the field of legal studies. Course selection is made with the assistance of the program adviser. Only the paralegal studies concentration is designed to prepare students to become paralegals.

Concentration in Paralegal Studies

This concentration is designed to prepare students for careers as paralegals in private law firms, government agencies, or corporations. A paralegal performs specifically delegated substantive legal work under the supervision of an attorney who is responsible for the paralegal’s work. Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law. Graduates may also pursue careers in law-related areas of the insurance industry, banking and securities, businesses, non-profit agencies, or in federal, state, or local governments. Concentration electives allow students to focus on areas such as investigations, criminal law, general civil law, or law and financial issues. As part of a high-quality liberal arts education, the concentration also enables students to pursue broad career opportunities or graduate school. Development of critical thinking, research, and writing abilities is emphasized, along with practical paralegal skills.

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