Legal Studies Degrees, Courses and Certificates
A degree in legal studies can prepare you for a career assisting lawyers on cases and advocating on the behalf of others. Read on to find out more about legal studies programs and what you'll learn.
What You Need to Know
An associate's degree in legal studies can lead to many supportive careers in the legal field. A bachelor's degree may be the first step towards law school, and an associate's degree can provide access to entry-level positions in the industry. If you already have a degree, a continuing education certificate can round out your education or help you transition to a legal career.
|Degrees||Associate's and bachelor's|
|Certificate||Continuing education certificate|
|Courses||American law, civil liberties, U.S. Constitutional law, ethical and legal principles, torts, persuasive writing and logic|
|Career Outlook||Paralegal, legal assistant, victim advocate, court clerk, administrative assistant|
Can I Earn a Continuing Education Certificate?
A continuing education certificate is for students who already have an associate's or a bachelor's degree and are seeking to either complement their education with a certificate in legal studies or make a career change. The American Bar Association has approved hundreds of legal studies programs, including certificate programs as well as associate's and bachelor's degree programs. Your certificate program will include courses such as:
- Information technology
- Legal research
- Case analysis
- Writing and interviewing techniques
What Undergraduate Programs Are Available?
Earning an associate's degree in legal studies is a common way that legal support staff enters the field. As part of your study, you will take courses about the role of the paralegal and proper legal procedures, as well as:
- Litigation techniques
- Evidence procedures
- Contract law
- Immigration law
- Employment law
There are some bachelor's degree programs available as well. A bachelor's degree program will allow you to explore more areas of law, and you may have the opportunity to study how the legal process impacts society. Programs cover different aspects of the law, such as laws specific to the U.S. Constitution, real estate law and the role of technology in the legal system. Your coursework may include an internship in a law office or a related legal setting. Some students will use an undergraduate degree in legal studies as a stepping stone towards a law degree.