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What Is the Course Curriculum of a B.S. in Legal Studies?

A Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Legal Studies gives graduates the skills to pursue careers as paralegals. Topics covered in the course curriculum for a B.S. in Legal Studies include general practice procedure, substantive law, and legal writing and research.

Earning a B.S. in Legal Studies

A bachelor's degree program in legal studies typically includes 120-130 semester units, with 30-60 units of law-related courses. Though a bachelor's degree program is not the most common avenue to become a paralegal (also called a legal assistant), it's a sound option, giving graduates the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed in their careers.

Other options for aspiring paralegals include an associate's degree in legal studies, a paralegal certificate program or on-the-job training. Some paralegals also complete graduate programs in the legal studies to advance in their careers.

Important Facts About This Occupation

Possible Careers Paralegal
Median Salary (2018)$50,940
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 15%
Similar Occupations Government aide, legislative aide, legal secretary

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Curriculum of a B.S. Program in Legal Studies

A bachelor's degree program in legal studies gives students an in-depth understanding of the legal system. Emphasis is placed on developing technical skills and written and oral communication abilities. A key subject is ethics, as it relates to law. Other classes may include:

  • Legal research techniques
  • Introduction to the legal system
  • Contract law and torts
  • Civil litigation
  • Legal writing
  • Criminal justice

Because paralegals work in various areas, most legal studies programs allow students to choose electives that pique their interest. Areas of specialization might include:

  • Probate law
  • Tax law
  • Corporate law
  • Criminal law
  • Civil law
  • Intellectual property law
  • Immigration law
  • Real estate law
  • Bankruptcy law