Legal Studies

The legal studies program at MSU will equip you with the legal knowledge and skills to successfully pursue a career in law as a professional paralegal or assist attorneys in providing legal services to clients.

You will gain hands-on experience and contribute to a variety of community projects, including staffing pro se divorce clinics, wills clinics, prescription drug program enrollment for seniors, and working with elementary, middle and high schools students to conduct mock trials.

Because professional paralegals perform legal work under the direct supervision of licensed attorneys, the program is rigorous in developing the legal knowledge and skills that the profession demands. 

  • Students are prepared upon graduation to immediately enter the legal field to perform substantive legal work under the supervision of a licensed attorney.   
  • Graduates are successfully employed by attorneys, courts, and government and private agencies located throughout and outside of Kentucky.   
  • 100% of Legal Studies students who applied to law school were accepted to one or more law schools (2010-2015). 
  • 100% of our graduates who attend law school agree they were better prepared for law school than most of the other first year law students.
  • All Legal Studies professors are licensed practicing Attorneys who have supervised paralegals in their law practice. 
  • Attorney-Professors are accessible in and outside the classroom. 
  • Students have face-to-face opportunities to work with actual clients. 
  • Small class sizes ensure individual attention and skill development. 
  • Students have access to the latest legal technology. 
  • Students work with law offices, judges, public defenders, county attorneys, and non-profit legal services offices throughout Kentucky in the internship component of the program. 
  • The legal studies program is approved by the American Bar Association (only 25% of training programs in the country are approved by the ABA).

Options

Students may pursue either a major or an area in legal studies. A minor in legal studies is also available.

Program Requirements

You must meet MSU's admission requirements.

For a complete list of program requirements and additional course information, visit the undergraduate catalog website.

Major in Legal Studies, 36 credit hours

PLS 210 - Introduction to Law & Ethics
PLS 321 - Legal Research & Writing I
PLS 421 - Legal Research & Writing II
PLS 325 - Pre-Trial Practice
PLS 425 - Trial Practice
PLS 332 - Property Law
PLS 334 - Torts, Personal Injury Litigation and Insurance Law
PLS 335 - Contracts and Uniform Commercial Code
PLS 340 - Criminal Law and Procedure 
PLS 490 - Paralegal Internship
PLS 499C - Senior Paralegal Practice Seminar

6 Credit Hours of Approved Electives (at least 3 credits must be from PLS pre-fix)
PLS 333 - Family Law
PLS 436 - Wills, Trusts, & Estates
PLS 360 - Special Legal Topics
PLS 476 - Special Problems in Legal Studies
GOVT 321 - Constitutional Law
GOVT 322 - Courts & Civil Liberties
GOVT 324 - Environmental Law & Policy

Area in Legal Studies, 48 credit hours

PLS 210 - Introduction to Law & Ethics 
PLS 321 - Legal Research & Writing I 
PLS 421 - Legal Research & Writing II 
PLS 325 - Pre - Trial Practice 
PLS 425 - Trial Practice 
PLS 332 - Property Law 
PLS 334 - Torts, Personal Injury Litigation and Insurance Law 
PLS 335 - Contracts and Uniform Commercial Code 
PLS 340 - Criminal Law and Procedure  
PLS 490 - Paralegal Internship 
PLS 499C - Senior Paralegal Practice Seminar 
PLS 370 - History of American Law
PLS 400 - Law & Society Seminar

12 Credit Hours of Approved Electives
PLS 333 - Family Law 
PLS 436 - Wills, Trusts, & Estates 
PLS 360 - Special Legal Topics 
PLS 476 - Special Problems in Legal Studies
PLS 345 - Debtor Creditor Relations
PLS 355 - Administrative Law
PLS 305 - Legal Reasoning
PLS 337 - Corporations

Minor in Legal Studies Requirements, 24 credit hours

PLS 321 - Legal Research & Writing I
PLS 325 - Pretrial Practice 
PLS 332 - Property Law 
PLS 334 - Torts 
PLS 335 - Contracts and the UCC 
PLS 340 - Criminal Law 

Plus 6 credit hours from the following list (at least one elective course must have a PLS prefix)
PLS 333 - Family Law PLS 436 - Wills, Trusts, and Estates 
PLS 337 - Corporate Law 
PLS 360 - Special Legal Topics 
GOVT 303 - Comparative Constitutional Law 
GOVT 321 - Constitutional Law 
GOVT 322 - Courts and Civil Liberties 
GOVT 324 - Environmental Law 

Career Opportunities

Graduates may work in private and public interest law offices, federal, state, and local government agencies, and businesses, including the legal department of banks and hospitals, and other corporations. Many graduates immediately enter the paralegal profession or pursue their education in law school and other graduate schools.

The paralegal performs a variety of essential legal tasks under the supervision of licensed lawyers. Paralegals may be involved in client interviewing, drafting of legal documents, researching points of law, litigation support, law office management, and representing clients before administrative agencies as allowed by law. The bachelor's in legal studies provides graduates with the necessary applied and theoretical knowledge to assist lawyers in providing legal services to clients. 

Note: Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law or court rule.

MSU's Career Services offers career planning, interview and resume preparation assistance, internship placement, and services to help you find a job after you graduate.

  • Morehead (Residential Campus)
    150 University Blvd., Morehead, KY 40351
    800-585-6781
  • MSU at Ashland
    1400 College Dr., Ashland, KY 41101
    800-648-5370
  • MSU at Mt. Sterling
    3400 Indian Mound Dr., Mt. Sterling, KY 40353
    859-499-0780
  • MSU at Prestonsburg
    6 Bert Combs Dr., Prestonsburg, KY 41653
    800-648-5372
  • MSU at West Liberty
    155 University Dr., West Liberty, KY 41472
    606-743-1599
Major In You.