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Legal Studies

A Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies equips students with the legal knowledge and skills needed to succeed in the legal profession. MSU graduates are immediately qualified to launch careers as paralegals or legal assistants.  Many of our students use their degree as a springboard to continue their education in law schools nationwide.
 
Paralegals perform a critical function in today’s legal profession.  They perform legal work for law firms, corporations, government agencies and nonprofits under the direct supervision of licensed attorneys. The Legal Studies program prepares students for this expanding field with a rigorous curriculum taught by experienced, licensed attorneys.  
 

About the Program

  • The Legal Studies program is approved and accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA). The ABA only approves programs which meet strict standards for quality and have demonstrated success in producing well qualified graduates.
  • The Legal Studies program is ranked 10th most affordable Legal Studies program in the nation by Great Value Colleges, and one of the few listed that is approved by the American Bar Association (ABA).
  • All Legal Studies faculty are licensed practicing attorneys who have supervised paralegals in their law practice. 
  • Legal Studies faculty also serve as advisors, providing students with guidance for class scheduling, internships, law school admission, clinical work, and future employment.
  • Students have face-to-face opportunities to work with actual clients through experiences like legal clinics.
  • Small class sizes ensure individual attention and skill development. 
  • Legal Studies students receive free Westlaw accounts and are trained how to conduct legal research in the same way that practicing lawyers and paralegals do.
  • Legal Studies students have access to a law library located on campus.
  • Legal Studies students complete an internship as part of the major. Students regularly intern with judges, prosecutors, public defenders, private law firms, public interest organizations, and state government agencies.
  • Students have the opportunity to take classes in a wide range of areas including contracts, family law, property, torts, court procedure and criminal law – the same topics covered in the nation’s law schools.
  • Students get fully immersed in common legal tasks. They get to conduct title searches, perform in mock trials, draft documents for litigation and contracts, and do complex research.


Law School

  • Since 2018, every Legal Studies student who sought admission to ABA-accredited law schools received acceptance letters from one or more.
  • Legal Studies graduates who apply to law school routinely receive scholarship offers from prospective schools. For example, in 2019-2020, students applied to an average of three schools and received an average of $200,000 in total scholarship offers.
  • Legal Studies students who take the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) score well. In 2021-2022, the average score was 157.8 (on a 120-180 scale). The highest score was 174.
  • Legal Studies graduates who attend law school tell us they are more prepared for law school than their peers. Prior to graduation, MSU’s Legal Studies students have already learned the foundations of common first-year law school courses. 
 
“Most of my peers come from other backgrounds and had a much harder time adjusting than I did. I have felt very comfortable in my first year because I feel I have a base level of understanding in a lot of my classes that most do not have. I am ranked 14 out of 114 in my class right now and I really do not think that would have been possible without the experience and knowledge I had from undergrad.” Allison Wells, class of 2021.
 

Opportunities Outside the Classroom

 

Law Clinic

Students will gain hands-on experience staffing divorce clinics. Under the supervision of an attorney-professor, students interview clients, communicate with the courts, assist clients with paperwork, and help clients with the process of getting divorced.
 
“The MSU Pro Se Divorce Clinic gives students the opportunity to use information learned in class, along with an opportunity unity to assist the community. Something as simple as filling out papers becomes exponentially more when you hear the stories of those you’re assisting to. The Pro Se Clinic has been an indispensable part of my undergraduate experience.” Tanner Duncan, class of 2021.
 

Undergraduate Research

Students engage in undergraduate legal research with attorney-professors. Students have researched topics such as predatory lending, access to justice, constitutional law, child abuse and neglect, and more.  

 

Location

These programs are offered at the Morehead campus.

 

Options

Program Requirements

Career Opportunities

  • Graduates may work in private and public interest law offices, federal, state, and local government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and businesses, including the legal department of banks and hospitals, and other corporations. 
  • Paralegals perform a variety of essential legal tasks under the supervision of licensed attorneys. Paralegals may be involved in client interviewing, drafting of legal documents, researching points of law, preparing for litigation, managing law offices, investigating, and representing clients before administrative agencies as permitted by law. The Legal Studies program provides graduates with the necessary applied and theoretical knowledge to assist attorneys 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.
  • Employment of paralegals and legal assistants is projected to grow 12 percent from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average for all occupations. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program.

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