legal studies
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BA in Legal Studies

Quinnipiac University's ABA-approved bachelor of arts in legal studies provides graduates with the knowledge and skills needed to be successful in the paralegal profession. The classic values of a liberal arts education are added to the critical-thinking skills of the legal profession.

The program is planned and taught by lawyers to provide students with a solid grounding in the fundamentals of the legal system.

The education focuses on particular core areas of the law and on developing specific legal research, writing and critical-thinking skills—all within a framework of the ethical and statutory constraints confronting the paralegal profession.

This combination of theoretical class work with real-world experience, along with exposure to traditional liberal arts and business courses, prepares legal studies graduates for a broad range of professional opportunities.

Our students are often interested in continuing with their education. Many graduates go directly to law school; others work for a year or two as paralegals before applying. Other graduates have become paralegals, social workers, teachers and business owners. A bachelor's degree in legal studies can lead to many opportunities.

Curriculum + Requirements

The legal studies department curriculum has been approved by the American Bar Association as a paralegal education program. A paralegal performs specifically delegated substantive legal work under the supervision of an attorney. While paralegals may not give legal advice to clients or appear in court on their behalf, these highly skilled professionals perform a wide range of tasks and play an integral role in the delivery of legal services.

Students take seven required foundation courses, with a continuing emphasis on legal writing and professional ethics. The required Legal Internship Seminar I and II, taken in the student's senior year, places students in law office settings to apply their prior courses and learning in a practical legal environment. Electives allow students to tailor their education to their own interests and needs to meet their own personal career goals. Electives include theoretical and practical courses in a multitude of legal subjects. All courses engage students in their own active learning with an emphasis on developing skills in critical thinking and legal reasoning.

Students must take LE 101 and LE 208 by the end of their sophomore year to successfully complete the degree requirements within four years. The department encourages study abroad, however students may not take LE 301 while abroad, therefore they should not go abroad during the fall semester of their junior year. Students should speak with their academic adviser and plan accordingly. LE 480-481, Legal Internship Seminar I and II, are limited to legal studies majors and must be done within the fall and spring of the student's senior year.

Program Learning Outcomes

Students who graduate with a degree in legal studies are able to:

  1. understand and critically assess how law is made, interpreted and applied in the United States.
  2. analyze a legal problem, research and synthesize the law, apply it to a set of facts, and write a legal memo using a generally accepted format for the legal profession with proper legal citation.
  3. draft, review, organize and manage legal documents and correspondence using proper format and appropriate content.
  4. formulate and present a choerent, well-supported legal argument in both written and oral form to diverse audiences.
  5. apply their legal skills and knowledge in a professional legal setting, consistent with ethical standards governing the legal profession.

Required courses: (24 credits)

Course Title Credits
LE 101 Introduction to the American Legal System 3
LE 208 Legal Research 4
LE 210 Legal Writing 3
LE 301-302 Civil Procedures I & II 6
LE 480-481 Legal Internship Seminar I & II 8

Elective courses: (15 credits)
Five electives chosen from the following. At least nine credits must be at the 300-level.

Course Title Credits
LE 115 Criminal Law 3
LE 150 Mock Trial (may be taken up to three times) 1
LE 200 Special Topics 3
LE 224 Sports Law 3
LE 225 Alternative Dispute Resolution 3
LE 250 Gender & the Law 3
LE 260 Trial Techniques 3
LE 300 Special Topics 3
LE 309 Advanced Legal Writing 3
LE 310 Elder Law 3
LE 311 Administrative Agencies 3
LE 312 Family Law 3
LE 315 Wills, Probate & Estate Administration 3
LE 317 International Law 3
LE 319 International Law for the Individual  3
LE 320 Land Transfers & Closing Procedures 3
LE 322 Health Care Law 3
LE 328 Employment Law 3
LE 330 Business Entities 3
LE 340 The Constitution & the Court 3
LE 342 Comparative Constitutional Law 3
LE 345 Intellectual Property 3
LE 350 Federal Indian Law & Policy 3
LE 360 Mediation 3
LE 370 Negotiation 3

Additional Requirements:
Legal studies majors also must take AC 211, a 200-level English course, and an American history course. These may be taken in conjunction with the College of Arts and Sciences requirements.

Students also must complete a minor in any other department within the University.