The Department of Legal Studies offers general preparation and concentration in specific areas of the law for those interested in becoming paralegals or in pursuing other careers in law.
The department emphasizes theoretical and practical information in important legal areas, including the fundamentals of manual- and computer-based legal research and legal writing proficiency.
Students understand the values underlying the legal system and ethical issues that arise in legal practice. The programs offered in the department help you understand how you fit into the legal system as a professional and a citizen. You will learn to think critically, analyze facts and concepts, and articulate information verbally and in writing.
The Department of Legal Studies offers a major in legal studies and a minor in legal studies. We also offer a certificate in paralegal studies. The legal studies major and paralegal studies certificate are approved by the American Bar Association. The minor is not designed to prepare a student for a career as a paralegal, and has not been approved by the American Bar Association. A paralegal is not licensed to practice law and works under a lawyers' supervision.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics, “Employment of paralegals and legal assistants is projected to grow 17 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations. . . .This occupation attracts many applicants, and competition for jobs will be strong. Experienced, formally trained paralegals with strong computer and database management skills should have the best job prospects. In addition, many firms will prefer paralegals with experience and specialization in high-demand practice areas.”
The Mount’s Legal Studies Program is approved by the American Bar Association, through its Standing Committee on Paralegals, whose “mission is to improve the American system of justice by establishing ABA standards for the education of paralegals and by promoting attorneys' professional, effective and ethical utilization of paralegals.”
The Mount’s paralegal program is a member of the American Association for Paralegal Education. “With over 400 members, AAfPE is the nation’s largest and continuously operating organization dedicated to promoting quality paralegal education.”
Professional organizations for paralegals include: