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Legal Studies

The Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in 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. We are ranked 12th out of the top 25 legal studies programs by TheBestSchools.org.
 

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

  • Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Legal Studies
  • Legal Studies minor

Program Requirements

You must meet MSU's admission requirements.
 

Bachelor of Arts - Major in Legal Studies (120 credit hrs.)

A minor or additional major is required for this major.
 

GENERAL EDUCATION (3 credit hrs.)

  • PLS 499C - Senior Paralegal Practice Seminar (3 credit hrs.)
 

MAJOR REQUIREMENTS (30-33 credit hrs.)

  • PLS 210 - Introduction to Law & Ethics (3 credit hrs.)
  • PLS 321 - Legal Research & Writing I (3 credit hrs.)
  • PLS 421 - Legal Research & Writing II (3 credit hrs.)
  • PLS 325 - Pre-Trial Practice (3 credit hrs.)
  • PLS 425 - Trial Practice (3 credit hrs.)
  • PLS 332 - Property Law (3 credit hrs.)
  • PLS 334 - Torts, Personal Injury Litigation and Insurance Law (3 credit hrs.)
  • PLS 335 - Contracts and Uniform Commercial Code (3 credit hrs.)
  • PLS 340 - Criminal Law and Procedure (3 credit hrs.)
  • PLS 490 - Paralegal Internship (3-6 credit hrs.)
 

ELECTIVES: Choose six credit hours from the following (6 credit hrs., at least 3 credit hrs. must be from PLS):

  • PLS 333 - Family Law (3 credit hrs.)
  • PLS 436 - Wills, Trusts, & Estates (3 credit hrs.)
  • PLS 360 - Special Legal Topics (1-3 credit hrs.)
  • PLS 476 - Special Problems in Legal Studies (1-3 credit hrs.)
  • GOVT 321 - Constitutional Law (3 credit hrs.)
  • GOVT 322 - Courts & Civil Liberties (3 credit hrs.)
  • GOVT 324 - Environmental Law & Policy (3 credit hrs.)

FREE ELECTIVES (24-27 credit hrs.)
For a complete list of program requirements and additional course information, view the undergraduate catalog.

 

Bachelor of ARts - Area in Legal Studies (120 credit hrs.)

GENERAL EDUCATION (3 credit hrs.)

  • PLS 499C - Senior Paralegal Practice Seminar (3 credit hrs.)
 

AREA REQUIREMENTS (36 credit hrs.)

  • PLS 210 - Introduction to Law & Ethics (3 credit hrs.)
  • PLS 321 - Legal Research & Writing I (3 credit hrs.)
  • PLS 325 - Pretrial Practice (3 credit hrs.)
  • PLS 332 - Property Law (3 credit hrs.)
  • PLS 334 - Torts, Personal Injury Litigation and Insurance Law (3 credit hrs.)
  • PLS 335 - Contracts and the Uniform Commercial Code (3 credit hrs.)
  • PLS 340 - Criminal Law and Procedure (3 credit hrs.)
  • PLS 370 - History of American Law (3 credit hrs.)
  • PLS 400 - Law and Society Seminar (3 credit hrs.)
  • PLS 421 - Legal Research & Writing II (3 credit hrs.)
  • PLS 425 - Trial Practice (3 credit hrs.)
  • PLS 490 - Paralegal Internship (3-6 credit hrs.)
 

ELECTIVES: Choose 12 credit hours from the following (12 credit hrs.)

  • PLS 305 - Legal Reasoning (1-3 credit hrs.)
  • PLS 333 - Family Law (3 credit hrs.)
  • PLS 337 - Corporate Law (3 credit hrs.)
  • PLS 345 - Debtor/Creditor Relations (3 credit hrs.)
  • PLS 355 - Administrative Law (3 credit hrs.)
  • PLS 360 - Special Legal Topics (1-3 credit hrs.)
  • PLS 436 - Wills, Trusts, & Estates (3 credit hrs.)
  • PLS 476 - Special Problems in Legal Studies (1-3 credit hrs.)

FREE ELECTIVES (24-27 credit hrs.)
For a complete list of program requirements and additional course information, view the undergraduate catalog.
 

Minor in Legal Studies (24 credit hrs.)

  • PLS 321 - Legal Research & Writing I (3 credit hrs.)
  • PLS 325 - Pretrial Practice (3 credit hrs.)
  • PLS 332 - Property Law (3 credit hrs.)
  • PLS 334 - Torts, Personal Injury Litigation and Insurance Law (3 credit hrs.)
  • PLS 335 - Contracts and the Uniform Commercial Code (3 credit hrs.)
  • PLS 340 - Criminal Law and Procedure (3 credit hrs.)

ELECTIVES: Choose six credit hours from the following (6 credit hrs., at least one course must be from PLS)
  • PLS 333 - Family Law (3 credit hrs.)
  • PLS 337 - Corporate Law (3 credit hrs.)
  • PLS 360 - Special Legal Topics (1-3 credit hrs.)
  • PLS 436 - Wills, Trusts, and Estates (3 credit hrs.)
  • GOVT 303 - Comparative Constitutional Law and Politics (3 credit hrs.)
  • GOVT 321 - Constitutional Law: Governmental Powers (3 credit hrs.)
  • GOVT 322 - Courts and Civil Liberties (3 credit hrs.)
  • GOVT 324 - Environmental Law and Policy (3 credit hrs.)


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

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.

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Major In You.