Bachelor of Paralegal Studies: Degree Overview
A Bachelor of Paralegal Studies program can provide students with the tools and knowledge to complete a wide range of legal work under the supervision of an attorney. This degree program is best suited for students with good oral and written communication skills.
The bachelor of paralegal studies curriculum aims to develop practical knowledge through coursework, seminars and practicum experiences. Students examine fundamentals of the legal profession, highlighting aspects such as litigation, courtroom procedures and investigative methods.
- Prerequisites: A high school diploma or equivalent, and successful entrance into a postsecondary academic institution.
- Program Length: 4 years.
- Other Requirements: A final practicum must be completed in order to graduate.
- Online Availability: Online courses and programs are available.
Bachelor's Degree in Paralegal Studies
The coursework of a bachelor of paralegal studies degree explores fundamental writing and organizational practices, ensuring that students possess solid oral and written communication skills, as well as an understanding of file systems, software and office management techniques. In addition to completing general education requirements, students complete paralegal courses in:
- Legal ethics
- Tax law
- Wills and estates
- Investigative practices
- Corporate law
Popular Career Options
Upon completion of the bachelor's program, graduates are fully equipped to fill roles that increase the effectiveness and productivity of legal services in law firms, legal departments, government agencies and banks. Graduates of paralegal studies programs assist lawyers in a variety of tasks, including legal research and writing, general office management and document preparation. Possible career titles available to grads include:
- Legal assistant
- Legal analyst
- Paralegal specialist
- Law clerk
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 17% increase in employment of paralegals and legal assistants during the 2012-2022 decade (www.bls.gov). In 2014, these legal professionals earned an average yearly salary of $51,840, according to the BLS.
Generally, students pursuing careers as paralegals or legal assistants need only to attain an associate's or bachelor's degree in order to be considered for employment in the field. Those who wish to advance further within the legal profession can choose to begin the path toward becoming lawyers by attending law school where they can pursue graduate-level studies.