The bachelor of paralegal studies curriculum aims to develop practical knowledge through coursework, seminars, and final practicum prior to graduation. Students examine fundamentals of the legal profession, highlighting aspects such as litigation, courtroom procedures, and investigative methods.
Courses and programs in paralegal studies are available online and take four years to complete. Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent, and successful entrance into a post-secondary academic institution.
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
Employment Outlook & Salary
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects an 8% increase in employment of paralegals and legal assistants during the 2014-2024 decade (www.bls.gov). As of May 2015, these legal professionals earned an average yearly salary of $52,390, 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.
Bachelor's degree programs in paralegal studies prepare students for prospective employment in law firms and different legal agencies by teaching them foundational knowledge and skills needed in the legal profession. A bachelor's degree in this field can also serve as a preparatory course for those who are seeking to take advanced legal studies and want to become lawyers.