Students can earn either a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies. Much of the coursework is theoretical and historical, covering ways laws have evolved over time to adjust to social, political and technological changes in society. Students also learn the functions of the U.S. legal system and its effect on the country's economics, businesses and governments. Many people prepare for law school through a bachelor's degree program in legal studies.
Important traits for applicants include critical thinking and writing skills. Students need to be able to understand history and philosophy. A good recommendation is to take advanced high school courses in English literature, composition, history and economics. Prerequisites include a high school diploma or equivalent and advanced high school coursework in English literature, composition, history and economics. Common specializations include legal philosophy, human rights and the American judicial system.
Bachelor's Degree in Legal Studies
Legal studies classes cover ideas that shape laws. Some programs allow students to specialize in a particular aspect of the legal field, like legal philosophy, human rights or the American judicial system. Some other common course topics are listed below:
- Criminal law theory
- Public policy
- Economics and the law
- Constitutional law theory
- Law and society
- Civil law
Popular Career Options
People who earn a bachelor's degree in legal studies often continue their education, but there are several career prospects for those who enter the workforce. Graduates can work in the private or public sector, and some work for law firms. The following careers are commonly chosen:
- Legal administrative assistant
- Legal research assistant
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
From 2014-2024, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted that employment for paralegals and legal assistants would increase by 8%. The mean annual wage for paralegals and legal assistants was $52,390 in May 2015, stated the BLS. The top paying industries for paralegals and legal assistants were semiconductor and other electronic component manufacturing and software publishers.
Continuing Education Information
Many people who earn a bachelor's degree in legal studies apply their knowledge towards earning a Juris Doctor from a law school. Such programs take three years to complete and teach students to practice law. Individuals learn how to understand and apply laws relating to criminal activity, commercial transactions, tax, civil disputes, families and civil rights.
Bachelor's degree programs in legal studies provide coursework about the history and current functioning of the U.S. legal system. After completing this degree, many individuals go onto become paralegals, lawyers, or work in some other capacity in the legal field.