Legal Studies Degree

A legal degree enables candidates to solve conflicts and issues in almost every area of life, such as business, human rights, politics, economics, trade, and international relations.

  1. Paralegal Degree Programs
  2. What are the steps to become a paralegal?
  3. How long does it take to get legal paralegal degree?
  4. Degree Requirements
  5. Major in Legal Studies
  6. Paralegal Careers
  7. Alternative Careers for Paralegals
  8. Where can you work with a paralegal degree?

What Can you Do With a Legal Studies Degree

  • Knowledge of laws and regulations is essential for people of all professions
  • A degree in legal studies provides the professional and academic expertise required for a general understanding of the law 
  • It also prepares students for higher education in the subject
  • There are a host of different careers you can choose from after you complete a degree in legal studies
  • Here we will highlight some of the most popular choices among graduates

Law Firms

  • Quite a few jobs are available for graduates in law firms
  • Examples include paralegals, legal assistants and legal administrators, etc
  • Median pay in 2012 was $50,000

Law Enforcement

  • Available jobs include correctional officers (COs), police officers (POs), investigators and detectives, etc
  • Requirements for education and certification differ for each profession
  •  Median pay in 2012 for COs was $43,550; for POs was $57,770


  • Quite a few entry-level positions are available
  • Some examples include magistrate judges, administrative law judges or hearing officers, etc
  • Education requirements and certifications vary for each position
  • Median pay for administrative law judges, adjudicators and hearing officers was $89,970 in 2012


  • Some examples of jobs include human resources assistants, customer service representatives, analysts, and consultants, etc
  • Pay may vary between different positions but remained around the $35,000 mark in 2012


  • A wide range of teaching jobs are available in the field of legal studies
  • Positions are available in schools, colleges and universities
  • The median pay for a postsecondary teachers in 2012 was $68,970

Other options

  • Many more organizations employ legal studies graduates
  • Some examples are:
    • Non-government research organizations
    • Legal publishers
    • Banks
    • Humanitarian organizations
    • Trade unions

Paralegal Degree Programs

For paralegal degree options available are:

  • Associate in Legal Paralegal
  • Bachelor in Legal Paralegal
  • Master in Legal Paralegal
  • Doctoral in Legal Paralegal

What are the steps to become a paralegal?

You can follow the steps below to become a paralegal:
  1. Choose a specialty – Specialties include corporate, family law, litigation, state planning, debt and bankruptcy, and freelance paralegal. Once you have decided the specialty, you can take paralegal courses accordingly.
  2. Complete necessary education – The most common degree for paralegals is an associate degree that takes around two years. However, some large law firms may prefer paralegals with more advanced degrees.
  3. Pass the certification exam – Although, certifications such as Certified Paralegals (CP) and Certified Legal Assistants (CLA) are voluntary, they are quite helpful in distinguishing individuals from other job applicants.
  4. Intern with a law firm, government agency, corporation, or non-profit organization - This will give you an opportunity to apply what you have learned and will also give you hands on experience.
  5. Start an entry level job – Apply for a variety of positions and use your school’s career placement services to find a good job.

How long does it take to get legal paralegal degree?

  • Associate degree – 2 years
  • Bachelor’s degree – 4 years or 8 semesters
  • Master’s degree – 2 years or 4 semesters

Degree Requirements

The courses taught in the program cover a wide range of subjects, including legal history, philosophy of law, politics and law, criminal justice process, and economic regulation. The coursework may be divided into three types of courses:

  • Legal studies courses
  • Legal studies prerequisites
  • Law related courses offered by other departments

The legal studies courses may include:

  • Foundations of legal study
  • Theories of law and society
  • Limits and objectives of criminal law
  • Supreme court of public policy
  • Adolescence, crime, and juvenile justice
  • Crime and criminal justice
  • Law, politics, and society
  • Sociology of law

The legal studies prerequisites may include:

  • Introduction to probability and statistics
  • Individual morality and social justice
  • Ancient philosophy
  • Ethical theories
  • Philosophy of the mind
  • Origins of western civilization
  • European civilization
  • Economic theory
  • Economic analysis

The law related courses offered by other schools may include:

  • Anthropology of law
  • Chicanos law and criminal justice
  • Social and political business environment
  • Legal management aspects
  • Ethical theories
  • International human rights
  • Racial and ethnic politics
  • Rhetoric of legal theory

The above mentioned curriculum is common for many schools. However, please note that it may vary by different amounts between programs.

Major in Legal Studies

A major in legal studies provides students with knowledge on the legal process, legal ideas, and legal institution. It provides tools for determining and understanding the policies underlying the law. It provides the view that the study of law and justice has a rich history and that pursuing it can encourage reflection on fundamental values.

  • Learn from qualified professionals
  • Workshops & trainings – Get the real world experience
  • Access to career advisory services
  • A chance to become a solicitor, barrister, paralegal and so much more!
A legal studies degree can give you the skills and knowledge needed to pursue a variety of different careers in law, and its related fields.
What Can You Do With A Legal Studies Degree

Paralegal Careers

The different careers in law include:

  • Solicitor
  • Barrister
  • Paralegal
  • Other legal careers


A solicitor provides legal advice on a variety of subjects, including both business and personal affairs. The individual often explains laws to clients, who can include individuals, groups, private companies, and public sector organizations.

Education Requirements
A solicitor is required to complete the Legal Practice Course and two year training contract before qualifying for the post.


Barristers are specialists in advocacy who present the client’s cases in courts. They also carry out research related to cases; list down opinions, and develop a specific knowledge in a particular area of law. Barristers usually work on a self-employed basis. Others may be employed in the public sector bodies.

Education requirements:
Barristers are required to complete the Bar Professional Training Course, which includes skills development plus a study of evidence and procedure.


Paralegals and legal assistants do various tasks to support lawyers, including organizing and maintaining files, drafting documents, and conducting legal research.

Education requirements:
Most paralegals are required to have an associate’s degree or a certificate in paralegal. In many cases, employers prefer candidates who have at least one year of experience in a law firm or other office setting.

Median annual wage: $46,990 in May 2012 (BLS)

Alternative Careers for Paralegals

Studying a legal degree can lead to careers apart from the law industry. These include careers in other law sectors such as banking, business, accountancy, politics, and civil service.

Where can you work with a paralegal degree?

With a paralegal degree, you can work in a large number of organizations, such as:
  • Corporations, law firms, and government agencies
  • Legal services, federal government, local and state governments
  • Finance and insurance sector

States with the highest employment level in this occupation:



Employment per thousand jobs

Location quotient

Hourly mean wage

Annual mean wage

California 16600.111.2618.1337720
Florida 11300.141.6817.9737370
Illinois 9600.161.9217.937240
Texas 7600.070.7816.6234570
New York 6500.070.8520.1241840


Frequently Asked Question(s)

Q:I've noticed that many of the Paralegal degrees have a course on Law Office Management. What are contents of this course?

A:It is true that many of the Paralegal degree programs in the United States have a course on Law Office Management. This 4 credits worth courses designed to provide you with an introduction to the legal industry and how a legal team functions. You will get to study the different practices of law in various setups of the legal industry. Some of the topics included are legal technology, billing, law library and administrative reports.

Q:What degrees must students earn in order to perform professional Paralegal Work?

A:Students interested in the field of law can always opt for various paralegal degrees. The types of degrees that are offered are associates degree, Bachelor of Science in paralegal studies, master's degree in paralegal studies, and paralegal certificate programs. Most law firms prefer hiring students that are registered and have attained a paralegal certificate.

Q:What can you tell me about Paralegal employment rate?

A:Paralegal studies are a highly sought after area of specialization. Degree holders of Paralegal Education can find lucrative career opportunities with good salary packages. The placement percentage of paralegal studies graduates in the United States is approximately 75% and the profession's employment rate is expected to grow by 15.7% within a decade.

Q:In the professional field, what paralegal expectations do employers have regarding skills and aptitude?

A:When applying for a job as a paralegal, it is necessary to have paralegal qualifications such as associate degree, a bachelor degree, or a diploma in this area. Apart from just the academic qualifications, there are certain skills that employers look for before hiring paralegals. These include skills in writing, skills in technology, organization skills, teamwork skills, research and investigative skills.

Q:For paralegal education, which is the best online school in town?

A:There are various online schools listed on our website which offer paralegal education. You can choose from the certificate, associate, and bachelor programs. Here are the names of some of the most popular online paralegal schools: Walden University Online, Virginia College, Strayer University, Kaplan University Online, Grand Canyon University, and South University Online.

Q:What is a legal degree and what other kinds of legal degrees are available?

A:A legal degree is an educational program designed to prepare students for jobs in the legal industry. One can pursue a job as a lawyer, judge, or even an attorney with a law degree. There are many different types of law degrees available, these include: master of laws, Juris doctor degree, and doctorate of juridical science degree. The admission requirements will vary from degree to degree.

Q:What are the benefits of an online legal degree?

A:By enrolling in an online legal degree, you no longer have to worry about travelling to class every day. You can easily study from the comfort of your home at any time of the day. Online degree programs have proved to be cost-friendly as you do not have to purchase text-books. Online learning is gaining popularity fast and is replacing the traditional classroom environment.

Q:What are the admissions requirements for a Bachelor's Legal Studies Degree?

A:A Bachelor's Legal Studies Degree is an undergraduate degree which only admits students who have completed either a high school diploma, an equivalent GED qualification or an associate's degree. Aside from these educational requirements, applicants will have to provide the school with a completed application form along with all required supporting documents.

Q:How long does it take to get a law degree?

A:There are a few different types of law programs offered at law schools. Most states require prospective lawyers to complete a Juris doctor (J.D.) degree from a law school that has been accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA). A Juris Doctor degree can take 3-4 years to complete. On the other hand, a master of law degree takes 1-2 years to complete. The duration may vary from college to college.

Q:What can you do with a degree in legal studies?

A:A legal studies degree will equip you in-depth knowledge of laws and how they impact our society. With a degree in legal studies, there are several career paths you can choose from. The most evident direction you could go for is a legal office assistant or a paralegal job position. This job would need you to research, draft legal documents for corporate departments and government offices, and interview litigants. You can also work more directly with courts as legal clerks or as part of unions such as the American Civil Liberties Union. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, paralegals made an annual income of $46,990 in 2012. Apart from working as a paralegal, you can also seek work in nonprofit organizations, schools, and even healthcare institutions.

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