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Associates Degree in Legal Studies

If you are thinking about going for an Associate’s degree in legal studies, you have the option of going down two paths. You can either take the Associate of Arts (AA) in legal studies route or the associate of science (AS) in legal studies one.

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Difference between an AA in Legal Studies and AS in Legal Studies

Though both associate degrees touch upon the core areas required for developing a preliminary understanding of legal issues, an associate in arts in legal studies is more oriented towards the arts and social sciences. These include courses relating to:

  • Creative Writing
  • Foreign Languages
  • English
  • History
  • Literature and
  • Computer-based topics

The associate of science on the other hand lays more emphasis on technical areas such as mathematics and the applied sciences.

Overview of the Program Structure

The courses included in the associate in legal studies are geared towards preparing students in developing the required skills and acumen for work in the legal sector. This includes organizations such as government agencies, private law firms, regulatory or compliance related offices as well as other non-profit organizations.

The course outline in a typical associate degree in legal studies targets the following core areas.

  • An introduction to the American legal system
  • Professional values and ethics in a legal environment
  • Legal research, analysis and writing
  • Civil Litigation
  • Business Law

In addition to the afore-mentioned topics, there are also certain electives that focus more on certain subsets of legal studies. These may include:

  • Corporate law
  • Elder law
  • Criminal law and related procedures
  • Wills and Estates
  • Bankruptcy
  • Collections
  • Personal injury

In the case of an AS in legal studies, the following courses and areas may also be a part of the curriculum.

  • College algebra
  • Quantitative methods
  • Elective science
  • Social sciences
  • Humanities
  • Computer applications
  • Accounting

Why Should You Opt for an Associate Degree in Legal Studies?

The associate’s degree in legal studies has been designed to facilitate students in achieving certain professional skills and capabilities. These include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Organizational – Thinking, planning, assessing and execution.
  • Teamwork – working with other legal professionals
  • Written and oral communication
  • Technological
  • Service delivery
  • Career approach

Where they may not put you in the shoes of hotshot lawyer Harvey Specter from the TV show Suits right away, but these will definitely serve as a solid footing for you to chalk out a challenging and rewarding career path.

Where an AA or AS in legal studies will not get you all the way to working as an attorney, a paralegal for that matter, it will still enable you to possibly qualify you for a variety of professional positions in the legal sector.

Legal Assistants

They assist lawyers in the preparation and filing of cases. They also have to do most of the logistical and research-related work that goes into compiling witness testimonies and other documents that are connected to the case.

Median Annual Salary - $46,990

Expected Job Growth (2012 - 2022) – 15% to 21%

*Figures sourced from O*Net

Insurance Policy Processing Clerks

Interview potential clients and acquire information from them to process insurance applications. They also collect premiums and update records accordingly.

Median Annual Salary - $35,700

Expected Job Growth (2012 - 2022) - 8% to 14%

*Figures sourced from O*Net

Insurance Claims Clerks

These professionals process insurance claims and review whether they are complete prior to being filed. They may also have to dig around for missing information in offices or warehouse records as well as use computers to search through databases.

Median Annual Salary - $35,700

Expected Job Growth (2012 - 2022) - 8% to 14%

*Figures sourced from O*Net

License Clerks

Collect fees for various licenses and maintain customer records in an organized manner. Address license-related queries and provide legal guidance in cases of non-compliance and policy violations.

Median Annual Salary - $34,830

Expected Job Growth (2012 - 2022) - 8% to 14%

*Figures sourced from O*Net

Bill and Account Collectors

They track down and inform clients and customers that have been unable to make timely payments. They employ various modes of communication such as fax, mail, email, telephone and even make personal visits. Their duties also include accepting payments, maintaining records for various clients and disconnecting services if need be.

Median Annual Salary - $32,480

Expected Job Growth (2012 - 2022) - 15% to 21%

*Figures sourced from O*Net

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:What are some of the courses covered in Associate in Paralegal program?

A:Students are required to cover a number of courses when attempting Associate in Paralegal program. Some of these courses are introduction to paralegalism, law office management, legal research and writing, criminal law and procedures, business law and torts. Prospective students are advised to search our website for an extensive list of online institutions offering this program.

Q:What topics will be covered in Associate in Paralegal Degrees?

A:Associate in Paralegal degrees includes a number of topics that are specifically designed to help students understand the subject thoroughly. The courses included in this program are Torts & Personal Injury, Contacts, Legal Research, Professionals Responsibility & Ethics, Criminal Law, Legal Responsibility, Wills Trusts and Estates and Domestic Relations. Students interested in this program are advised to search our website for more information.

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