Bachelor of Paralegal Studies: Degree Overview
Explore the curriculum and requirements of a bachelor's degree program in paralegal studies. Learn about the employment and continuing education options for graduates.
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. Graduates of paralegal studies programs assist lawyers in a variety of tasks, including legal research and writing, general office management and document preparation.
The coursework 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. Students examine fundamentals of the legal profession, highlighting aspects such as litigation, courtroom procedures and investigative methods. They are typically required to complete a final practicum in order to graduate. A high school diploma and successful entrance into a postsecondary academic institution are necessary to begin the program.
The curriculum aims to develop practical knowledge through coursework, seminars and practicum experiences. In addition to completing general education requirements, students complete paralegal courses in:
- Legal ethics
- Tax law
- Wills and estates
- Investigative practices
- Corporate law
- Legal research
- Legal writing
- Administrative litigation
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. Possible career titles available to grads include:
- Legal assistant
- Legal analyst
- Paralegal specialist
- Law clerk
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected a 17% increase in employment of paralegals and legal assistants during the 2012-2022 decade (www.bls.gov). In 2012, these legal professionals earned an average yearly salary of $50,220, 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.
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