Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science (B.A., B.S.)
The legal studies major involves the study of law and contemporary issues related to law as part of a liberal education. The American Bar Association approved B.A./B.S. and postbaccalaureate legal studies certificate focus on both theory and practice and prepare students for work as paralegals and for other careers in the field of law.
Program Offerings at Grand Valley
Legal studies students may earn a bachelor of arts (B.A.) or bachelor of science (B.S.) degree or a postbaccalaureate certificate. The B.A. requires third semester proficiency in a foreign language. The B.S. requires completion of courses in statistics and research methods. A minor, not approved by the ABA, is also available.
Courses focus on:
- Substantive law, including contracts, criminal law, torts, property, business law, and family law
- Oral and written communication
- Critical thinking skills
- Investigation and legal research
- Legal ethics and professionalism
Legal studies graduates are employed by:
- Insurance companies
- Government agencies
- Law firms
- Nonprofit organizations
Graduates who work in these fields can play an important role in the delivery of legal services, but they are not permitted to practice law. Graduates who seek to practice law must pursue a law school degree and satisfy other state requirements for admission to the bar.
Why Study Legal Studies at Grand Valley?
- The major and certificate are approved by the American Bar Association and feature a curriculum that provides a strong foundation in writing and critical thinking with an emphasis on professional skills necessary for success in the legal field.
- The program prides itself on the diverse professional experience of its faculty members, most of whom are licensed attorneys, who collectively have many years of experience working in areas of civil and criminal law.
- Faculty are engaged in scholarly research and writing and have been recognized in their professional circles as award-winning teachers and mentors.
- The program has an advisory board consisting of attorneys and paralegals representing a broad cross-section of employers. The board plays an important role by giving guidance on matters such as curriculum, internship and employment opportunities, and trends in the legal field.
Gainful Employment Disclosure Information:
“I felt that I had an advantage in law school as a result of participating in GVSU's legal studies program.”
LEGAL STUDIES ALUMNUS
“The legal studies program significantly advanced my knowledge and capabilities in the workforce as a paralegal/legal assistant in both criminal and civil law.”
Legal Studies alumna