The goal of the Legal Studies Department is to educate students of diverse backgrounds to become effective, ethical and professional paralegals employable in a variety of legal settings. The five cornerstones to achieving this goal are:
- knowledge of law;
- practical application;
- analytical ability;
- effective communication; and
- technology literacy.
The department, in furtherance of the university mission, strives to help students build a framework for life that is ethical, service-oriented, appreciative of diversity, and committed to continuing education. In addition to the major in Legal Studies, students receive a well-rounded general education with exposure to the traditional liberal arts fields of study in order to develop their abilities to communicate, to think critically and creatively, and to access, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate information.
Students in this department will:
- learn the law and legal principles in a variety of subject areas as well as understand legal procedures and practices;
- recognize and apply the ethical rules and standards of conduct involved in the practice of law and to be observed by paralegals;
- analyze legal problems, correctly applying the applicable law;
- research case and statutory law, using traditional and technological methods;
- function effectively with the computer technology used in practice and be prepared to adapt to ever-changing technological advances;
- draft legal documents, including letters, using proper English, format, and clarity;
- display effective oral communication skills to be used with clients, attorneys, witnesses, and other persons;
- be knowledgeable about the role and qualifications of the paralegal including the necessity of continuing legal education and staying abreast of changes and advancements in the paralegal career;
- develop organizational skills necessary for successful law office functioning, including categorizing and organizing documents, calendaring, prioritizing work, managing time, using forms, and maintaining billing data; and
- gain basic skills in factual investigation and interviewing.