Legal Studies (BA)


2016-2017 UNDERGRADUATE STUDIES CATALOG

Effective 1 June 2016 through 31 May 2017

Please see the Undergraduate Catalog Archives for PDF versions of past catalogs.

This program offered by College of Arts & Sciences/Legal Studies Department

Program Description

The bachelor of arts in legal studies is approved by the American Bar Association (ABA) and is the only ABA program in the St. Louis area. The degree is designed to meet the ever-changing needs of the paralegal profession and prepares students to enter the legal profession. We offer a solid, broad-based education including legal specialty courses. Students will learn both the theoretical and practical aspects of the law as they gain paralegal knowledge and an understanding of the ethical framework in which legal professionals function.  

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate the fundamentals of legal reasoning and analysis.
  • Comprehend the Code of Professional Responsibility to be able to address ethical dilemmas faced by lawyers and legal assistants.
  • Master the skills and knowledge necessary for understanding legal issues working from both theoretical and practical applications.
  • Explain the essential goals of legal researching, legal and logical reasoning, and begin to develop legal writing skills.
  • Be able to apply the theory of legal research and writing to practical problems encountered in a legal environment.
  • Distinguish the significant role that legal assistants/paralegals have in the legal world and the practical skills necessary to function in it.

Degree Requirements

A minimum of 128 credit hours consisting of the following:

  • 51 required credit hours
  • Applicable University Global Citizenship Program hours
  • Electives

Courses completed with a grade below a C- do not count toward fulfilling the specific course requirements of the major.

At least 18 of the 51 required credit hours for the legal studies major must be taken at Webster University.

Curriculum

The 51 credit hours required for the legal studies major include the following:

  • LEGL 2080 Topics in Law (3 hours)
  • LEGL 2400 or POLT 2400 Introduction to Law (3 hours)
  • LEGL 3000 Legal Ethics (3 hours)
  • LEGL 3490 Civil Litigation (3 hours)
  • LEGL 3500 Criminal Litigation (3 hours)
  • LEGL 4460 Methods of Legal Research and Writing I (3 hours)
  • LEGL 4470 Methods of Legal Research and Writing II (3 hours)
  • LEGL 4480 Computerized Legal Research (3 hours)
  • LEGL 4490 Advanced Paralegal Procedures (3 hours)
  • LEGL 4810 Tort Law Practice (3 hours)
  • LEGL 4820 Contract Law Practice (3 hours)
  • LEGL 4830 Real Estate Law Practice (3 hours)
  • LEGL 4840 Corporations and Business Organizations (3 hours)
  • LEGL 4850 Computers and the Law (3 hours)
  • LEGL 4910 Senior Overview (3 hours)

6 credit hours from the following:

  • LEGL 4600 Legal Seminar (may be repeated for credit if content differs) (3 hours)
  • LEGL 4800 Advanced Topics in Law (3 hours)
  • LEGL 4900 Paralegal Clinical Studies (may be repeated for credit if content differs) (3 - 6 hours)
  • INTL 2030 International Law (3 hours)
  • POLT 3010 American Constitutional Law (3 hours)
  • POLT 3020 Civil Liberties and the Law (3 hours)

Note: A legal assistant or paralegal is a person, qualified by education, training, or work experience who is employed or retained by a lawyer, law office, corporation, governmental agency or other entity and who performs specifically delegated substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible. Paralegals or Legal Assistants may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law. Webster University's St. Louis area paralegal programs have been approved by the American Bar Association.

Special Requirements

Transfer students must complete 18 credit hours of American Bar Association (ABA) required courses in residence at Webster University.These courses include the following:

  • LEGL 3000 Legal Ethics (3 hours)
  • LEGL 4490 Advanced Paralegal Procedures (3 hours)
  • LEGL 4470 Methods of Legal Research and Writing II (3 hours)
  • LEGL 4480 Computerized Legal Research (3 hours)
  • LEGL 4800 (or above) (6 hours)

All other coursework for the legal studies major may be transferred in only at the discretion of the Legal Studies program. Approval for these transfer credits must come from Legal Studies advisors.

Admission

Students who are interested in applying to this degree program should see the Admission Section of this catalog for general requirements.