Legal Studies

Consortium Library (LIB), Room 213, (907) 786-1810

The UAA Justice Center, established by the Alaska Legislature in 1975, has a mandate to provide statewide justice-related education, research and service. The Justice Center is an interdisciplinary unit that provides undergraduate, graduate and professional education; conducts research in the areas of crime, law and justice; and provides service to government units, justice agencies and community organizations throughout urban and rural Alaska to promote a safe, healthy and just society.

The Justice Center offers a variety of programs that prepare students for work in law-related or public service fields. The core of each program is a foundational sequence of courses combining theoretical knowledge of the law with skills-based training in American legal practice.

Legal Studies Goals

Students in all programs will acquire:

  1. Broad-based knowledge achieved through general college education.
  2. Exceptionally strong competency in critical thinking and in written and oral communication skills.
  3. Clear understanding of the rules of ethics governing American judges, lawyers, and paralegals.
  4. Comprehensive legal vocabulary and understanding of judicial processes.
  5. Operational knowledge of legal investigatory and discovery techniques.
  6. Command of skills required for legal research, critical analysis, and technical drafting.
  7. Knowledge of theories of law, historical influences on the development of law, and fundamental principles of substantive law.
  8. Appreciation for the role of law in the allocation of public resources and regulation of social and economic relationships.

To accomplish these goals, the following program options are offered: Undergraduate Certificate, Legal Nurse Consultant Paralegal; Associate of Applied Science, Paralegal Studies; Bachelor of Arts, Legal Studies; Minor, Legal Studies; and Post-Baccalaureate Certificate, Paralegal Studies. Students may also work toward pro bono service honors.

Pro Bono Service Honors

The Justice Center awards pro bono service honors to those legal studies students who work toward improving access to justice by contributing volunteer service to Alaska legal aid agencies. Students majoring in any of the legal studies programs, as well as legal studies minors, are eligible to graduate with pro bono service honors upon satisfactory completion of the following requirements:

  1. Meet the catalog requirements for the minor, degree or certificate sought.
  2. Complete, as applicable, the following number of volunteer hours with a legal services agency approved by the Legal Studies Department program coordinator:
    1. Undergraduate Certificate, Legal Nurse Consultant Paralegal: 50 hours
    2. Associate of Applied Science, Paralegal Studies: 60 hours
    3. Bachelor of Arts, Legal Studies: 120 hours
    4. Minor, Legal Studies: 50 hours
    5. Post-Baccalaureate Certificate, Paralegal Studies: 50 hours
  3. Students intending to graduate with pro bono service honors must obtain written verification of their hours of service from the legal service agency or agencies assisted.
  4. In the semester they intend to graduate, students must submit their verification of service hours and written notice of their intent to graduate with pro bono service honors to the Legal Studies Department program coordinator. The verification and notice must be received by the coordinator on or before the date established by the Office of the Registrar as the deadline to apply for graduation.

Programs of Study

Undergraduate Certificate

Associate of Applied Science

Bachelor of Arts


Post-Baccalaureate Certificate


John Angell, Professor Emeritus,
Allan Barnes, Professor,
Lindsey Blumenstein, Assistant Professor,
Jason Brandeis, Associate Professor,
Sharon Chamard, Associate Professor,
Robert Congdon, Professor Emeritus,
Ronald Everett, Associate Professor,
Ryan Fortson, Assistant Professor,
Kristin Knudsen, Legal Studies Program Coordinator/Assistant Professor,
Cory Lepage, Assistant Professor,
Bradley Myrstol, Associate Professor,
Troy Payne, Justice Program Coordinator/Assistant Professor,
Deborah Periman, Professor,
Marny Rivera, Associate Professor,
Andre Rosay, Director,