Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies
The Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Legal Studies provides students with a broad educational background in American law and policy that prepares them well for a lifetime of informed civic participation. Students will also acquire the technical skills and specialized knowledge that will enable them to build a career working in federal and state agencies or court systems, in a variety of legal service settings, in private law offices or corporate legal departments, and in a multitude of other public and private organizations where familiarity with government regulation and legal processes is required. The program also lays the academic foundation for students who later wish to advance to graduate programs in law or public policy. The program is approved by the American Bar Association.
Please note that students obtaining the BA in Legal Studies are not authorized to provide direct legal services to the public. The program offers training for paraprofessionals who are authorized to perform substantive legal work under the supervision of a licensed attorney. The program does not train lawyers.
- Satisfy the Application and Admission Requirements for Baccalaureate Programs.
- Students must have completed WRTG A111 with a minimum grade of C and (WRTG A211 or WRTG A212 or WRTG A213 or WRTG A214 or ENGL A311 or ENGL A312 or ENGL A313 or ENGL A414 ) with a minimum grade of B.
- Students must have a 2.00 overall GPA.
Students who do not meet the admissions requirements will be admitted as pre-majors. Students may take up to 12 credit hours of Legal Studies courses while in pre-major status.
- Students who have not completed the English prerequisites for admission to the program should begin their English coursework in their first semester as a pre-major.
- Students are strongly encouraged to complete an Undergraduate Certificate in Civic Engagement or to augment their degree with a Minor in Justice or another discipline. Students should note, however, that courses that may be used to satisfy either the legal studies degree or the justice minor will not be counted toward the completion requirements of both programs.
- Proficiency in the use of computers and standard office software is an important component of legal practice. Students are strongly encouraged to build their technological skills through coursework in Computer Information and Office Systems (CIOS), Computer Information Systems (CIS), or Computer and Networking Technology (CNT) as they progress through the program.
- Campus restrictions for this program are enforced in accordance with the American Bar Association Guidelines for the Approval of Paralegal Education Programs. Therefore, the legal studies degree cannot be completed at extended campuses. Courses designated in this catalog as legal specialty courses may be taken only at the Anchorage campus.
- Transfer credit for legal studies and justice courses will be determined at the departmental level.
- Legal studies majors who have completed the Associate of Applied Science in Paralegal Studies at the University of Alaska Fairbanks will receive full transfer credit for their courses in accordance with the articulation agreement on file in the Justice Center and posted on the Justice Center website. However, students must complete 120 total credit hours for the degree; 42 of those credits must be upper division.
- Students interested in the Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Legal Studies should consult a faculty advisor in the Justice Center before enrolling in legal studies courses.
- Satisfy the General University Requirements for Baccalaureate Degrees.
- Complete the General Education Requirements for Baccalaureate Degrees.
- Students must achieve a minimum grade of C in each legal studies core course and in the legal studies electives. Courses may be repeated twice to improve grades.
- Courses used to fulfill the Social Sciences General Education Requirement must be taken outside the legal studies major.
- Complete the following major requirements:
|Written Communications Skills|
|WRTG A111||Writing Across Contexts||3|
|Complete one of the following (with a minimum grade of B):||3|
|Writing and the Humanities|
|Writing and the Professions|
|Writing and the Sciences|
|Arguing Across Contexts|
|Complete one of the following (with a minimum grade of B):||3|
|Writing and Rhetoric in Public Life|
|Advanced Technical Writing|
|JUST A374||The Courts||3|
|LEGL A101||Introduction to Law||3|
|LEGL A215||Legal Ethics and the Role of the Legal Professional||3|
|LEGL A315||Development of Law||3|
|LEGL A352||Criminal Law and Procedure||3|
|LEGL A356||Legal Research, Analysis, and Writing||3|
|LEGL A367||Civil Procedure and Pretrial Practice||3|
|LEGL A377||Evidence, Investigation, and Discovery||3|
|LEGL A487||Trial and Advanced Litigation Processes||3|
|LEGL A489||Legal Studies Senior Seminar||3|
|Complete 15-17 credits (12 upper division) from the following list: 1||15-17|
|Aviation Law and Regulations|
|Business Law I|
|Business Law II|
|Real Estate Law|
|Boundary Law I|
|Boundary Law II|
|First Amendment and Media Ethics|
|Movies and the First Amendment|
|Contracts, Debt and Principles of Ownership|
|Torts, Workers' Compensation and Insurance Law|
|Health Care Law and Regulatory Compliance|
|Jurisprudence and Legal Theory|
|Tribal Courts and Alaska Native Rights|
|Legal Studies Internship (with instructor approval)|
|Philosophy of Law|
|CEL A395||Civic Engagement Internship (with a minimum grade of C)||3-9|
Other upper division law courses from the justice or legal studies curriculum may be used to satisfy this requirement with departmental approval. Only 6 credits of JUST A490 may be used to satisfy elective requirements for the BA in Legal Studies.
All Legal Studies majors must take the Legal Studies Exit Examination. There is no minimum score required for graduation.
A minimum of 120 credits is required for the degree, 30 of which must be in residence. At least 42 credits must be upper division, 24 of which must be in residence.
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:
- Meet the catalog requirements for the minor, degree or certificate sought.
- Complete the following number of volunteer hours with a legal services agency approved by the Department of Legal Studies program coordinator:
- Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies: 120 hours
- 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.
- 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 Department of Legal Studies 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.
Program Student Learning Outcomes
Students graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies will be able to:
- Produce superior university-level written documents and oral reports.
- Identify and accurately apply the rules of professional ethics governing lawyers and nonlawyer staff, and the rules governing the unauthorized practice of law in Alaska.
- Interpret and accurately apply legal terminology and foundational principles of substantive and procedural law in the analysis of legal issues.
- Develop and execute legal research plans using law library resources and commonly used legal research databases.
- Synthesize primary and secondary legal authorities and draft memoranda of legal analysis.
- Prepare legal investigation and discovery plans and draft legal pleadings that conform to the rules of civil procedure and incorporate standard techniques and resources for managing a case in litigation.
- Assess and critique theories of law and the impact of American law, both historically and currently, on social and economic relationships, access to public resources, and individual liberties.
- Construct from disparate fields of substantive law a unified theory of law as a mechanism for ordering social and economic relationships.