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.
- Complete the Admission Requirements for Baccalaureate Degrees.
- 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.
- Complete the General University Requirements for Baccalaureate Degrees.
- Complete the General Education Requirements for Baccalaureate Degrees.
- Courses used to fulfill the Social Sciences General Education Requirement must be taken outside the legal studies major.
- Take the Legal Studies Exit Examination. There is no minimum score required for graduation.
- Complete the following major requirements with a minimum grade of C in Legal Studies (LEGL) courses:
|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|
|LEGL A101||Introduction to Law||3|
|LEGL A215||Legal Ethics and the Role of the Legal Professional||3|
|LEGL A352||Criminal Law||3|
|LEGL A356||Legal Research, Analysis, and Writing||3|
|LEGL A367||Civil Procedure and Pretrial Practice||3|
|LEGL/JUST A374||The Courts||3|
|LEGL A377||Evidence, Investigation, and Discovery||3|
|LEGL A487||Trial and Advanced Litigation Processes||3|
|LEGL A489||Legal Studies Senior Seminar||3|
|Complete one of the following:||3|
|Race, Equal Protection and the Law|
|Law, History and Social Change|
|Complete 15-17 credits (12 upper-division) of Legal Studies (LEGL) electives or 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|
|Film and the First Amendment|
|Philosophy of Law|
|Complete at least 3 credits of one of the following:||3|
|Civic Engagement Internship (with a minimum grade of C)|
|Legal Studies Internship|
Upper division law courses from the justice 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 Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies.
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 recognizes distinguished achievement by conferring 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. In order to receive pro bono service honors, a student must meet the following requirements:
- Major in any of the legal studies programs, as well as legal studies minors.
- 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.