Program Director: Dr. Lisa Norris
The Associate of Applied Science degree in Legal Studies prepares students to work with attorneys in the preparation of documents, research, and investigation necessary for the representation of clients and their cases in a variety of settings – from small law firms to large corporate legal departments and various governmental agencies. The program supports the general principles of ethical legal practice, professional responsibility, and the prohibition against the unauthorized practice of law that prohibits a paralegal from offering legal advice or actively providing legal representation except as specifically permitted by state or federal law. Both civil and criminal legal theories are taught along with practical skills used by paralegals in the workforce to apply the theory of real-world situations.
Legal Studies is also well-suited to those students considering pursuing a bachelors’ degree leading to law school. Classes are taught by attorneys using law-school methodologies.
What can I do with a Legal Studies degree?
Corporate compliance assistants
Title examiners, abstractors, and searchers
Claims adjusters, appraisers, examiners, and investigators
Occupational health and safety specialists and technicians
- Human Resources
Program credit hours may also be applied to the Bachelor of Applied Science degree and Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership at UA Fort Smith.
Websites for Career Research
Why should you choose to major in Legal Studies?
Laws affect everything you do every day, from driving down the street to the food you eat. As a paralegal you can work with the agencies and the lawyers who deal with the issues in which you are interested – sue people, defend people, help write laws, get laws repealed, prosecute criminals, defend the falsely accused, protect animal rights, protect the environment, work for large corporations, work for small law firms, help get new technologies patented, draft wills, work for banks, investment firms, insurance companies – there is a place for every single interest in the legal field.
If you choose to pursue a bachelor’s degree and eventually enter law school, you will find that the legal studies program provides the same courses found in most law schools. The classic first year law school courses are broken down over four semesters, instead of two.
Work-based learning is available through student internships in the legal studies field at local area businesses or industries with supervised employment and observation.
Example of Host Sites:
Undergraduate Research Opportunities
Graduates are employed with:
- Candice Settle & Carrie Jernigan Attorneys at Law
- Jones, Jackson, and Moll, PLC
The College of Applied Science and Technology has received accreditation from the Association of Technology Management and Applied Engineering (ATMAE). ATMAE Accreditation represents the highest standard of achievement for applied technology programs and institutions nationwide. The Legal Studies program is approved by the American Bar Association.