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Degree Overview: Associate of Arts (A.A.) Degree in Legal Studies

Majors Overview December 11, 2013

Before a lawyer is qualified to practice law and achieve licensure, it is necessary to finish a four-year bachelor’s degree program and a three-year law school program. Associate of Arts (A.A.) degrees are not relevant to the occupation. Legal assistants and paralegals are allowed to finish two-year programs, such as an Associate of Arts in legal Studies.

A.A. Programs in Legal Studies

Community colleges are among the schools that most commonly offer Associate’s degree programs in legal studies that are devised to help graduates seek entry-level jobs as paralegals and legal assistants. Students can expect to become adept at conducting legal research and providing assistance to licensed attorneys.

Graduates of a degree program in law gain knowledge about the basic concepts of U.S. law, legal procedures and civil litigation. They can also expect to be taught the modes of preparing basic legal documents, writing legal correspondence, organizing legal assignments, demonstrating knowledge of legal ethics and using correct legal terminology.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria related to an associate’s degree program in legal studies typically require applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma. Applicants should also have strong writing skills and an avid interest in research apart from paying keen attention to detail.

Coursework

Coursework in an Associate’s degree programs in legal studies includes classes providing an introduction to legal theory and law in addition to courses that impart specific training and instruction in legal procedures and writing, including:

•Contract law
•Bankruptcy law
•Family law
•Administrative law
•Law office management
•Introduction to the U.S. legal system
•Civil procedures
•Legal interview techniques
•Legal research and writing

Job and Wage Outlook

Legal assistants and paralegals are mainly hired by local, state and federal government agencies apart from legal services agencies. In 2009, there were over 246,000 of these professionals employed in the country (source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). During that year, these professionals earned an average annual wage of $46,980.

Certification Choices

Paralegals and legal assistants may not need certification to be able to get employed; however, these professionals would benefit from certifications offered in the field by organizations such as the American Alliance of Paralegals and the National Association of Legal Assistants. Completion of an educational program and passage of a certifying examination are requirements for certification.

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Showing schools in your area

5 Program(s) Found
  • Topped the list as Best Online Bachelor’s Program in Virginia by U.S. News & World Report in 2019.
  • Regent is ranked among Top National Universities by U.S. News & World Report, 2019.
  • Flexible online, on-campus and evening courses offered in 135 areas of study, including Business, Nursing, Psychology, & more.
  • Regent is recognized among Top #10 Military Friendly Schools by Military Friendly®, 2019.
  • 88% of Regent University students receive financial aid, with $24 million awarded in institutional scholarships & aid in 2017-18.
  • Online Courses
5 Program(s) Found
  • Liberty University provides a worldclass education from a christ-centered worldview
  • 100% online programs at associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels
  • No standardized testing if student meets admission requirements
  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • 87% of Liberty University students receive some form of financial aid
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
4 Program(s) Found
  • Start your exciting Paralegal education with a legal studies certificate from Post
  • 100% online with degrees at all levels
  • Learn to summarize depositions, do legal research, prepare legal documents & more
  • Led by faculty who bring years of practical legal experience and insights
  • Post University earned the 2017 Military Spouse Friendly School® designation
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits

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