The School of Professional Studies is excited to announce that it is adding a new concentration, legal studies, to the Bachelor of Professional Studies degree.
The legal studies concentration provides students with strong research and analytical skills applicable in a global, 21st century economy. Students will learn communication, critical thinking, research and management skills. In addition, students will be able to critically analyze a case, provide end-to-end case management, understand the long-term planning and develop project management skills.
Before launching the legal studies concentration, Godfrey Gibbison, Dean of the School of Professional Studies, and Graeme Coetzer, Director of the Bachelor of Professional Studies program, researched Charleston and South Carolina’s need for this concentration. They found that in 2017, over 400 job listings for paralegals and legal assessments were posted.
Among job postings that list the required degree level, a baccalaureate degree is required or preferred by nearly 90% in Charleston and over 80% in Columbia. This trend appears to have emerged and intensified over the last decade. It also appears to be a national trend.
Law firms want their paralegals to be independently functioning individuals who think critically, communicate well with colleagues and with clients, have strong written communication skills, can lead and manage an office, and are highly skilled in legal research.
The vast majority of job openings for paralegals are within law firms. However, job opportunities are also available in public administration, finance, insurance, and real estate.
This program opens up an efficient and cost-effective pathway for graduates of technical colleges who want to go further in their career. If a students earns a certificate or degree from an American Bar Association (ABA) approved program, you are eligible to transfer up to 60 hours to the Bachelor of Professional Studies degree-seeking program.
If a student hasn’t completed an ABA approved program, they can take the prerequisite courses from an approved program and then apply.