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About Legal Studies

The legal studies concentration focuses on communication, critical thinking, research and management. In this program, you will learn advanced legal research and writing, how to give a professional presentation and law office administration. You will develop critical and analytical thinking.

This concentration prepares you to work in the legal field in the public, private and non-profit sector. This program offers you a practical curriculum that covers leadership, organization and management. It prepares you to direct individuals and teams and use creativity to solve problems.

The Bachelor of Professional Studies (BPS) core curriculum provides you with the skills you need to succeed in today’s global economy. Students who are looking to complete their bachelor’s degree will receive both foundational knowledge and profession-specific skills.

Where can Legal Studies take me?

A Bachelor of Professional Studies degree with a concentration in legal studies will strengthen your skills in legal research, legal writing, management and communication. The strategies you will learn in the BPS core classes and in the legal studies classes will help you advance your career in the legal field.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), paralegals and legal assistants earned a median annual salary of $50,940 in 2018. By 2026, the BLS predicts that jobs in this field will increase by 15 percent. In South Carolina, jobs in legal administration are predicted to increase by 16 percent.

According to recent South Carolina labor market data, the mean hourly wage for legal secretaries in Charleston-North Charleston is $17.33. The mean hourly wage for paralegals and legal assistants in Charleston-North Charleston is $24.78, which is the highest in the state of South Carolina. In South Carolina, the mean hourly wage for legal secretaries ranges from $14.29 an hour (Florence) to $21.88 an hour (Columbia). The mean hourly wage for paralegals and legal assistants ranges from $17.58 an hour (Florence) to $24.78 an hour (Charleston-North Charleston).

Paralegals and legal assistants typically have at least an associate’s degree or a certificate in paralegal studies; however, 35 percent of employees in South Carolina who work as a paralegal have a bachelor’s degree. Law offices are increasingly looking for paralegals and legal assistants with a bachelor’s degree.

Legal Studies Career Opportunities

  • Paralegal
  • Corporate Law Assistant
  • Law Associate
  • Legal Analyst
  • Legal Assistant
  • Real Estate Paralegal

Want more information?

Pre-requisite: Students applying to the Bachelor of Professional Studies must have a minimum of 24 post-secondary credits to transfer to the College. To be considered for the legal studies concentration, students should have an A.A.S. degree in paralegal studies, a certificate in paralegal studies or have earned 12 credits in legal courses at a technical college. Here is a list of the approved programs of study.



Required Coursework

The Bachelor of Professional Studies is a four-year degree program at the College of Charleston. Most students come to this program with some college credit; however, if you are interested in this program and do not have college credit, please speak with an advisor to discuss your options.

Because most students enter the program with some college credit, the BPS program requires that students complete a core curriculum of 20-22 hours. The BPS Core includes professionally oriented courses like Leading Oneself and Others in the 21st Century, Creativity and Innovation in the 21st Century, and Ethics, Social Responsibility and Sustainability in the 21st Century.

Then, each student is required to complete 18 credit hours within a concentration. The courses in the legal studies concentration include

  • LGST 301 Advanced Legal Research and Writing
  • LGST 390 Law Office Administration
  • LGST 444 Legal Studies Internship*
  • MGMT 301 Management & Organizational Behavior
  • PMGT 301 Introduction to Project Management
  • PRST 330 Professional Writing and Presentations
  • PRST 335 Managing Internal and External Stakeholders
  • *The internship can be waived for students who have already completed a paralegal internship or students who have a requisite employment experience as a paralegal or legal assistant. Students granted a waiver are required to take an additional three credit hour elective.

    Finally, students will need to complete 12 additional credit hours. There are over 35 electives that students can choose from.

    Questions?

    The School of Professional Studies has dedicated staff members who are happy to help you with your decision.

    Meet Your Advisors: