Legal Studies

Program Description

The Legal Studies Concentration of the Criminal Justice bachelor’s program prepares students for careers in the fields of paralegal/legal assistant and judicial administration. Students interested in pursuing law school may wish to consider this track, although no specific major is required by most law schools.

The Auburn Montgomery Criminal Justice Department has offered an American Bar Association approved paralegal education program since 1986.  The program is designed to train highly competent and well-rounded individuals for careers as paralegals/legal assistants or as court or other judicial administrators.  It offers excellent preparation for those desiring to pursue graduate studies, including law school.  Students can earn a certificate of program completion from AUM, an ABA-approved paralegal program, while completing a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, Legal Studies Concentration. The certificate is earned and awarded at graduation.

While the paralegal profession had its beginnings in law firms, paralegals now work in most corporations and business organizations such as banks, insurance companies and health organizations. The government is also a big employer of paralegals. Working under the supervision of an attorney, the paralegal’s work product is merged with and becomes part of the attorney work product for a client. In communications with clients and the public, the paralegal’s non-lawyer status must be clear. Paralegals cannot give legal advice or perform any duty specifically reserved for licensed attorneys. Typical duties of a paralegal include:

  • Conducting client interviews and maintaining general contact with the client
  • Locating and interviewing witnesses
  • Conducting legal research
  • Drafting legal documents, correspondence and pleadings
  • Summarizing depositions, interrogatories and testimony
  • Attending executions of wills, real estate closings, depositions, court or administrative hearings and trials with the attorney

Legal Studies Important Information
Legal Studies Plan of Study
Legal Studies Four Year Plan of Study
www.governmentjobs.com (Key word: Court, Legal Administration)

Please review our Scholarships page. For more information, please email [email protected]  or contact the faculty and staff of the Department of Criminal Justice.

Disclaimers: The Outreach Program paralegal certificate courses offered at Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama, are not ABA-approved. Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law. Alabama law prohibits the practice of law by non-lawyers, including legal assistants/paralegals.  A program graduate is not a certified paralegal.  Paralegal certification is administered by professional paralegal organizations.

Points of Pride

  • This paralegal education program is approved by the American Bar Association.
  • AUM is an institutional member of the American Association for Paralegal Education.
  • Full-time faculty have published scholarly  articles in prestigious journals, including Juvenile and Family Court Journal and the Alabama Lawyer.
  • Full-time Faculty have presented at annual conferences such as the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, the American Society of Criminology, and the American Association for Paralegal Education.
  • All of our Legal Studies faculty members are licensed attorneys.

Put Your Degree to Work

Note: While salaries vary depending on several factors including your level of experience, education and training, and geography and industry, here is a sampling of the future job growth and salaries nationally.

Employment of legal occupations is projected to grow 7 percent from 2018 to 2028, which will result in about 64,600 new jobs. The job growth for paralegals and legal assistants, however, is 12 percent.

U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics sample

JobsMedian Annual PayJob Growth through 2028
Paralegals and Legal Assistants$50,94012%
Court Reporters$57,1507%
Arbitrators, Mediators, and Conciliators$62,2708%

For More Information

Department of Criminal Justice
Auburn University at Montgomery
Clement Hall 319

Program Overview

For a full review of this program in detail, please see our official online catalog AND consult with an academic advisor.

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