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Legal Studies, Bachelor of Science

Purpose

The Bachelor of Science degree in Legal Studies is designed to prepare students to enter the legal field as a paralegal or legal assistant working under the supervision of an attorney in the public, private, or governmental sectors. Additionally, students will gain a solid foundation for graduate studies in law or careers in other areas, including corporate compliance, human resources, and banking.

Program of Study

This program is oriented around the critical job functions of competent and ethical professionals working in the legal services industry. That means each course within the program has been strategically selected and designed to deliver the knowledge, skills, and values necessary to enter the workforce upon graduation. To enhance this core curriculum and provide a well-rounded academic experience, students will also take a series of general education courses that emphasize analytical thinking, reading comprehension, and interpersonal communication.

Program Competencies

In addition to demonstrating college level proficiency in the Wilmington University undergraduate competencies, Legal Studies graduates will also be able to:

  1. Locate, evaluate, use, and communicate legal and non-legal information effectively and appropriately.
  2. Apply legal and ethical principles to guide professional behaviors and decision-making.
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of the use, management, assessment, and application of technology in the legal environment.
  4. Exercise critical thinking strategies, including reasoning, problem solving, analysis, and evaluation in the legal context.
  5. Demonstrate effective written communication of legal issues, concepts, and authority, utilizing the Bluebook Uniform System of Citation.
  6. Exercise effective interpersonal skills, including building and enhancing interpersonal relationships, and interacting effectively with others.

“Legal Specialties”

Students must take a minimum of 18 credits of "legal specialty" courses to earn a degree in Legal Studies. The 18 credits may be satisfied with a combination of transfer courses and courses taken at Wilmington University. A legal specialty is defined by the American Bar Association (ABA) as a course that covers substantive law or legal procedures or processes, has been developed for paralegals, emphasizes practical paralegal skills, and meets the ABA's instructional requirements. The Legal Studies program offers legal specialties in an accelerated, hybrid, and online format. Legal Specialty courses are designated with (LS) below; however, they can also be identified by course description and by the Basic Course Information provided on the website. 

Face-to-Face Requirement

Students must take a minimum of 10 credits of legal specialty courses through traditional, face-to-face classroom instruction. This requirement may be satisfied through any combination of semester, block, or hybrid courses.

Transfer Policy

The Legal Studies program may accept in transfer equivalent, legal specialty courses that are taken at another institution. A maximum of 21 credits of legal specialty courses may be accepted from ABA-approved institutions, and a maximum of 9 credits of legal specialty courses may be accepted from institutions which are not ABA-approved.

Credit Through Alternate Sources

The award of credit for legal specialty courses through Portfolio Assessment or by Examination is coordinated by the Legal Studies program Chair to ensure that the quality and integrity of the program are maintained. Any award of credit requires the approval of the program Chair upon demonstration that the credits can be classified as legal specialty, meets the course objectives and practical skills to be developed for the course for which credit is being awarded, meets the needs of the legal community the program serves, and is comparable to course work offered within the program. A maximum of 15 credits may be earned through Portfolio Assessment, and a maximum of 15 credits may be earned through Examination. For more information, please consult the Student Handbook section entitled "Alternative Credit Methods" or speak to the program Chair or an academic advisor.

Lambda Epsilon Chi Honor Society

Lambda Epsilon Chi (LEX) is a national honor society for paralegal students and one of the highest scholastic honors that can be achieved in the Wilmington University College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Invitation to membership in Lambda Epsilon Chi is based on application, grade point average (GPA), and formal recommendation of the Legal Studies Advisory Board.  It is the College’s way of recognizing the outstanding scholastic achievements of students completing a Bachelor of Science or Post-Bachelor’s Certificate in Legal Studies.

Minimum Grade Policy

The Legal Studies program has set a minimum passing grade of “C” for LES 200, 220, 225, 226, 228, 390, and 380 (designated with an asterisk). Students receiving a grade lower than “C” in any of these courses must retake that course.

 

Express or Guaranteed Admission Program with Widener University Delaware Law School

Students earning a bachelor’s degree from Wilmington University who meet the following criteria are guaranteed admission to Widener University Delaware Law School’s juris doctor (J.D.) program:

  • Complete all the requirements for conferral of a Wilmington University baccalaureate degree
  • Earn a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.5 or higher
  • Achieve an LSAT score that meets or exceeds the median LSAT score of the current Delaware Law first year entering class
  • Satisfy all law school admissions requirements relating to character and fitness
  • Submit a completed application to Delaware Law no later than April 1st of the calendar year in which the student plans to begin legal study


Curriculum

General Education Requirements (39-40 credits)

CTA 206 Computer Applications

ECO 105 Fundamentals of Economics

ENG 121 English Composition I

ENG 122 English Composition II

ENG 131 Public Speaking

HIS 381 Contemporary Global Issues

LES 226 Legal Writing

MAT 205 Introductory Survey of Mathematics

PHI 100 Introduction to Critical Thinking

PSY 101 Introduction to Psychology

OR

SOC 101 Introduction to Sociology

Humanities Electives

Choose 2 of the following courses:

BBM 319 Business Ethics

COM 245 Writing for the Media

DSN 110 Fundamentals of Drawing

TEC 215 Basic Photography

or any course that begins CUL, DRA, ETN, ART, SPA, HIS, HUM, LIT, MUS, PHI, or REL

Natural Science Elective

Interdisciplinary Concentration (15 credits)

FIN 301 Personal Finance

OR

FIN 101 Financial Literacy

HIS 316 American History

POL 300 American Politics

OR

POL 326 Public Policy and Social Issues

MAT 308 Inferential Statistics

ORG 304 Survey of Human Dynamics

Legal Studies Core (27 credits)

LES 200 Legal Ethics

LES 220 Introduction to Legal Studies

LES 225 Legal Research

LES 228 Civil Procedure

LES 350 Interviewing & Investigating

LES 380 Law Office Administration & Technology

LES 390 Advanced Legal Writing

LES 440 Advanced Litigation Skills

LES 491 Capstone: Virtual Experience in Legal Studies

 

Directed Core Electives (20-21 credits)

Choose 7 of the following courses:

LES 205 State and Local Government

LES 206 U.S. Administrative and Regulatory Law

LES 207 Global Regulatory Law

LES 213 American Legal History

LES 216 Environmental Law

LES 217 Food and Drug Law and Policy: Who Decides What We Can Eat, Drink, and Ingest?

LES 302 Business Organizations

LES 304 Constitutional Law

LES 306 Family Law

LES 308 Employment Law

LES 309 Bankruptcy

LES 311 Estates, Trusts, and Probates

LES 317 Contracts

LES 321 Real Estate, Transfer, and Ownership Law

LES 323 Law & Practice in Human Services

LES 324 Criminal Law

LES 327 Intellectual Property

LES 328 Personal Injury and Malpractice

LES 330 Cyberlaw

LES 331 Electronic Discovery

LES 401 LSAT Preparation

LES 405 Delaware Practice

LES 430 Evidence

LES 490 Internship in Legal Studies

 

Or With Approval of Chair:

CRJ 304 Constitutional Law

CRJ 316 Criminal Law

CRJ 411 Criminal Evidence and Procedures

POL 304 Constitutional Law and Procedures

Free Electives (18 credits)

Students with less than 16 transfer credits are required to take FYE 101 as one of their electives.

Suggested Program Sequence

Freshman

1st Semester

CTA 206 Computer Applications

ENG 121 English Composition I

FYE 101 First Year Experience Seminar

MAT 205 Introductory Survey of Mathematics

PSY 101 Introduction to Psychology

OR

SOC 101 Introduction to Sociology

2nd Semester

ECO 105 Fundamentals of Economics

ENG 122 English Composition II

PHI 100 Introduction to Critical Thinking

HUM Elective

Natural Science Elective

Sophomore

1st Semester

LES 200 Legal Ethics

LES 220 Introduction to Legal Studies

LES 225 Legal Research

ENG 131 Public Speaking

HUM Elective

2nd Semester

HIS 381 Contemporary Global Issues

LES 228 Civil Procedure

LES 226 Legal Writing

MAT 308 Inferential Statistics

ORG 304 Survey of Human Dynamics

Junior

1st Semester

FIN 301 Personal Finance

OR

FIN 101 Financial Literacy

LES 350 Interviewing & Investigating

Legal Elective

HIS 316 American History

LES 380 Law Office Administration & Technology

2nd Semester

POL 300 American Politics

OR

POL 326 Public Policy and Social Issues

LES 440 Advanced Litigation Skills

Free Elective

Legal Elective

Legal Elective

Senior

1st Semester

LES 390 Advanced Legal Writing

Free Elective

Free Elective

Legal Elective

Legal Elective

2nd Semester

LES 491 Capstone: Virtual Experience in Legal Studies

Free Elective

Free Elective

Legal Elective

Legal Elective


Legal Studies Completion Degree

Curriculum

As a transfer student who holds an associate's degree from a partner institution, the following courses are required

Required Courses

LES 350 Interviewing & Investigating

LES 390 Advanced Legal Writing

LES 380 Law Office Administration & Technology

LES 440 Advanced Litigation Skills

LES 491 Capstone: Virtual Experience in Legal Studies

FIN 301 Personal Finance

MAT 308 Inferential Statistics

ORG 304 Survey of Human Dynamics

LES Upper Level Legal Studies Elective

LES Upper Level Legal Studies Elective

LES Upper Level Legal Studies Elective

LES Upper Level Legal Studies Elective

LES Upper Level Legal Studies Elective

LES Upper Level Legal Studies Elective

LES Upper Level Legal Studies Elective

The following courses are pre-requisites for a degree in Legal Studies

CTA 206 Computer Applications

ENG 121 English Composition I

ENG 122 English Composition II

ENG 131 Public Speaking

MAT 205 Introductory Survey of Mathematics

LES 200 Legal Ethics

LES 220 Introduction to Legal Studies

LES 225 Legal Research

LES 226 Legal Writing

LES 228 Civil Procedure

What is a Completion Degree?

A Completion Degree is a personalized version of a Bachelor's degree created exclusively for students who have completed an Associate's degree at an ABA-approved paralegal or legal studies program. A student who expects to transfer a completed Associate's degree should communicate with a Wilmington University Academic Advisor before registering for courses. A transcript with documentation of the conferred degree must be received by Wilmington University to confirm eligibility.