Legal Studies

Bachelor of Science

Start your path to a challenging and fulfilling career in law!

Do you want to make a difference in the lives of neighbors and communities? Have you ever wanted to protect individual rights, obtain justice for victims, or preserve liberties for the disadvantaged? Then Wilmington University's Legal Studies program may be perfect for you!

Already have a bachelor's degree? Looking to enhance your skills and your resume? WU offers a post-bachelor's certificate in Legal Studies.

ABA approval

Both the bachelor's degree and the post-bachelor's certificate program have been approved by the American Bar Association. This approval testifies to the University's never-ending commitment to providing the best possible education for our students.


The Bachelor of Science degree in Legal Studies offers a balanced education with an emphasis in the law. It provides sound preparation for students aspiring to further study in law or for those wishing to enter the legal field as a paralegal or legal assistant working under the supervision of an attorney. Additionally, students will gain a solid foundation for careers in other areas, including government, human resources, and banking.

Program of Study

The program emphasizes the knowledge, skills, and values needed to become competent and ethical professionals working in the legal services industry. The General Education requirements required of all Wilmington University students, provide a well-rounded academic foundation that emphasizes analytical thinking, reading comprehension, and communication skills. In addition, students receive direct instruction in legal research and writing, legal concepts and terminology, and the practical skills needed to successfully enter the job market. Furthermore, an emphasis is placed on providing students the opportunity to develop strong interpersonal skills, self-discipline, and ethical principles.

Program Competencies

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

  1. Access, use, and evaluate information effectively and appropriately, and use technology to effectively locate and communicate information.
  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.

"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 courses considered legal specialties 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 Available Online, LES 220 Available Online, LES 314, LES 316, LES 403 and LES 480 Available Online (designated with an asterisk). Students receiving a grade lower than "C" in any of these courses must retake that course.

This information applies to students who enter this degree program during the 2015-2016 Academic Year. If you entered this degree program before the Fall 2015 semester, please refer to the academic catalog for the year you began your degree program.