Prelaw and Legal Scholars Program

Legal Studies: SUU's Prelaw & Paralegal Program

The Legal Studies Program of SUU is part of the Department of Political Science & Criminal Justice but works with students from all majors who have an interest in a future career in law as an attorney or paralegal.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Undergraduate Legal Studies Program is to provide students with the knowledge, skills, and values necessary to work effectively, competently, ethically, and successfully as legal professionals in a law office/firm, corporation/business entity, government agency, or the public sector, as well to support students in seeking their goals of attending law school and becoming attorneys.

Prelaw

"Prelaw" is an academic path that indicates a student has a desire to attend law school and then become an attorney. Law schools that are accredited by the American Bar Association admit students from all walks of life with a variety of degrees in many different majors. Thus, there is no particular "prelaw" major that future lawyers must follow. However, whatever major selected should be in an area of study that interests and challenges the student. In fact, the American Bar Association encourages students to take "a broad range of difficult courses from demanding instructors" as an "excellent preparation for legal education. A sound legal education will build upon and further refine the skills, values, and knowledge that [students] already possess."

Paralegal

There is no mandatory education for paralegals. However, students who wish to become paralegals working in a law firm or other legal environment are encouraged to obtain an AA/AS degree in Legal Studies offered through the Legal Studies Program. In that way, they will be introduced to many law-related subjects and general education courses that should support their career interests.

SUU Law-Related Curriculum

SUU students who seek to become attorneys may pursue any Bachelor's degree. SUU does offer law-related curriculum although such courses are required to attend law school. In this regard, SUU offers a "prelaw" track in its Political Science major and a Legal Studies minor that may be sought by students of any major. In addition, some students may wish to obtain an AA/AS degree in Legal Studies before, or while, working toward their Bachelor's. Even if the Legal Studies degree is not sought, "prelaw" students may still wish to take several of its law-related courses, especially Introduction to Law and Legal Research and Writing. Note: other disciplines offer law-related courses such as Constitutional Law in Political Science, Criminal Law in Criminal Justice, Deductive Logic in Philosophy, and Business Law in Accounting.

In addition to law-related courses, the SUU Legal Studies Program and Legal Studies Student Association (LSSA) work together to offer many activities and events for prelaw and paralegal students including field trips and law school admissions workshops. The Legal Studies advisor is here to answer any questions and provide enhanced advising in areas such as law school admissions and law office employment. To contact the advisor, email legalscholars@suu.edu