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Earn Your Bachelor of Arts in General Legal Studies

  • On Campus
  • Campus/Online Combo

The Bachelor of Arts in General Legal Studies and Paralegal Certificate program at the Tulane School of Professional Advancement will prepare students to work in the legal industry as paralegals or take the first step toward an advanced legal degree. Our BA degree and paralegal certificate program has been approved by the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Paralegals since 1981, making ours the oldest ABA-approved program in the region.

The General Legal Studies curriculum reflects the rigor and quality that ABA requires and legal employers demand. Students will develop core skills such as legal research, writing, and analysis, along with law office technology and other practical aspects of the legal profession. The program culminates in a practicum course that combines an in-office internship and classroom component focused on career skills and networking.

"After years of dissatisfaction and little job security,  I turned to Tulane’s School of Continuing Studies (now School of Professional Advancement) to attain a certificate in Paralegal  Studies.  Because I had some college credits, and the help of advisors, I was able to go further than I thought possible. I received a BA in Paralegal Studies in 2015 and leveraged my BA to enroll in law school.  In 2018, I graduated from law school, passed the bar, and am now an assistant district attorney. Oh, and I was 61 when I was sworn in. It is never too late."

Janet LaRue, SCS/SoPA Class of 2015, BA, Paralegal Studies and Tulane 34.

Achieve an Esteemed Degree Without Putting Your Life on Hold

With a flexible course schedule that includes evening and online options, the General Legal Studies program is convenient for both working adults and traditional students. You can earn your degree from a world-renowned institution with the prestige and name recognition you need to stand out in the job market, and you can do it without sacrificing your schedule or work obligations.

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Prepare for Exciting Support Roles in the Legal Industry

Thanks to our long history and the success of our alumni, the General Legal Studies program enjoys broad support in the legal community, giving our graduates access to a robust network of potential employers. For students planning to attend law school, this program is an ideal first step.

Additionally, graduates of the general legal studies undergraduate program will be prepared to fulfill any of the following positions:

  • Paralegal or Legal Assistant
  • Law Office Manager
  • Human Resource Administrator
  • Court Clerk
  • Investigator
  • Contract Administrator
  • Insurance Adjuster

Please note: Paralegals are trained professionals who work under the supervision of licensed attorneys. Paralegals are not lawyers and are not permitted to practice law or to provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law.

Gain Industry Insights Focused on Career Preparation

All courses are taught by practicing attorneys and paralegals with intimate experience in the legal system across a diverse field of practice areas, giving our students immediate and direct access to the professional networks so crucial to employment. With small class sizes and collaborative learning opportunities, students can build close relationships with both professors and peers that can lead to success in the classroom and beyond.

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BA Admission Requirements

To apply for the BA in General Legal Studies program, students must have earned a high school diploma or General Equivalency Diploma prior to the semester in which they would like to enroll. Students are not required to take standardized tests. Transfer students must be in good standing with the most recent prior college attended or have completed any dismissal terms set forth by the previous academic institution.

General Legal Studies Degree Requirements

The School of Professional Advancement awards the Bachelor of Arts in General Legal Studies degree following the successful completion of 120 credits, including 36 credits in the major. Upon completion of prerequisite courses, students will complete a practicum course that includes a 100-hour law office internship and classroom component focusing upon legal professionalism and job search skills.

To ensure compliance with ABA requirements, all students must complete at least 4 GLSP classes (12 credits) via in-person or synchronous transmission format.

BA Academic Progress Requirements

Undergraduate students are required to maintain the following minimum grade-point average throughout their enrollment dependant on the total number of credit hours completed:

  • 1-30 cumulative attempted credit hours completed: 1.75 minimum cumulative GPA
  • 31-61 cumulative attempted credit hours completed: 1.85 minimum cumulative GPA
  • 62-93 cumulative attempted credit hours completed: 1.95 minimum cumulative GPA
  • 94-124 cumulative attempted credit hours completed: 2.00 minimum cumulative GPA

Students will be placed on academic probation upon failure to meet these requirements. The cumulative grade-point average of a student is calculated by dividing the number of quality points a student has earned by the total number of quality hours (including credits with failures). Only the grades of S, U, NR, W, and grades in courses affected by SoPA's Repeated Course policy are excluded from this calculation.

Eligibility for Transfer Credits

If you're interested in transferring to Tulane SoPA, our advisors can work with you to determine which courses will be accepted and help you navigate the process. We accept credits for transfer from all fully accredited institutions. In order to transfer course credit from another school, Tulane SoPA must offer a comparable course, and the student must have achieved a C- or higher. Courses transferred from other institutions are never figured into the grade point average. Your advisor can also help you in the case that your previous school operated on a quarter system instead of semesters. Tulane SoPA accepts a maximum of 60 hours of transfer credits for bachelor’s degrees.

Tulane’s General Legal Studies Program does not accept the transfer of credits for paralegal or legal studies courses completed at paralegal programs that were not approved by ABA’s Standing Committee on Paralegals at the time the courses were taken.

Visit our Student Transfers page to learn more about this process.

Listing of Required Courses

Click here for listing of BA in General Legal Studies required courses and course descriptions.

Click here for listing of Minor in General Legal Studies required courses and course descriptions.

Core Competencies

ENGL 1010 Writing 4   Select one course: 3   Math   PHIL 1060 Critical Thinking   PHIL 1210 Elementary Symbolic Logic   BSMT 3250 Business Statistics (recommended)   CPST 1070 Math for Information Technology     Foreign Language or non-Western Culture 6-8

Supporting Requirement

  Oral Communications—Select one course: 3 SPEC 1400 Intro to Public Speaking   SPEC 3110 Small Group Communications   THEA 2100 Fundamentals of Acting   BSMT 2250 Business Communications  

Distribution Requirements (at least two disciplines per category)

  Humanities 12   Sciences 12   Social Sciences 12

Writing Requirement

  Designated writing course 3-4


Major Requirements

Major Core Courses

  To ensure compliance with ABA requirements, all students must complete at least 12 credits of GLSP coursework (four GLSP classes) via in-person or synchronous transmission format.  
GLSP 2010 Introduction to the Legal System 3
GLSP 3020 Legal Research 3
GLSP 3030 Legal Writing* 3
GLSP 3050 Litigation I 3
GLSP 3060 Litigation II* 3
GLSP 3070 Legal Technology** 3
  Five GLSP 4000+ level (taken only after the completion of the General Legal Studies courses above) 15
GLSP 5900 General Legal Studies Practicum (final semester, includes 100-hour internship requirement and classroom component) 3

Minor (optional)

  Varies according to minor chosen  

General Electives

  As needed to total 120 credits  
  Total 120


* Preceding course is a prerequisite

** Prerequisite: CPST 1000 Intro to Microcomputers or director approval

Read our course descriptions for an in-depth look at our curriculum.


Tuition & Fees

Information about SoPA tuition and fees may be found here.

Some courses have fees to support the technology needed for high-quality virtual and on-ground experiences.  These fees are always listed on the schedule of classes.

To download an e-brochure on our Bachelor of Arts General Legal Studies, please enter your details below.


By submitting this form, you agree to receive information about the Tulane School of Professional Advancement’s programs via email, phone and/or text. You may opt out at any time.