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General Legal Studies Degrees & Certificates

The purpose of the General Legal Studies Program at Tulane School of Professional Advancement is reflected in our mission statement: The General Legal Studies Program provides our students with the skills, wisdom, and integrity to create, communicate and conserve knowledge and to pursue careers as efficient, ethical legal professionals who are prepared to assist attorneys in courts, governmental agencies, law firms, and other legal services offices, or to apply to law school after graduation, if they choose.

Both the General Legal Studies Bachelor of Arts degree plus Paralegal Certificate and the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Paralegal Studies were approved by the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Paralegals in the 1980s, making ours the oldest ABA-approved program in the region Our general legal studies curriculum reflects the rigor and quality that ABA requires and legal employers demand.

Many of our graduates are now pursuing successful careers as paralegals in law firms, courts, corporations, government agencies, non-profit legal service providers, and other legal offices, while others enter law school and become attorneys.

General Legal Studies Program Learning Outcomes

On completion of the General Legal Studies Program curriculum, graduates will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Describe and analyze the differences among the jurisdictions and functions of the state and federal civil, criminal, and administrative court systems.
  2. Interpret and apply legal terminology.
  3. Describe the primary differences between the Louisiana Civil Law legal system and the common law legal system.
  4. Perform legal research using both traditional and electronic methods and summarize findings in legal memoranda and briefs.
  5. Perform factual investigations using both traditional and electronic methods.
  6. Cite authorities consistent with the adopted legal citation manual (The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation).
  7. Draft memoranda of law and legal correspondence.
  8. Locate, identify, and apply state and federal court filing and e-filing requirements.
  9. Draft the documents required to initiate, file, and respond to a civil action.
  10. Draft discovery requests and responses and pre-trial motions.
  11. Use industry-standard law office technology to organize and manage documents, files, billing data, and dockets for trial and for other law practice management purposes.
  12. Identify and apply the rules and principles of legal ethics applicable to the paralegal profession.

Bachelor’s Degree Programs and Paralegal Certificate

The General Legal Studies Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree and accompanying Paralegal Certificate, awarded simultaneously, require 120 credits for completion, including 36 credits in the GLSP major. Carefully sequenced coursework begins with core skills classes that emphasize legal research, writing, and analysis, along with law office technology and other practical aspects of the legal profession. In ensuing semesters, upper-level electives allow you to explore important areas of substantive law. Finally, the practicum course, with its 100-hour law office internship and classroom component, lets you apply your new skills in a professional setting, while developing professionalism and career success skills in the classroom.

Our GLSP courses are offered in asynchronous (fully online), synchronous remote (weekly meetings via Zoom), and in-person formats. Subject to the ABA requirement that each student complete at least 3 classes (9 credits) synchronously, you may take your GLSP classes from wherever you may be, in the format that suits your needs and preferences.

Credit Transfers toward BA in General Legal Studies

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

Consistent with Tulane SoPA’s undergraduate credit transfer policy, students pursing the General Legal Studies BA and Paralegal Certificate may be permitted to transfer in up to 18 (50%) of the 36 legal studies/paralegal course credits required for the GLSP major, provided each course (1) meets all SoPA undergraduate course transfer requirements; (2) was completed at a paralegal or legal studies program that was approved by ABA’s Standing Committee on Paralegals at the time the class was completed; and (3) has been reviewed and approved by the General Legal Studies Program Director.

  = Available Online   = Available On Campus   = Available in a Combination

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Program

If you already have earned a bachelor’s degree and are returning to school to advance your current career, retool for the next phase of your life, or prepare for law school, our 9-course, 27-credit Post-Baccalaureate Certificate (PBC) in Paralegal Studies provides an excellent - and efficient - path to your goal. Most students finish the PBC and embark upon their new careers within one year. The Paralegal PBC curriculum focuses solely upon legal skills and substantive law courses, culminating in the practicum course, in which students complete a 100-hour internship in a law office and develop job search skills in the classroom. Most students finish the PBC and embark upon their new careers within one year. All GLSP classes may be completed remotely, from wherever you may be, in either asynchronous (fully online) or synchronous (weekly meetings via Zoom) format, in compliance with the ABA requirement that each student complete at least 3 classes (9 credits) synchronously.

Credit Transfers for PBC in Paralegal Studies

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

Consistent with Tulane SoPA’s credit transfer policy, students pursing the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Paralegal Studies may be permitted to transfer in up to 6 (2 classes) of the 27 required legal studies/paralegal course credits, provided each course (1) meets all SoPA course transfer requirements; (2) was completed at a paralegal or legal studies program that was approved by ABA’s Standing Committee on Paralegals at the time the class was completed; and (3) has been reviewed and approved by the General Legal Studies Program Director.

General Legal Studies Minor

For students who are majoring in other disciplines and wish to develop a general knowledge of U.S. law, the program also offers a Minor in General Legal Studies, which can be completed entirely online. The Minor is not approved by the ABA, does not award a Paralegal Certificate, and is not intended to prepare graduates to work as paralegals.

Careers in Legal Studies

Thanks to the long history and the success of our alumni, the program has broad support in the legal community, giving graduates access to a robust network of potential employers. Graduates of our program are employed across the region, pursing fulfilling careers as:

  • Paralegal
  • Office Managers
  • Human Resource Professionals
  • Court Clerks
  • Investigator
  • Contract Administrator
  • Insurance Adjusters

 

Programs Built for Working Professionals

Our coursework is designed to accommodate busy, working adults who are returning to school. Classes are available both online and in person at our New Orleans campuses. Whether you wish to work as a paralegal or to apply to law school after graduation, Tulane School of Professional Advancement can prepare you for your next career.

 

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.

The course prefix for all General Legal Studies courses has changed to GLSP (formerly PARA).

COURSE DESCRIPTIONSLAMBDA EPSILON CHI HONOR SOCIETYGENERAL LEGAL STUDIES FAQ

 

Learn More About Our Hands-On Program

Prepare for a variety of careers in the legal industry with our General Legal Studies Program at SoPA. Our program is accredited by the American Bar Association and includes a bachelor’s degree as well as a Paralegal Certificate. Use our resources to keep developing as a professional. Visit our General Legal Studies YouTube playlist to learn more about program admissions, exciting career opportunities, and stay up-to-date in the field with webinars covering a range of legal topics.

 

General Legal Studies Advisory Board

The members of the General Legal Studies advisory board, which provides guidance to the degree program, are industry practitioners and leaders in the fields of law.

ADVISORY BOARD

 

Faculty With Experience in the Field

Our program faculty is composed entirely of practicing attorneys and paralegals, who offer our students the benefit of real-world legal experience and immediate access to the professional networks that enhance career success. In addition to core legal skills courses that emphasize legal technology, research, writing, and analysis, we offer a full menu of electives that allow you to explore important areas of substantive law, followed by a final-semester practicum class composed of a 100-hour internship and classroom instruction focusing on job search skills. Read our course descriptions for an in-depth look at the program.