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 pursue careers as efficient, ethical legal professionals who are prepared to assist attorneys in courts, governmental agencies, and law offices; or to enter 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 work as paralegals in law firms, courts, corporations, government agencies, 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 Degree Programs, our students will be able to:
- describe and analyze the differences among the jurisdictions and functions of the state and federal civil, criminal, and administrative court systems and to interpret and apply legal terminology.
- perform in-depth legal research and factual investigations using both traditional and electronic methods, including WestLaw;
- draft the legal documents essential to civil, criminal, and administrative practice under state and federal law, employing proper case citation form and applying state and federal court filing requirements correctly;
- categorize, organize, and manage documents and files; maintain dockets, calendars, and billing data; and perform other tasks essential to the efficient operation of a law office;
- operate the litigation, billing, and office management software programs typically used in litigation, regulatory, and transactional law practices; and
- evaluate and apply the rules and principles of legal ethics, as set forth in the ABA Model Code of Professional Responsibility and in the canons developed by NALA and NFPA, including but not limited to confidentiality, client autonomy, and the limitations upon paralegals’ representation of clients.
Bachelor’s Degree Programs and Paralegal Certificate
The General Legal Studies Bachelor of Arts degree and accompanying Paralegal Certificate require 120 credits for completion, including 36 credits in the major. 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, allows students to apply their skills in a professional setting while developing job search skills in the classroom.
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.