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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 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:

  1. 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.
  2. perform in-depth legal research and factual investigations using both traditional and electronic methods, including WestLaw;
  3. 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;
  4. 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;
  5. operate the litigation, billing, and office management software programs typically used in litigation, regulatory, and transactional law practices; and
  6. 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.

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

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.

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 path to your goal. All classes may be completed remotely, in compliance with the ABA requirement that each student complete at least 3 classes (9 credits) synchronously via Zoom, from wherever they may be. 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.

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).



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.



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.