As a legal studies major at Bay Path you have three options to choose from: a Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies, a Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies, or an Associate in Science in Paralegal Studies. All three programs are approved by the American Bar Association, and upon completion of one of these programs you will receive a Certificate of Advanced Paralegal Studies.*
The legal studies program is designed to give you a greater understanding of the legal process, institutions, and ideas that are the foundation of our society. The challenging and rigorous curriculum combines theory and application in order to prepare you for a wide range of career options. One of the core strengths of the program is that our legal faculty are judges and experienced practitioners of the law bringing a practical and relevant perspective into classroom discussion.
What makes Bay Path a leader in the field of legal studies?
All the legal programs offered by the department are approved by the American Bar Association (ABA) and are designed to prepare graduates for careers in law or law related fields. Our faculty is comprised of experienced legal practitioners who work to ensure the quality of the legal program because they know their students will rely upon the material and skills learned in class when they enter the work-force or graduate study. As members of the legal community, our instructors all appreciate the importance of a high-quality, practical legal education to the many law firms, corporations, government agencies, and other entities that utilize the skills of paralegals. The quality of the curriculum and instruction in the department reflect the legal faculty’s commitment to their students’ success and to ensuring they are prepared for employment or graduate study.
The program in legal studies combines a broad liberal arts knowledge base with a solid foundation of legal theory and practical application that incorporates critical thinking, communications, ethics, and interpersonal skills. The goals of the program are to:
- Educate you in the theory and philosophy of law and the principles of ethics that are part of the legal field
- Build your research and investigative skills, including on-line research knowledge
- Instill a code of behavior and appreciation of the standards of the profession
- Learn practical applications of legal theory and prepare for a career in law or law-related fields
- Develop strong written and oral communication and advocacy skills
Learning by Discussion With the Harkness Table
You won’t find desks lined in neat rows to face the front of Room 209 in the newly renovated Carr Hall. What you will find is the Harkness Table: a specially-designed large, oval table surrounded by 16 chairs and named after philanthropist Edward Harkness. For John Woodruff, assistant professor of law, the Harkness table melds with his philosophy of discussion-based teaching. “The table has a physical presence that encourages students to become their own and each others’ teachers,” states Professor Woodruff. In Room 209 students find their voice by developing viewpoints and legal arguments—important first steps in understanding and preparing for the legal profession.
*A Legal Studies graduate may work as a paralegal only under the supervision of an attorney and is not authorized to engage in the practice of law. The ABA defines a paralegal or legal assistant as "a person, qualified by education, training or work experience who is employed or retained by a lawyer, law office, corporation, governmental agency or other entity and who performs specifically delegated substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible"