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
- Develop a strong skill set in computer and technology use
- 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
The associate degree program in Paralegal provides a two-year education to prepare its graduates for entry-level paralegal positions in a variety of settings. Paralegals work under the supervision of an attorney and are not authorized to engage in the practice of law. Students enrolled in the associate program are required to take six legal specialty courses, which cover a specific area of law, procedure, or the legal process and emphasize legal assistant skills, forms, documents, procedures, and legal principles and theories.
Certificate of Advanced Paralegal Studies* (21 credit hours):
The 2012 - 2013 per credit tuition cost for the Certificate of Advanced Paralegal Studies, is $480. Estimated books and supplies expenses for this program are $500.
The Paralegal Studies certificate program is appropriate for students who have previously received an associate or baccalaureate degree or who have completed a minimum of 60 credit hours of approved college courses. Students majoring in any other program can receive a Certificate of Advanced Paralegal Studies by completing the 21 credits. The ceremony at which the certificates are awarded is held each year, in the spring, immediately preceding the graduation ceremony. Students who have completed their program requirements at other times during the year will have their certificates mailed to them, and they may also attend the ceremony in the spring.
*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"