Many students wishing to work in the field of law begin by earning a paralegal degree or certificate. This is a fundamental “first step” that allows entry into a law career, and may allow you to stay employed as a paralegal while you go on to earn a higher degree in legal studies. It also enables you to get hands-on experience in the field and to see if this is really what you’re cut out to do.
Simply put, legal studies are interdisciplinary programs that are theory and society-focused appraisal of how the law works. They could be classified as a legal discipline or a liberal arts discipline, but will likely combine elements and courses from each. Legal studies examine the ideas of law, its institutions, and practices.
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What are the types of legal studies degrees?
Legal studies degrees are available at an undergraduate and postgraduate level. You may earn a bachelors, masters or Ph.D. in legal studies, depending on the school, location and course offerings. However, when you choose legal studies as a major, you might select a particular area of the law to focus on. These areas include:
What do you learn in a legal studies degree program?
If you choose to pursue a legal studies degree, its common to learn a variety of professional and academic skills related to the law. You may take courses about certain types of law, learn how the legal system functions or study how law impacts social and cultural policy. This degree often studies key features of the law, including its history, infrastructure and potential issues. Legal studies is an interdisciplinary degree with an influence from subject areas like political science, anthropology, sociology, philosophy and economics.
The information you learn in this degree may prepare you for a career right away or for further academic study. Additionally, it fosters a wide range of skills, including legal research, writing and communication. Students who have an interest in pursuing another degree, such as a law degree, may consider studying legal studies first.
What are the benefits of a legal studies degree?
There are several benefits for people who choose to major in legal studies during college. Depending on your desired career path, you might apply these benefits to your future work. Some of these benefits may include:
When you major in legal studies, you may have more career options to choose from after you graduate. Since the degree is interdisciplinary and equips you with practical and technical skills, you might apply it to a wide variety of positions. Even if you choose to pursue a path thats unrelated to law or legal work, this degree can equip you for success.
Preparation for law school
Some students who major in legal studies may want to earn an advanced law degree. By choosing legal studies, you can prepare yourself to begin law school through a foundational knowledge of the law and an understanding of the legal system. Additionally, this major may show admissions professionals at law schools that youre passionate about the subject and interested in learning more.
Choosing an interdisciplinary degree, such as legal studies, may equip you with transferrable skills. These are skills that apply to many different jobs or careers. Some of these skills include:
Tips for earning a legal studies degree
If you decide to earn a legal studies degree, consider following these tips:
Research potential specializations
Some colleges and universities offer specializations for degrees. You may major in legal studies, with a specialization in corporate or criminal law, depending on your interests. If you have a clear idea of what career you want to pursue, consider choosing a specialization that can prepare you for that line of work.
Seek a mentor
As you progress in your studies, you might find a mentor. Mentors can provide advice about your academic and professional journey. They may help you grow your professional network. This can assist you in your job search after you earn your degree. Consider finding a mentor with a similar career path to you.
Since the degree has many possibilities and has an interdisciplinary focus, try to ask several questions. This can help you better understand what options exist for legal studies majors. Asking specific questions may develop positive relationships with professors, academic advisors and other legal studies students. Consider writing questions as you think of them to ensure you remember what you want to ask.
Job for people with a legal studies degree
While a legal studies degree may prepare you to continue in your education, there are several careers for people with this degree. Some jobs you may consider pursuing after your studies may include:
What is the study of legal studies?
What does legal studies focus on?
What is the difference between law and legal studies?