Bachelor of Science Degree (BS) in Paralegal Studies

Make Your Case for a Rewarding Career As a Paralegal

There’s a lot of work that goes into assisting lawyers as they prepare for hearings, trials, and other court-related processes. Many of these responsibilities aren’t handled by attorneys themselves, but by highly trained legal assistants who’ve earned a paralegal degree and possess the knowledge and requisite skills to conduct legal research, draft documents, and keep complex files organized.

National University’s Bachelor of Science in Paralegal Studies program is designed to prepare you to develop into an indispensable member of a legal team. Our skilled faculty will help you become proficient in understanding legal terminology, identifying legal issues, applying basic legal analysis, and conducting legal research using traditional and online methods.

Our ABA-approved paralegal program combines a comprehensive academic curriculum with practical education to prepare you for the role of the paralegal in a legal environment. Earn your BS in Paralegal Studies and prepare for a fast-paced, dynamic career in the legal field.

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Approved by the American Bar Association in over 40 states.

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Program Learning Outcomes

As a graduate of National University’s Bachelor of Paralegal Studies program, you will develop the following skill sets:

  • Describe the American legal system and major areas of the law, such as Torts, Contracts, Property, and others, and understand the legal terminology in those areas.
  • Identify and apply proper legal remedies in the context of a legal problem.
  • Demonstrate effective communication skills and the ability to convey relevant information to attorneys, clients, witnesses, and other persons.
  • Demonstrate the ability to assist with preparing legal documents and handling pretrial and trial preparation tasks.
  • Perform paralegal tasks competently in a law office, corporate law department, governmental agency, judicial setting, or other comparable legal environment.
  • Articulate applicable ethics laws and codes of ethical conduct.

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Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law. Students must take at least nine semester credits or the equivalent of legal specialty courses through synchronous instruction.

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National University’s BS in Paralegal Studies degree places a strong emphasis on developing students’ proficiency in legal research and writing. Graduates will possess the industry-current knowledge and skills to pursue positions at law firms and in-house legal departments, ranging from finance and insurance firms, to consulting firms, and health care providers. Our ABA-approved curriculum also offers a strong foundation for students who plan on continuing their education by pursuing a law degree.

Students pursuing their paralegal degree at NU will also have access to and become proficient in both Westlaw and Lexis, the industry leaders for legal research platforms and tools. Most paralegal programs only offer their students access to one or the other.

Paralegal professionals are in demand in today’s workforce. According to Emsi Labor Analyst data, this may include job listings specifying titles such as:

  • Litigation paralegals
  • Legal assistants
  • Paralegal specialists
  • Law clerks

The most prevalent career paths in general are:

  • Paralegals and legal assistants
  • Legal support workers
  • Compliance officers

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of paralegals and legal assistants is projected to grow 12% by 2030, in large part due to their lower billing rates to clients. Today’s paralegals often perform a wide variety of tasks once performed by entry-level lawyers, and the increased demand for these highly trained professionals has elevated their median wage to $52,920.

SOURCE: Emsi Labor Analyst- Report. Emsi research company homepage at (Report viewed: April 6, 2022. DISCLAIMER: The data provided is for Informational purposes only. Emsi data and analysis utilizes government sources to provide insights on industries, demographics, employers, in-demand skills, and more to align academic programs with labor market opportunities. Cited projections may not reflect local or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth. Current and prospective students should use this data with other available economic data to inform their educational decisions.

National University’s Paralegal degree focuses on preparing you with the industry-current knowledge and skills to perform a variety of responsibilities at law firms or in-house legal departments. Our curriculum is approved by the American Bar Association, meaning your future employers will recognize your proficiency to, among other things:

  • Conduct legal research using both Westlaw and Lexis platforms
  • Manage the office operations of law firms and in-house legal departments
  • Assist attorneys in the drafting of legal documents
  • Perform administrative duties specific to the needs of law office environments
  • Analyze and review legal briefs and documents

While legal research and litigation services span a wide range of industries, professional services, finance and insurance, and public administration are the top industry areas, accounting for nearly two-thirds of the jobs listed.

Emsi Labor Analyst data suggests employers seeking paralegals include federal and state governments, insurance companies, management and CPA consulting/business services, law firms, and health systems.

The Bachelor of Science in Paralegal Studies is comprised of 180 quarter units, 76.5 of these must be completed at the upper-division level, 45 units must be completed in residence at National University, and a minimum of 69 units of the University General Education requirements must be completed.

A minimum of 27 quarter units of general education coursework is required by the American Bar Association to be completed in at least three disciplines, such as social sciences, natural sciences, mathematics, humanities, foreign language, and English.

Preparation for the Major (9 courses; 40.5 quarter units)

Course Description Quarter-Units
PLA 200 Legal Theory & Ethics 4.50
PLA 201 English for Professionals 4.50
PLX2100X Torts 4.50
PLX2101X Leg Res Writing-Briefing/Analysis 4.50
PLX2102X Contracts 4.50
PLX2103X Leg Res Writing-Legal Memo 4.50
PLX2105X Computers & the Law 4.50
PLA 202 Property 4.50
PLA 203 Leg Res Writing-Persuasive Writing 4.50

Requirements for the Major (10 courses; 45 quarter units)

Course Description Quarter-Units
PLA 303 Law Office Administration 4.50
PLA 318 Remedies & Dispute Resolution
Prerequisite: PLA 202, PLX 2100X, and PLX 2102X
PLA 325 Litigation I 4.50
PLA 329 Corporations I 4.50
PLA 333 Criminal Law I 4.50
PLA 426 Litigation II
Prerequisite: PLA 325
PLA 430 Corporations II
Prerequisite: PLA 329
PLA 434 Criminal Law II
Prerequisite: PLA 333
PLA 495 Objective Writing Capstone
Prerequisite: All other courses required for the major (except PLA 496)
must be completed prior to enrolling in this course.
PLA 496 Persuasive Writing Capstone
Prerequisite: All other courses required for the major must be completed
prior to enrolling in this course.

Upper-Division Electives (6 courses; 27 quarter units)

Students must complete a minimum of 27 quarter units of electives to fulfill the upper-division unit requirements to earn the Bachelor of Science in Paralegal Studies. Students can select from the following recommended electives or choose from any upper-division course in the College of Letters and Sciences or the School of Professional Studies.

Course Description Quarter-Units
LAW 402 The Art of Negotiation 4.50
LAW 430 Constitutional Law 4.50
LAW 440 Comparative International Law 4.50
ADR 400 Alternative Dispute Resolution 4.50
ADR 405 Negotiation Fundamentals 4.50
ADR 415 Mediation Fundamentals 4.50
ADR 430 Ethics and Neutrality 4.50

National University offers a variety of course modalities, including online, on-site, and hybrid courses. Please note that the modality of any course may vary from the scheduling of any program-specific courses on a month-to-month basis.

  • On-site courses include on-ground, in-person course instruction, which could be either on-site or at another learning site at a specific time, place, and location. On-site courses may have course information, work, or other education-related items delivered through online environments and tools.
  • Online courses include instruction that is fully virtual and online, comprised of regular and substantive interaction between students and their instructors in either an asynchronous or synchronous format. Asynchronous online classrooms provide instruction, lessons, and coursework via an online learning management system that allows students to view instructional materials each week at times of their choice. Synchronous classes require students to log in, engage, and attend at specific times and dates, leveraging web and videoconferencing technologies to provide instruction, lessons, and coursework in real time.
  • Hybrid courses include both on-site and online instruction. Hybrid courses can have multiple deliveries of course instruction/materials and will have on-ground requirements at specific locations and times. The online learning management system is often used to present or supplement course lessons, work, information, and assessments.

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To speak to an enrollment advisor about this program, please email [email protected].

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Why Choose National University?

We’re a veteran-founded, San Diego-based nonprofit. Since 1971, our mission has been to provide accessible, achievable higher education to adult learners. Today, we educate students from across the U.S. and around the globe, with over 185,000 alumni worldwide.

Program Disclosure

Successful completion and attainment of National University degrees do not lead to automatic or immediate licensure, employment, or certification in any state/country. The University cannot guarantee that any professional organization or business will accept a graduate’s application to sit for any certification, licensure, or related exam for the purpose of professional certification.

Program availability varies by state. Many disciplines, professions, and jobs require disclosure of an individual’s criminal history, and a variety of states require background checks to apply to, or be eligible for, certain certificates, registrations, and licenses. Existence of a criminal history may also subject an individual to denial of an initial application for a certificate, registration, or license and/or result in the revocation or suspension of an existing certificate, registration, or license. Requirements can vary by state, occupation, and/or licensing authority.

NU graduates will be subject to additional requirements in a program, certification/licensure, employment, and state-by-state basis that can include one or more of the following items: internships, practicum experience, additional coursework, exams, tests, drug testing, earning an additional degree, and/or other training/education requirements.

All prospective students are advised to review employment, certification, and/or licensure requirements in their state, and to contact the certification/licensing body of the state and/or country where they intend to obtain certification/licensure to verify that these courses/programs qualify in that state/country, prior to enrolling. Prospective students are also advised to regularly review the state’s/country’s policies and procedures relating to certification/licensure, as those policies are subject to change.

*Positions may require additional experience, training, and other factors beyond successfully completing this degree program. Depending on where you reside, many positions may also require state licensure, and it is the responsibility of the student to ensure that all licensure requirements are met. We encourage you to also review program-specific requirements. Any data provided on this page is for informational purposes only and does not guarantee that completion of any degree program will achieve the underlying occupation or commensurate salary.

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