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Legal Studies, Associate of Science

Legal studies teaches foundational skills in the practice of law.

The St. John’s Associate’s Degree in Legal Studies prepares students for entry-level work in law and for the further study of law by teaching foundational skills in the practice of law: close reading of legal texts; legal research; legal writing; and legal analysis.

The St. John’s Legal Studies Program is an American Bar Association-approved Paralegal Education Program.  And, graduates of the legal studies program are given a paralegal certificate that can be used to obtain work after college.  Legal assistants and paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law.

The Legal Studies Associate’s Degree is 60 credits, including 30 credits in the liberal arts and including at least 21 credits (7 courses) in law.  All legal studies students take the five following required courses:

  • LES 1100, Introduction to Legal Studies, which is an introduction to the close reading of legal texts, to legal analysis and to basic litigation procedure. 
  • LES 1101, Legal Research and Writing I, which aims to teach students to report on legal sources in writing in a way that is customary in the legal profession and to teach students to report legal analyses in writing in a way that is customary in the legal profession.
  • LES 1102, Legal Research and Writing II, which teaches students to perform simple legal research.
  • LES 1004, Litigation Practice (Civil), which teaches the rules of procedure in civil actions. 
  • LES 1015, Legal Ethics, which teaches the law governing the practice of law. 

In addition to these five required courses, legal studies associate’s degree students take at least two electives in substantive areas of law.  The elective courses that students choose from include: Tort Law (Personal Injury Law), Family Law, Real Estate Law, Bankruptcy Law, Insurance Law, Probate Law, Elder Law, Corporate Law, Contracts, Intellectual Property Law, Employment Law, Immigration Law, Advanced Legal Research and Writing, and Trial Advocacy.

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Degree Type
Area of Interest
Law, Policy & Government
Associated Colleges or Schools
Program Location
  • Queens Campus
Required Credit Hours

More Information

Many legal studies associate’s degree students ultimately matriculate into the 120-credit Legal Studies Bachelor’s Degree Program.  Many of the opportunities available to bachelor’s degree students are also available to associate’s degree students. For more information about the Legal Studies Bachelor’s Degree Program, see here.

St. John’s legal studies associate’s degree students also have the opportunity to leverage their associate’s degree from St. John’s into a bachelor of law degree (LLB) from Goldsmiths, University of London.  Qualified students who complete the St. John’s associate’s degree in legal studies can apply to Goldsmiths, University of London and have credits earned at St. John’s applied to their LLB degree, thereby earning two degrees in four years: an associate’s degree in legal studies from St. John’s; and an LLB from Goldsmiths, University of London.  For more information on the St. John’s Legal Studies associate’s degree pathway into the Goldsmiths, University of London, LLB program click here.

Department Contact (Queens)

James A. Croft, Esq.

Associate Professor

St.Augustine Hall Queens Room 2-059



For more information about admission to this and other acclaimed undergraduate programs at St. John’s University, please visit Undergraduate Admission online. Or contact us directly at the campus of your choice:

Admission Office - Queens Campus
[email protected]

Admission Office -  Staten Island campus
[email protected]

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