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Legal Studies, Bachelor of Science

Legal Studies


The Legal Studies Program at St. John’s University prepares students for law school, graduate school or entry-level employment in law-related fields by:

  • Teaching students to conduct legal research.
  • Teaching students to draft legal documents and to write effectively.
  • Teaching students practical law office skills.
  • Teaching students knowledge of substantive law and of legal procedure.

Graduates of the Legal Studies Program have obtained positions in government offices and administrative agencies, in the Federal and State court systems, in private and non-profit organizations and in large and small law firms. 

Graduates of the Legal Studies Program have been accepted at major accredited law schools, including NYU, Georgetown, George Washington, Emory, Temple, Pace, Fordham, Hofstra, Brooklyn and St. John's, among others.

Students in the Legal Studies Program also have obtained internships in Federal and State Courts, in City, State and Federal politicians’ offices, in District Attorney's Offices, at the Legal Aid Society, at Queens Volunteer Legal Services, at the St John's University School of Law Securities Arbitration Clinic and in private law offices.

The Legal Studies Program is an American Bar Association-approved Paralegal Education Program.  This program cannot be completed wholly online.  A majority of the courses in this program must be taken in a traditional face-to-face classroom setting.  Legal assistants and paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law.

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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]

Department Contact (Queens)

Department Contact (Staten Island)


The Bachelor of Science Degree in Legal Studies requires the completion of 120 credits of coursework.  

Legal Studies, Business and Professional Area: 39 Credits

Required Coursework: 15 Credits from the following courses:

LES1100An Introduction to Legal Studies3
LES1101Legal Research and Writing I3
LES1102Legal Research and Writing II3
LES1004Litigation Practice (Civil)3
LES1015Legal Ethics3

The Legal Studies Required Courses lay an important foundation by teaching the core college competencies of research, writing and analytical thinking through the analysis of legal problems and by teaching the ethical and legal constraints that legal professionals practice under. 

Students are encouraged to complete the Legal Studies Required Courses in their first two years at St. John’s.  Ideally, students will complete LES 1100 in their first semester at St. John’s, LES 1101 and 1015 in their second semester at St. John’s and LES 1102 and 1004 in their third or fourth semesters at St. John’s.   LES 1100 is a prerequisite for all Legal Studies courses.  LES 1100 and 1101 are prerequisites for LES 1102. 

In addition to the Legal Studies Required Courses, students take an additional 24 credits of legal studies and/or related criminal justice, business or technology courses.  The Legal Studies and Criminal Justice Programs offers the following law-related electives.  Students must take at least nine credits of “Legal Specialty Elective” courses.  Students who satisfactorily complete both LES 1011 (Real Estate I) and LES 1012 (Real Estate II) also qualify to sit for the New York State Real Estate Salesperson Licensing Exam.

LES1003**Tort Law3
LES1005*Legal Studies Internship I3
LES1006*Legal Studies Internship II3
LES1007**Family Law3
LES1009**Legal Research and Writing III3
LES1010**Probate and Estate Administration3
LES1011**Real Estate Law I3
LES1012**Real Estate Law II3
LES1013**Bankruptcy and Debtor-Creditor Practice3
LES1014**Insurance Law3
LES1016**Corporation Law and Practice3
LES1017**Patents, Trademarks and Copyrights3
LES1018**Immigration Law3
LES1020**Employment Law and Practice3
LES1024**Elder Law3
LES1040**Trial and Appellate Advocacy3
LES1042**Social Justice Advocacy3
LES1104*Independent Study: Topics in Legal Studies3
LES1106**Reading and Applying Corporate Contracts3
CRJ3112Reading and Interpretation of Legal Documents3
CRJ3113Penal Law3
CRJ3114Criminal Procedure Law3
CRJ3116Law of Evidence3
CRJ3122Constitutional Law3

* With permission of the Director

** Legal Specialty Elective

While at least nine credits of this professional elective coursework must come from “Legal Specialty Elective” courses, students can take the remaining 15 credits of such coursework in legal studies or in any of the following domains: BLW (Business Law), CRJ (Criminal Justice), HLS (Homeland Security), ACC (Accounting), MGT (Management), ENT (Entrepreneurship), FIN (Finance), CUS (Computer Science), IT (Information Technology), NET (Networking), CSS (Computer Security Systems), DFR (Digital Forensics) and HCI (Health Care Informatics). 

This flexibility allows students to take courses that can be applied to a professional minor in this college (see our list of minors here) or in the Tobin School of Business. Students must meet with a dean before enrolling in a minor. 

University Core Requirements: 42 Credits

36 Credits from the following courses:

DNY1000CDiscover New York3
FYW1000CFirst Year Writing3
ENG1100CLiterature in a Global Context3
HIS1000CEmergence of a Global Society3
PHI1000CPhilosophy of the Human Person3
PHI1020 or 2200 seriesPhilosophy (Ethics)3
SCI1000CScientific Inquiry3
SPE1000CPublic Speaking for the College Student3
THE1000CPerspectives on Christianity3
THE1040 SeriesTheology3
THE Any THE Elective3

Modern Foreign Language/Cultural Studies: 6 Credits from: either (i) one foreign language or (ii) both ART 1000C and LAC 1000C.

Other Liberal Arts Requirements: 18 Credits

In addition to the 42 credits in the liberal arts from the university core curriculum, students are required to take an additional 18 credits in the liberal arts and sciences, for a total of 60 credits in the liberal arts and sciences—as required by New York State.  Students are required to take three credits in math and students are required to take three credits from either Psychology 1001 or Sociology 1001.  But, students can take their additional 12 credits in this area in any of the following domains, or in any combination of the following domains: ECO (Economics), ENG (English), GOV (Government), HIS (History), PHI (Philosophy), PSC (Political Science), PSY (Psychology), SOC (Sociology), SPE (Speech), THE (Theology), BIO (Biology), CHE (Chemistry), MTH (Math), PHY (Physics), ARA (Arabic), CHI (Chinese), FRE (French), GER (German), HIN (Hindi), ITA (Italian), JPN (Japanese), KOR (Korean), RUS (Russian), or SPA (Spanish). 

This flexibility allows students to take courses in or to minor in traditional pre-law areas like Economics, English, Government, History and Philosophy.  This flexibility also allows to take courses in or to minor in a foreign language. 

Free Electives: 21 Credits

21 Credits of Free Electives. 


Additional Information

In addition to working with respected scholar-practitioner faculty in the classroom, Legal Studies students can participate in many other learning activities. 

Student Organizations.  Students gain an academic and professional edge by joining any of the more than 180 student clubs, organizations and honor societies at St. John's, including these:

  • Legal Society: Offers guest speakers and events on law and law school related topics. 
  • Criminal Justice Association: Brings students into contact with the structures and procedures of the criminal justice system and provides information about career opportunities and job availability.
  • Lambda Epsilon Chi: National honor society for Legal Studies majors.
  • The Collins College of Professional Studies Honor Society: Recognizing undergraduates who demonstrate academic excellence and involvement in campus, church or community activities. 
  • Alpha Phi Sigma: The Alpha Epsilon Rho Chapter of this criminal justice honor society.

Information about our student organizations can be found here

Internships.  As suggested above, many students complete internships while at St. John’s and the faculty and career services personnel are available to help students with the process of obtaining internships.  Students who want assistance with resumes, cover letters and navigating the SJU database of internships should contact Maria Alfonso in Career Services at [email protected].  Students on the Queens Campus who have an internship and would like to discuss receiving academic credit for that internship should contact Professor Mary Noe at [email protected].  Students on the Staten Island Campus who have an internship and would like to discuss receiving academic credit for that internship should contact Professor Ellen Boegel at [email protected].  

N.Y. Real Estate Salespersons License.  Students who satisfactorily complete both LES 1011 (Real Estate I) and LES 1012 (Real Estate II) qualify to sit for the New York State Real Estate Salesperson Licensing Exam.  Talk to your Real Estate Instructor for details.  

The Legal Apprentice.  Many students publish articles in The Legal Apprentice, an undergraduate legal journal for law articles written by SJU college students.  Additional information about the Legal Apprentice, including model articles, deadlines and submission guidelines can be found here.

Law School/Graduate School and Dual Degree Programs. Many Legal Studies Students are interested in law school or graduate school and ultimately attend law school or graduate school.  In addition to the opportunities mentioned above, there are a number of additional opportunities available to these students.  

  • Dual B.S. Legal Studies/Juris Doctor Degree. Qualified Students can enter St. John’s University School of Law at the end of their junior year and double count their first year of law school as their last year of college.  Conditions apply.  Speak to your advisor if you are interested.  Information about this program can be found here
  • Dual B.S. Legal Studies/M.A. Government and Politics Degree.  Combined B.S. and M.A. degree that can be completed in a total of five years. For more information about this program, see here.  
  • Dual B.S. Legal Studies/M.A. Sociology Degree. Dual B.S. and M.A. degree that can be completed in a total of five years.  For more information about this program, see here.
  • Pathway Programs with other St. John’s Graduate Degrees.  The Collins College of Professional Studies offers graduate pathway programs that allow undergraduate students to begin working on a graduate degree before completing their undergraduate degree.  For information about these programs see here.  
  • Pre-Law Advisement. All students interested in law school, have access to information about the law school application process and can speak to a pre-law advisor about the law school application process.  For information on the law school application process or to contact a pre-law advisor, see the CPS Pre-Law Advisement page here.
  • Ronald H. Brown Law School Preparatory Program.  Law school prep programs offered by St. John’s School of Law over the summer.  Information about these programs can be found here.

All St. John's students benefit from the University's many outstanding facilities and resources. Computer laboratories contain sophisticated PC and Mac workstations with a full range of the latest academic software packages.

High-tech classrooms and lecture halls feature sophisticated multimedia equipment. Lounges and quiet study areas enhance the research experience in our 1.7 million-volume University Library. The 127,000-square-foot D’Angelo Center, the new University and Student Center, features high-tech classrooms, lecture halls, a Starbucks Café, full service food court as well as lounges and study areas.

Students take advantage of St. John’s location in dynamic New York City. Our faculty and Career Center have strong ties to employers and other professional and educational resources throughout the New York area. Students make New York their classroom through innovative courses like Discover New York.