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Legal Studies, Bachelor of Science

Criminal Justice, Legal Studies and Homeland Security
120 Credits

College of Professional Studies
Queens Campus, Staten Island Campus

Overview

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 think analytically and to conduct legal research.
  • Teaching students to write effectively.
  • Teaching students the practical skills that they will need to gain entry-level employment in law-related fields.
  • Teaching students the knowledge of the substantive law and of procedure that they will need to gain entry-level employment in law-related fields.

Graduates of the Legal Studies Program have obtained positions in government 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.  Legal assistants and paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law.

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Admission

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
718-990-2000
[email protected]

Admission Office -  Staten Island campus
718-390-4500
[email protected]

Courses

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

Major Area Requirements: 36 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 Major Area 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 the Legal Studies elective courses, students learn about legal practice in particular areas of the law. 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.

Elective Coursework: 21 Credits selected from the following, including at least 3 credits of “Legal Specialty Electives”:

LES1003**Tort Law3
LES1005*Practicum for the Paralegal3
LES1006*Advanced Practicum for the Paralegal3
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
CUS1102Software Applications3
CUS1103Spreadsheet and Database3
CUS1107Computer Applications in the Law Office3
CUS1110Big Data Analytics and Business Intelligence3

* With permission of the Director

** Legal Specialty Elective

Business Area: 3 Credits:

3 Credits from one of the following courses:

ACC1007Fundamentals of Accounting I3
MGT1001Principles of Management I3

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
PHI3000CMetaphysics3
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

21 Credits from the following courses:

PSY1001General Psychology3
SOC1001General Sociology3
SOC1002Sociology of Institutions3
ENG1007 to 1073; not 1040English Literature3
MTHAnyMath3
ANT/ECO/GOV/HIS/PSCAnySocial Science Requirement (any three credit course from ANT, ECO, GOV, HIS, PSC)3

Free Electives: 21 Credits

21 Credits of Free Electives. 

Many students choose to take a minor or to double major.  Courses toward such minor or double major could count toward this free elective requirement.  Information about minors and double majors in the College of Professional Studies can be found here.

Career Outcomes

Graduates of the Legal Studies Program are employed as paralegals, legal assistants, case managers, and office managers in large and small law firms, government agencies, federal and state courts, corporate offices, insurance companies and non-profit organizations. Graduates of the Legal Studies Program also often go on to graduate school or law school.

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

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 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.
  • Phi Alpha Delta: The pre-law fraternity.  

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 Daisy Saldana 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].    

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.

 The St. John’s University Intercollegiate Mock Trial Team.  The Mock Trial Team is coached by Legal Studies Faculty and regularly competes at regional and national intercollegiate Mock Trial Tournaments.  The Mock Trial Team has made it to the National Intercollegiate Mock Trial Tournament 20+ times in the past 25 years.  Information about the team can be found here.  Be on the lookout for information about tryouts each fall. 

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. Speak to your advisor if you are interested.  
  • 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. Speak to your advisor if you are interested.
  • 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 Program offered by St. John’s School of Law over the summer.  Information about the Program can be found: here. Financial Aid is available for the Program.  Internship credit is available for the sophomore session.  There are three separate summer programs that students can apply to
    • Summer after freshman year.  Focuses on leadership and professionalism and includes an internship.
    • Summer after sophomore year.  Law school-like classes taught by law professors and includes an internship.
    • Summer after junior year.  On site LSAT prep course, plus workshops on and assistance with the law school applications process.

For more information about the Legal Studies Program contact Prof. James Croft on the Queens Campus at [email protected].edu or Prof. Ellen Boegel on the Staten Island Campus at [email protected].  

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.