Legal studies teaches foundational skills in the practice of law.
Legal studies is for students who are interested in law, for students who are interested in working in law after college and for students who are interested in attending law school.
The legal studies program teaches foundational skills in the practice of law: close reading of legal texts; legal research; legal writing; and legal analysis. And, legal studies students take elective courses in many different substantive areas of law, from criminal law to corporate law and many areas in between.
Graduates of the legal studies program have gone on to law school, have gone on to graduate school and have gone on to work in many different areas of the law—from local law offices, to legal aid offices, to prosecutor’s offices, to the court system, to corporate law departments, to some of the largest and most prestigious law firms in the world.
The 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.
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
Admission Office - Staten Island campus
Three factors distinguish the St. John’s legal studies program from comparable programs: (1) a commitment to the teaching of close reading, research, writing and analysis; (2) a high full-time faculty to student ratio; and (3) flexibility.
Many legal studies students aspire to go to law school. And, any student coming out of high school who aspires to go to law school needs to significantly improve their reading, writing and analytical skills in college. This is equally true for students who aspire to work in the law after college without attending law school.
The American Bar Association (the ABA) put out a statement listing the skills that college students who aspire to go to law school should focus on acquiring in college. That list includes “critical reading,” “writing and editing” and “research.” Discussing critical reading, the ABA stated that “much of what you will do as a law student and lawyer involves careful reading and comprehension of judicial opinions, statutes, documents, and other written materials” and that “law school should not be the first time that you are rigorously engaged in the enterprise of carefully reading and understanding, and critically analyzing, complex written material of substantial length.” And, discussing writing and editing, the ABA said that aspiring law students “should seek as many experiences as possible that will require rigorous and analytical writing, including preparing original pieces of substantial length and revising written work in response to constructive criticism.”
We can help you acquire effective reading, research, writing and analytical skills. The legal studies program has a required three course sequence devoted to helping students acquire these skills: Introduction to Legal Studies; Legal Research and Writing I; and Legal Research and Writing II. The legal studies program also offers several upper-level electives that are specifically designed to further enhance these skills. And, activities designed to enhance reading, writing, research and analytical skills are woven throughout all of our courses.
And, because of our high full-time faculty to student ratio, our three foundational courses—Introduction to Legal Studies; Legal Research and Writing I; and Legal Research and Writing II—and each of the upper-level electives designed to enhance these skills are taught by full-time faculty.
The legal studies bachelor’s degree program is also flexible enough to allow students to pursue many interests while at St. John’s. The legal studies program is flexible enough to allow students to study abroad. And, the legal studies program is flexible enough to allow students to pursue multiple minors, and many students do. Many students will pursue a professional minor like business or criminal justice and will pursue a liberal arts minor—either in a classic liberal arts pre-law area like government or history or English or philosophy or in a modern foreign language.
For the major area of their degree, all legal studies students take five required legal studies courses:
In addition to these five courses, legal studies students take several elective courses in 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, Constitutional Law, Penal Law (Criminal Law), Criminal Procedure, Evidence, Advanced Legal Research and Writing, and Trial Advocacy.
Students who successfully complete our two real estate law courses can sit for the New York State Real Estate Salesperson Licensing Exam.
St. John’s legal studies students have many opportunities to engage with the broader university and legal communities outside of the classroom.
Legal studies students have the opportunity to apply to participate in several graduate school pathway programs:
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Explore opportunities at St. John's with our pathway generator.
As a student in the J.D./LL.M. joint degree program, you complete both your J.D. degree and your LL.M. degree in Bankruptcy or Real Estate in as little as seven semesters.
Accelerate your path to law by pursuing a combined B.A./J.D. program.
The dual Bachelor of Science and Juris Doctor program permits you to enter the St. John’s University School of Law before completing your bachelor’s degree and to complete your academic training in six years, earning an undergraduate degree from the College of Professional Studies and a Juris Doctor degree from St. John’s Law.
The Nation's Only LL.M. Dedicated to Bankruptcy Law
The Business Law minor encompasses all the laws that dictate how to form and run a business. The minor deals with the collection of legal requirements around forming, operating, dissolving, and engaging with a business. The Business Law minor also includes state and federal laws, as well as administrative regulations.
The combined Bachelor of Science (B.S.) and Master of Arts (M.A.) program in Criminal Justice and Sociology will allow you to develop these valuable skills and complete both degrees in just five years of full-time study.
This program prepares students for career opportunities in the criminal justice field.
The M.A. in Criminology and Justice at St. John's offers a rigorous academic foundation in criminology and the skills to analyze crime-related data and research.
In this interdisciplinary program, you will be trained in court-related skills and techniques, including how to be an effective expert witness.
This program is designed to educate students on current leadership skills and trends in Homeland Security and Law Enforcement.
The Homeland Security Program focuses on the protection of the nation’s critical infrastructure and populace from terrorism, criminal acts, and natural disasters.
This innovative 78-credit program is designed to qualify candidates to fill mid- to high-level executive positions in government, law enforcement, the public and private security industries, nongovernmental organizations, and academia.
A nationally respected faculty, congenial, diverse and talented students and a powerful network of successful alumni.
The minor in business law provides an introduction to the knowledge, skills, and competencies needed to deal with the legalities of running a business and to recognize the body of law that governs business and commerce.
The B.S./M.A. program in Legal Studies and Sociology allows qualified students to simultaneously work toward the completion of a B.S. degree in Legal Studies and an M.A. degree in Sociology.
The legal studies minor is appropriate for students who aspire to go to law school and is appropriate for students who aspire to work in the legal profession as paralegals. Students who complete the legal studies minor are given a paralegal certificate.
The AS/LLB allows students to complete two legal degrees in four years, one in New York and one in London.
Located in Queens, New York, one of the most diverse places in the world and one of the five boroughs of New York City, the global epicenter of real estate development, investment, and finance, St. John’s provides the perfect launching pad for a career in real estate law.
Why earn a Transnational Legal Practice LL.M. at St. John's Law? The Transnational Legal Practice LL.M. degree is a great choice for internationally-trained lawyers and law students who plan to work in cross-border/transnational contexts, whether in the U.S or another country.
The LL.M. in U.S. Legal Studies is designed for one purpose: to prepare internationally-trained attorneys to pass the New York Bar Exam and gain admission to practice law in this unrivaled jurisdiction.
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St. John’s offers a free online application for all 100+ undergraduate programs, and graduate applications carry a low cost for most programs.