Legal Studies, Associate of Science
The Associate of Science in Legal Studies Program at St. John’s University prepares students for further education or for 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.
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
Students explore the legal, ethical, practical and theoretical foundations of the law. After completing the Legal Studies program student should be able to:
- Conduct factual and legal research and write summaries reporting on his or her findings.
- Understand basic legal principles and locate relevant legal precedent as a preliminary to the legal advice to be rendered by an admitted attorney.
- Organize and manage document reviews, demonstrative exhibits and perform other trial preparation tasks.
- Draft for review and use by an admitted attorney contracts, real estate closing documents, pleadings and correspondence.
Students explore the legal, ethical, and constitutional foundations of the field and learn managerial, organizational, research and writing skills. Among other things, students learn the following methodologies:
- The American judicial system and its constituent components.
- Identification of interrelationships among cases, statutes, regulations and other legal authorities.
- The ability to read, evaluate and analyze sources of law and apply them to related issues.
- The ability to prepare, read and interpret basic documents used by the legal profession and government agencies.
Legal assistants and paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law.
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 Jaime Grillo 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 Combined Degree Programs. Many Legal Studies Students who continue on for a bachelor’s degree 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.
- Combined 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.
- Combined 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.
- Combined B.S. Legal Studies/M.A. Sociology 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.
- 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.
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.