Paralegal Studies Name Change and New Undergrad Certificate in Paralegal Studies
- Thursday, August 12th, 2021
The Department of Political Science is excited to announce two significant changes to Paralegal Studies programs at WKU. Beginning fall 2021, the major in Paralegal Studies (B.A) degree will be rebranded as Professional Legal Studies.
“We are very excited about the name change. It brings WKU into alignment with market trends both in education and employment, and we believe the name change will open doors to the program for students interested in the legal profession that have never been opened before,” commented Professor Julie Shadoan, J.D., Coordinator for the Professional Legal Studies Program.
The name change more accurately reflects the program’s goals. Professor Shadoan assured, “the program remains committed to providing a quality educational experience that empowers graduates to become part of a vital and growing profession working within their communities to pursue justice, provide access to social and legal services, and protect basic human rights.”
The Professional Legal Studies degree is an ABA-Approved Paralegal Program and requires a minimum of 42 semester hours and a second major or minor. This program is a good fit for people looking to work within the legal or similar fields.
“The new name better captures the breadth of the program and the opportunities for students when they graduate. The program will continue to prepare students for careers as paralegals and legal assistants but will also prepare students for employment in the public, private, and non-profit sectors and is very good preparation for law or graduate school,” said Scott Lasley, Head of the Department of Political Science.
Graduates of the Professional Legal Studies program are employed in a variety of areas, such as court services, corporate legal departments, mortgage and title companies, legal education, government and political offices, non-profit organizations, real estate sales, property management, private law practice, and human resources.
In addition to the name change, the Department has established an undergraduate Certificate in Paralegal Studies. The certificate may be earned as part of a degree program or as a stand-alone credential. The certificate requires 15 hours of legal specialty core courses and 6 hours of legal specialty course electives. It combines legal theory and professional skills to prepare students for employment or advancement in the legal field. It is an opportunity for legal professionals and others in the workforce looking to advance their careers. The certificate is also an excellent option for students interested in the legal field to supplement their current major.
For more information about the Professional Legal Studies program, visit: www.wku.edu/political-science/professional-legal-studies/index.php
For more information about the Paralegal Studies Certificate, visit: https://www.wku.edu/political-science/paralegal-studies-certificate.php