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Paralegal Studies Major

Paralegals are not just secretaries who work in law offices. The research, filing, and paperwork that go into the average court case can overwhelm even the most experienced attorneys. Lawyers spend a lot of time in the courtroom, and are often unable to perform these tasks on their own. Paralegals bridge the gap between the courtroom and the law office.

At Grand View University, we offer students who have an associate's degree in paralegal studies the opportunity to advance their education with a bachelor's degree. Take a look below to see if Grand View is the right fit for you!

Why Grand View?

  • We are the only college in Iowa offering a bachelor's degree in Paralegal Studies.
  • By earning your bachelor's degree at Grand View University, you increase your salary range and you can further your education with a master's degree or graduate school, if you desire.
  • We have teamed up with DMACC to create a new 2+2 paralegal program. Start in DMACC's Paralegal Program and then seamlessly advance into Grand View's outstanding Paralegal Studies Program to earn your bachelor's degree. Work with your academic advisor or contact Roger Mattiussi for more information.
  • Compatible with completed paralegal associate's degree in Iowa or across the nation.
  • Online options that allow you continue your education while working in the field at the same time.
  • We'll help you build on your previous experiences so you can expand your employment opportunities.
  • We offer invaluable internships that connect you to many businesses and organizations in the Des Moines area and even as far away as Washington, D.C. or with your current employer (based on approval).
  • We also offer the Paralegal Studies major in an accelerated format with classes meeting evenings and alternate Saturdays.
Choose Your Path

Whether it's custom classes, an emphasis, or an option, this degree offers you an even more enhanced and customizable experience in the following areas:

Business & Human Resource Management Concentration
This program is designed to develop in students a comprehensive knowledge of human resource (HR) management along with the skills necessary for implementing strategic, effective, and legally defensible HR practices in contemporary business organizations. Human resource professionals are employed in every industry and are an essential partner in an organization’s strategic vision for the future and for ensuring the right people are in place. It is essential that an HR professional learn and master key knowledge, skills, and abilities including critical thinking, confidentiality, change management, communication, negotiation and conflict management, business acumen, interpersonal skills, organizational skills, and fairness.

Criminology Concentration
The criminology concentration is designed for students who are interested in the scientific study of the origin, extent, and nature of crime in our society. It introduces students to the causes and consequences of criminal behavior and the societal responses to this behavior. The concentration provides an in-depth understanding of crime and criminal behavior and their interrelationship with other social problems like inequality, poverty, discrimination, racism, and sexism.

Public Administration Concentration
The increasing scope and complexity of problems facing American society have placed substantial demands upon public and private sector leaders. It is a broad sentiment that our social institutions (and their leaders) have failed to provide the "good life." Our society is entering an era in which the traditional boundary between public, private and nonprofit sectors is becoming increasingly blurred. Thus, it is even more important that today's public administrator understand and work effectively within the context of these social changes. Public administrators require particular knowledge and skills to provide the highest standards of leadership in their communities.

Career Options

Start work immediately after graduation or go on to advance your legal career...a bachelor's degree gives you a world of opportunities:

  • Paralegal
  • Law school
  • Government agencies
  • Community legal service programs
  • Juvenile justice organizations
  • Corrections or human resources management

What Can I Do With This Major?

Course Requirements

Prerequisites

Completion of an A.A., A.S., or A.A.S. or other appropriate degrees for Paralegal or Legal Assistant Program's requirements (or in process). These courses will not be counted in computing the GPA for the major. 

Requirements (33 credits)

33 semester credits including a common Paralegal Studies core of 15 credits and 18 additional credit hours in one of three concentrations: Business and Human Resource Management, Public Administration, or Criminology.

Paralegal Studies Common Core (15 semester credits)

BSAD 202 Entrepreneurship and Business Fundamentals 3 credits
BSAD / POLS / SOCS 399 Internship 3 credits
POLS 450 Senior Seminar 3 credits
ENGL 309 Writing for Business 3 credits
POLS 315 Introduction to Public Administration 3 credits

Business & Human Resource Management Concentration (18 credits)

ACCT 211 Financial Accounting 3 credits
BSAD 310 Principles of Management 3 credits
BSAD 375 Human Resource Management 3 credits

Additional Courses (9 credits)

BSAD 377 Staffing, Training and Development 3 credits
BSAD 407 Compensation and Benefits 3 credits
BSAD 408 Employment Law and Labor Relations 3 credits
BSAD 430 Special Topics (as approved) 3 credits

Criminology Concentration (18 credits)

POLS 340 American Constitutional Law and Development 3 credits
SOCS 310 Social Psychology 3 credits
SOCS 318 Criminological Theory 3 credits

Additional Courses (9 credits)

SOCS 315 Social Problems 3 credits
SOCS 331 Crime and the Media 1 credit
SOCS 333 Women and Crime 1 credit
SOCS 334 Serial Killers 1 credit
SOCS 335 Violence in the Workplace 1 credit
SOCS 336 The Sociology of the Weird and Bizarre 1 credit
SOCS 430 Special Topics 1 - 4 credits

Public Administration Concentration (18 credits)

ECON 101 Principles of Economics (Macro) 3 credits
POLS 322 Public Policy 3 credits
POLS 120 State and Local Government 3 credits
POLS 340 American Constitutional Law and Development 3 credits
POLS 405 Public Finance 3 credits
Upper Division Credits from BSAD or POLS or PSYC / SOCS 362 Forensic Socio-Psychology

3 credits
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GV Degree Combinations

You may also be interested in one or more of the following:

Rasmussen Center

Dedicated in 2008, the 42,851 square-foot $8.5 million building houses the departments of art, education, history, criminal justice, political studies, psychology and sociology, as well as general-purpose classrooms, art studios, computer labs, the ALT Center, faculty offices, and various student amenities.

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Did You Know?

Paralegals provide important legal assistance to lawyers. While attorneys meet with clients, hammer out mediations and plead cases in the courtroom, paralegals are researching, filling out important legal documents, and keeping clients up-to-date.

Although paralegals do not often show up in the courtroom, they are essential members of the legal community. The main thing that differentiates them from lawyers is that paralegals do not sit for the bar exam, and so cannot give official legal advice or present at a trial. While most of a paralegal's work is done backstage, any lawyer will tell you that they could not operate their law firm without paralegals.

Most employers require job applicants to have a certain amount of education in paralegal studies. While some law firms will train paralegals on the job, they usually require at least an associate degree in paralegal studies or a related field.

Salary & Job Outlook

Nationally, the median paralegal salary is $52,549 as of 2017, with a range from $46,468 to $59,334. The Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates that paralegal positions will increase by 8 percent from 2014 through 2024. CNN Money and US News rank Paralegal as one of the best jobs in America.

Is Paralegal Studies Right for You?

Many people who earn degrees in paralegal studies are committed professionals with a sincere interest in the American legal system, but who do not have the time, funds or inclination to go through law school. Paralegal careers require excellent organization skills and stringent attention to detail. Since the law requires comprehensive documentation, the paperwork can quickly overwhelm you if you don't have a top-notch filing system.

Good communication skills are also necessary for this career. Paralegals and legal secretaries often meet with clients while the lawyer is in the courtroom or out of the office, to discuss what certain legal documents mean and how their case is progressing.

Since paralegals and legal assistants will often be in charge of the paperwork for entire cases, they must be goal-oriented. In larger law offices, teams of legal assistants or paralegals will be assigned to larger cases, so teamwork is also very important. Also, a lawyer will be overseeing the case most of the time, so paralegals must be able to effectively follow directions.

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