Students in the Legal Studies program learn to work with attorneys in representation of clients and their cases in a variety of settings - from small law firms to large corporate legal departments and various governmental agencies.
Civil and criminal legal theories are taught along with the practical skills used by paralegals in the workforce to apply the theory to real-world situations, including the preparation of documents and pleadings, legal research, and interviewing skills.
The formal program goals and official learning outcomes are listed below.
UAFS's Legal Studies program supports the general principles of ethical legal practice, professional responsibility, and the prohibition against the unauthorized practice of law that prohibits a paralegal from offering legal advice or actively providing legal representation except as specifically permitted by state or federal law.
An Associate of Applied Science degree is offered. The classes are all offered at night on a rotating schedule with day offerings.
General Education and elective credits will be accepted from transfer students in accordance with standing university policy on the transfer of credits. Transfer credit for Legal Specialty courses will be considered or accepted for fulfillment of the Legal Studies A.A.S. degree requirements only if they originate from an American Bar Association approved Paralegal program of study. A minimum of ten (10) credit hours in Legal Specialty coursework must be completed in residency at the university.
Program Goals and Learning Outcomes
The Official Learning Outcomes for the UAFS Legal Studies program call for graduates of the program to be able to:
- understand and correctly use legal terminology.
- understand the basic structure and hierarchy of the federal and Arkansas state court systems.
- be able to properly draft basic legal documents, including: complaints, answers, interrogatories, requests for production, requests for admission, simple motions, simple court orders, and legal memorandum.
- conduct basic legal research either electronically or in a law library setting.
- identify the primary stages of civil and criminal litigation.
- have a basic understanding of the Rules of Professional Conduct and their requirements for ethical behavior on the part of attorneys and paralegals.
- Have a basic knowledge of the issues typically involved in the following area of legal specialty: torts, criminal law, family law, wills, trusts and probate, contract law, and business organizations.
Learning Outcomes are tested for throughout the program with legal research and writing assignments being an integral part of all courses as well as multiple exams over substantive areas of the law. Students are expected to perform at a C-level or better in their expressions of understanding in all areas tested and on all legal research and writing assignments.