Justice Studies Major, Paralegal Studies Concentration (B.A.)

The Paralegal Studies Program, approved by the American Bar Association, offers students a balanced and varied background in theoretical and practical aspects of law, which are necessary for work as a paralegal. Over 60% of our graduates go on to work as paralegals or continue onto law school.  The Bachelor of Arts in Justice Studies with a concentration in Paralegal Studies provides a solid foundation for students aspiring to work in the legal field, go to law school or graduate school. It also develops intellectual and analytical skills, educates students for direct employment opportunities in the paralegal field, and provides additional career possibilities in combination with other majors/minors. The Montclair State University Paralegal Studies Program was the first program in New Jersey to receive American Bar Association approval. ParalegalEDU.org announced the results of a 2018 state-by-state analysis of the top bachelor’s programs for paralegals and Montclair State University’s BA in Justice Studies with a concentration in Paralegal Studies was selected as the best of the best in New Jersey!

Paralegals (sometimes referred to as legal assistants or legal analysts) work under the supervision of an attorney, in a variety of areas ranging from real estate, litigation and family law to intellectual property, estate and criminal practice.

120 credits of coursework is required for the baccalaureate degree with a minimum 2.75 overall GPA, and a minimum 2.75 major GPA.

With the exception of giving legal advice, making court appearances and setting fees, a paralegal may carry out many tasks. Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law.

Program Requirements Overview

General Education Requirements42
World Languages and Cultures Requirements3-9
Major Requirements39
Free Electives36-30
Total Credits120

Major Requirements

Complete with a minimum 2.750 GPA:

Justice Studies Core
JUST 204Justice, Courts and Legal Systems3
JUST 205Perspectives on Justice Studies3
JUST 300Research Methods in Justice Studies3
JUST 310Theoretical Issues in Justice Studies3
JUST 497Senior Seminar and Internship3
Paralegal Studies Concentration
Paralegal Concentration Required Courses
PALG 210Law and Litigation3
PALG 312Research and Writing for Paralegals3
PALG 339Computer Applications in the Legal Environment3
Paralegal Concentration Electives
Select 15 credits from the list below.15
Total Credits39

Paralegal Concentration Electives

Group A
Select 3-15 credits of the following:
Real Estate Law
Contract Law
Fundamentals of Patent, Trademark and Copyright Law
Wills, Trusts and Probate Law
Family Law
Corporations and Partnerships
Group B
Select 0-9 credits from the following:
Criminal Law and Procedure
Immigration Law
Negotiation, Mediation and Arbitration
Evidence
Computer-Assisted Research in the Legal Environment
Bankruptcy Law
Administrative Law and Procedure
Personal Injury Law
Employment Law
Special Topics in Paralegal Studies
Advanced Patent, Trademark and Copyright Law
Consumer Law
Elder Law
Civil Trial Preparation
Entertainment Law
Trademark Law
Criminal Trial Preparation
Law Office Management and Technology
Group C
Select 0-6 credits from the following:
Criminology
Introduction to Criminal Justice
Environmental Justice
Restorative Justice
Race and the U.S. Legal System
Hate Crimes
White Collar Crime
Juvenile Delinquency and Juvenile Justice
Death Penalty Perspectives
Juries and Justice
Rights, Liberties and American Justice
Special Topics in Justice Studies
Peer Mentoring for Justice Studies
Skills for Bilingual Legal Personnel
Forensic Psychology

General Education Requirements

Click here for a list of courses that fulfill General Education categories.

A. New Student Seminar
Complete a 1 credit New Student Seminar1
C. Communication
1. Writing 3
2. Literature3
3. Communication3
D. Fine and Performing Arts
Complete a 3 credit Fine and Performing Arts course.3
F. Humanities
1. Great Works and Their Influences3
2. Philosophical and Religious Perspectives 3
G. Computer Science
Complete a 3 credit Computer Science course.3
H. Mathematics
Complete a 3 credit Mathematics course.3
I. Natural Science Laboratory
Complete a 4 credit Natural Science Laboratory course.4
J. Physical Education
Complete a 1 credit Physical Education course.1
K. Social Science
1. American and European History 3
2. Global Cultural Perspectives3
3. Social Science Perspectives 3
L. Interdisciplinary Studies
Complete a 3 credit Interdisciplinary Studies course.3
Total Credits42

World Languages and Cultures Requirements

Click here for a list of courses that fulfill World Languages and Cultures categories.

World Languages
Based on language placement exam, complete one or two sequential courses in the same language.3-6
World Cultures
Requirement may be fulfilled by course selected in General Education - Social Science: Global Cultural Perspectives.0-3
Total Credits3-9

Recommended Roadmap to Degree Completion

This recommended four-year plan is provided as an outline for students to follow in order to complete their degree requirements within four years.  This plan is a recommendation and students should only use it in consultation with their academic advisor.

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
FallCredits
GENERAL EDUCATION: (A) New Student Seminar 1
GENERAL EDUCATION: (C1) Writing 3
GENERAL EDUCATION: (C3) Communication 3
GENERAL EDUCATION: (H) Mathematics 3
JUST 101 Criminology 3
PALG 210 Law and Litigation 3
 Credits16
Spring
GENERAL EDUCATION: (C2) Literature 3
GENERAL EDUCATION: (G) Computer Science 3
GENERAL EDUCATION: (K1) Social Science – American and European History 3
GENERAL EDUCATION: (L) Interdisciplinary Studies 3
JUST 204 Justice, Courts and Legal Systems 3
 Credits15
Second Year
Fall
GENERAL EDUCATION: (F1) Humanities – Great Works and Their Influences 3
GENERAL EDUCATION: (I) Natural Science Laboratory 4
GENERAL EDUCATION: (K2) Social Science – Global Cultural Perspectives 3
World Language 1 3
JUST 205 Perspectives on Justice Studies 3
 Credits16
Spring
GENERAL EDUCATION: (D) Fine and Performing Arts 3
GENERAL EDUCATION: (F2) Humanities – Philosophical and Religious Perspectives 3
World Language 2 3
PALG 312 Research and Writing for Paralegals 3
PALG Elective 3
 Credits15
Third Year
Fall
World Cultures 3
JUST 300
Research Methods in Justice Studies
or Theoretical Issues in Justice Studies
3
PALG 339 Computer Applications in the Legal Environment (or PALG Elective) 3
PALG Elective 3
Free Elective 3
 Credits15
Spring
JUST 310
Theoretical Issues in Justice Studies
or Research Methods in Justice Studies
3
PALG 339 Computer Applications in the Legal Environment (or PALG Elective) 3
PALG Elective 3
Free Elective 3
Free Elective 3
 Credits15
Fourth Year
Fall
JUST 497 Senior Seminar and Internship (or Free Elective) 3
PALG Elective 3
Free Elective 3
Free Elective 3
Free Elective 3
 Credits15
Spring
GENERAL EDUCATION: (J) Physical Education 1
JUST 497 Senior Seminar and Internship (or Free Elective) 3
Free Elective 3
Free Elective 3
Free Elective 3
 Credits13
 Total Credits120