About the Program

The Legal Studies specialization is designed to provide a broad background in fundamental legal studies to students who desire to become paralegals or legal assistants working under the supervision of a lawyer. Legal assistants assume paralegal responsibilities as skilled members of a legal team in law firms, financial institutions, insurance companies, governmental agencies and related entities. The legal studies specialization consists of 24 credits of legal studies ("PLA" prefix) courses. The objectives of the BS in Administration degree with a specialization in Legal Studies are:

  • to provide students with a comprehensive knowledge of legal systems in state and federal environments
  • to meet the needs of students by developing the legal research and writing skills that are essential to success in a legal environment
  • to provide students with the critical thinking and communication skills necessary to comprehend and function as a legal assistant within the civil and criminal practice areas of a modern law firm
  • to encourage students to comprehend and fully utilize the connections between theory and practice
  • to provide fundamental education that students will be able to utilize in the legal community as legal assistants/paralegals
  • to deliver the program in a format that allows for flexibility in program planning and scheduling

Students with no experience in the legal community should begin study with PLA 301 Law and the Legal System.

Students who are seeking a Bachelor of Science degree with a Legal Studies specialization must take the Certified Legal Assistant (CLA) examination, administered by the National Association of Legal Assistants, Inc., (NALA), prior to graduation. Proof of registration for the CLA examination must be attached to the application for graduation. The CLA examination is offered at least three times each calendar year in Florida. Information on the CLA examination, eligibility and testing dates and sites can be obtained from NALA at http://www.nala.org/ or by writing to NALA, 1516 South Boston Avenue, Suite 200, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74119.

Certified Legal Assistant (CLA) Examination Information

Required of all Legal Study Specialization Students

Testing WindowApplication DeadlineLate Filing Deadline ($25 fee)Graduation Date - No Later Than
Jan 1 -31Dec 1Dec 10March 15
May 1 - 31April 1April 10July 15
Sept 1-30August 1August 10November 15
The Certified Paralegal Exam is a computer based test. Examinees must schedule a testing time through the ACT Testing Center Network to take the exam during the time the testing window is open. For more information about the exam and eligibility requirements visit the NALA website at www.nala.org.