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Legal Studies - Program Description

According to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, "The legal system affects nearly every aspect of our society, from buying a home to crossing the street." Such a profound impact suggests that there are a variety of opportunities for individuals with an education in Legal Studies. The Department of Labor states that employers prefer graduates of postsecondary education programs. A graduate of SUNY Canton's Legal Studies program may find employment in law firms, corporations, hospitals, and local, state or federal government offices. Since the program covers many legal specialties, students may choose electives that may help them to specialize in one or more areas.

Students in this Major:

  • Spend a significant amount of time doing legal research and legal writing
  • May also take courses in Accounting, Business, Criminal Justice or Law Enforcement Leadership
  • Receive an interdisciplinary education
  • Complete a semester-long internship with a legal organization as a culminating experience

Career Opportunities:

  • Paralegals or legal assistants in law firms
  • Real estate and mortgage preparation
  • Claims adjusters, examiners, and investigators
  • Occupational health and safety specialists
  • Government paralegals local state and federal
  • Contracts administrators
  • District Attorney, Sheriff and Probation Offices
  • Freelance Paralegal

Career Outlook:

  • Jobs for graduates in Legal Studies are projected to grow faster than average for all occupations through 2018 according to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Admission Requirements:

  • Refer to the table of high school course prerequisites for admission.
  • Students must be prepared to take Expository Writing (ENGL 101) or Oral and Written Expression(ENGL 102).
  • Transfer students must meet re-registration requirements to be considered for admission.


Semester I Credits

CITA 110 Introduction to Information Technology 3
ENGL 101
ENGL 102
Expository Writing (GER 10) OR
Oral & Written Expression (GER 10)
FYEP 101 First Year Experience 1
LEST 101 American Legal System 3
American History Elective (GER 4) 3
Math Elective (GER 1) 3-4

Semester II Credits

ACCT 101 Foundations of Financial Accounting 4
BSAD 200 Business Communications** 3
BSAD 201 Business Law I 3
CITA 101 Library/Information Literacy 1
  Arts Elective (GER 8) 3
  Social Science Elective (GER 3) 3

Semester III Credits

BSAD 202 Business Law II 3
  General Elective 3
Foreign Language (GER 9) 4
  Science Elective (GER 2) 3-4
  Western Civilization Elective (GER 5) 3

Semester IV Credits

LEST 221 Criminal Practice 3
LEST 310 Legal Research 3
LEST 320 Negligence and Intentional Torts 3
  Other World Civilization (GER 6) 3
  Humanities Elective (GER 7) 3

Semester V Credits

LEST 330 Legal Writing** 3
LEST 340 Constitutional Law 3
LEST 350 Civil Litigation 3
  General Elective 3
Program Elective 3

Semester VI Credits

BSAD 319 Professional Ethics 3
LEST 370 Real Property 3
LEST 380 Wills, Estates, and Trusts 3
LEST 449 Advanced Legal Writing** 3
  General Elective 3

Semester VII Credits

LEST 360 Family Law 3
LEST 429 Internship Orientation
(If taking LEST 480 in 8th semester)
  U/L Program Elective 3
  U/L Program Elective 3
  General Elective 3
  Program Elective 3

Semester VIII Credits

LEST 480
LEST 485
Legal Studies Internship (3-15 credits depending on hours worked) OR
Senior Project (3-15 credits depending on hours worked) AND/OR
5 U/L Program Electives for a total of 15 semester credits

* Writing Intensive Course

U/L = Upper Level
GER = General Education Requirement

Program Electives: Courses in ACCT, LELM, LEST, BSAD, or JUST (except JUST 101, 110, and 111). Legal Issues in E & D (EADM 307), Perpetrators & Victims: Crime and Violence in Literature (ENGL 305), Professional Writing and Communication (ENGL 301), Introduction to Finance, (FSMA 210), Estate Planning (FSMA 410), Legal and Ethical Issues in Health Care (HSMB/NURS 302), and Funeral Service Law (FSAD 401).

In order to receive an LEST degree, at least 45 Upper Level (U/L) Credits must be completed.

In order to graduate with a SUNY Canton degree, at least 30 credits must be completed by courses offered through SUNY Canton.

Review the Index of Course Descriptions

Legal Studies
Rosemary Philips
Curriculum Coordinator