The Legal Studies Programs, offered through the Graduate, International, Compliance, and Legal Studies office at Delaware Law School can serve as a springboard to your legal career. The purpose of the Legal Studies Programs is to provide an outstanding education in the theory and philosophy of law and ethical responsibility for paralegals. The Legal Studies Programs prepare paralegals to work under the direct supervision of attorneys.
You don’t have to become an attorney to have a legal career. Paralegals enjoy exciting careers in a variety of legal settings. In addition to law firms, paralegals work in corporate legal departments, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and judicial environments. Paralegals with a nursing background can be found working at insurance companies, medical companies, and hospitals.
At Delaware Law, students can choose from a wide range of professional degree and certificate options in paralegal studies. Delaware Law School offers a bachelor's degree or associate's degree in legal studies. Additionally, a general paralegal certificate is offered, as well as legal specialty concentrations which are tailored to a student's interest in areas such as corporate law, health law, criminal law, estate administration, and litigation. The Certificate can be completed in just one summer and can be used to jumpstart a legal career by the fall. The Certificate can also be completed in just one academic year (two semesters: fall and spring). Students who have already achieved college credits elsewhere may apply to complete their degree at Delaware Law’s Legal Studies Programs as a transfer student. We provide individual attention to each new student and one of our advisors will work with you to help you understand the transfer process.
With our reputation for excellence, our graduates have found fulfilling careers throughout the region and beyond. Our degree and certificate options are approved by the American Bar Association, the leading organization for legal professionals and academic programs.
The legal studies program is conveniently offered in an online format. The ABA requires students to take at least nine semester credits or the equivalent of legal specialty courses through synchronous instruction. We meet this requirement through live online class sessions. Remaining credits may be taken asynchronously.
Synchronous learning runs in real time, with students attending online at the same time as the professor from different locations. The asynchronous format is with students accessing online course materials during different hours at their convenience without live attendance online at the same time as others.
The overarching goal of Legal Studies programs is the practical training and development of qualified individuals, fostering an understanding and appreciation of the law and ethical responsibilities under the supervision of attorneys. Prepare for a successful career as a paralegal through the guidance of experienced attorney faculty and our ABA-approved coursework. The training aims to enhance your ability to adapt and grow with changes in the legal environment. The objective of the Legal Studies Programs is to reflect the prevailing ethical and educational standards for paralegals established by the American Bar Association to deliver competent and effective legal services to all segments of society.
Through the variety of programs offered at Delaware Law, you can learn the skills you need to be a successful paralegal in a wide array of legal specialties, as well as learning general paralegal skills that can be transferred across all fields of law. Regardless of your background and experience, Delaware Law School provides you with the opportunity to enter, or expand your reach in, an exciting paralegal career.
Students who do not wish to commit to a degree program, or who are seeking additional knowledge in a particular legal area, may attend classes as a non-matriculated student by taking up to three qualified courses before committing to a program. Choose from courses such as: contracts, torts, ethics, legal research, and more.
It is important to note that paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public except as permitted by law. Paralegals work under the direct supervision of attorneys. The Legal Studies Programs adhere to this definition of paralegal found in the “Guidelines for the Approval of Paralegal Education Programs,” American Bar Association Standing Committee on Paralegals, effective September 1, 2013, page 3.
“A legal assistant or paralegal is a person, qualified by education, training, or work experience, who is employed or retained by a lawyer, law office, corporation, governmental agency, or other entity and who performs specifically delegated substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible.”
While our legal studies programs are 100% online, our legal studies department is located on the Delaware Law School's Wilmington campus. The Legal Studies Programs are affiliated with the law school, which gives students access to a range of professional services, including the vast resources of the Delaware Law Library. As a Legal Studies student, you will receive expert career advising at our Career Development Office. Each of the career counselors is a licensed attorney who will work with you on career development issues, including building your résumé, writing cover letters, networking, and interviewing. For students residing outside the local Wilmington area, online access to our library databases and remote sessions with the Career Development Office are available.
Please visit the Cost of Attendance page for current tuition rates and other fees and expenses. Financial aid is available for qualified students.
Want a quick overview of our campus? Check out our aerial campus tour.
Want a more in-depth tour, much like the one you would receive during an in-person, on-campus visit? Check out our extended campus tour.