Legal Studies Graduate Certificate Programs

Updated: Jun 3, 2024

Legal Studies is the study, rather than the practice, of law. It is useful for teaching the history of law, helping lawyers understand legal evolution, and in several supporting administrative roles in the legal profession.

A Legal Studies (or Paralegal) Graduate Certificate is just one way students can enter a career in law support. It's suitable for academia, advisory and regulation, and many other careers outside of a court of law.

What Are the Online Legal Studies Graduate Certificate Requirements?

U.S. law schools offering relevant legal studies graduate certificate programs expect you to demonstrate eligibility before being accepted into the program. While specific admissions requirements are at the discretion of each school, you will generally be asked for the following:

  • A bachelor's degree in law is often required, but related subjects such as sociology will sometimes be accepted
  • A relevant master's degree
  • Minimum GPA, anywhere from 2.75 to 3.5 depending on the school
  • Official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended
  • If you are from a country where English is not the main language, you will be asked to prove language proficiency. The most commonly accepted standards are PTEA, IELTS, and TOEFL. Some schools also accept ELS112 and DuoLingo certification
  • Several letters of recommendation from academic or professional sources
  • Resume/CV outlining any relevant experience
  • Application fee (non-refundable)
  • A personal statement or essay answering a specific question about your interest, background, and career desires

What Type of Classes Are Included in the Online Legal Studies Graduate Certificate Curriculum?

Legal studies graduate certificates can often be completed in just a few semesters of study. The curriculum is comprised of a series of core courses, with some electives available. Typical course titles for this type of program include:

  • Introduction to Legal Studies
  • Introduction to Commercial Law
  • Academic Legal Writing
  • Constitutional Law
  • Legal Research
  • Advocacy
  • Debates in Post-Conflict Justice
  • American Legal History
  • Business and Human Rights
  • Civil Procedures
  • Comparative Laws (International and Religious)
  • Capstone Project
  • Decision Making for Lawyers
  • Law & Leadership
  • Employment Discrimination & Law
  • European Union Law
  • Information Privacy and Security Management Practicum
  • Labor Law

What Type of Careers Can I Pursue with an Online Legal Studies Graduate Certificate?

With a Graduate Certificate in Legal Studies, you can access many careers. Popular pathways include:

  • Compliance Director: Working in the top levels of a business, you can work overseeing the business' regulatory compliance, ensuring training, safety systems, network security, and government regulations like HIPAA are met.
  • Legal Researcher: Lawyers need teams of researchers on specific or obscure laws to help in cases. While you won't present evidence in court, your research evidence could be vital.
  • Paralegal: A paralegal is a type of legal administrator, interviewing witnesses, submitting information to courts, and helping lawyers with other work.
  • Arbitrator: Some civil conflicts do not need to go to court. It's usually in the best interests of both parties not to. An arbitrator listens to both sides and decides on a non-legally-binding course of action.
  • Jury Consultant: Here, you will assist with admin tasks before and during a case – researching and helping witnesses, as well as helping with the jury selection process.

Legal Studies Graduate Certificate Programs List

Interested in a legal studies graduate certificate program? Check out our listings below to find a traditional, online, or hybrid program near you.


California State University Long BeachLong Beach, CALegal Studies


University of North GeorgiaDahlonega, GAParalegal Studies


Washburn UniversityTopeka, KSLegal Studies


University of Massachusetts LowellLowell, MAOnline - Paralegal Studies

New York

Stony Brook UniversityStony Brook, NYOnline - Paralegal


University of CincinnatiCincinnati, OHParalegal Studies
Wright State UniversityDayton, OHLegal Studies


Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Erie-Behrend CollegeErie, PALegal Studies


Texas State UniversitySan Marcos, TXParalegal Studies
University of North TexasDenton, TXLegal Studies


James Madison UniversityHarrisonburg, VAOnline - Paralegal Studies


Concordia University WisconsinMequon, WIHybrid - Paralegal Studies

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