Legal Studies

  • Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science (B.A., B.S.)
  • Minor

The ABA-approved Legal Studies major involves the study of civil and criminal law and contemporary issues related to law. The program provides a liberal education which focuses on both theory and practice and prepares students for work as paralegals and for further study in the field of law.

Program Offerings at Grand Valley

Legal Studies majors may earn either a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree. The B.A. requires third semester proficiency in a foreign language. The B.S. requires completion of courses in statistics and research methods.


Courses focus on:

  • Substantive law, including contracts, criminal law, torts, property, business law, and family law.
  • Oral and written communication
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Investigation and legal research
  • Legal ethics and professionalism

Career Options

Legal studies graduates are employed by:

  • Insurance companies
  • Government agencies
  • Law firms
  • Courts
  • Corporations
  • Nonprofit organizations

Graduates with BA and BS degrees who work in these fields can play an important role in the delivery of legal services, but they are not permitted to practice law. Graduates who seek to practice law must pursue a law school degree and satisfy other state requirements for admission to the bar.

Why Study Legal Studies at Grand Valley?

  • The program is approved by the American Bar Association and features a curriculum that provides a strong foundation in writing and critical thinking with an emphasis on professional skills necessary for success in the legal field.
  • The program prides itself on the diverse professional experience of its faculty members, most of whom are licensed attorneys who collectively have many years of experience working in areas of civil and criminal law.
  • Faculty are engaged in scholarly research and writing and have been recognized in their professional circles as award-winning teachers and mentors.
  • The program has an advisory board consisting of attorneys and paralegals representing a broad cross-section of employers. The board plays an important role by giving guidance on matters such as curriculum, internship and employment opportunities, and trends in the legal field.

Admissions Office

I am leaving GVSU with a strong foundation and firm goals thanks to the things that were shown and taught to me by my professors.


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