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For the health and safety of the Grand Valley community, remote academic instruction will continue through June 17. The Admissions office is available to answer calls Mon.-Fri. from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 616-331-2025 or 1-800-748-0246 or email admissions@gvsu.eduAdditional instructions and updates at

Legal Studies, B.A., B.S.

The legal studies major involves the study of law and contemporary issues related to law as part of a liberal education. The American Bar Association approved B.A./B.S. focuses on both theory and practice and prepares students for work as paralegals and for other careers in the field of law.

Visit the program website for more information.

Program Overview

Legal studies students may earn 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. A minor, not approved by the ABA, is also available.

Why Study Legal Studies at Grand Valley?

  • The major 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.

Helpful Links

For More Information

School of Criminal Justice
289C Richard M. DeVos Center
(616) 331-7130

Admissions Office

Location & Format

Undergraduate students in this major study at Grand Valleys Allendale Campus.

Format: Face To Face


  • 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 in many areas, including:

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

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


“I felt that I had an advantage in law school as a result of participating in GVSU's legal studies program.”


“The legal studies program significantly advanced my knowledge and capabilities in the workforce as a paralegal/legal assistant in criminal and civil law.”