<img src="//bat.bing.com/action/0?ti=4012132&amp;Ver=2" height="0" width="0" style="display:none; visibility: hidden;">
Talk or Text: (713) 529-2778
Is Paralegal Career Training Right for You? Take the Free Quiz!
Center for Advanced Legal Studies Paralegal Education and Training
Paralegal Blog
Talk to Us: 1-800-446-6931

Paralegal Blog

Bachelor of Arts: Law and Business Degree Program

Posted by Eric H. Happe

Find me on:

Dec 13, 2023 11:30:06 AM

Law and Business Banner wo textCenter for Advanced Legal Studies (CALS) is excited to announce the availability of a new bachelor’s degree program designed specifically for paralegals and other legal support professionals. Classes in the Bachelor of Law and Business degree program begin January 29, 2024.

CALS has specialized exclusively in paralegal education and training since 1987 and has helped thousands of graduates enter this exciting and rewarding profession through the completion of accredited certificates and associate of applied science degrees. This new bachelor’s degree, intended primarily for graduates of paralegal programs at CALS and other accredited institutions, is designed to help paralegals enhance and advance their legal careers and to better qualify for opportunities in the commercial and business sectors.

There is a strong demand for this type of degree. During the 2021-2022 reporting period for the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), accredited institutions reported 10,459 paralegal credentials conferred, with nearly half (5,022) being 2-year associate degrees. Another 4,128 were undergraduate certificates. Completers of these programs who wish to pursue bachelor’s degrees often encounter difficulties when attempting to transfer their credits into traditional colleges and universities due to differences in accreditation standards or other institutional roadblocks. Center for Advanced Legal Studies understands this and welcomes transfer credits from other accredited institutions. Equivalent or closely related college-level courses may be eligible for transfer, and CALS will work with incoming students to determine equivalencies for older courses. There should be no need to repeat college courses because of differences in accreditation or because courses were taken several years in the past.

Program Development

Center for Advanced Legal Studies has a successful history of delivering quality paralegal programs and has supported and prepared students to become paralegals since 1987. However, paralegal certificates and associate degrees at CALS (and elsewhere) are designed to help those interested in pursuing a paralegal career enter the legal profession. Many employers now require, or at least strongly prefer, paralegals to hold a bachelor’s degree to qualify for employment or to be considered for more prized positions. While this is understandable, it also creates a ‘paper ceiling’ that can be difficult to overcome without attaining a higher level of education. The purpose of this new Bachelor of Law and Business degree is not only to help paralegals enhance and advance their careers but also to equip them with the very thing needed to remove career enhancement barriers that arise from not having a 4-year degree.

The Bachelor of Law and Business program is the culmination of years of diligent effort by CALS staff with the input and support of its faculty, students, alumni, employers, and Program Advisory Committee (PAC). Through internal reviews aimed at improving and enhancing academic quality, it was clear that the addition of common-sense business courses to the already strong law curriculum would best serve paralegals and other legal support professionals and provide them with appreciable value in an advanced degree program.

To begin working on a bachelor’s degree level program, CALS first had to apply for and become approved by a new accrediting body. This was because CALS’ existing accreditation only approved up to 2-year degrees. After a stringent review process, CALS received accreditation through Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC) in May of 2020. ACCSC is an institutional accreditation body recognized by the Department of Education with an emphasis on career education and training.


Paralegal students at Center for Advanced Legal Studies have historically taken a core law curriculum that addresses primary legal practice areas with courses such as Civil Procedure, Legal Research and Writing, Family Law, Personal Injury, Real Estate, Intellectual Property, and Criminal Law, among others. These courses are designed to provide students with the essential knowledge and skills necessary to begin a paralegal career and work in the more conventional areas of practice. The bachelor's degree program presents the opportunity to add new, advanced law courses such as Administrative Law, Employment Law, Bankruptcy Law, Constitutional Law and Civil Liberties, and Legal Ethics to extend the reach of the legal curriculum. These additional courses will be taught at a higher academic level (3000/4000) and are designed to encourage a greater and more thorough analysis and evaluation of legal principles.

In addition to the core law curriculum, Bachelor of Law and Business students will also receive a core business curriculum designed to provide access to and familiarity with valuable, practical business topics. Core business courses will include Introduction to Business, Accounting Principles, Business Communication, and Management. Students will select 4-6 business electives from Marketing, Business Ethics, Human Resources, Finance, Project Management, and International Business.

During the development of this degree program, surveys and feedback from students and alumni revealed a strong interest in criminal justice topics as well. Therefore, students will complete two criminal justice courses including Introduction to Criminal Justice and Criminology.

To complete the degree requirements for the bachelor’s degree, students must either transfer in or complete at CALS a total of 120 semester credit hours as detailed below.

Course Level Requirements Sem. Hours
Required Core Occupational Courses 42
Lower Division (1000/2000) Law electives 9
Upper Division (3000/4000) Law electives 9
Upper Division (3000/4000) Business electives 12
Academic General Education Courses 30
Other Required Courses 6
Additional Electives (Law and/or Business) 12


A complete breakdown of the courses required along with additional information can be found at https://www.paralegal.edu/law-business

Application and Transfer of Credit – CALS Graduates

Graduates of Center for Advanced Legal Studies have a direct path available to enter this new program. It was specifically designed to provide them with easy access to a meaningful bachelor’s degree. Those with an associate degree from CALS are already halfway finished with their bachelor’s degree! Most previous credits will transfer* directly into the bachelor’s degree. Undergraduate students who completed their Paralegal Certificate may be better served completing the associate degree first before entering the full bachelor’s degree program.

Application and Transfer of Credit – Other Institutions

Students from other institutions are encouraged to provide their official college transcripts to Center for Advanced Legal Studies for evaluation. As with all transfers of credit between educational institutions, there could arise difficulties in aligning credit. However, CALS is committed to accepting as many transfer credits as possible to help shorten the length and cost of the degree.

Those interested in applying for admission to the new Bachelor of Law and Business degree program, or any of the other paralegal programs available at CALS, should submit their application online at https://www.paralegal.edu/online-application early to allow time for college transcript evaluations and to conduct personal interviews with Admissions.

Course Delivery

All courses in the bachelor’s degree program will be delivered 100% online. Center for Advanced Legal Studies utilizes Canvas LMS as its learning management system, and Blackboard Collaborate Ultra for live, synchronous classes. Through Blackboard Collaborate students and instructors can see and hear each other in real-time, view PowerPoint® and other presentations, share applications such as Microsoft Word® and Westlaw®, and participate in breakout groups for more advanced classroom collaboration. Live classes are best experienced on a desktop or laptop computer, but students can join live classes via smartphone or tablet when necessary.

Students enrolled in programs at Center for Advanced Legal Studies are issued subscriptions to Cengage Unlimited for textbook access which provides immediate digital access to textbooks used in courses through Canvas. Additionally, students can conveniently access their textbooks on the go through the Cengage Mobile App. Students can also elect to purchase or rent their books directly through Cengage if they prefer a physical textbook. The current rental price per textbook is just $9.99 for a course term.

Students attending programs at CALS also receive Microsoft 365 accounts which provide a designated @paralegal.edu email address as well as access to Microsoft Office desktop applications. Active students also have access to Fastcase and Westlaw for online legal research.

Final Thoughts

The paralegal profession can be an exciting and rewarding one for those who are interested in the law and have a desire to make a positive impact in the legal system. While there are many paths one can take to become a paralegal, most find that a formal, accredited paralegal credential such as a paralegal certificate or an associate degree provides the most direct path. For those who have previously earned these credentials, a related bachelor's degree that includes valuable business and upper-level law courses might be an option for enhancing or advancing their careers. Those interested in pursuing one of these options are encouraged to submit their application online at https://www.paralegal.edu/online-application

Most credits except Externship and Business Computer Applications. Other exclusions may apply. A full transfer of credit evaluation will be prepared for applicants prior to enrollment.


Topics: credentials, career, education and training, featured

Paralegal Program Brochure Download Request another info kit by mail Paralegal Program Application