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Legal Studies

  • Associate of Arts
  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Certificate
  • Erie, Pennsylvania
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  • Gain a Solid Foundation in Legal Principles and Practice with a Legal Studies Degree from Gannon University

    Gannon University’s legal studies program prepares you to enter the legal field equipped with the knowledge, skills and competency to become a valued and respected member of the legal profession. Leverage your success through options to pursue a four-year bachelor’s degree, two-year associate’s degree, or certificate option, based on your identified professional needs. Enter a field where impactful opportunities abound in many areas of law

    • Experience internship opportunities with banks, corporations, courts, insurance companies, law firms or others located near campus.
    • Duquesne UniversityAccelerate your education through a Legal Studies 3+3 program option with Duquesne University Law School.
    • Engage in interesting coursework that leads to a variety of careers in legal and related disciplines.

    Learn to Lead the Way in Legal Studies

    • Build a strong foundation of specialty legal courses that provide practical and highly sought-after skills in interviewing, investigation, legal research and preparation of legal documents.  
    • Choose from a variety of core and elective courses to suit your life and career goals.  
    • Learn to perform specifically delegated and substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible. 

    Experience an Exceptional Learning Environment

    • Work with the Erie County Bar Association to help Erie residents with non-violent criminal records move forward in their lives.
    • Participate as a member of the Legal Studies Club in mock trials and the Wills for Heroes project in conjunction with the Erie County Bar Association.  
    • Pursue upper-level specialty classes in bankruptcy, business organizations, constitutional law, immigration, juvenile justice, mental health, and wills and estates.

    Inspire Your Academic Success

    Gain real-world knowledge through key legal studies courses including: 

    Legal Research and Writing II:  Learn the fundamental principles of case analysis and the preparation of case briefs and legal memorandums.

    Public Records Research and Title Abstracts: Study the theory and practice of completing courthouse civil and criminal records, research and real estate title abstracts.

    Mock Trial: Learn the fundamentals of evidence law and employ legal reasoning and argument in the context of hands-on trial advocacy.

    Achieve the Possibilities

    Our legal studies program is designed for your success. Through curriculum flexibility and high-quality educational opportunities, you can: 

    • Develop the foundations necessary to gain acceptance into law schools including the University of West Virginia School of Law, University of Pittsburgh School of Law, Duquesne University School of Law, and more.  
    • Master critical thinking and analytical skills, which are necessary for an array of careers with insurance companies, law firms, private investigator offices, district attorneys, banks, hospital administration and more.  
    • Earn an average annual wage of $122,960 for lawyers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Understand the structure of the State and Federal court system.
  2. Understand the differences between civil and criminal practice.
  3. Analyze (by briefing) reported legal opinions.
  4. Research legal problems using primary and secondary resources.
  5. Write clear, effective legal memoranda, using proper citation form, and to write with good grammar and spelling skills.
  6. Conduct effective interviews with clients and witnesses.
  7. Understand the procedure in a civil suit and draft appropriate pleadings.
  8. Be familiar with basic concepts of business organizations and contract law.
  9. Recognize the ethical standards of the paralegal profession.
Owen Balas

Owen Balas Legal Studies

“My experience with the Legal Studies program at Gannon has exposed me to the knowledge and thinking skills necessary to attend law school. The highlight of my program experience has been diversifying my knowledge and having access to any study of law I could potentially choose to pursue. Having access to professors that are practicing in bankruptcy and real estate law has given me the unique skill set that I set out to attain.”

  • Receive hands-on learning through real-world courses, projects and valuable internship experiences that prepare you to become a professional in the field.
  • 13:1Enjoy a personalized experience inspired by Gannon’s faculty experts and a low student-to-faculty ratio of 13:1.
  • Apply for generous financial aid packages and scholarship awards.