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Director's Message

Welcome to the Legal Studies Program at Texas State University

The legal studies program offers a master of arts degree in legal studies and a post-baccalaureate paralegal studies certificate, both offered at the graduate level. Both programs are approved by the American Bar Association as paralegal education programs, which do not qualify an individual to practice law. The legal studies program is also a member of the American Association for Paralegal Education.

Mission Statement:

The legal studies program supports the mission of the university and the College of Liberal Arts to foster the intellectual, professional, and ethical development of students while developing the competencies necessary for an effective career as a legal professional. The program combines practical applications of law with underlying theory as a means of preparing graduates for lifelong intellectual and professional development that contributes to the legal community and the advancement of justice.

Program Goals and Objectives:

Upon completion of the program, graduates should be able to:

A. enter the workforce as a paralegal.
B. possess the skills necessary to perform adequately as an entry-level paralegal, including:

  1. legal research,
  2. legal writing,
  3. critical thinking,
  4. interviewing and investigation,
  5. technological skills,
  6. organizational skills,
  7. communication skills,
  8. interpersonal skills.

C. perform ethically and professionally in the legal working environment.

Available Programs

The Department of Political Science at Texas State University offers the following legal studies programs:

• master of arts with a major in legal studies

• paralegal studies certificate program

The master of arts with a major in legal studies is a non-thesis, 36 semester credit hour program, consisting of a core of 27 required hours, including an applied research project and an internship, and nine hours of electives.

The paralegal studies certificate program is a post-graduate certificate program offered concurrently with the master's program that requires 24 semester credit hours, including an internship.  This program offers entry-level preparation for the paralegal field. The curriculum overlaps with the M.A. program for 24 of the 36 credit hours required for the M.A. degree.

Both the M.A. and paralegal studies programs are approved by the American Bar Association and offer graduate instruction.  These programs do not qualify persons to practice law.

More information regarding each program is available by clicking on that program’s tab. If you have questions about the program, please feel free to contact me or my assistant, Ms. Chris Williams (



Lynn Crossett

Director and Associate Professor