Legal Assistant (Associate of Science, A.S.)

This is a draft edition of the 2024-2025 catalog. Information contained within is subject to change.

The Associate of Science degree offers courses that are designed to prepare students to work as a paralegal, or to go on to law school. The skills the student will learn include legal research, interviewing, investigation, legal drafting, preparation of evidence and witnesses for trial, and assisting in the trial of a lawsuit.

Graduates with an Associate of Science degree in Legal Assistant hold positions in law firms, legal departments of banks, insurance companies, land title insurance companies, corporations, legal aid offices, public defender offices, the office of the prosecuting attorney, municipal legal departments and more.

Students who choose this associate degree program will have no more than 6 years from admission or subsequent declaration to meet the requirements listed below. If certification, accreditation or statutory requirements change and additional requirements become effective during this time, the new requirements take precedence.

The Associate of Science degree with a major in Legal Assistant is designed to provide those individuals who have little or no background or training in law with the skills necessary to work in a law office as an assistant to an attorney.

General Studies
Students must complete General Studies courses15-19
Major Requirements33-34
ENG 108College Writing and Research3
LAT 101Introduction to Law3
LAT 115Paralegal Studies3
LAT 220Legal Research3
LAT 225Litigation3
LAT 250Legal Computer Applications3
LAT 310Legal Drafting3
LAT 400Advanced Legal Research3
CRJ 365Practicum I3
or CRJ 465 Internship
MAT 110Contemporary Problem Solving3-4
or MAT 110E Contemporary Problem Solving
or MAT 112 Finite Mathematics
or MAT 116 College Algebra
PSC 101American National Government3
Restricted Legal Studies Electives12
Select twelve credit hours from the following:
Criminal Evidence
Practicum I
Business Law I
Business Law II
Real Property
Tort Law
Interpersonal Conflict Resolution
Study Away in Criminal Justice and Legal Studies
Probate Law
Domestic Relations
Civil Rights Law
Conflict Management
Selected Legal Topics
Substance Use and Disorders
Death And Dying
Family and Child Welfare

NOTE: Students must complete a Contact Information form prior to graduation. Per ABA program approval guidelines, students must also complete an exit interview with selected department faculty. 

Program Graduation Requirements

  1. No more than 2 courses with a grade of D permitted in major coursework.
  2. Earn an overall GPA of at least 2.0 and a major GPA of at least 2.0.

University Graduation Requirements

  1. Earn a minimum of 62 credit hours (100 level and above, maximum of 6 CED credit hours applicable).
  2. Earn 20 of the last 30 credit hours at MWSU in institutional course work (exclusive of credit by examination).
  3. Participate in required departmental and campus wide assessments. 
  4. Fulfill the Missouri Constitution requirement.
  5. Successfully pass the Missouri Higher Education Civics Achievement exam.