SUBJECT: BACHELOR OF LEGAL STUDIES
The School of Applied Studies proposes to offer a Bachelor of Legal Studies for those students preparing for careers as paralegals. The program stresses knowledge of law and mastery of the practical competencies necessary to succeed as a paralegal. For more than a decade the national trend has been to "raise the bar" for entry level paralegals, requiring a four-year undergraduate degree as the minimum requirement for employment.
Washburn University currently offers an Associate of Arts (AA) degree in Legal Studies. A Certificate of Completion is also available for those students who have already obtained an associate's, bachelor's or master's degree.
The Legal Studies Program is approved by the American Bar Association (ABA) for a period of seven years (1998-2005). At the conclusion of the site visit in February 1998, the team recommended that the program develop a four-year degree option. In addition, in the final draft of the report issued by the Washburn University Program Review Committee in 2000, the committee recommended that the program consider "development of a baccalaureate degree."
The Bachelor of Legal Studies proposal was approved by the Division of Office, Legal and Technical Studies faculty, the School of Applied Studies Curriculum Committee, the School of Applied Studies Faculty Council and the University Curriculum Committee. The University Council approved the proposal on November 16, 2004. The General Faculty approved the proposal on January 27, 2005. On approval this proposal will become effective Fall 2005.
No additional expenditures are anticipated.
President Farley recommends Board of Regents approval of the Bachelor of Legal Studies Degree.
(date) Jerry B. Farley, President