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Bachelor's in Paralegal Studies (BAPL)

For 40 years, Roosevelt University’s ABA-approved paralegal studies program has produced graduates ready to have immediate impact inside a firm or another legal environment. Roosevelt-trained paralegal professionals are knowledgeable, effective and a critical part of the legal team. Upon completion of their degree requirements, students are awarded both a bachelor of arts degree in paralegal studies and a paralegal certificate.

The program has an emphasis on civil litigation, including hands-on training in widely used litigation software and e-discovery applications.

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Location: Chicago, Schaumburg
Start Term: Fall, Fall B, Spring, Spring B, Summer
Program Type: Major, Flex-Track, Minor

Paralegals perform substantive legal work under the direct supervision of an attorney. Paralegals must have a knowledge and understanding of legal concepts, because they perform a wide variety of tasks including: conducting interviews with clients and witnesses, gathering facts, researching the law, managing databases, reviewing, analyzing and assembling records and documents, and drafting legal pleadings and discovery items such as complaints and interrogatories and maintaining conflicts of interest systems. Experienced paralegals often accompany counsel during trial and help with document management and organization, witness preparation and research. Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law.

For more information on the paralegal profession and the type of work paralegals perform in different practice areas, visit the websites of the National Federation of Paralegal Associations and the National Association of Legal Assistants.

For detailed information on the paralegal profession including the work environment, job outlook, educational requirements and salary information, read the Occupational Outlook Handbook published by the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Carrie Lausen
, Program Director
Chanita Britton
, Department Contact

What Differentiates Us

One-of-a-Kind in Chicago

One-of-a-Kind in Chicago

Roosevelt's BA in Paralegal Studies is the only ABA-approved 4-year bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies in the Chicago area.

Career Assistance

Career Assistance

We offer lifetime career development assistance within the program, which includes: an online job system in which employers post open positions and students and graduates can post their resume; one-on-one career advising by a legal professional; professional development workshops; and a career and job search manual specifically for the paralegal profession.

A Growing Job Market

A Growing Job Market

This is a degree that leads to a well-paying job. The national average annual salary for paralegals is approximately $48,000. The paralegal profession has a positive job outlook. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of paralegals is projected to grow 8 percent from 2014 to 2024, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

Experienced Instructors

Experienced Instructors

Our classes are taught by experienced attorneys and paralegals and offer practical, hands-on legal training. We have earned the approval of the American Bar Association since 1976. For more than 10,000 alumni working in law, government and business, the paralegal studies program at Roosevelt University has been the paralegal program of choice.

Expectations & Requirements

Standards

Students will know legal terminology, concepts and procedures and will gain skills to draft a variety of legal documents. Students learn how to conduct legal research, both manually and online using Lexis and Westlaw (commonly used legal databases). They will learn, through hands-on training in a computer lab, litigation support and e-discovery applications. Students will also be better prepared for the rigors of law school and may participate in an internship course as part of their curriculum.

Minor Requirements

The paralegal studies minor allows students to learn about the field of law as part of their undergraduate studies. The courses are taught by experienced legal professionals. The curriculum, which stresses critical thinking and includes practical training in legal concepts, is applicable to almost any discipline. The minor will also help students be better prepared for the rigorous first year of law school.

The paralegal studies minor is not intended to prepare students to work as paralegals and is not an American Bar Association-approved program option. Students who wish to pursue a paralegal certificate from the American Bar Association-approved paralegal studies program should contact the paralegal studies program director for information on the additional requirements.

Students must have completed 60 credit hours of course work prior to enrolling in the 300-level paralegal studies minor courses. It is recommended that students have a 2.5 or higher grade point average prior to enrolling in the 300-level paralegal studies minor courses. There are no prerequisites for PARA 101.

Requirements:

Six courses (18 credit hours) are required for the minor in paralegal studies. Students must complete six of the following courses:

  • Introduction to Law
  • Ethics & Professionalism
  • Legal Research
  • Civil Law
  • Pre-Trial Litigation
  • Commercial Law
  • Legal Writing

Sample Courses

  • Legal Research
  • Legal Writing
  • Pre-Trial Litigation
  • Civil Law
  • Commercial Law
  • Legal Technology
  • Intellectual Property
  • Labor & Employment Law
  • Real Estate

Outcomes

Career Options

Our graduates hold a variety of job titles including: paralegal, legal assistant, claims technician, permitting specialist, administrator-legal division, and records specialist.

Common career paths:


  • Private law firms
  • Corporations
  • Banks
  • Insurance companies
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Hospitals
  • Government agencies
  • Law school
Prepare for Advanced Study

Recent alumni have gone on to attend graduate schools like:


  • The John Marshall Law School
  • IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law
  • Northern Illinois University, master's in business administration
  • Roosevelt University, master's in business administration
  • South Texas College of Law
  • University of Illinois - Chicago, master's in accounting
Job Placement

More than 75 percent of Roosevelt paralegal studies graduates are employed in the field within 6 to 12 months of graduation.

More Opportunities

Continuing Legal Education (CLE)

Our CLE seminars are designed for paralegal students who wish to expand on what they are learning in their classes, experienced paralegals seeking to expand their skills in a new area of law, or paralegals who wish to refresh their skills. The seminars are not designed to prepare someone for entry into the paralegal profession. If you are interested in paralegal training that will prepare you to enter the profession, visit the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate or Bachelor's Degree programs.

The Paralegal Studies Program does not seek or receive approval from the American Bar Association for the CLE seminars it offers or for any aspect of the CLE program.

Clubs & Activities

Roosevelt University maintains a chapter of Lambda Epsilon Chi (LEX), a national paralegal honor society founded by the American Association for Paralegal Education (AAfPE). Members are inducted in April and October of each year and receive a commemorative certificate and membership pin. Their names will be entered into the permanent records of the Lambda Epsilon Chi national paralegal honor society.

An internship course is an option for all students and it is required for students in our traditional BA program. The program works with many law firms, corporations and government agencies throughout the Chicago metropolitan area to offer students a variety of internship opportunities.

Recent internship sponsors include:

  • Swanson, Martin & Bell
  • Mintel Group, Ltd.
  • Chicago Transit Authority
  • Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago
  • Circuit Court of Cook County
  • Fisher & Kanaris
  • Center for Disability & Elder Law
  • Lawyers Committee for Better Housing
  • IL Department of Children & Family Services

Testimonials

“Roosevelt’s paralegal studies courses were spot on in terms of teaching us exactly what would prepare us to become legal support staff. The program really shaped me into thinking more critically when engaging in my work, and has been a take-off for my career.”

​Brittany Oehmke - BA '15

"My courses offer a highly practical method of learning what it means to function as a paralegal. Students work together to prepare a trial notebook in my pre-trial litigation course and have in the past conducted a mock trial based on a hypothetical situation in a courtroom at the local courthouse. It is important for students to experience firsthand what the attorney does in preparing for any aspect of a trial or litigation. I try to introduce students to those tasks and duties so they know what is expected of them as paralegals. I am proud to say that at least 20 or more of my students have successfully gone on to law school, passed the bar and are practicing attorneys today. At least one of my students is a clerk for a Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court."

​Lewis Nixon
​Adjunct Instructor and Judge, Circuit Court of Cook County
Admission
​Prior to enrolling in the 300-level paralegal program courses, students submit an application to the paralegal studies program. Applicants should be close to completing 60 credit hours of coursework toward their degree and have a GPA of at least 2.5. 

Transfer of paralegal courses: students pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in paralegal studies who have completed 15 or more hours of paralegal studies courses from an ABA-approved paralegal program (with a grade of C or better) that are no more than six years old, will be required to take only 18 hours of upper-division (300-level) paralegal courses instead of the usual 30 hours required for the degree. The 18 hours of paralegal courses will be selected in consultation with an academic adviser in the paralegal studies program. Credit hours earned for the paralegal studies courses at the previous paralegal program may transfer as general elective requirements.

The paralegal studies program has degree completion programs with certain community colleges that have ABA-approved paralegal programs. For students who are eligible for these programs, the requirements for upper-division (300-level) paralegal courses to be taken at Roosevelt are set forth in an academic plan. The community colleges for which degree completion programs are available are listed below.
  • Kankakee Community College
  • MacCormac College
  • South Suburban College
  • Wright College

Upcoming Events

Wed, Jun 7, 2017
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
The Walnut Room - Chicago
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