Legal Studies Program

  • Legal Studies Program

    Build a career in the legal field, lay the foundation for future studies in law, and participate in informed civic activities. The University of Alaska Anchorage offers a variety of resources to help you earn your degree and plan for the future.

    Request Information

The Legal Studies program offers three degrees approved by the American Bar Association (ABA) Standing Committee on Paralegals: Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies; Associate of Applied Science in Paralegal Studies; Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Paralegal Studies. Students majoring in other programs have the option of a broad-based Legal Studies minor that is not approved by the ABA. 

It is impossible to think about contemporary life without also thinking about how law governs relations among people. Legal Studies students obtain a broad educational background in American law and policy that prepares them for a lifetime of informed civic participation. Learning about law and the legal system provides not only a solid foundation for understanding how society operates but it also offers a variety of exciting career options. A degree in Legal Studies can get you there. Whether you want to work in a law office, government agency, nonprofit organization, the court system, or even go on to law school, the Legal Studies program at UAA will give you the tools and training you need to accomplish your goals. These are examples of jobs you could qualify for:

  • paralegal, legal assistant
  • legal analyst, legal researcher
  • risk management officer, compliance officer
  • court clerk, court administrator
  • regulations coordinator, regulations specialist
  • victim advocate, witness coordinator
  • legal database administrator

The Justice Center also encourages Legal Studies majors to work toward improving access to justice. You can volunteer at an approved legal aid agency in Alaska to earn honors for pro bono service.

Please note that students obtaining degrees in Legal Studies are not authorized to provide direct legal services to the public. The program offers training for paraprofessionals who are authorized to perform substantive legal work under the supervision of a licensed attorney. The program does not train lawyers.


Why choose Legal Studies at UAA? 


UAA has three law school partnerships to provide qualified UAA students the opportunity to earn a baccalaureate degree and law degree on an accelerated schedule.


The Legal Studies program offers multiple degree options for students at different stages in their education and online pathways for all degrees.


Assignments in many Legal Studies courses resemble tasks in actual legal practice, from writing legal pleadings to learning how to argue in court. You also will complete a semester-long internship for credit.


Get involved with groups and activities that match your professional and personal interests, such as the Society of Law & Justice or Alpha Phi Sigma.

Per program approval by the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Paralegals, students are required to take at least nine credits of legal specialty courses through in person or synchronous instruction. Satisfaction of this requirement is built into the course offering plan. A maximum of nine (9) credit hours of Legal Specialty coursework taken within the past five (5) years may be transferred into the program from another ABA-approved paralegal education program upon approval by the Legal Studies Program Coordinator. Credit for which transfer is sought must be substantially similar to an existing UAA Legal Studies course.

Legal studies confer over notes during a mock trial

Program Information

The UAA Catalog is the official source of all degree and certificate programs at the university. Catalog entries for each program include details such as learning outcomes, application timeline and requirements, course sequencing, and program requirements. 


Catalog: BA in Legal Studies


Catalog: AAS in Paralegal Studies


Catalog: Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Paralegal Studies


Catalog: Minor in Legal Studies

Featured Stories

Ryan Fortson

Message from the Program Coordinator

On behalf of the other Legal Studies faculty, I want to express how excited we all are in your interest in Legal Studies. All Legal Studies faculty at UAA are attorneys who are licensed to practice law in Alaska and who practiced in diverse areas of law before making the switch to UAA. We teach because we are passionate about education and hope that our enthusiasm translates to the classroom. Even if you are not sure you have an interest in law, we encourage you to take our Introduction to Law course to find out. And if you do choose to major in a different field, Legal Studies still offers a variety of thought-provoking courses (with easy to satisfy prerequisites) that might be helpful to your chosen degree or that you may just want to take because you are interested in the topic. Or maybe you are thinking about applying to law school and want some advice. Whatever your interest in the law, we are here and happy to help.


— Ryan Fortson, J.D., Ph.D


Contact Us

(907) 786-1810

Physical Address
UAA Justice Center
UAA Professional Studies Building
2533 Providence Dr., Suite 234
Anchorage, AK 99508

Mailing Address
UAA Justice Center
3211 Providence Dr., PSB 234
Anchorage, AK 99508