Legal Studies

Associate in Applied Science
Career Degree

Start your career in the legal field

Use your curiosity, thirst for facts and eye for detail to pursue a rewarding career in the legal profession.

An Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree takes 4-5 semesters if you study full-time and a bit longer if you go part-time. Learn to perform substantive and procedural legal work as a paralegal under the supervision of an attorney. Assist attorneys with efficient and cost-effective legal services in different areas of public and private law.

At CLC, you enjoy quick job placement, in some cases even before you graduate. Gain “real-world” experience from fieldwork and prepare for your job search. You learn:

  • entry-level paralegal knowledge, skills and professional ethics
  • standard technical procedures used by entry-level paralegals working in a variety of legal practice settings
  • legal and ethical issues that determine appropriate actions in a variety of situations
  • legal research: plan and report findings in a format appropriate to the practice setting

Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law.

American Bar Association Approved Paralegal Program logo


We are an American Bar Association (ABA) Approved Paralegal Education Program. This is a national credential that only 25% of paralegal education programs nationwide hold. This gives you access to an elite, nationally recognized program.

What can you do with an A.A.S. in Legal Studies?

Start your career as an entry-level paralegal in local law offices, government agencies and corporations. Entry-level paralegals advance in their careers after the first two years, and over time, many end up as law office managers and legal staff supervisors.

With an A.A.S., you may take advantage of our transfer agreements with schools such as Loyola University, Roosevelt University and Dominican University. Complete a bachelor’s degree to expand your career options or prepare for law school. About 20% of our graduates complete law school to become lawyers.

Legal Studies program stated goals and objectives

  1. Graduating students will have the knowledge, skills and professional ethics expected of an entry-level paralegal.
  2. Graduates will be able to demonstrate knowledge of the legal process and the ability to follow the standard technical procedures utilized by entry-level paralegals working in a variety of legal practice settings.
  3. Graduates will be able to identify the legal and ethical issues that guide paralegal conduct and determine appropriate actions in a variety of situations.
  4. Graduates will be able to carry out a legal research plan.


Accreditation - Legal Studies Paralegal Core Competency Exam

Oct 9, 2023, 13:22 PM
Title : Accreditation - Legal Studies Paralegal Core Competency Exam
Heading : Earn a nationally-recognized credential
CLC is the only Illinois school to sponsor all qualified graduating students to take the Paralegal Core Competency Exam.
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Recommended Pathway

Students are strongly encouraged to meet with their College and Career Navigator (CCN) to identify coursework that will meet degree requirements based on individual academic goals. View degree requirements in the college catalog.

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Legal Studies at CLC

Get the bigger picture

An A.A.S. is just one possible way to study Legal Studies. Get the bigger picture—degrees, credentials and extra options.

View the Legal Studies Program Overview

Frequently asked questions

*Cost includes tuition and other fees, including books and materials before financial aid is applied, such as grants, loans or scholarships. There are many opportunities for financial assistance at CLC. Learn more about Cost of Attendance.

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