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Legal Studies

Illinois State University has been providing quality paralegal education since 1975. The program has been approved by the American Bar Association (ABA), placing it among the most prestigious paralegal training programs in the State of Illinois. Our Legal Studies Program provides courses designed to provide specialized knowledge and skills to prepare students for employment as a paralegal. The learning objectives for the legal studies program are the following: apply critical thinking; strengthen professional communications skills; enhance legal research and writing skills; integrate computer skills in a legal setting; develop interviewing and investigation skills; and acquire an understanding of the paralegal profession and ethical obligations.  Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public except as permitted by law.

Why Study Legal Studies?

The paralegal profession is one of the nation’s fastest growing careers according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Legal Studies Program prepares students for a career as a paralegal in public and private law offices, corporate law departments, and government agencies. Students learn how lawyers think and how to communicate effectively with both lawyers and laymen.

Application Information

Minors can only be declared by current Illinois State students. Current students can use the Apply to Your Program tool on

There are two ways to qualify for admission to the Legal Studies minor.  First, a student must have completed at least two (2) Legal Studies courses (one of which must be LGS 201); and must have earned a cumulative GPA of at least 2.50 in those two Legal Studies courses. Second, a student must have earned a 3.25 cumulative GPA.

Application Period

Applications always accepted.

Academic Advising

Name Office Email Phone
Prof. Jason Cieslik  SCH 427  (309) 438-2797 

ABA Approved

Illinois State's Legal Studies program is a paralegal education program approved by the ABA. Illinois State has full institutional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

Illinois State's Legal Studies program has existed since 1975 and has graduated over 350 students. The program is a member in good standing of the American Association for Paralegal Education.

At the present time there are no licensing or mandatory certification requirements for paralegals. The National Association of Legal Assistants Inc. operates a voluntary certification program for legal assistants. Successful completion of Illinois State's Legal Studies program will meet the educational part of the eligibility requirements for the NALA certification exam.