Legal Studies Program on Extended Campuses
The Legal Studies Program offered by the extended campuses is designed to prepare its students to work as paralegals in multiple environments. The American Bar Association defines a legal assistant or paralegal as "a person qualified by education, training or work experience who is employed or retained by a lawyer, law office, corporation, governmental agency or other entity and who performs specifically delegated substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible." Students who desire an ABA-approved degree program must do so through the Montgomery campus only. Students graduating with a Legal Studies degree from the Montgomery campus will receive an ABA-approved paralegal certificate along with their Legal Studies degree. However, students who take their legal specialty classes at the extended campuses and attempt to transfer legal specialty credit to the Montgomery campus will be considered to have transferred from a non-ABA approved school and will be subject to the
transfer policy stated below.
Mission of the Legal Studies Program
The mission of the Faulkner University Legal Studies Program is to glorify God through education of the whole person and the preparation of highly competent, socially and ethically committed legal professionals, emphasizing integrity of character, an appreciation for the pursuit of equal justice for every person, and a lifelong dedication to critical inquiry and investigative thinking.
Vision of the Legal Studies Program
It is the vision of the Faulkner University Legal Studies Program to be the foremost provider of undergraduate Christian legal education and the preferred partner for the legal community in producing occupationally competent and socially responsible graduates with the highest moral and ethical values.
Goals and Objectives of the Legal Studies Program
The Faulkner University Legal Studies Program seeks to provide a program that supports its students during their academic and professional careers and advances the paralegal profession. Upon graduation from the Legal Studies Program, students will be well-prepared to begin a career as a paralegal or continue studies towards an advanced degree. Students who already work in the legal field will be able to perform more effectively and efficiently in their positions.
The objectives of the Legal Studies Program are as follows:
- To maintain an academically challenging, yet flexible program dedicated to the quality education and occupational competency of those students currently working in the legal field and to those students new to the profession;
- To offer a curriculum which provides a broad understanding of the substantive law, as well as an examination and application of the practical aspects of a career as a paralegal, including instruction specific to the state of Alabama;
- To produce paralegals who are proficient in the knowledge, skills, and dispositions critical to the profession established by national paralegal associations (including the American Bar Association and the American Association for Paralegal Education);
- To support and emphasize the general principles of legal ethics, professional responsibility, and the prohibitions against the unauthorized practice of law;
- To continuously review and revise the legal studies curriculum in response to the demands of the employing legal community and the suggestion of the Faulkner University Legal Studies Advisory Committee; and
- To maintain equality of opportunity in the legal studies program without discrimination or segregation on the grounds of color, religion, national origin, or sex.
Policy for Transfer of Legal Specialty Courses to the Montgomery Campus
Generally, legal specialty courses are those courses that cover a specific area of law or procedure. It is the policy of the Legal Studies Program to accept no more than the equivalent of fifty-percent of legal specialty courses. Legal specialty transfer credits may be considered from regionally accredited institutions provided the student completes the following procedure:
- The student must meet with the Legal Studies Director and provide the Director with a copy of the transcript listing the particular legal specialty course with a grade of "C" or better, the date the course was taken, and the number of credits earned for the course.
- The student must also provide a course syllabus or other acceptable documentation (course assignments, student work product) and be able to discuss specific paralegal skills acquired throughout the course. The Legal Studies Director may accept transfer credit for the course if it is determined that the course in question is sufficiently similar to one offered as part of the ABA-approved Faulkner University Legal Studies curriculum.
Strong preference is given to those courses taken from an ABA-approved paralegal program. The Faulkner University Legal Studies Program does not accept professional work experience, CLEP credit, paralegal or legal assistant certifications, CEUs, or the equivalent as transfer credit for legal specialty courses. This transfer policy includes any and all legal specialty courses taken at any institution including any Faulkner University campus offering a non-ABA approved program.
To receive the A.S. degree in Legal Studies, a student must demonstrate competency by successfully completing a comprehensive final exam and the Paralegal Portfolio (LS 2190) with a grade of C or better during his or her senior year.
Legal Studies courses are offered during the day, evenings, weekends and on-line. The schedule of courses typically accommodates the students who work full or part-time, may have family responsibilities, and want to attend school on a full or part-time basis.