The Legal Studies program continues the Tarleton tradition of offering excellent academic programs that prepare students for success! After almost four years of work and preparation, Tarleton has achieved its goal of being one of only 2 ABA-approved bachelor’s degree programs in the state of Texas! The ABA-approved status confirms that our program is among the highest quality in the nation and students can be confident that their degree will prepare them to enter the workforce or pursue advanced academic credentials.

Additionally, our new blended/hybrid model makes the Legal Studies program available beyond Stephenville to Fort Worth/Dallas are residents.

Legal Studies Program

Legal Studies Postcard Proof 2 pg1

Go Further in 2024!

We are excited to announce that Tarleton has recently received state approval to begin offering the Legal Studies degree in the blended/hybrid format. We will begin offering face-to-face courses at our Fort Worth campus in Spring 2024, with additional courses online and via zoom available now!

To learn more, attend one of our online information sessions. Click the button below to request additional information or sign up to attend an online info session.

Choose Your Path

Legal Studies majors choose between one of two concentration of study.  

Pre-Law (or Public Law) concentration provides a broad-based, interdisciplinary curriculum designed to develop logical reasoning, rhetoric, analysis, critical thinking, and writing skills, which are critical for students planning to pursue continuing studies in law or other graduate areas.

Paralegal concentration concentration is designed for students who have logical and analytical minds, possess organizational skills, and thrive on attention to detail. Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public, except as permitted by law; however, working as part of a legal team under the supervision of an attorney, paralegals perform tasks vital to the success of a case, including drafting legal documents, interviewing witnesses and clients, preparing trial exhibits, and analyzing documents.

These programs are designed for students who want to work in the legal profession or in fields that require a deeper understanding of our legal system. Each course has been strategically selected and designed to deliver the knowledge, skills, and values necessary to enter the workforce upon graduation or to continue studies in graduate or law school.

Advising Guides 2024-2025

Click the hyperlinks below to download a recommended 8-semester plan for completing your degree at either the Stephenville or Fort Worth campus. **Updated guides coming soon!!**

Stephenville CampusFort Worth Campus
Bachelor of ArtsPre-law concentration
Paralegal concentration
Pre-law concentration
Paralegal concentration
Bachelor of SciencePre-law concentration
Paralegal concentration
Pre-law concentration
Paralegal concentration

Download the Requirements

The Minor in Legal Studies is a great choice for students who want a deeper understanding of our legal system. A great value-added to any degree, the Minor in Legal Studies will supplement course work in other disciplines such as business or criminal justice. Additionally, for those considering law school in the future, this minor provides an introduction to the skills and knowledge needed to be successful, and finally, legal studies will enrich your understanding of legal issues that impact our nation, communities, and lives. The minor is not intended to prepare students to work as paralegals and is not approved by the American Bar Association.

Legal Specialties

Legal Specialties

Students must have a minimum of 21-credits of legal specialty courses taken either at Tarleton State University or by approved credit transfer. A legal specialty course is a LEGL course that covers substantive law or legal procedures or process, has been developed for paralegals, emphasizes practical paralegal skills, and meets the American Bar Association’s instructional methodology requirements. The following courses have been designated as legal specialties:

  • LEGL 2330, Introduction to Legal Studies
  • LEGL 3332, Legal Ethics
  • LEGL 3340, Legal Research & Writing
  • LEGL 3350, Professional Practices in Law
  • LEGL 3388, Civil Procedure
  • LEGL 4084/4382, Internship/Virtual Internship
  • LEGL 4390, Legal Studies Capstone

All students must take at least 9 credit hours of legal specialty course work in synchronous or in-person format.

Transfer Credit

Transfer Credit

Credit for equivalent LEGL courses considered legal specialties under the ABA Guidelines is accepted for students transferring from paralegal programs, whether the transferring institution is ABA-approved or not. If a student has earned credit from an institution that is not ABA-approved, the Legal Studies coordinator will review the course description, course syllabus, and contact the program coordinator of the transferring institution, if needed, before approving the credit transfer for equivalent LEGL courses. A maximum of 21-credit hours will be accepted for equivalent LEGL courses.

Program Objectives

Program Objectives

Tarleton Legal Studies graduates will be able to:

  1. Prepare documents necessary for representation of clients in a legal matter, including correspondence, litigation, transactional, and advisory materials.
  2. Perform legal and factual research, utilizing appropriate resources for locating and communicating findings.
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of and appreciation for discipline-specific technology, including, but not limited to case management, time management and billing, legal research, and trial presentation.
  4. Demonstrate civic skills and appropriate civic dispositions and behaviors.
  5. Analyze personal and professional situations, and then evaluate and select the behavioral option which most closely conforms to the ethical rules regulating the legal profession.


Dr. Amy O’Dell Assistant ProfessorJ.D. Widener University School of LawLegal Ethics, Law and Higher Education, and Legal StudiesO.A. Grant 351  254-968-9027
Dr. Casey ThompsonAssistant ProfessorM.A., American Public University, J.D. WesleyanAmerican Government, Texas Government, and Legal StudiesO.A. Grant 341254-968-1698