Legal Studies

Bachelor and Associate Degrees Available

The Legal Studies Department consists of the Bachelor of Arts Degree in Law and Social Justice, the Bachelor of Science Degree in Realtime Reporting (NCRA approved), Associate of Applied Science degree in Judicial Reporting, and the Associate of Applied Science Degree in Paralegal Studies (ABA approved). Classes are offered day, night, hybrid, and online.

Law and Social Justice, Bachelor of Arts

The undergraduate program in Law and Social Justice provides students with an interdisciplinary curriculum that engages in critical analysis of justice issues. In Law and Social Justice, we seek to discover the social and historical roots of justice and injustice and examine how popular understandings of these principles shape public policies, including those of the legal system. The program consists of courses in history, politics/government, law, social and behavioral sciences, economics, and the environment. The program provides students with a broad but intensive understanding and appreciation of the social, ethical, political, and cultural issues pertinent to social justice and the law. Through critical inquiry, social science investigation, and experiential learning, Law and Social Justice students will develop an understanding of important social, ethical, political, environmental, economical, and cultural issues associated to the law by studying the structural roots of crime and examining the legal and social concerns of diverse, urban, low-income, and disenfranchised communities whose members are often clients of the criminal justice system.

The Law and Social Justice BA degree is not an ABA approved program, and it is not for the education of paralegals.

Realtime Reporting, Bachelor of Science

The baccalaureate degree in Realtime Reporting is designed to meet the requirements as set forth in the National Court Reporters Association Council on Approved Student Education’s General Requirements and Minimum Standards.

This degree meets all judicial reporting requirements and includes terminology, specified knowledge base, procedures, technology, current events, and internship. The Bachelor of Science Degree in Realtime Reporting is approved through the National Court Reporters Association.

Realtime Reporting is a non-traditional course of study in that it requires both academic classes and a performance-based outcome to qualify for graduation. The length of the program is determined by the individual’s ability to complete academic courses and progress through speedbuilding levels, attaining the stated speed and accuracy levels listed in the program objectives. Graduates from the program should expect additional on-the-job training will be needed once they enter the workforce.

Judicial Reporting, Associate of Applied Science

The Midstate College Associate of Applied Science Degree in Judicial Reporting is designed to meet the specified base of Judicial Reporting Program minimum standards as set forth in the National Court Reporters Association Council on Approved Student Education’s General Requirements and Minimum Standards (ncra.org). Judicial reporting requires both academic classes and a performance-based outcome to qualify for graduation. The length of the program is determined by the individual’s ability to complete academic courses and progress through speedbuilding levels, attaining the stated speed and accuracy levels listed in the program objectives. The Judicial Reporting program is not yet approved for Title IV funding.

Paralegal Studies, Associate of Applied Science

As defined by the American Bar Association, ‘A legal assistant or paralegal is 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.”

The primary goal of the Paralegal Studies program at Midstate College is to educate students to become career paralegals who can perform effectively in a variety of legal settings and can adapt to changes in the legal environment and law practice. The program will prepare students for careers as paralegals working under the supervision of lawyers in the public and private sectors, including private law firms of all sizes, corporations and businesses, legal aid organizations and governmental agencies. The program is designed to provide students with the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes they need to become competent and ethical professional paralegals working in the delivery of legal services. Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to the public except as permitted by law.

The Midstate College Paralegal Studies Associate of Applied Science degree is American Bar Association (ABA) approved. Midstate College is a member of the Central Illinois Paralegal Association (CIPA) and the American Association for Paralegal Education (AAfPE).