Inquire Now

Legal Studies

The region's only ABA-approved four-year paralegal program and region’s only ABA approved 3+3 program. 

College of Saint Mary offers the only four-year paralegal program approved by the American Bar Association in Nebraska and Iowa and is one of only 270 ABA approved associate degree paralegal programs in the U.S. We also offer an ABA-approved post-baccalaureate paralegal certificate program. All your courses are taught by licensed attorneys — the only program in Nebraska and Iowa to offer this advantage to paralegal and pre-law students. This distinction represents the rich and relevant learning you will gain through our programs that prepare you to work as a professional paralegal or, if you participate in the 4-year or post baccalaureate program, to serve as a pre-law major and gain a competitive advantage when applying for entry to law school. 

Graduates of our programs have enjoyed job offers from top law firms and corporations across the country — often prior to graduation. Working under the supervision of an attorney, the job titles include contract analyst, quality assurance officer, software compliance manager and legal brief reviewer.

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

Our 4-year program graduates have enjoyed acceptance into distinguished regional law schools, often with full-ride scholarships. 100% of our certificate earners are historically employed within six months of graduation.

College of Saint Mary has joined with Creighton University School of Law in a new, accelerated 3+3 law degree partnership.

In the 3+3 program, students spend the first three years of their undergraduate studies at College of Saint Mary. During their junior year, qualified students take the LSAT and apply for admission to Creighton University School of Law. Once accepted,the student enrolls in their first year of law school at Creighton. The credits earned for the first year of law school are applied to the student’s undergraduate degree at College of Saint Mary. The 3+3 program provides not only an early matriculation, but economic savings as well.

Program Awards

  • CSM's Legal Studies program was ranked No. 43 by Best Accredited Colleges for Best Bachelor's Degrees in Paralegal Studies.
  • Ranked No. 7 in the U.S. by


Program Details

Program Details

Start Date: August or January of each year
Program Length: 4 years

All students at College of Saint Mary enrolled in paralegal programs must complete a minimum of nine (9) semester credits or their equivalent in legal specialty courses, which can be fulfilled through synchronous instruction methods, including face-to-face class meetings or remote-synchronous classes like Zoom.

Career Outlook

Career Outlook

As a paralegal, you’ll work under the supervision of an attorney, conduct research, draft legal documents, interview clients and assist at trial. According to the National Association of Legal Assistants Utilization & Compensation Survey, total compensation for paralegals continues to grow with an average of $68,240 in 2020, which is a 1% increase compared to 2018 ($67,578) and an 11% increase over 2016 ($61,671). The U.S. Department of Labor predicts that the demand for paralegal professionals will continue growing faster than average, anticipating up to a 15 percent increase in opportunities by 2030. The median salary for paralegals is $52,920, and Spanish/English bi-lingual paralegals are in particularly high demand right now. 

Source: U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration

Students Find Support at CSM

The Legal Studies major found her professors to be very supportive. 

Arlene said her professors have been helpful through difficult times.“They’ve understood that family is important, and they help me in any way they can. They support me. I try to stay in constant communication with them."

Read More About Arlene's Experience at CSM