Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies to launch Fall 2015
PHILIPPI, W.Va. – Alderson Broaddus University is pleased to announce the addition of a new major in Legal Studies. The announcement was made during a press conference held in the Barbour County Courthouse on Monday, Jan. 12, 2015.
“For the past three years, the Alderson Broaddus University faculty have been hard at work making significant revisions to academic programs and innovating new market driven, 21st century programs,” said Dr. Richard Creehan, president of Alderson Broaddus University. “The new major in Legal Studies is the first announcement of one of these initiatives.”
The program will launch next fall, with the recruitment and acceptance of students to begin effective immediately. School officials stated this is the ideal time to begin this program.
“According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities in diverse legal careers including arbitration and mediation, as paralegals and legal researchers, or court clerks and administrators are projected to grow between 10% and 17% over the next 10 years,” said Dr. Andrea Bucklew, Dean of AB’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences. “We will be providing students with a highly marketable degree.”
The Legal Studies major at Alderson Broaddus University is a multidisciplinary program designed to provide students with the professional skills and content knowledge necessary for success in law school or in a variety of other legal careers.
“We are in an age where college students worry about job prospects and preparation for graduate programming,” said Creehan. “Students and their parents no longer want to hear college officials tell them you can major in anything and still have a career in law. A student today that wants a career in the legal field, regulatory or compliance, or to attend law school, wants the opportunity to begin that skill set during their undergraduate education. We have listened to these families and we are ready to provide this unique and new opportunity.”
Dr. Bucklew, who is also an attorney, agrees stating that when she was in college, she was not sure which major would be the best fit for her career path.
“There was a time when I, as a young college undergraduate, knew I wanted a career in law, but was unsure of which major would best prepare me for success,” said Bucklew. “Had my university offered a Legal Studies program, my decision would have been much easier. With the launch of the Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies at AB, our future students will not face the same dilemma that I did.”
However, some current students at AB faced this dilemma since Legal Studies was not previously an option. Sophomore Maddie Nickerson is a double major in criminal justice and psychology with interest in attending law school upon her graduation. In 2013 when she made the decision to attend AB, double majoring seemed the most appropriate path to her career goal of criminal profiling. However, had a Legal Studies major existed at the time, she would have certainly given it strong consideration.
“The major in Legal Studies will open the door for incoming freshmen to choose a major that will prepare them for further education or a career in law,” said Nickerson. “Although AB already has a criminal justice major, Legal Studies will widen the range of opportunity that students can experience, enabling incoming students to better study these areas. I am happy to see the University be responsive to the interests and needs of students and am sure that the new program will be a popular and attractive choice for students.”
In addition to a strong foundation in the liberal arts, students enrolled in the Legal Studies major will take courses in legal research and writing, argumentation and logic, legal principles and history, civil rights and liberties, and ethics.
Students will also have the opportunity to take specific courses, allowing them to pursue specialized areas of law, to delve into current legal issues, or to better prepare for professional exams. The major culminates with a required internship during the senior year which will allow students to apply their acquired knowledge in real world settings.
The University is happy to have the support of so many local offices willing to provide these internship opportunities. Catherine (Kate) Mullens, Esq., a founder and a managing partner of the Philippi law firm of Mullens & Mullens, PLLC, the 19th Judicial Circuit’s largest law firm, spoke at the press conference on behalf of her law firm. She congratulated and applauded AB, President Creehan, and his staff for implementing the new Legal Studies major.
“Understanding the legal system is key to many careers in the local, state, national and international arena,” said Mullens. “The field of law continues to become more specialized, touching on nearly every aspect of our lives. These issues will demand a workforce educated and trained in the law and justice, with proficiency in writing and reading, logical reasoning, analytical and critical thinking, and training in ethics and professionalism at the forefront.”
Mullens also stated that in an increasingly complex world and increasingly competitive job market, the focused course of study in Legal Studies at AB will provide the student with the educational tools necessary to take his or her next step.
“As the local law firm in Philippi, we are very pleased and excited for the continued growth of programs at AB and particularly this program in Legal Studies,” concluded Mullens.
Alderson Broaddus University is working on adding more academic initiatives, which will be announced soon. For more information on the Legal Studies program, please visit: www.ab.edu/legalstudies .
Dr. Andrea Bucklew giving testimony to the benefits of the new major
Current student, Maddie Nickerson, is a double major in criminal justice and psychology with an interest in attending law school upon graduation believes the new major opens doors for incoming freshman
Click here to view the press conference.
Click here for the program fact sheet.