Tarleton State Legal Studies Program Gets ABA Approval


STEPHENVILLE — The American Bar Association gave its approval to Tarleton State University’s legal studies program at the ABA’s recent annual meeting in Denver. The program becomes just the second ABA-approved bachelor’s degree in Texas. 

“Today’s ABA approval of the legal studies program is evidence of Tarleton’s commitment to its strategic goal of providing a life-changing educational experience for students,” said Dr. Amy O’Dell, head of Tarleton State’s Department of Government, Legal Studies and Philosophy. 

Legal studies majors may choose between two concentrations — pre-law, with its broad-based interdisciplinary curriculum designed to develop logical reasoning, rhetoric, analysis, critical thinking and writing skills, or paralegal, 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; however, Tarleton’s program equips students to perform all functions permitted under Texas law.

“This recognition by the ABA validates the quality and rigor of the legal studies program and affirms that our alumni have the knowledge and skills needed to be successful in the legal field,” Dr. O’Dell said.

Bar association approval is for seven years with a midpoint reporting requirement.

Nationwide there are about 230 ABA-approved programs.

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