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East Central University’s Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies Program has been named as the Best in the State of Oklahoma by and it has been ranked fourth nationally for Best Paralegal Studies Degrees by

“The ECU Legal Studies Program is unique in the state. Because we work closely with the local legal community, our students are trained to be the best paralegals and legal professionals as possible,” said Dr. Christine Pappas, professor and chair of the ECU Political Science and Legal Studies Department. addresses multiple facts in ECU achieving the lofty state ranking, including:

*providing valuable field experience in the form of an internship included in the curriculum.

*providing access to political science and law related electives in unique areas such as communication, accounting, argumentation, interviewing and much more.

*committing to education excellence as a member of the American Association for Paralegal Education (AAfPE).

*providing opportunities for networking, enrichment and camaraderie through membership with the National Honor Society, Lambda Epsilon Chi and the Local Legal Professions Association (LPA), which partners with the Pontotoc County Bar Association to sponsor the annual event, Law Day.

*holding American Bar Association-approval status.

ECU’s Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies Program prepares students for their first job as a paralegal or to advance in their current paralegal role. The four-year course of study provides a strong, liberal arts foundation with a focus on analytical and communication skills applicable to a variety of legal environments, from law offices to corporate legal departments to government agencies to nonprofits and more.

The program also features an internship, which is designed to allow students to apply their classroom theory in a real-world legal setting. Additionally, if students decide to pursue law school in the future, this program served as an excellent foundation to a Juris Doctor degree.

“Many of our students also enroll in law school and we have a 93 percent acceptance rate,” Pappas said. “There are three licensed attorneys in our department and many other very fine attorneys serve as our adjunct professors to teach subjects such as Family Law and Criminal Law.”

ECU was also noted for its student services, which include everything from free tutoring to enrollment assistance to assistance with study skills, stress management and career options.

To review the online, go to:

According to, ECU provides students with the necessary academic skills for entry level employment as paralegals with law firms, private enterprises and governmental agencies.

These students will be prepared for the highly specialized tasks required of practicing attorneys and permitted by law. Graduates consistently demonstrate superior intellectual abilities and professional competence, according to

Some of the highly practical courses mentioned include:

*Legal Environment of Business

*Legal Research and Writing I

*Legal Research and Writing II

*Legal Systems

*Civil Procedure and Litigation

*Legal Ethics, Professional Responsibility and Advanced Litigation also noted that the ECU program is beneficial for those who want to work specifically as paralegals or in a law-related field, and it is also an excellent foundation for law school. The program provides students with a liberal arts degree emphasizing analytical and communications skills applicable in any law-related field and also exposes students to a broad spectrum of the law, including theoretical, procedural and practical aspects.

Legal Studies graduates work in legal related areas of corporations, banks, governmental agencies and institutions.

To review ECU’s ranking online, go to

To learn more about ECU’s Legal Studies Program, contact Dr. Jenna Owens at 580-559-5603 or at The website for the department is

“Dr. Jenna Owens, the director of Legal Studies, is a very talented teacher and advisor,” said Pappas. “She is also a graduate of the program, so she knows exactly what our students need to succeed.”



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