Sullivan University College of Legal Studies

The College of Legal Studies consists of programs in Paralegal Studies and Justice and Public Safety Administration, both of which offer Associate and Bachelor’s Degrees. The Paralegal Studies program also offers a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate.

Paralegal Studies

The legal profession plays a critical role in society by maintaining law and order and ensuring justice. Paralegals are an integral part of the profession, enhancing the service that attorneys provide and society’s access to justice. Paralegals work at the elbow of the attorney and help them accomplish their clients’ goals, while enhancing the client’s experience. Graduates will be qualified to work directly for practicing attorneys in private law firms. They will also be equipped to work in legal departments of businesses and government agencies--including the court system. All Paralegal Studies programs are approved by the American Bar Association. Students have access to a print law library that includes a representative of almost every legal resource a paralegal can anticipate using in practice. Additionally, they also have access to and train in commercial electronic database research. Students in the program become members of the National Society for Legal Technology and receive training in legal specific software programs.

Justice & Public Safety Administration

The criminal justice system impacts every member of society and represents one of the most important relationships between citizens and government. Graduates will be equipped with the skills necessary to enter this honorable field. They will be qualified for employment in law enforcement, corrections, probation, and parole at the local, state, or federal levels. They’ll also be eligible to work within the Department of Juvenile realm with opportunities as correction classification specialists, case workers in child protective services, and as social service case workers.

Students in the Justice and Public Safety Administration programs have access to the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) to examine and analyze data during their coursework.

The College of Legal Studies is remarkable in that all faculty bring real-world experience into their classrooms. They have all worked in their field of study, many of whom continue to do so while teaching. Students have a unique opportunity to learn from these faculty members, who demonstrate how the classroom material relates to the careers the students are seeking. The College of Legal Studies offers practical training, arming graduates with the skills expected by employers in the field. Unlike the traditional college experience, this training starts at the beginning of the student’s academic experience and continues throughout.

Jennifer Gaither is the Dean of the College of Legal Studies. She earned her Associate Degree in Paralegal Studies and Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Sullivan University and went on to graduate from the University of Louisville Law School. She is licensed to practice law in Kentucky as well as in two federal courts. Gaither’s Sullivan story does not begin with her Associate Degree. Her father--also a lawyer--was a full-time faculty member in the Paralegal Program from the late eighties until his passing in 2004. In 2000, Gaither began her first faculty position at Sullivan as an adjunct professor while she continued to practice law. After her father’s passing, she took over his full-time teaching position. She transitioned to Dean of the College of Legal Studies in 2019. She is incredibly passionate about the legal profession and hopes to share that with her students.

Sullivan Legal Studies Dean

Jennifer Gaither
Dean of the College of Legal Studies

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Expected Outcomes 01

Graduates of the College of Legal Studies Associate of Science in Paralegal Studies Degree and Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Paralegal Studies programs will be able to:

1. Identify and assess ethical and professional responsibility issues.
2. Define and use legal terminology.
3. Identify and define federal and state court structure and procedures.
4. Conduct factual investigations in an organized manner.
5. Conduct legal research in an organized manner.
6. Identify and describe the law in an organized manner.
7. Prepare legal documents, including pleadings, memoranda and legally operative forms.
8. Develop communication and interpersonal skills appropriate for the legal field.
9. Use legal technology and determine its impact on the practice of law.

Graduates of the College of Legal Studies Bachelor of Science in Paralegal Studies Degree program will be able to:

1. Apply ethical and professional responsibility standards.
2. Explain and apply legal terminology.
3. Differentiate federal and state court structure and procedures.
4. Analyze and summarize factual investigations in an organized manner.
5. Conduct advanced legal research in an organized manner.
6. Analyze and interpret the law in an organized manner.
7. Prepare complex legal documents supported by applicable law.
8. Demonstrate strong communication and interpersonal skills appropriate for the legal field.
9. Apply legal technology with a clear understanding of its impact on the practice of law


Paralegals work in all facets of the legal system—in large and small law firms, in courtrooms, in government and in corporate legal departments. Attorneys recognize the valuable contribution paralegals make in increasing the effectiveness and productivity of the legal system. Accordingly, paralegals perform legal research, conduct interviews, draft documents and complete many tasks critical to the efficient operation of law offices. It should be noted that paralegals cannot give legal advice or represent a client in a court of law nor engage in other forms of unauthorized practice of law.

The College of Legal Studies at Sullivan University began in 1979 and offers programs of study that lead students to challenging and rewarding careers as paralegals. Most paralegal courses are taught by attorneys who not only understand the complexities of the law, but also can instruct students on the practical skills needed to be paralegals.

In addition, the legal reference section of the Sullivan University Library and Learning Resource Center provides access to law books, materials and computerized databases, such as Westlaw®, that enhance the learning potential of all paralegal studies students.

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


  • Don’t let money be an obstacle. There are many options at Sullivan—workstudy programs, grants,scholarships. You don’t have to face mountains of debt—there is always a way to make it work.

    Grayce Avalos
    College of Legal Studies