Hamline News

May 02, 2011

Legal studies majors at Hamline find resources and experiences above and beyond classroom study



One of the biggest benefits is the Hamline School of Law located on the Saint Paul campus, which offers students access to its law library. That is where undergraduates receive important experience with the fundamentals of legal research and writing.

“The legal studies major and minor prepare students very well for going on to law school,” Associate Professor Stephen Arnott said. “The students are exposed to the substantive areas of the law, and they begin to think and write like a law student.”

Law school is just one of the options open to students after graduation. The degree also prepares those who are interested in pursuing a career as a paralegal, legal assistant, or a legal research aid.

Senior Rita Schegolkov plans to become an attorney but is taking advantage of the opportunity to earn her paralegal certificate at Hamline, as well. She says the small class sizes, individual attention, and academic preparation are just what she was looking for.

“I figured that if I am a legal studies major here I would get some undergraduate practice with the law, and it won’t be as big of a shock when I go to law school,” Schegolkov said.

Opportunities outside of the classroom abound as senior Michelle Schreier discovered when she was searching for an internship.

“The university has a lot of connections in the community and a lot of law firms are looking for interns from Hamline,” Schreier said. “I interned for both a small private law firm and a non-profit firm.”

Students also hone their skills in the courtroom with the mock trial team—which gives them a chance to prepare and try a case, playing both the attorney and witness roles. Hamline teams and individuals regularly place well in regional and national tournaments.

“I have a lot of friends who are currently in law school, and when I tell them that I’m taking classes in civil law, litigation, criminal law, criminal procedure, and trial practice, you can just see this jealous reaction on their faces,” senior Imant Lisovskis said. “They wish that they would have taken a legal studies program like the one Hamline offers before going to law school.”

Hear more from students and professors in the Legal Studies Department on Hamline's YouTube channel.