Legal Studies Major (BA)

a gavel laying on a table with a row of law books in the background

A legal studies major sets you on a path to the courtroom as a lawyer or paralegal, or a career in any field that requires an ability to navigate the legal system. You’ll gain the critical thinking skills to analyze legal problems, investigative skills to conduct legal research, and professional experience through mock trial, internships, and other opportunities.

Our variety of concentrations allows you to hone in on your area of interest, whether that's applications of forensic psychology in law or investigating how legal systems affect systemic power structures, equity, and civil rights. You'll learn from experienced professors, scholars, and practitioners of the law who teach courses, develop curriculum, advise students, research and write about legal issues, and support adjunct faculty. With hands-on learning and individual mentorship, you'll graduate ready to succeed in a courtroom, executive suite, or capitol building.

A legal studies major also offers professional certificates, interdisciplinary pathways, pre-law advising, and opportunities for graduate credit. Hamline’s program is one of very few regional or national programs that offers a professional paralegal certificate rooted in the liberal arts tradition.

Student research opportunities

Hamline students participate in research with faculty as early as their first year, something usually reserved for graduate students at other institutions. 

The list of possible research projects is as varied as your interests. Picture yourself:

  • Presenting your research proposal to the Minnesota Supreme Court about improving access to affordable housing
  • Studying trends in immigration law that will affect new Americans
  • Untangling corporate law to advise entrepreneurs on how to make their businesses succeed
Aoife Zamacona Hamline Student headshot

I realized that at Hamline, I would actually get the opportunity to know my professors on a personal level. Having that experience made Hamline such a great little community.

—Aoife Zamacona '22, legal studies and women's studies; paralegal at Sand Law Firm; of North Saint Paul, Minnesota

Internships for legal studies students

We make sure you leave Hamline with work experience in the field of legal studies on your resume. The opportunities are boundless: Whether you're exploring a career in employment law, private practice, government, or other fields, we have internship opportunities for you.

Examples of past internships include:

  • Minnesota Alliance on Crime, public policy and victims’ rights intern
  • Governor’s Office of Minnesota, public engagement intern
  • HOME Line, tenant advocate
  • Robins Kaplan, LLP, paralegal

Mock Trial at Hamline

Hamline has a winning Mock Trial team. Mock Trial is a great student organization to join if you want to learn about the legal system and the work of courtroom attorneys while building your teamwork skills, analytical thinking abilities, and confidence—skills that will benefit you in any profession. 

In addition to participating in several tournaments throughout the year, Hamline sponsors the Annual George Floyd Memorial Tournament every fall and donates a portion of the proceeds to organizations fighting for racial justice.

Explore career paths

Our innovative courses and one-on-one faculty mentoring will give you the tools to succeed in a variety of jobs, such as:

  • Litigation support specialist
  • Administrative compliance specialist
  • Judicial administration assistant
  • Violence and assault program advocate

And you can explore careers in many different fields, such as:

  • Law firms and corporate legal offices
  • Public interest law
  • Court administration
  • Judiciary support
  • Human resources

Take your studies further with graduate school

Our graduates have gone on to graduate and law schools across the country in the pursuit of master’s degrees, PhDs, and JDs.