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

Legal Studies Programs

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.

Legal studies majors and minor

Legal studies major

With this legal studies major, you’ll also complete your graduate-level paralegal certificate and be prepared to work as a paralegal or in fields where paralegal skills are an added value.

Legal studies: Law and society major

With this flexible major, you can explore the law and its relationship to persons, systems, and institutions. This major is optional for pre-law students.

Feminist legal studies in civil rights and equity major

With this major, you will explore intersections among the law, civil rights, and equity through feminist perspectives informed by social and legal categories.

Legal studies minor

Build an interdisciplinary toolkit with legal studies classes that will enhance your talents in another field.

Certificate and concentrations

Graduate paralegal certificate

Students who major in legal studies: Law and society or feminist legal studies can pursue a graduate-level paralegal certificate in addition to their major coursework.

Forensic psychology concentration

A multidisciplinary approach to the study of crime, motivations for criminal behavior, and the response and use of psychology.

Public policy concentration

Develop the knowledge and skills necessary to create innovative, socially responsible solutions to the most critical issues facing society.

Preparation for law school

Pre-law professional track

Interested in law school? We have the preparation and advice you need.

Law school early admission program

Finish faster by completing your undergraduate and law degrees in six years.

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

I realized I would actually know my professors on a personal level. It seemed like such a great little community."



Aoife Zamacona Hamline Student headshot

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

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.

Contact information