Legal Studies program

mUndergrad minor

Are you interested in a future in law?

With a legal studies minor, you'll gain the foundational skills to pursue law school or a wide variety of other careers that deal with the law, apart from being a lawyer.

UW-La Crosse's Legal Studies minor is an interdisciplinary program focused on topics and skills that are desirable for students who are interested in legal fields. Students gain a foundational understanding of the legal system and how the law operates within government and society. They will also learn to formulate arguments; critique the arguments of others; evaluate and apply theories, examine legal and constitutional principles and much more. Courses include areas of advocacy, theory and areas of law.

What is legal studies?

Legal studies is an academic field focused on how the law works and the legal ideas and processes behind it. It offers undergraduate students a means to prepare for law school and law-related careers. While there is no particular major required for law school admission, a legal studies minor is an excellent supplement to a wide variety of majors as it provides legal background and desirable skills to prepare for law school.

Best majors for law school

Law schools have no preferences for any particular major. Students should choose a major that involves a substantial amount of independent work and requires analyzing and organizing materials verbally and/or in writing. They may also consider how a major might complement an area of law they would like to pursue. For example, business and economics provide an excellent background for those entering corporate practice; sociology and criminology relate well to criminal justice work; and political science and/or public administration serve the needs of those interested in public service.

The Law School Admission Test, the test all students applying for law school must take, does not test facts. Instead, it is a competency-based exam that evaluates both logical and analytical reasoning, as well as reading comprehension.

 

Legal studies jobs

Some graduates choose career paths associated with legal studies. Others choose unrelated careers that use skills and experiences developed during their time in college. Keep in mind that some fields will require graduate study or further training. The list below offers a few examples of possible career paths.

  • City manager
  • Campaign manager
  • Congressional or white house aide
  • Contract specialist
  • Educator
  • Election supervisor
  • Environmental activist
  • Foreign service officer
  • Government officer
  • Labor relations specialist
  • Law enforcement officer
  • Lawyer
  • Legislative assistant
  • Lobbyist
  • Paralegal or legal assistant
  • Peace corps officer
  • Policy staff assistant
  • Political consultant
  • Politician
  • Program evaluator
  • Public interest group director
  • Speech or technical writer
  • Urban/ regional planner

What distinguishes UWL's Legal Studies program?

Gain skills that are critical for law school

Students in UWL's legal studies minor gain widely-applicable skills and experience with written communication and critical thinking as part of their coursework. 

Pre-Law Society offers valued extracurricular involvement

Increasingly law schools are taking note of extracurricular activities and work experiences as criteria for admission. UWL offers a Pre-Law Society student group that exposes members to different aspects of the legal profession, while also providing law school preparation exercises. Through Pre-Law Society, students can compete in the intercollegiate Moot Court competition and experience the appellate advocacy process. This competition mirrors the trial advocacy competitions in which one would participate in law school.

Gain internship experience in law

UWL’s internship program, offered for variable credit, provides an acceptable supplement to academic training. Internship positions — paid and unpaid — are available in public offices, law firms and other private businesses. Though none of these things will substitute for a specific entrance requirement, they may entitle a law school applicant to more favorable consideration than he/she would otherwise receive.

Sample courses