Legal Studies Program
The WSU Legal Studies Program is one of the relatively few American Bar Association (ABA) approved four-year Legal Studies Programs in the nation. It was the first in the state of Minnesota to be ABA approved. The Program is subject to an ABA on-site re-evaluation every seven years.
The bachelor of science (B.S.) Legal Studies degree is a four-year undergraduate degree. The degree combines a strong emphasis of Liberal Arts skills with legal specialty courses. The first two years consist of completing courses in WSU’s general education requirements, along with foundation courses in history and political science.
Students generally begin the specialty sequence during the fall of their junior year, culminating in a one-semester internship experience. A sample course sequence (PDF) is available to help students plan to complete their major coursework in four years. Additionally, the WSU course catalog provides a full description of all required paralegal courses.
Skills and Careers
The Legal Studies Program enables students to develop both intellectual and professional skills in the law. The program is designed to meet the needs of students wishing to enter into a career that demands knowledge and experience with legal systems and institutions. This includes careers working for law firms, governmental agencies, insurance companies, banking institutions, and more. Legal Studies graduates work with lawyers, but do not offer or give legal advice on their own. The degree also serves as excellent preparation for law school.
The interdisciplinary foundations courses in the major are taught by WSU faculty, while the Legal Studies specialty sequence courses are largely taught by practicing lawyers and paralegals. The program has a long tradition of drawing on practical expertise from the surrounding community, contributing positively to the overall student experience and networking opportunities.