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    May 26, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Bulletin 
    
2023-2024 Undergraduate Bulletin

Legal Studies Major (BA) - with Graduate Paralegal Certificate


The major Legal Studies with Graduate Paralegal Certificate is for students who desire work as paralegals, or seek employment in a field or industry where knowledge of the law and skills of a paralegal will provide added value to their employers. Hamline’s Paralegal program is American Bar Association (ABA) approved - a national hallmark of excellence required by many law firms and companies - and recognized as a leader in legal education. 

This major allows career-focused students - especially transfer students - to earn the ABA approved Graduate Paralegal Certificate within the BA. Students desiring careers in the rapidly growing fields of paralegals or legal assistants will gain deep knowledge in key foundational areas of US law, including the structure, components, and functioning of the US legal system; master appropriate strategies and technologies to retrieve, use, and manage research materials and digital information effectively and efficiently, such as legal citation; and apply advanced legal knowledge and skills with practical experience. 

Students must complete a brief application and may register for the graduate paralegal certificate courses after they have completed 16 credits of undergraduate work in the Legal Studies Core.

The major Legal Studies with Graduate Paralegal Certificate enhances opportunities for students to earn a professional credential within their major, and to progress toward completion of the Master in the Study of Law. Students can apply the graduate-level coursework in this major to Hamline University’s Master in the Study of Law, requiring only 14 additional graduate credits to earn the MSL (approximately 1 semester). 

Note: Hamline’s graduate paralegal certificate is approved by the American Bar Association for the training of paralegals. Paralegals may not provide legal services directly to clients or to the public, except as permitted by law. A paralegal certificate does not qualify the recipient to sit for the bar examination or work as a lawyer.

Legal studies majors have the option to complete an interdisciplinary concentration in forensic psychology or public policy. See below for details.

Optional Interdisciplinary Concentrations


Students pursuing any of the legal studies major options may also choose to complete an interdisciplinary concentration in forensic psychology or public policy.

Forensic Psychology Concentration


The forensic psychology concentration provides a multidisciplinary approach to the study of crime, motivations for criminal behavior, and the response and use of psychology in the criminal justice and legal systems. Although a graduate degree is usually required for a career as a forensic psychologist, the concentration introduces students to foundational knowledge in criminology, psychology, and legal studies and includes an interdisciplinary senior seminar.

The Forensic Psychology Concentration is open to students majoring in Criminology and Criminal Justice Legal Studies , or Psychology .

Public Policy Concentration


The public policy concentration educates students about public policy and helps them to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to create innovative, socially responsible solutions to the most critical issues facing society. The program forms an arc, beginning with an introduction to ethical public policy, building skills with methodology coursework, and culminating with a capstone experience in which students engage directly with a public policy issue in a semester-long applied project or internship. Students will acquire an extensive set of skills in policy evaluation and analysis, equipping them to become agents of change to improve the quality of life for people and their communities, at home and abroad. The public policy concentration is open to students majoring in Criminology and Criminal Justice , Economics , Environmental and Climate Studies Legal Studies , Political Science , or Public Health 

One senior capstone chosen from the following:


The capstone should be completed in the student’s major area and should include an applied public policy research project or internship.