Why Minor in Legal Studies?

Students in Dr. Winters' Supreme Court Seminar have been role playing Supreme Court justices all semester.  On Tuesday, some of the students immortalized their view of their assigned justice in snow, outside of the Summit-side entrance to JRC.  From left to right, they are: Justice Ginsburg (by Eve Byron), Justice Thomas (by Kate Weyenberg), and Justice Kennedy (by Michael Gaytko); in the back is Justice Sotomayor (by Chelsea Petersen).

Though there is no single route to law school, the University of St. Thomas offers students a multitude of opportunities to leverage a solid foundation in the liberal arts into a career in the field of law.  Though the opportunities outlined here are most relevant for students interested in pursuing a law degree, they are open to any student who wishes to enhance their educational experience through classes and activities relating to the law.

UST is inspired by the Catholic intellectual tradition, and thus seeks to engage students in an exceptional liberal arts education that prepares them to be reflective individuals, responsible citizens, and thoughtful professionals committed to the common good.  The Legal Studies and Pre-Law programs at UST focus on developing skills that are essential for practicing attorneys, but are nevertheless relevant for many different careers.  These skills include effective communication, concise writing, critical and analytical thinking, and well-reasoned, logical argumentation. 

An education supplemented with legal studies related coursework can further prepare students for many different career paths, including: law school; masters/PhD programs in political science, public policy, international relations, sociology, criminal justice, or similar fields; state, federal, or international political, governmental, or non-profit agencies/organizations; business; public administration; policy or research analysis; lobbyist; or other related professions.

The Legal Studies minor is an interdisciplinary minor aimed at equipping students to consider questions of law, justice, and society from a multidisciplinary perspective. Understanding the foundations and nature of law and legal process is an integral element of a liberal arts education. Several departments within the university offer courses that examine the sociological, political, philosophical, journalistic, historical, economic and business aspects of legal behavior and legal systems. By drawing on those courses, the legal studies minor exposes students to a variety of perspectives on the study of law and provides a broad understanding of the role of law in society.

The legal studies minor is not intended as a pre-law program, although it may prove especially attractive to students interested in careers in law, public administration or related professions. Its objective is to allow students to undertake an examination of law and legal process within a liberal arts context.

Pre-Law Advisors

Dr. Kathleen Winters Dr. Dale Thompson
Assistant Professor
Department: Political Science
Mail: JRC 406, 2115 Summit Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55105
Office: JRC 406
Phone: (651) 962-5724
Email: wint4786@stthomas.edu

Associate Professor
Department: Ethics & Business Law
Mail: MCH 316 2060 Summit Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55105
Office: MCH 311
Phone: (651) 962-5195
Email: dbthompson@stthomas.edu