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Legal Studies Program and Pre-Law

Explore the limits and possibilities of law

The Legal Studies program takes a broad, conceptual approach to the study of law. We prepare you to be an informed and ethical citizen, and we provide a framework for thinking about the world that you can use to pursue a legal career, or anything else you wish to do.

An Interdisciplinary Concentration

The Legal Studies program helps students from any major build skills and explore law-related issues from the perspective of their particular academic and career interests. Legal Studies provides excellent preparation for careers in any number of settings including the justice system; national, state and local politics; and both for-profit and non-profit organizations.

Pre-Law Advising

For students interested in pursuing a law degree, Macalester’s Pre-Law advising is invaluable. Our advisors work with you throughout your education and even after graduation, helping you develop your curricular and co-curricular plans and later consider various law schools. Because our advisors know you, they are prepared to write strong, specific letters of recommendation for your law school applications.


Students work closely with faculty to conduct original research, and frequently use their coursework in Legal Studies to inform senior theses in their majors. Some students have won national and regional awards in competitions for their outstanding papers. Past honors projects topics include:

  • Juvenile Justice
  • Privacy
  • Truth and Reconciliation
  • Due Process and Special Education Transitional Justice
  • Genocide
  • Consequences for Children of Parental Incarceration

Life After Macalester

Alumni work in nearly every field as judges, prosecutors, public defenders, general counsels, legislators, business people, academics, think tank researchers and more.

Legal Studies in the Cities


Internships within 8 miles of campus, including law firms, non-profit organizations, and governmental bodies (the state capitol is a quick bus ride away).

Judges, state legislators, and public defenders have all recently come to speak with students about legal careers.


Alumni holding law degrees around campus who can help with internship opportunities and networking.

Join our community

The Twin Cities offers many law-related events and activities, even theater. Students saw Roe at Mixed Blood Theatre and Courting Harry, a History Theatre production exploring the careers of two St. Paul-born U.S. Supreme Court justices, Harry Blackmun and Warren Burger.

Forensics provides a variety of opportunities, including mock trial and debate, for students to develop their skills in rhetoric, logic, and argumentation. Students of any major are welcome regardless of whether or not they have forensics experience.