About the Department
The Legal Studies program at Northwestern University provides an environment where students and scholars study legal issues using the methodology and perspectives of the social sciences and humanities.
Legal Studies offers undergraduates the chance to engage in exciting, critical work with professors from all over Northwestern and from the professional world, with courses on a variety of innovative topics. Recent favorites include Law & Society; Human Rights and U.S. Refugee Law; Sociology of Law; Legal and Constitutional History of the United States; and Race, Politics, and the Law.
We offer a Major as well as a Minor. Prior to Fall 2016, we will also offered an adjunct major. (For the next few years, we will be transitioning from the adjunct major to the standalone major; students should review the different requirements on the major page to determine which version would be the best fit.)
Are you an incoming First-Year student? Take a look at our First-Year Focus page.
At the graduate level, Legal Studies provides programmatic content for graduate students throughout the university interested in the interdisciplinary study of law, legal institutions, and/or legal processes broadly construed. Graduate Fellows in Legal Studies (GFILS) include J.D./Ph.D. students, Ph.D. students who entered graduate school with J.D.s earned elsewhere, and graduate students working on legal topics and questions in a variety of disciplines (economics, anthropology, sociology, political science, theater, and English, to name just a few). GFILS and faculty participate in regular reading groups and writing seminars and attend lectures and events.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What other majors and minors combine well with a major or minor in Legal Studies?
We do not recommend any particular combination of majors and minors; our students have successfully combined majors and minors in Legal Studies with majors and minors across WCAS and across the university. If you are interested in exploring socio-legal questions in other departments, note that the History Department offers a thematic major in Law & Crime and the Department of Religious Studies offers a concentration in Religion, Law & Politics.
Does Legal Studies offer pre-law advising?
No. For information about law school and legal careers, please see Weinberg College's advice on preparing for law school and Northwestern Career Advancement's legal career advice and their tips on applying to law school.
If you are interested in pre-law programming, make sure to sign up for Handshake, Northwestern's career platform, to get information about events: Start here.
Does Legal Studies offer Legal advice?
No. You may be able to find assistance through the Northwestern Law Bluhm Legal Clinic.
What can I do with a major or minor in Legal Studies?
Join us on LinkedIn to see what some of our alumni have been up to post-graduation.