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Legal Studies Undergraduate Programs

pre law degrees.

Examine the world of law and order.

From close elections and the entire process around them to landmark court rulings, there are always exciting things happening in the American legal and justice systems. There will always be a need for scrutiny, discussion, debate and decision. There will always be a call for advocates, influencers and experts.

William Woods University legal studies degree programs — and their various prelaw and criminal justice concentration areas — are designed to lay a strong foundation for careers in law, law enforcement and advocacy. Our dedicated faculty have worked in the legal and criminal justice systems themselves as prosecutors, officers, attorneys and more. Their research is relevant and applicable.

Upon graduation, you will find yourself thinking critically, with a firm grasp of American government and political theory, the Constitution and case law, and the procedures surrounding investigations, corrections and criminal and civil courts.

Get involved.

Join a number of campus organizations designed to build leadership and ignite your passions, including the WWU American Mock Trial Team, Criminal Justice Club, the National Society of Leadership and Success, Student Alumni Council, Student Assembly, and the WWU International Justice Mission (IJM).

Gain experience.

Assist our faculty in or conduct scholarly research of your own. Engage in internships for academic credit in the legal, political and criminal justice fields such as government agencies, law firms, non-profit organizations, or in corrections, law enforcement, industrial security and more.

Career opportunities

Our alumni have found successful careers in leading agencies, companies and firms:

  • Noble Biocare International
  • Bell & Watson, PLLC, Memphis, TN
  • Cox Health Systems
  • Missouri Secretary of State
  • Homeland Security
  • National-level intelligence agencies
  • North Star Resource Group
  • Columbia Police Department
  • United States Marine Corp
  • General Motors
  • Province of Ontario
  • Pate's Law Group, Orlando FL
  • William Woods University
  • Boomerang Strategies, McKinney, TX
  • State of Missouri
  • Spectrum Brands, Inc.
  • McAdams, LTD
  • DeVry Education Group, Government Relations Department
  • Midwest Litigation Services
  • Veteran's United Home Loans
  • Missouri Division of Youth Services
  • New Bloomfield Schools
  • United States Senate, Office of the Press Secretary for the Environment and Public Works Committee
  • Legislative Lobbyist firm for the KC Chiefs and others
  • Central Trust & Investment Company
  • MOHELA
  • Boone County Circuit Clerk
  • Florida GAL Foundation
  • Dinsmoer & Shohl, Commercial Litigation, Kentucky
  • Prosecuting Attorney office, Lincoln County and others
  • Kathy J. Weinman Children's Advocacy Center, St. Louis, MO
  • Scholastic
  • High Caliber Stables, North Carolina
  • Chelsea Meadows Equestrian Center

Some graduate and law schools attended by political/legal studies and criminal justice grads:

  • University of Missouri Law School
  • University of Missouri Master's and Doctorate program in Political Science
  • University of Missouri Master's in Education
  • Oklahoma City Law School
  • St. Louis University Law School
  • American University Law School, Washington, DC
  • University of Missouri-Kansas City Law School
  • University of Missouri-Kansas City Master's program in Political Science
  • Barry University Law School - Florida
  • William Mitchell College of Law
  • Master's of Liberal Arts in Journalism, Harvard
  • University of Denver Law School

Perspectives

I am always proud of this program when I learn students have been accepted to law or graduate school; have been selected for awards through their professional work after leaving WWU; or send me an email telling me how much our program has helped them in their personal and professional lives.

— Cynthia Kramer, Professor of Legal Studies

The moments I treasure most in this program are in the classroom when I know I have made a connection with students on a topic that will help them evolve in their own life and advance the lives of others.

— Associate Professor of Criminal Justice, Stephen Saravara III

Majors and Minors

Combine your passion for justice and making a difference with a well-rounded and relevant program, and prepare for careers in law enforcement, agencies, industrial security, corrections, and the judicial system.

With a combination of coursework in American political science, concepts and theory, and a liberal arts approach to the meanings and values of legality, a successful career in law or politics awaits.

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