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Legal Studies Minor

Do you plan to attend law school or to pursue a career that requires an understanding of law and legal issues? The University of Central Missouri’s Legal Studies minor can provide the solid foundation you need. This interdisciplinary minor combines the studies of criminal justice and criminology, political science and business law to prepare you for law school or a multitude of careers with these UCM majors — and others — as their basis:

Complete this flexible minor for the foundational legal studies you need

UCM’s Legal Studies minor provides a well-rounded course of study that is also very flexible. You can complete this minor in two years by taking all of your classes on our Warrensburg campus. We also offer many online courses that you can take wherever you are — for your convenience.

When you choose the University of Central Missouri to provide the foundation of your legal studies, you get a time-tested education, as we’ve offered legal courses since 1962.

View Courses


Benecia Carmack
Associate Professor of Criminal Justice and Criminology
WDE 1610
Tel: 660-543-8891 |

Dr. James Staab
Professor of Political Science and International Studies
Wood 203 F
Tel: 660-543-8825 |

Department of Political Science and International Studies

Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology


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The backbone of UCM’s Pre-Law pathway

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Enables a legal foundation for any major

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Extensive, interdisciplinary curriculum

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60+ year history in legal studies

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Legal internships available

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Mock trial and law-related associations


What you will study

As the backbone of UCM’s Pre-Law pathway, the Legal Studies minor provides a diverse education if you’re planning to attend law school, conduct international business or become a media legal correspondent, as examples. You’ll take courses in criminal law, business law and the judicial process. Then, you can choose electives focused in your areas of interest, such as:

  • Employment law
  • Human rights
  • Capital punishment
  • Trial advocacy
  • Constitutional law

Due to this minor’s interdisciplinary nature, your courses are taught by experts in their respective disciplines. Many hold Juris Doctor degrees and have real-world experience, which allows them to guide you to the best curriculum for your career goals.


Unique learning opportunities in legal studies

Take advantage of the hands-on learning opportunities offered at the University of Central Missouri. Expand your legal studies outside the classroom with these opportunities and resources:

  • Internships: Choose to complete a legal internship for real-world experience that demonstrates specialized skills and enhances your resume. UCM has placed students with prosecuting attorney, public defender and victim advocate offices as well as with Legal Aid of Western Missouri.
  • UCM Mock Trial: Learn and practice trial advocacy while building your communication skills and confidence as part of UCM Mock Trial. You’ll meet students from various disciplines while you compete — and rank — in invitational, regional and national tournaments.
  • Student associations: Join one or more of UCM’s 185+ student organizations for networking opportunities. Consider the Pre-Law Student Association to also build on your legal knowledge. You’ll participate in meetings, “field trips” to law schools, guest speaker events and LSAT preparation.
  • Missouri Western District Court of Appeals: Since 2000, the Missouri Western District Court of Appeals has held oral arguments at UCM.  Students, faculty, and local high schools sit in to hear the proceedings, and participate in exclusive Q & A and networking opportunities with the judges.  


What can you do with a minor in Legal Studies from UCM?

Like many UCM graduates, you may use the knowledge and skills gained from the Legal Studies minor to succeed in law school. You can join the ranks of UCM alumni who hold these prestigious positions, among others:

  • Circuit judge
  • Appellate judge
  • Private attorney at law
  • Military judge advocate general

If you’re completing one of UCM’s Business Administration degrees, the Legal Studies minor will qualify you for compliance-related positions. It can also help you maintain legal practices in the fields of accounting or finance or navigate the legal system in social work — demonstrating this minor’s value for a variety of fields.

Take advantage of UCM’s partnership with Missouri law schools

While the Legal Studies minor isn’t a direct pathway to law school, it works to prepare you for that next step should you desire pre-law education. We partner with the University of Missouri — Columbia and the University of Missouri — Kansas City to help ensure your acceptance and seamless transfer to their schools of law. Follow our 3+3 program to complete your undergraduate degree and Juris Doctor degree requirements in a total of six years. 

Understand your opportunities with a Legal Studies minor

With the varied UCM faculty leading your courses, you’ll have access to experts in their respective fields who can share their experiences as they relate to your career goals. Use the interactive tool below to further understand the potential of a career related to your legal studies.




Financial assistance options for your Legal Studies minor

Your understanding of varied legal aspects and expanded research, writing and communication skills gained with UCM’s Legal Studies minor will enhance your value to employers, no matter your major. Ensure your ability to get this quality education when you explore the means we offer to help finance your undergraduate studies — including loans, grants, work-study opportunities and scholarships.

Explore the scholarships available to Legal Studies students

UCM, in addition to our generous alumni and other supporters, offers various scholarships to assist our students. One opportunity available to Legal Studies minors includes the Robert I. Jaquith Law Scholarship. Awarded each year to an outstanding UCM student who has been accepted to law school, this scholarship is named after the first lawyer to teach in the program — in 1969.

You may qualify for other scholarships depending on your undergraduate major. Use the UCM Scholarship Finder to search for opportunities.



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Explore programs related to legal studies.

Sharpen your legal focus with one of these other UCM minors:


Interested in Law School?

See the Pre Law page for more information.


Request Info   Visit   Apply Today!



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