Earn an Experiential Certificate in: Legal Studies


The Gerald R. Ford Institute offers an Experiential Certificate in Legal Studies. Graduates of this certificate will develop an interdisciplinary understanding of the law. This includes an introduction to the legal field by investigating essential concepts, exploring various career pathways, developing necessary skill sets, and accessing resources needed to prepare for a successful legal career. 

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this certificate, students will be able to:

  • Recognize fundamental ideas and concepts of law and justice.
  • Illustrate how the law intersects with policy to affect various aspects of society. 
  • Employ the critical reading, logical reasoning, and analytical writing skills necessary for a legal career in a professional setting.
  • Formulate an individualized pathway toward a legal career.

Purpose Courses

Students will take 3 purpose courses drawn from at least 2 different disciplines in consultation with their certificate and pre-law advisors. These courses introduce law-related issues including law’s place in society. Examples include but are not limited to:

  • LWJS 101: Law, Justice & Society
  • E&M 350: Business Law
  • SOC 225: Criminology
  • PHIL 335: Philosophical Issues in the Law
  • PLSC 224: Constitutional Law and Politics
  • PLSC 357: International Law and Politics
  • PLSC 322: Crime, Politics and Punishment
  • PLSC 324: Civil Rights and Civil Liberties
  • Any Inside-Out Prison Exchange course

Honors courses and special topics courses that match the purpose of the legal studies certificate also may be approved. 

Students pursuing the Legal Studies certificate are highly encouraged to take complementary skill-based courses including:

  • ENGL 203: Advanced Writing: College and Beyond
  • PHIL 107: Logic and Critical Reasoning
  • PHIL 207: Symbolic Logic 

Professional Development


  • Professional speaker lecture series
  • Mandatory workshops  
  • Community Leadership Innovation Badge
  • Advocacy Innovation Badge 

Professional development hours can be fulfilled through any relevant Albion College training including workshops and Innovation Badges offered through the School for Public Purpose and Professional Advancement, the Institutes, and college programs. External certifications and professional training offered by third party providers may also be approved. Below is a sample list of skill development opportunities related to this pathway: 

  • Workshops and information sessions on LSAC and the LSAT 
  • LSAT-prep courses
  • What to Look for in a Law School 
  • What is Criminal Justice? 
  • Crafting your Personal Statement 
  • Moot Court 
  • Contemporary Issues in the Law (topics will vary)

Experiential Learning

Students will design or select the appropriate number of experiential learning hours, including community engaged experiential learning hours, for their catalog year. 


  • Community Service (80 hours)
  • Internship (150 hours)

Examples of possible experiential learning opportunities related to this pathway include:

  • Observation of local court proceedings
  • Activities hosted by the pre-law fraternity Phi Alpha Delta
  • Attending mock law classes or information sessions hosted by law schools
  • Approved Off Campus study at the Philadelphia Center, the Washington Center, or study abroad programs through the Center for International Experience
  • Related undergraduate research including through FURSCA
  • Writing an undergraduate thesis on a law-related topic

Interested in earning this Experiential Certificate? Please contact Edward Visco by email at [email protected].