Many students ask us what the best law school major is. Should you major in English or Philosophy? Spanish or Biology? The answer is: There is no one best law school major. There is not one path to law school – in fact, diversity is smiled upon by admissions committees. Generally, however, it is a good idea to major in a subject with the following criteria:
1. It should be a subject that you are passionate about.
Do not major in something just because you hope to go to law school. You should like the subject or your undergraduate years will be miserable and you may struggle to achieve a high GPA. It is also a good idea to major in a subject that has the potential to lead to non-legal job opportunities in case you decide not to go to law school.
2. It should be a subject where it is possible for you to achieve a high GPA.
The fact is that your GPA and LSAT score are crucial factors that will determine whether you get into law school and where you go to law school. Thus, do not pick a major where you are setting yourself up for failure.
3. It should be a subject that will help you develop communication skills, critical thinking skills, and creativity.
Majoring in a subject that will help you “think like a lawyer” will prepare you well for law school and will be looked upon favorably by law schools. If your major does not focus on reading, writing, or critical thinking, make sure to take some classes outside of your major that will help you develop these skills.
4. Diversity doesn’t hurt.
Do not feel like you have to major in Political Science if you want to go to law school. Many law schools look favorably on students who major in other subjects as it adds diversity and a new perspective to their schools.
Here are some considerations when you are choosing between possible majors.
- A “Prelaw” major shows that you are serious about law school. However, it is not necessarily the best major if you want to go to law school. It will give you a good foundation of the law but law schools do not place as much value on your foundation of the law as they do on your ability to “think like a lawyer.” This means that you are better off majoring in a subject that will show your ability to communicate, analyze text, read, write, and think critically.
- English, History, International Relations, Political Science are good majors because they tend to help you develop skills to communicate effectively, think creatively, and analyze text. You will also get used to reading a large amount of material.
- Languages are generally a good idea for the same reasons mentioned above. Plus, a Language major will add some diversity to the law school class.
- Philosophy is a good major for it will help you to develop the critical thinking and analytical skills that you need to succeed in law school.
- Majoring in a “hard science” such as Chemistry or Biology (especially if you have a high GPA) can be impressive to law schools and adds some diversity. If you major in a hard science, however, make sure to take some classes that will develop your ability to read, write, and critically think.