The Ten Best Majors For Law School
Many people from a young age know exactly what they want to do with their career. If you always wanted to be a lawyer, perhaps you are already on the path to studying political science or prelaw as an undergraduate. Or maybe you’re not sure what path you will take, and you are thinking about law school but want flexibility with your undergraduate major in case you decide to go in another direction. Some lawyers go back to school later in life after a career in other fields, from marketing, to finance, to teaching, to medicine, and anything else you can imagine (work experience is actually a factor that law schools and law firms favorably consider!). So, what are the best majors that actually prepare someone for the rigors of law school? The answers might just surprise you!
The Ten Best Majors For Law School
1. Science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) majors
Law school admission committees tend to view Science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) majors quite favorably during the admissions process. Think biology, chemistry, electrical engineering, cybersecurity, and everything in between! The reason students with STEM majors succeed in law school is that STEM majors often require a rigorous course of clases. STEM students have to memorize formulas and rules and apply them to various problems. That is a skill that translates very well to learning the law. Law school is also rigorous and will primarily be about memorizing rules and learning difficult concepts and applying them to facts.
This article from US News and World Reports provides: “Law is increasingly enmeshed with science and technology, and not just in the burgeoning areas of health law, tech law, patent law, and environmental law. From forensic evidence to financial instruments, lawyers must increasingly draw upon scientific knowledge and quantitative skills. Emerging technologies based on automation, machine learning, and distributed networks may eventually transform the legal field altogether.” STEM majors have to make sure to keep their GPA up high, however, as that will be a huge factor in applying to law school. Additionally, with a science or engineering degree, you can get admitted to the patent bar someday!
As an English major, you will be doing a lot of reading and writing – which will serve you well in law school. English majors also tend to read older texts, written in language that is uncommon in modern vernacular, and will have a leg-up when trying to decipher some older judicial opinions. Armed with a strong vocabulary, as well as persuasive writing skills, an English degree will serve you well. English majors tend to do fairly well on the LSAT (reading comprehension is a big part of the LSAT) – but be sure to brush up on your logical reasoning too!
History majors, like English majors, are well prepared for a lot of reading and writing in law school. Additionally, History majors are well-versed in the background and social events that led to the founding of America, the Constitution, and current events. This will help immensely in comprehending many legal issues as well as deciphering how common law works. Writing research papers as a history major will help prepare you for legal research.
Economics is a challenging major and looks great on a law school application. Also, market-based economies study private property and property rights. This is helpful in preparation for many challenging law school courses. As a future attorney, understanding how the economy works will serve you well if you want to pursue capital markets or securities law – highly lucrative fields. Besides these areas, this article shows how economics majors are prepared to study torts, criminal law, contracts, and anti-trust, and have some of the highest LSAT scores!
If you study communications, chances are you are a people person. You enjoy marketing, advertising, media, and writing. You might want to work for a PR firm or become a journalist or advertiser. Or, maybe you want to go to law school! All of the skills you have from a communications major will serve you well in law school and in the real world as an attorney. Communications majors have a knack for business generation and talking to clients. Also, you will be able to tell a story and put a positive or persuasive spin on your writing.
6. International Relations
According to US News and World Reports, an international relations major studies how the world works and the way politics, culture, and economics impact the global system. All of these areas will be a great background for a career in law. The critical thinking skills you will learn in challenging economics classes will help you on the LSAT and in law school. Hopefully, you will also be a strong writer and communicator. Law schools look favorably on this major! If you want to do international business and foreign relations work with a JD, this might be a major worth considering.
7. Political Science
Political science is the most popular undergraduate major for law school hopefuls. That means a poli-sci major will have a lot of competition. Nevertheless, poli-sci is a good background for success in law school, because it teaches critical thinking and some similar concepts to law school.
Just like English majors and history majors, a philosophy major requires a lot of reading, writing, and critical thinking. Add to that coursework in logic, and a philosophy degree can definitely be a positive attribute in the law school applications process! Plus, According to data provided by the LSAC on LSAT scores from the past few decades, philosophy majors annually have the highest or close to the highest average LSAT scores. If you enjoy logical reasoning and critical thinking, you will like the law!
9. Psychology / Sociology
If you study psychology, you are interested in the way the human mind works. If you study sociology, you are interested in the way groups of humans interact. Both of these majors are popular among law school applicants. After all, the law also has a lot to do with the human mind (especially criminal law) and the way our society is organized. Plus, the practice of law has to do with the people involved! With a psychology or sociology degree, you should be able to do well in law school.
Majoring in business, business administration, and/or corporate business, may be a smart path for prelaw students to follow. This is especially true if you think you might ultimately want to pursue business law. Law school will have mandatory courses in contract law, and possibly business associations as well. Also, a business background will provide you with a solid foundation for writing and communications. The best part of a business degree will be applying what you learned when you start to work at a law firm. The law is not only about understanding the law itself but also how to run a business or law firm and generate business for the firm. Additionally, you never know when a client will call you up one day and ask you for advice on forming a new corporation.
At the end of the day, you can get into law school with ANY undergraduate degree. You should study what you are passionate about. There is a need in every industry for lawyers – from education law, to animal law, to in-house counsel for every kind of business. Not sure where to start? Check out JD Advising’s Prelaw Resources for assistance!