What Major Should I Get Before Law School?

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A high school student recently asked:

What major should I get before law school to improve my chances of getting admitted into law school?

Here was my answer:

Years ago, certain undergraduate degrees were preferred by law schools. Today, law schools consider all degrees to be equal, with a possible exception for a difficult degree (advanced science) being given a very slight edge over an easier degree (e.g. communications or sociology).

In other words, law school admissions offices generally do not care about the area of your major. First and foremost, law schools will look at your GPA and your LSAT score.  In a close tie between you and another applicant, the law school might consider your undergraduate degree area along with other items on your resume, including your personal statement (the essay you submit with your application).

In the old days, the degree area mattered to law schools.  Today, law schools understand the need for lawyers with diverse backgrounds, so the degree area is no longer relevant.

I would recommend picking a degree that interests you, since you will enjoy it more, do better in it, and in the long run, have greater interest using that knowledge in your career of choice.

Of course, your degree may matter to law firms or potential clients when you are an attorney, especially if you seek a specialized area of law. For example, if you pursue personal injury law, your background working in a hospital, experience working in an ambulance, or a degree that is related to health or medicine may help a bit. This reaffirms the importance of pursuing a degree area that interests you, since you may work in an area of law related to that dgree for the rest of your life.

Note: If you have any other law school questions, ask them in the new law school forum.

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3 Responses to “What Major Should I Get Before Law School?”

  1. Scott Says:

    A science degree has two advantages not mentioned above. The first is that a science degree is required to be a patent attorney. Second, a science degree teaches better analytical thinking skills than many other majors, which help students analyze difficult legal problems.

  2. admin Says:

    Excellent points, Scott. Thank you.

  3. twenties money Says:

    Although I am not a law student, I have taken many law classes for both my undergraduate and graduate degree. Scott has a great point about the science degree. My main field is computer science and I can tell you we really do need lawyers who have a solid understanding of the field. Not only for individuals being wrapped up in legal battles for Unlawful access, but also for corporations and their battles with patent laws, assistance with DMCA, copyrights et cetera.

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