What Major Should I Choose if I Want to Go to Law School?

Students interested in a career in law often wonder what would be a good major choice for law school. Unlike other post-secondary schools, law school does not have any specific entrance requirements. There is no one perfect major for the student interested in law.

Pre-law Major

Some Universities offer pre-law or legal studies majors. At first glance, this may appear to be the perfect major for someone who is interested in pursuing a law career. According to US News & World Report, there is some controversy as to how effective these majors are in preparing students for a law career. It is unlikely that a pre-law major will be looked upon more favorably than any other undergraduate major by a school of law. Before choosing pre-law as a major, students should look carefully at the program offered by their school to be sure it lines up with their interests and goals. Students should choose an undergraduate major that is in line with their interests. It is more likely that the student will perform well academically when pursuing something that they find interesting and worthwhile.

Requirements for Law School Admission

According to the American Bar Association, there are no recommended majors or courses to prepare for the law. Law students come from a variety of different academic backgrounds. Some of the more popular majors are political science, history, english, and business. Political science majors will be well educated on the judicial system and the way the government works. History majors will have the ability to understand the history of the law and the context of historical legal decisions. English majors will have the skills required for effective written communication that is so important in practicing law. Business majors will have an understanding of contracts, negotiations, and how corporations are structured.

Skills Required

Instead of focusing on which major would be best, it may be better to focus on the skills needed to be successful and how to acquire them. The American Bar Association recommends that students preparing for a law career should seek courses and experiences that develop certain skills. Problem solving skills are important to be successful. Communication, both oral and written, is also vital. Research, organization, and management are all valuable skills to develop. It is important to have broad background knowledge and the ability to work with others on a team. There are many majors that will build these skills. Even students in science and engineering can develop the skills needed by adding a liberal arts minor or focusing their electives. Experiences outside the classroom can also be attractive to law admissions. Any extracurricular activities that can build relevant skills or provide the student with exposure to the law should be sought out and pursued.

Preparing for a career in law takes more than choosing the right major. It is more important that the student chooses an academically rigorous major that interests them and takes steps to insure they develop the skills necessary. Good grades and good LSAT scores are more important to law schools than any specific major.