Before you even head off to get an undergraduate degree, you might be considering law school and, therefore, what is the best major for law school. Those in an undergraduate program, or preparing to enter one, often wonder about whether political science is the best major for law school, or whether an area like criminal justice is a better choice. While no major will disqualify you, there are, statistically speaking, some majors that lead to a greater chance of acceptance. These majors also provide you with a good background for getting your J.D.
Some university studies provide hints on the best major for law school . . . .
According to a Chicago State University study, the top five most common majors in law schools are political science, history, English, psychology, and criminal justice. The five majors with the highest acceptance rates are physics, philosophy, biology, chemistry, and government service. A Columbia Law School study found similarly for entrants to this top-tier law school: political science, economics, history, the hard sciences and English topped their list. Let’s talk about a few of these to show why any of them might be useful as a major for law school.
Your parents might not have loved your English degree, but law school admission boards love it. Why? Because it teaches critical appraisal of texts (which might help with your LSAT preparation), and, above all, writing. You might actually be the only person who can read a law brief on day one of law school due to your superior command of commas and clauses. Many people (although you wouldn’t know it) consider English to be the best major for law school.
Philosophy is another major you’re likely to be mocked for until you get into a top-notch law school. Philosophy provides an excellent basis for reading, analyzing, and constructing and deconstructing logical arguments. You’re going to be as well prepared for the LSAT as the kids taking Latin were for the SAT. If there is such a thing as a best major for law school, Philosophy should be up there in the heat of the race.
Whether your focus was on political theory or the mechanics of government, you know about the philosophy that underpins the law. You can write about it and explain it in a coherent fashion. If political science is not the best major for law school, it certainly is a very helpful major for law school, and that’s going to pay off big in your legal education, especially for those interested in public advocacy or lobbying.
The Hard Sciences and Economics
These two might not seem terribly similar. However, when it comes to getting into law school, they might as well be identical. Each can states it case as the best major for law school. You’ve trained your brain to rigorously appraise data and draw conclusions based on that data. Further, you’re not likely to be fooled by logical fallacies.
History is a sort of combination between English, political science, and philosophy. Think of it as what many consider the all-in-one best major for law school. You do a lot of reading and writing. Your studies include the great works of civilization and you’re encouraged to think critically about this canon. Further, history professors are notoriously hard-nosed about theses and the logic (or lack thereof) throughout an entire paper.
In the end, the best major for law school is what you make of it . . . .
Yet it is good to think about these things early on if you have aspirations of going to law school. Nevertheless, trying to figure out the best major for law school isn’t as important as finding something you like. You shouldn’t pick economics because you think it’s the best major for law school, and then you discover that you hate economics. That is not the way to go. Instead, balance the two interests: figure out what you like and then compare that to the majors above. Remember, the best major for law school is also one that needs to fit your dreams, goals, and interests.
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