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The Best Pre-Law Majors to Consider – Forbes Advisor

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For many people, navigating their way to a successful career in law begins with choosing an undergraduate degree. There are many options available, and the type of law you plan to practice may come into play when choosing your pre-law undergraduate major.

Some majors have higher law school admission rates than others, and some majors have more difficult courses than others. When planning your education and career, be sure to keep these factors in mind. In this article, we discuss the 13 most common undergraduate majors for law students.

Which major is best for law school?

The American Bar Association (ABA) does not recommend any specific undergraduate major for students who want to become lawyers. Instead, the organization suggests that any student considering becoming a lawyer choose an undergraduate major that interests and challenges them.

Your undergraduate major should offer courses that develop your research, critical reading, and writing skills. It’s best to choose a major that offers a comprehensive education through a variety of courses. Your major should challenge you to learn more about the subjects you love.

Whereas law schools consider your major, they also look at your undergraduate GPA. A high undergraduate GPA can demonstrate that you take your education seriously and can do the work necessary to complete a juris doctor (JD) and become a successful lawyer. For this reason, you must choose a major in which you will excel.

LSAT or GRE scores also play a key role in JD program admissions. According to a report from Law School Admissions Board (LSAC), law school applicants with the highest LSAT scores were economics majors, followed by philosophy majors and history majors.

Best Undergraduate Majors for Law School

According to the LSAC report mentioned above, the most common undergraduate major for law school applicants was political science. Applicants with the highest admission rate (77.5%) were history majors.

Note that many universities do not offer pre-law majors, and pre-law majors were not among the most common undergraduate majors for law school applicants.

Below, we list the 13 most common undergraduate majors for students who applied to ABA-approved law schools, according to data from the LSAC.

Story

There were 3,366 history majors who applied and 77.5% were admitted. Courses for history majors include cultures and civilizations, specific eras, geography, American and international studies, research and analysis, and social justice.

History majors had the highest percentage of acceptance into law schools. A specialization in history can give you a better understanding of people from different cultures and backgrounds, which can be useful for lawyers who practice any type of law.

Economy

There were 3,709 economics majors who applied and 76.1% were admitted. Economics courses include micro and macroeconomics, market outcomes, fiscal and monetary policy, and basic economic modeling. Majoring in Economics is a great option for tax attorneys and corporate lawyers preparing for their careers.

English

There were 3,509 English majors who applied and 74.4% were admitted. Courses for an English major include Literature, Cultural Studies, Historical Periods, Creative Writing, and Critical Theory. A specialization in English can help students develop strong communication skills, which is essential for lawyers who decide to practice any type of law.

Philosophy

There were 2,720 philosophy majors who applied and 73.4% were admitted. Coursework for philosophy majors may include metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, logic, social and political philosophy, and history of philosophy. A major in philosophy can help students develop communication, analytical, and logical argumentation skills that are useful for any type of legal practice.

Political science

Political science was by far the most common undergraduate major. There were 14,946 political science majors who applied, and 73.1% of them were admitted. Political science courses include political theory, government systems, and how the justice system works, making it a great option for an undergraduate major. A major in political science can help prepare you to specialize in virtually any type of law.

Finance

There were 2,024 finance majors who applied and 72.7% were admitted. Courses for finance majors may include business economics, cost analysis, accounting, business law, ethics, statistics, and management. Finance can be an excellent major for those planning to work in tax law, corporate law, or real estate law.

Arts and Humanities

There were 2,766 arts and humanities majors who applied and 71.7% were admitted. Courses for arts and humanities majors vary by major, but may include languages, literature, music, art, astronomy, logic, philosophy, drama, religion, and social sciences . Arts and humanities programs provide broad knowledge for future lawyers to use in many types of legal practice.

Communication

There were 2,377 communication majors who applied and 69.1% were admitted. Courses for communication majors can include rhetoric, public speaking, journalism, writing, public relations, and advertising. The Communication specialization helps students develop excellent communication skills, which are essential for any lawyer both in and out of a courtroom.

Psychology

What can you do with a bachelor’s degree in psychology? Well, you can go to law school. Of the 4,265 psychology majors who applied, 69.1% were admitted. Psychology courses include the study of human behavior and mental health issues. A specialization in psychology can be an advantage for those who specialize in many types of law, as understanding how people think and behave is helpful in a variety of situations.

Sociology

There were 2,194 sociology majors who applied and 64.7% were admitted. Courses for sociology majors may include human behavior, race relations, social theory, statistics, research methodology, criminology, social policy, family structures, and religion. Sociology majors develop skills that help them relate to people from all walks of life, so law students who intend to work in the area of ​​divorce and family law, Immigration and Public Defense can particularly benefit from this major.

Business Administration

There were 1,805 business administration majors who applied and 63.8% were admitted. Courses for a Bachelor of Business Administration degree may include economics, marketing, business communication, entrepreneurship, human resources, accounting, and organizational management. A business administration major can be helpful for those who intend to practice corporate law, patent or intellectual property law, tax law, or real estate law.

other places

This category includes all majors that were not among the 144 majors in the report. There were 5,866 students with “other” majors who applied, and 57.4% of them were admitted. This category is a catch-all for various majors, so be sure to consider each option to determine if a major qualifies you for a particular specialization.

criminal justice

There were 3,762 criminal justice majors who applied and 56.2% were admitted. Bachelor’s courses in criminal justice include forensics, human behavior, social policy, research, and management. While this course may help law school applicants who are considering becoming defense attorneys, admission rates for criminal justice majors were relatively low, so this major may not improve your chances of success. admission to law school.

Should you major in pre-law?

A pre-law degree covers general education, an introduction to law, and other courses that help learners develop strong analytical and reasoning skills. This major introduces students to some of the concepts they will need to know later in law school.

Although pre-law may seem like the best logical option, it is not necessarily the case. In fact, this major may hinder you more than it helps you.

According Max LSAT, an organization that offers LSAT test prep courses, a pre-law major provides an introduction to basic legal concepts, but it may not offer particularly difficult courses because this major is considered relatively easy. This could potentially make you a less competitive law school applicant than other students.

Your major should be something you enjoy and excel at. If pre-law ticks those boxes for you, consider choosing it as your major. Otherwise, choose a major that will broaden your knowledge and help you develop your skills.