Best JD Prep? A Liberal Arts Degree

Liberal Arts

Law School Applicants: Consider Studying The Classics

 

Maybe a liberal arts degree isn’t such a bad investment after all.

That was a key finding from a recent study conducted by Derek Muller, associate professor at Pepperdine University School of Law. In his Excess of Democracy blog, Muller revealed the results of his analysis of Law School Admissions Council data.

If you’re looking to get into law school, majoring in classics, international relations, or philosophy is a great place to start as an undergrad.

Here’s how Muller came to his conclusion: He collected data on 2013 law school applicants and enrollees, and after separating this sample into 142 self-identified majors, Muller tabulated the median LSAT scores and grade point averages.

Overall, he found that “classics” majors (i.e. literature and culture of classic Greece and Rome) ranked #1 overall, with the highest median LSAT (159.8) and average undergraduate GPA (3.477). Rounding out the top five in Muller’s analysis were policy studies, international relations, art history, and mathematics. In fact, liberal arts majors represented seven of the top 10 academic performers on Muller’s list (and 15 of the top 20 majors overall).

Here are the top 20 majors for law school applicants and enrollees (along with the total number of students who identified with each major, the median LSAT scores, and the average undergraduate GPAs):

MajorStudentsLSATUGPA
CLASSICS190159.83.477
POLICY STUDIES209158.83.435
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS850157.33.382
ART HISTORY155157.13.453
MATHEMATICS203157.03.332
PHILOSOPHY1773156.83.308
INTERNATIONAL STUDIES507156.63.421
GOVERNMENT/SERVICE408156.33.352
ECONOMICS2185156.23.307
BIOLOGY, SPECIALIZATION328155.83.217
MUSIC256155.63.432
HISTORY2943155.43.339
MECHANICAL ENGINEERING186155.03.192
ANTHROPOLOGY358154.73.365
RELIGION/RELIGIOUS STUDIES230154.63.434
FOREIGN LANGUAGES154154.43.379
LITERATURE226153.63.284
ENGLISH3287153.23.307
ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES297152.73.255
POLITICAL SCIENCE11441152.33.274

Source: Excess of Democracy

(See next page for additional analysis)