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):

Major Students LSAT UGPA
CLASSICS 190 159.8 3.477
POLICY STUDIES 209 158.8 3.435
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS 850 157.3 3.382
ART HISTORY 155 157.1 3.453
MATHEMATICS 203 157.0 3.332
PHILOSOPHY 1773 156.8 3.308
INTERNATIONAL STUDIES 507 156.6 3.421
GOVERNMENT/SERVICE 408 156.3 3.352
ECONOMICS 2185 156.2 3.307
BIOLOGY, SPECIALIZATION 328 155.8 3.217
MUSIC 256 155.6 3.432
HISTORY 2943 155.4 3.339
MECHANICAL ENGINEERING 186 155.0 3.192
ANTHROPOLOGY 358 154.7 3.365
RELIGION/RELIGIOUS STUDIES 230 154.6 3.434
FOREIGN LANGUAGES 154 154.4 3.379
LITERATURE 226 153.6 3.284
ENGLISH 3287 153.2 3.307
ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES 297 152.7 3.255
POLITICAL SCIENCE 11441 152.3 3.274

Source: Excess of Democracy

(See next page for additional analysis)