How to Choose Your Undergraduate Major For Law School
If you’re intent on attending law school, it may seem ideal to major in “pre-law” or study a field that aligns with the law school curriculum.
Experts say, however, that there is no “best” major when it comes to prepping for law school. In fact, the American Bar Association even explicitly says that it “does not recommend any undergraduate majors or group of courses to prepare for a legal education.”
So, what major should you choose? US News recently spoke to experts on how pre-law students should go about choosing their major and why passion plays the biggest role.
THE IMPORTANCE OF PASSION
When it comes to preparing for law school, experts say that selecting a major you’re passionate about is more important than what you actually major in.
“The law touches everything we interact with in the day-to-day, so we need people who understand a wide variety of things in life,” Katya Valasek, director for prelaw advising at the Law School Admission Council, says. “What is important is that you do well in school.”
Additionally, make sure you choose a major that enable you to be competitive.
“I will say that some majors have lower GPAs, so law schools take that into consideration,” Benjamin Barros, dean and a professor at Stetson University College of Law in Florida, says. “If law students can look at the medians – GPAs and LSATs for any given law school – that gives them a sense of how competitive they will be. If they are above the median, they will be competitive. If they are below the median, they will be a little less competitive.”
SKILLS TO FOCUS ON
Law school requires analytical reasoning and communication skills. Undergrads with strong writing experience will be more competitive.
“They need to write as much as they can,” Barros says. “Law is largely a written profession. The more writing you can do, the better you will be in law school. The second thing is developing analytical skills. Taking a logical reasoning course or a persuasive writing course is important.”
Dayna Bowen Matthew, dean and Harold H. Greene Professor of Law at George Washington University Law School, says prospective law students should choose an undergraduate major that indicates “rigor and passion.”
“Law is the most versatile educational tool of any discipline,” Matthew says, “and I recommend especially combining it with other disciplines like economics, sociology, music, engineering, patent and intellectual property law to solve artificial intelligence problems, and with science to solve the distribution of vaccines and the resolution of climate change and all of the pressing challenges of our time.”
Next Page: ABA approves first fully online JD program
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