Top Pre-Law Majors to Consider – Forbes Advisor | Tech US News

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For many people, paving the way to a successful legal career begins with choosing an undergraduate degree. There are many options available and the type of law you intend to practice may come into play when choosing an undergraduate law degree.

Some majors have higher law school acceptance rates than others, and some majors have more difficult assignments than others. Be sure to consider these factors when planning your education and career. In this article, we discuss the 13 most common undergraduate majors for law students.

What is the best major 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 who intends to become a lawyer choose an undergraduate major that interests them and presents a challenge.

Your undergraduate major should offer assignments that develop your research, critical reading, and writing skills. It is best to choose a major that provides a well-rounded education with a variety of courses. Your major should challenge you to learn more about the subjects you enjoy.

While 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 that you can put in the work necessary to earn a juris doctorate (JD) and become a successful lawyer. For this reason, you should choose a major in which you will excel.

LSAT or GRE scores also play a key role in admission to a JD program. According to a report by the Law School Admissions Council (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. Candidates with the highest acceptance 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 are the 13 most common undergraduate majors for students applying to ABA-approved law schools, according to LSAC data.

History

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

History majors had the highest percentage of law school admissions. Studying history can give you a better understanding of people from different cultures and backgrounds, which can be beneficial for lawyers practicing any type of law.

Economy

3,709 economics majors applied, and 76.1% were accepted. Economics includes micro and macroeconomics, market outcomes, fiscal and monetary policy, and basic economic modeling. Studying economics is an excellent option for tax lawyers and corporate lawyers preparing for their careers.

English

3,509 English majors applied and 74.4% were accepted. Coursework for the English major includes literature, cultural studies, historical periods, creative writing, and critical theory. An English education can help students develop strong communication skills, which are essential for lawyers who choose to practice any type of law.

Philosophy

2,720 philosophy majors applied, and 73.4% were accepted. Courses for philosophy majors may include metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, logic, social and political philosophy, and the history of philosophy. By studying philosophy, students can 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. 14,946 political science majors applied, and 73.1% were accepted. The subject of political science includes political theory, government systems, and the workings of the justice system, making it an excellent undergraduate option. Studying political science can help prepare you to specialize in almost any type of law.

Finance

2,024 finance majors applied, and 72.7% were accepted. 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

2,766 arts and humanities majors applied, and 71.7% were accepted. Courses for arts and humanities majors vary by specialization, but may include languages, literature, music, art, astronomy, logic, philosophy, theater, religion, and the social sciences. Arts and humanities programs provide future lawyers with a broad knowledge that they can apply to many types of legal practices.

Communications

2,377 communication majors applied, and 69.1% were accepted. Courses for communication majors may include rhetoric, public speaking, journalism, writing, public relations, and advertising. The Communication major helps students develop excellent communication skills that are essential for any attorney both in and out of the courtroom.

Psychology

What Can You Do With a Psychology Degree? Well, you can go to law school. Of the 4,265 applied psychology majors, 69.1% were accepted. The subject of psychology involves the study of human behavior and mental health issues. Studying psychology can be beneficial to those who specialize in many types of law, as understanding how people think and behave is useful in a variety of situations.

Sociology

2,194 sociology majors applied, and 64.7% were accepted. Coursework for sociology majors may include human behavior, race relations, social theory, statistics, research methodology, criminology, social policy, family structures, and religion. Sociology students develop skills that help them connect with people from all walks of life, so law students who plan to work in the fields of marriage and family law, immigration, and public defense will be able to particularly benefit from this major.

Business administration

1,805 business administration majors applied, and 63.8% were accepted. Coursework for a Bachelor of Business Administration may include economics, marketing, business communication, entrepreneurship, human resources, accounting and organizational management. A degree in business administration can be beneficial for those who plan to pursue a career in corporate law, patent or intellectual property law, tax law, or real estate law.

Other areas

This category includes all majors that were not included among the 144 majors in the report. 5,866 students from “other” majors applied, and 57.4% were accepted. This category is versatile for different majors, so be sure to consider each option when determining whether a major qualifies you for a particular major.

Criminal Justice

3,762 criminal justice majors applied, and 56.2% were accepted. The subject of the Diploma in Criminal Justice includes forensics, human behavior, social policies, research and management. While this course may help law school applicants who intend to become defense attorneys, acceptance rates for the criminal justice major have been relatively low, so this major may not improve your chances of admission to law school.

Should you get a pre-law degree?

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

While a prenup may seem like the best logical option, this is not necessarily the case. In fact, this direction can hinder you more than help you.

According to LSAT Max, an organization that offers LSAT exam preparation courses, pre-law offers an introduction to basic legal concepts but may not offer a particularly challenging course, as the subject is considered relatively easy. This could make them a less competitive law school applicant than other students.

Your major should be something you both enjoy and excel at. If pre-law studies ticks these boxes for you, consider choosing it as your major. If not, choose a major that will expand your knowledge and help you upgrade your skills.

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