what college to go t if you want to be a lawyer\

by Burdette Heaney III 7 min read

What college major should I choose to be a lawyer?

Political Science

Of all majors, this may be the closest to a "law school" curriculum as you can get. In this major, you'll study political systems, public policy, international relations and the relationship between government, the law, and individual rights, among other things.
Feb 12, 2021

What is the best major for law school?

Political science is the most popular major for those planning to head to law school for good reason. As a political science major, you'll study the theory and practice of government and its link to the legal system.Feb 3, 2021

What majors do lawyers most?

The most popular major of law school candidates is political science. There's a reason why many successful politicians are lawyers—the link between law and political theory is very strong. Political science is the study of government systems, political behavior, and how the judicial system works.

Can any major go to law school?

A few colleges have a specific pre-law major for those students who intend to go to law school, but you can major in any subject and still enter law school, as long as you successfully complete college and get a bachelor's degree. There are no specific courses you have to take to be admitted to law school.Jun 13, 2021

What GPA do you need to get into law school?

Obtain High GPA & LSAT Scores

It's also worth remembering that getting into a top law school requires outstanding grades, not just good ones. According to the Law School Admission Council (LSAC), students need a GPA of at least 3.59 and an LSAT of 162 or more to get into any top 10 law schools.

How many years do you have to study to be a lawyer?

7 years
Becoming a lawyer usually takes 7 years of full-time study after high school—4 years of undergraduate study, followed by 3 years of law school. Most states and jurisdictions require lawyers to complete a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA).

Is law school difficult?

In summary, law school is hard. Harder than regular college or universities, in terms of stress, workload, and required commitment. But about 40,000 people graduate from law schools every year–so it is clearly attainable.

Is it worth going to law school?

The highest 10% of lawyers earned median annual earnings of more than $208,000 in 2019. Some law school graduates forgo serving as a lawyer in order to have more work-life balance. There are many jobs you can do with a law degree and legal-related roles where having a J.D. may be an asset.

What skills do you need to be a lawyer?

Examples of lawyer skills
  • Analytical and research skills. Lawyers rely heavily on their ability to perform deep research into topics related to cases they work on. ...
  • Attention to detail. ...
  • Organizational skills. ...
  • Time management. ...
  • Persuasive communication. ...
  • Written communication skills. ...
  • Interpersonal skills. ...
  • Technical skills.
•
Feb 22, 2021

What do law schools look for?

There's really no way around it—your LSAT score, GPA, and the rigor of your undergraduate course work are basically the most important things law schools are looking for. Also keep in mind that your LSAT score and GPA can make a huge difference in the scholarships and grants you'll be eligible for.

How many years are there in law school?

3 years
All American Bar Association approved law schools usually require 3 years of full-time study to earn a JD. Some law schools also offer part-time programs that generally take 4 to 5 years to complete.

Is 29 too old for law school?

It's never too late in life to apply to law school. Although most applicants are under 25, roughly 20% are 30 or older, according to the Law School Admission Council. Many older law graduates build fulfilling second careers that draw upon both preexisting skills and experiences and those that law school provides.Jan 27, 2020

What is the closest thing to law school?

Political Science. Of all majors, this may be the closest to a "law school" curriculum as you can get. In this major, you'll study political systems, public policy, international relations and the relationship between government, the law, and individual rights, among other things.

What are the critical skills that will help you most in law school?

Choose a major or take electives that are heavy on research and writing. As mentioned earlier, those are the critical skills that will help you most in law school.

What do philosophy majors study?

Philosophy majors delve deep into the study of logic, ethics, and morality —areas of thought that also happen to be the cornerstones of law. You'll debate with classmates, present arguments and do a lot of research to support your case, which is not all that different from what lawyers do to prepare for court.

Why is history important in law school?

From a practical standpoint, history majors are also tasked with lots of research and writing and must learn to draw conclusions based on historical documents, a great precursor to the work you'll do in law school.

Is business a good major?

A business major is a good option for those who plan to go into corporate law. That said, be sure to supplement business fundamentals with humanities and liberal arts electives so you can train your analytical and critical thinking muscles, as well as practice research and writing, too.

Is it important to study law as an undergraduate?

The path to becoming a lawyer is as varied as the specialties within the profession itself. If you have your heart set on landing a legal gig, it's important to know that it doesn't necessarily matter what you study as an undergraduate. This is truly a profession suited to those coming from vast educational backgrounds.

Is Discover Student Loans affiliated with LSAT?

LSAT is a registered trademark of the Law School Admission Council, Inc., and is not affiliated with Discover Student Loans.

How do I become a lawyer?

In addition to earning specific degrees, the process includes passing your state's bar exam in order to become a practicing attorney. Understanding the many educational opportunities for becoming a lawyer can help you determine which path is best for you. In this article, we discuss education requirements to become a lawyer and the different degrees to pursue, including those for individuals who want to work in the legal field without going to law school.

What do you study in law school with a philosophy major?

Philosophy: Philosophy majors typically study logic, ethics and morality and take courses in epistemology (the theory of knowledge), metaphysics and moral and political philosophy. This major can help prepare you to debate, present arguments and do research to support a case — all excellent skills for law school.

What do you study in criminal justice?

Criminal justice: Criminal justice majors take classes in criminal law, victimology, statistics, and the U.S. court system while studying how the criminal court system operates . After earning your law degree, these courses and line of study will give you a foundational understanding of crime and law and will be useful during hearing, dealing with police and negotiating with opposition counsel.

What are the advantages of law school?

It also teaches students material related to their state bar exams . Other advantages of law school include networking opportunities and transferable skills.

What to consider when choosing a degree?

When deciding what degree to pursue, consider what your priorities are, such as gaining the most knowledge possible or gaining experience right away. Consider the time and financial requirements for each degree as you evaluate how well each option aligns with your career goals.

How long does it take to get a masters in law?

A Master of Laws typically takes one to two years to complete, depending on if a student is taking courses full time or part time.

What is a masters in law?

A Master of Laws is a postgraduate degree to expand knowledge in law and specialize in a specific area of law. This degree is for those with an undergraduate academic law degree, a professional law degree or an undergraduate degree in a related subject.

What are the skills required to become a lawyer?

Close reading and reasoning. Lawyers often need to quickly familiarize themselves with relatively large passages of previously unknown text, so classes that involve reading literature very important for developing these skills.

What can lawyers learn from science?

By learning about science, future lawyers can develop the skills they need to understand various pieces of evidence, use them to investigate cases and connect all the available information to come up with a reasonable conclusion. 5. Mathematics.

What are the duties of a lawyer?

Their exact duties and responsibilities are: 1 Providing expert advice to clients regarding potential legal issues that they may expose themselves to or ongoing litigations 2 Analyzing all documents involved in a legal case against their clients, such as witness accounts, police reports, accident reports and other official documents 3 Using their knowledge of the law to find passages and precedents that may then be used in the defense of their clients 4 Working with their clients to develop the most appropriate strategy for each situation, based on the particularities of each legal case 5 Preparing various civil legal documents, such as wills, deeds and contracts 6 Appearing in court before a judge and using legal rhetoric to defend their clients' interests

What is the purpose of a lawyer's knowledge of the law?

Using their knowledge of the law to find passages and precedents that may then be used in the defense of their clients

What is legal advice?

Providing expert advice to clients regarding potential legal issues that they may expose themselves to or ongoing litigations

What do lawyers need to know?

Lawyers generally need to have extensive knowledge of any subject that can describe and influence society, such as economics, history, politics, government affairs and other similar ones. Taking a social studies class can help you understand concepts like how laws and regulations are made, how legal procedures and precedents work and other similar concepts that are vital for successfully practicing law.

Why is math important in law?

Therefore, mathematics is an important aspect of the job, as the skills you acquire when learning how to solve math problems are usually transferrable to several aspects of the law.

What are the skills needed to become a lawyer?

Some of the skills needed include: Analytical and interpersonal skills.

How many states require continuing education for lawyers?

At least 46 states require lawyers to participate in continuing education courses to maintain their professional license to practice, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Some states require lawyers to pass ethics exams as well. If you relocate, you may be required to complete further education.

Do you have to take the bar exam if you move?

If you relocate, you may be required to complete further education. If you move from one state to another, you need to take the bar exam in your new state. Some states do allow reciprocity, provided you meet their requirements in experience and moral character.

What are the steps to become a lawyer?

Prospective lawyers must undertake a series of steps to practice law, including completion of undergraduate and graduate degrees, examinations and licensing processes. Prior to embarking in this journey, those interested should ask themselves why they want to become a lawyer and if they are willing to commit several years to studying law in order ...

What majors do prelaws have?

Common undergraduate majors for prelaw students include English, political science, economics, business, philosophy, and journalism.

How much do lawyers make in 2020?

The BLS reports that the median annual wage for lawyers was about $126,930 in 2020, with the top 10 percent of earners taking home more than $208,000 per year. Those working in state and local government tend to earn less while lawyers specializing in financial and insurance law are in the top bracket.

How long does it take to get a JD?

The degree typically takes about three years of full-time study to complete. According to the ABA, there are currently 205 approved higher education providers. Not to be confused with other degrees such as the Doctor of Science of Law, the JD is a professional degree specifically designed to train future lawyers and prepare them for the bar examination.

How long does it take to become a barrister?

The degree typically takes about three years of full-time study to complete. According to the ABA, there are currently 205 approved higher education providers.

What are some examples of legal specialties?

For example, students may choose to concentrate in areas of real estate, property, criminal, environmental, tax, or family law.

Do law schools prepare students for the bar exam?

Traditionally, law schools prepare students to take the bar examination in the state the institution is located . Prospective students should consider where they want to practice law as that will influence where they attend school. However, some states have reciprocal agreements allowing graduates from one state to practice law in another after passing the bar examination.

How long does it take to become a lawyer?

It takes about seven years of full-time study to become a lawyer once you’ve graduated from high school. This includes four years of undergraduate study followed by three years at a law school.

What are the majors in law school?

However, some of the most common undergraduate majors include criminal justice, English, economics, philosophy and political science. Spend your undergraduate time taking classes related to the area of law you think you would like to practice.

What is the last step to become a lawyer?

The last step in becoming a lawyer is passing the bar examination. You will need to pass the bar exam for whichever states you would like to practice law in. For example, if you want to practice law in New York, you will need to pass the New York State Bar Exam.

What do lawyers do?

Lawyers help individuals or businesses throughout legal processes. They prepare legal documents, build cases, attend hearings and try cases. Additional duties include working with legal and criminal justice professionals, taking depositions, settling cases and sending legal correspondence. They often specialize in different types of law, such as tax or family law. Lawyers work in a wide range of fields, such as: 1 Real estate 2 Business 3 Criminal justice 4 Healthcare 5 Politics

How long does it take to prepare for the bar exam?

Preparing for the bar exam requires a lot of studying. You should create a study schedule that takes place over several months. You’ll also want to find a quality bar exam test preparation course and materials to help, and focus your attention on topics that appear frequently.

How much does a lawyer make?

Average lawyer salary. The average salary for a lawyer in the United States is $70,336 per year, though some salaries range from $14,000 to $201,000 per year. Salaries may depend on experience level, field of legal practice and a lawyer's location.

How much does it cost to go to law school?

On average, you can expect to spend about $45,000 per year. For the top law schools in the country, the tuition is closer to $65,000 per year. The cost will also depend on whether you're paying in-state or out-of-state tuition, and attending a public or private school.

What is a prelaw degree?

An undergraduate degree in criminal justice or prelaw can prepare a student for the practical effects and implications of the legal system. Prelaw degrees, which focus exclusively on law school requirements and preparation, are uncommon but are still offered by some schools, such as Washington State University.

What is a philosophy major?

Philosophy majors receive training in critical thinking, logic and problem-solving skills. Lawyers use these skills to craft or refute legal arguments and to understand and use case studies as evidence. A philosophy degree also demands a high quantity of critical reading across various texts, and critical reading and understanding is a large component of a law school workload.

Does the ABA recommend a major for undergraduates?

The ABA recommends no specific majors or courses for undergraduates; instead, it recommends following your interests across a broad range of challenging courses, which will best develop the various skills required to become a lawyer.

What do law schools look for in a lawyer?

Law schools look for candidates with abstract thinking skills, the ability to interpret written texts, and high reading comprehension. They want candidates that have fine reasoning abilities, the ability to think logically.

What is the most popular major in law school?

The most popular major of law school candidates is political science . There’s a reason why many successful politicians are lawyers—the link between law and political theory is very strong. Political science is the study of government systems, political behavior, and how the judicial system works. This is where a political science degree shows its advantage in law school. Students in this field often have a better understanding of how laws are created and executed as well as the history behind them. Political Science courses often cover foreign political and legal systems, as well as historical cases. These programs emphasize developing reading comprehension and writing skills in addition to public speaking skills.

Why do lawyers need an English major?

The English major is a very popular major for law school because of its immediately obvious benefits: advanced reading comprehension and persuasive writing skills. Students of the English major study dense and complex literature and are then required to process the information, make connections and create organized analytical arguments and defend positions. In this light, the critical thinking skills required of English majors mirror the skills required by law students. Strong reading and writing skills are required by all lawyers, so the English major is a no-brainer when it comes to selecting a major for law school.

Why is English a good major for law?

The English major is a very popular major for law school because of its immediately obvious benefits: advanced reading comprehension and persuasive writing skills. Students of the English major study dense and complex literature and are then required to process the information, make connections and create organized analytical arguments and defend positions. In this light, the critical thinking skills required of English majors mirror the skills required by law students. Strong reading and writing skills are required by all lawyers, so the English major is a no-brainer when it comes to selecting a major for law school.

Why is economics important in law?

This is because many laws are enacted to adjust and correct economic behavior by businesses and individuals in the marketplace. Legal studies focus on topics that are rooted in economic analysis—torts, contracts, property rights, antitrust, business organizations, and regulations. In short, a study of economics is a study in the financial impact of the law. Because of this, economics is a great area of specialization for many potential law students because it remains a great area of focus after law school as well.

Why is history important in law school?

A significant part of being a lawyer is understanding past precedent on different legal cases in the past. Is it any surprise then that history is a great major for law students? History students not only study the events of the past, but also study the way different legal systems have evolved, court rulings, treaties, and other legal agreements. Through the course work of a history major, students gain experience in writing research papers and learn how to draw on history to establish logical, concise, and clear arguments. They analyze diverse writings and conduct research into many dense, and difficult to comprehend texts—skills that are essential in law school.

Is philosophy a difficult major?

Philosophy is a difficult major.

How to practice law in high school?

Start by inquiring about informational interviews or job shadowing with local law firms that specialize in different areas. You don’t need to decide now, but getting this early exposure can make that decision easier later on. These experiences are also a great asset for when you write your application essays, particularly “why career” or “why major” essays.

How long is law school?

Law school is typically a three-year course of study that culminates in sitting for the Bar Exam in the state you wish to practice in. The first year (“1L”) is typically considered the most difficult. The film Legally Blonde actually provides a good overview of what to expect (minus arguing a criminal murder trial as a first-year): hours of reading cases and studying each night, being cold called on to analyze cases in class, and forming study groups to get through all the material. Grades often depend on one final exam at the end of the year.

What are the factors that determine a law school application?

No matter your major, there are three main factors that will play into your eventual law school applications: GPA, LSAT (or, in some cases, GRE) score, and extracurricular activities. Much like undergraduate applications, GPA and test scores help schools understand your academic ability in the context of your school and on a national scale, while your extracurriculars demonstrate where your passions and interests lie.

How much do lawyers make?

Lawyers make a median salary of $129,910, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But there is a large amount of variation between different specializations and the public and private sectors. According to Salary.com as of October 20, 2019, the average salary for the below specializations are as follows:

How many hours do lawyers work?

Working 60-80+ hours a week is typical here (especially at larger firms), but most lawyers can expect to work long hours no matter what field. Most law school graduates work in law firms when first starting out, to get the specialized experience necessary before going into other fields later on.

What is the role of a lawyer?

Lawyers play a role in many aspects of our everyday lives, including mortgages and leases, patented items , and the court cases we most often associate with the law. These different aspects, among others, are part of the many different specialties a lawyer can pursue.

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History

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Examining how the past has helped to shape and define our present—here in the United States and around the world—will help you put into context our current justice system and laws. From a practical standpoint, history majors are also tasked with lots of research and writing and must learn to draw conclusions base…
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English

  • Having a strong command of written and verbal skills will take you far as an attorney whether you're writing, researching or speaking in court. Analyzing great works of literature and historical texts from various cultures and time periods is great practice for the hours you'll spend in the law library.
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Philosophy

  • Philosophy majors delve deep into the study of logic, ethics, and morality—areas of thought that also happen to be the cornerstones of law. You'll debate with classmates, present arguments and do a lot of research to support your case, which is not all that different from what lawyers do to prepare for court.
See more on discover.com

Political Science

  • Of all majors, this may be the closest to a "law school" curriculum as you can get. In this major, you'll study political systems, public policy, international relations and the relationship between government, the law, and individual rights, among other things. You're required to analyze various written documents and data sets (think ancient texts...
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Economics

  • Not only are economics majors trained to think logically and analytically, but economic policies and procedures, as well as how resources are distributed and managed, are topics closely connected to the legal issues you'll encounter as a lawyer. Any major that has you summarizing qualitative and quantitative data to solve problems is good training for your brain to seek out evi…
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Business

  • General business knowledge can be applied in almost any industry, and that holds true for aspiring attorneys as well. A business major is a good option for those who plan to go into corporate law. That said, be sure to supplement business fundamentals with humanities and liberal arts electives so you can train your analytical and critical thinking muscles, as well as pra…
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General Tips

  1. Consider majoring in a discipline that is related to the type of law you want to practice. Since you don't have to declare a specialty during law school, building a background as an undergraduate i...
  2. Choose a major or take electives that are heavy on research and writing. As mentioned earlier, those are the critical skills that will help you most in law school.
  1. Consider majoring in a discipline that is related to the type of law you want to practice. Since you don't have to declare a specialty during law school, building a background as an undergraduate i...
  2. Choose a major or take electives that are heavy on research and writing. As mentioned earlier, those are the critical skills that will help you most in law school.
  3. Whichever academic route you take, maintaining a strong GPA is essential if you aim to attend a selective law school program.

Pre-Law Studies

  • Before you go to law school, you'll need a bachelor's degree. Law school applicants aren't required to have any particular major for undergraduate education. In fact, the American Bar Association (ABA) encourages students to study any subject they find fascinating and challenging. The ABA also provides advice on the types of classes that will help ...
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Getting Into Law School

  • After you get your bachelor's degree, you'll need to take the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) before you can be admitted to a school approved by the ABA. This test is a half-day exam that has five sections of multiple-choice questions. The questions measure your abilities in logic, reading and analytics. Once the multiple choice questions are completed, you'll complete a writing samp…
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Law School

  • Once you get to law school, you'll generally spend three years working towards your J.D. Regardless of your law concentration, you'll spend your first year working on foundational courses, such as those on constitutional and contract law, legal writing and civil court procedure. After that you'll focus on your specialization, which may include one of the following: 1. Civil rights 2. Admi…
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Experience and Skill Development

  • In addition to a classroom education, you may want to get experience through part-time employment at a legal office. You can also take advantage of opportunities to do legal writing, and participate in trial situations offered by the law school. Educational and practical experience may help you to develop skills that are critical for lawyers. Some of the skills needed include: 1. …
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Continuing Education

  • At least 46 states require lawyers to participate in continuing education courses to maintain their professional license to practice, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Some states require lawyers to pass ethics exams as well. If you relocate, you may be required to complete further education. If you move from one state to another, you need to take the bar exam in your …
See more on learn.org