what is the major for lawyer

by Camryn Becker 10 min read

What to Major in to Become a Lawyer

  • History. 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 ...
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Political Science. Of all majors, this may be the closest to a "law school" curriculum as you can get. ...
  • 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 ...
  • Business. General business knowledge can be applied in almost any industry, and that holds true for aspiring attorneys as well.
  • General Tips. Consider majoring in a discipline that is related to the type of law you want to practice. ...

Common undergraduate majors for prelaw students include English, political science, economics, business, philosophy, and journalism. There's no correct major to pursue to get into law school. But according to legal educators, prospective J.D. students who take classes they enjoy report better GPA scores.Feb 17, 2022

What degrees should I major in to become a lawyer?

What to Major in to Become a Lawyer

  • History. 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 ...
  • English. ...
  • Philosophy. ...
  • Political Science. ...
  • Economics. ...
  • Business. ...
  • General Tips. ...

What are the best colleges to become a lawyer?

The following is the list from National Jurist for their best value lawyer colleges:

  • University of Nebraska
  • University of Kentucky
  • University of Florida
  • Georgia State University
  • University of Arkansas
  • University of New Mexico
  • University of Idaho
  • Florida State University
  • University of Georgia
  • Louisiana State University

More items...

What education do I need to become a lawyer?

  • Important Facts About Lawyers
  • 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 ...
  • Law School. ...
  • Experience and Skill Development. ...
  • Continuing Education. ...

What degree do you need to be a lawyer?

Many unrepresented parties cannot afford a lawyer to provide full-time legal assistance for their case.

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What majors do lawyers most?

political scienceThe 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.

What is a lawyer major called?

A Juris Doctor degree is the required legal degree for professionals who are pursuing a career as a practicing attorney.

What is a major in law?

“You may choose to major in subjects that are considered to be traditional preparation for law school, such as history, English, philosophy, political science, economics or business,” their website says, “or you may focus your undergraduate studies in areas as diverse as art, music, science and mathematics, computer ...

Is there a law major?

An individual with a criminal justice degree in law can have a major impact on the lives of others. A law degree allows one to defend a person who has been accused of a crime, offering the chance to right wrongs and defend the Constitution from attacks by individuals, corporations and governments.

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.

What is psychology major?

Through the psychology major’s coursework, students develop a solid understanding of how people can make correct or incorrect judgments that can lead to things like stereotyping, prejudice, or discrimination. Psychology courses also teach students how to network and prepare for negotiations.

What are the skills required for an English major?

In this light, the critical thinking skills required of English majors mirror the skills required by law students.

Why is sociology a good major?

Sociology is a great major for potential law students because it studies the big picture of society. It looks at the social issues we face in our society like poverty, economic justice, racial discrimination, and LGBT rights. Sociology looks at the way the law can help, and how to develop solutions to fight inequality. In this light, sociology is a great area of focus for students that hope to one day end up using the law to affect public policy.

Is philosophy a difficult major?

Philosophy is a difficult major.

Does the law school test for legal understanding?

Since the test doesn’t actually test for legal understanding, but rather reading, writing, and critical thinking skills, then your choice of an undergraduate degree is up to you to decide. That said, law schools tend to prefer students that have a wide range of course work.

Is criminal justice a good fit for law school?

Criminal justice is a natural fit for law school since coursework focuses on criminal justice topics. These programs often include courses on court proceedings, the correction systems, and many other aspects of the legal system. Criminal justice degrees emphasize strong research, analysis, and writing skills which are a necessity in law school. Yet despite this being a natural fit for law, many law schools prefer specializations in other areas of study. In fact, some schools scrutinize academic records far harder in the criminal justice major than any other major.

Business

A business major is a great option for those who are entrepreneurial-minded. Students interested in corporate law might find that classes in management and economics are well-suited to their postgraduation career needs. Word of warning, business majors should be careful not to focus solely on the fundamentals.

Economics

An economics major spends a lot of time summarizing large amounts of quantitative data. This is great training for law school as an econ major will be well-prepared to sort information and evidence in order to build a case backed by evidence.

English

Lawyers must be well-versed with the English language as they spend a lot of their time researching, writing, and speaking in court. English majors will learn how to analyze and synthesize large bodies of text, developing a command of written and verbal language (sometimes more than one).

Philosophy

Is there a more “prelaw school” major than philosophy? It’s no surprise that students majoring in philosophy dive deep into logic, ethics, and morality, which are all big, existential questions relevant to the study and practice of law.

Political Science

Political science majors should be prepared to study political systems, public policy, and the relationship between types of government and the law. This major is probably the closest to a law school curriculum in undergrad that a student will find.

Psychology

Psychology is the study of human behaviors and this major gives students insight into the human psyche. For instance, students might apply their psych studies to criminal cases, questioning how human error could possibly lead to wrongful convictions or how innocent people sometimes make incorrect judgments.

Bottom Line

For students considering a career in law, some majors are a reliable source of the skills and knowledge central to the profession. However, no major will guarantee a law school acceptance letter — and no major will disqualify a student, either.

What degree do I need to become a lawyer?

In order to enter law school, you need to first complete a bachelor's degree. While there are no specific undergraduate majors for prospective lawyers, these students tend to focus on something that involves writing, problem solving, research and oral communication. Some bachelor degree options for future lawyers include: 1 Pre-law 2 Criminal justice 3 Economics 4 History 5 Political science 6 Business 7 English 8 Philosophy

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 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.

What is a masters in dispute resolution?

A Master of Dispute Resolution is a master's degree that teaches students conflict resolution and negotiation skills. The degree covers courses in conflict management, arbitration practice, negotiation and meditation theory.

What is a masters in legal studies?

A Master of Legal Studies is a master's degree offered at some law schools for those who wish to study law but do not want to become an attorney. This degree is fairly new and is also known as a Master of Science and Law (MSL), Juris Master (JM) and Master of Jurisprudence (MJ).

What is a JD in law?

This degree is a requirement for those interested in becoming a lawyer. A JD is a graduate degree in law that teaches students about civil procedures, contracts, constitutional law, criminal law, property and administrative or regulatory law. Courses focus on how to research cases, prosecute or defend, argue on behalf of both individual clients and businesses and prepare for the state bar exam. Graduates become licensed attorneys after passing their state bar exam.

What is a law degree?

A law degree is an advanced degree; only students who hold bachelor’s degrees are accepted into law school programs. A Juris Doctor (JD) degree and a passing score on a state bar exam are both required to practice law throughout the United States. Other advanced degrees in law are available but are not required.

What can help a lawyer be more effective?

Any number of influences can play a direct role in legal cases. A good working knowledge of topics such as history, economics, psychology, and different cultures can help lawyers be even more effective. A broad perspective in these and other topics can help a student get the maximum benefit from a law degree.

What can environmental lawyers do?

Environmental lawyers can work for organizations that are trying to protect natural resources and for companies who might be charged with abusing natural resources or violating laws that protect them. Both sides also have interests in affecting the laws that govern the use of natural resources. International law.

What is a defense lawyer?

Defense lawyers generally work in private practice or as public defenders. Public defenders are lawyers paid by the government to defend those who cannot afford a lawyer. Environmental law. Lawyers who have special knowledge of federal and state regulations are needed on both sides of environmental issues.

What is a Juris Doctor?

The Juris Doctor, or Doctor of Law, is the law degree earned after three years of post-graduate law study at an accredited law school. A bachelor’s degree is required to enroll in a J.D. program. In some countries this degree is known as the bachelor of laws (LL.B.) degree.

What is the area of law that most people envision when thinking about lawyers?

Criminal law. This is the area of law most people envision when thinking about lawyers, because it is what television and movies most often focus on. People who are accused of crimes need lawyers to represent them, just as lawyers are needed by the government to prosecute them.

What is the difference between civil and criminal law?

Lawyers who work in private practices are most often involved in criminal or civil litigation. Criminal law focuses on individuals charged with crimes, while civil law deals more with wills, mortgages, leases, and other contract matters. Here is a brief breakdown of some common areas of specialty: Criminal law.

What is the best major for law school?

Top 10 Best Pre-law Majors (see also: what did most law school students major in?)

What degrees do most lawyers have?

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).

Do law schools care about your major?

Originally Answered: Do law schools care what you majored in? No – all law schools care about is that you have critical thinking skills… which the LSAT tests. They will however look at your GPA to determine if you had the capacity to work hard at school, because that is what you will need in law school.

What major prepares you for law school?

You may choose to major in subjects that are considered to be traditional preparation for law school, such as history, English, philosophy, political science, economics or business, or you may focus your undergraduate studies in areas as diverse as art, music, science and mathematics, computer science, engineering, …

What GPA do I need for law school?

Law schools generally require that you have specified minimum GPA and LSAT scores to qualify for admission. Harvard, Yale, and the other top five-ranked law schools require that you have a GPA of at least 3.50 and an LSAT score of 170. These are very stiff requirements that many law school applicants can’t meet.

What type of lawyer makes the most money?

1: Immigration Lawyer. When it comes to types of lawyers that make the most money, immigration lawyers round up the bottom of the list. …

Is becoming a lawyer hard?

1. The challenging years of law school. The process of becoming a lawyer isn’t for the faint of heart. … Law schools are highly competitive to gain acceptance, and aspiring lawyers will need to pass the daunting LSAT to prove their worth—a process that can take a full year of study and preparation.

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 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 is a lawyer?

Lawyers, also called attorneys, are tasked with advising their clients and representing them in civil and criminal cases. Their responsibilities span from simply offering legal advice to preparing legal documents on behalf of the client and ultimately representing the client in front of a court of law.

How long does it take to get a Juris Doctor degree?

You can earn a Juris Doctor degree by graduating from a law school that's accredited by the American Bar Association, which takes three years. During law school, you can choose to focus on one particular area of the law, such as criminal, environmental, tax, property, real estate or family. Pass the bar exam.

What is the most popular major for law students?

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. Whether you earn your political science bachelor’s degree online or on-campus, your coursework will cover how laws are created and executed and you’ll learn about the history behind each law’s formation. You’ll also gain a strong understanding of topics such as political theory, international relations, and political methodology. Depending on your school, you can graduate with either a B.A. or B.S. in political science .

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

Philosophy students study human thought and debate on age-old topics such as knowledge, existence, ethics, and truth. Your coursework can include subjects like ancient and modern philosophy, ethics, theory and logic, and metaphysics. You’ll likely take deep dives into the works of renowned philosophers like Plato, Kant, Descartes, and Nietzsche. Most schools will offer a B.A. in philosophy, but B.S. options may also exist.

What is sociology major?

While the official definition of sociology is the study of institutions, those who choose this major will quickly find that it entails much more. As a sociology major, you’ll discover how societies interact, how groups work together, and how human behavior influences it all. You’ll learn how different systems and structures govern humans and communities and you’ll walk away with knowledge running the gamut from anthropology and psychology to philosophy and political science.

What do you learn in psychology?

As a psychology major, you’ll learn to understand how and why people act and think as they do. You’ll gain insight into the human mind through courses covering topics such as human development and behavior, language, creativity, and emotion and motivation. Graduates of psychology programs can apply their understanding of the human mind to a variety of positions and it’s a popular starting point for a number of graduate degrees. Whether you earn an online psychology degree or opt for the traditional route, most schools offer either a B.A. or B.S. for psych students.

What is criminal justice?

Like political science, criminal justice is a natural undergraduate major for those applying to law school. As a criminal justice major, you will develop an understanding of the American justice system’s three main branches: the courts, the police, and prisons. You’ll likely be required to take courses in administration, constitutional law, criminal justice, evidence, forensics, law, criminal profiling, and judicial process. Most programs are interdisciplinary and require you to take some courses that fall under the political science, sociology, psychology, and philosophy departments. You can earn a B.A. or a B.S. in criminal justice and both online criminal justice degrees and in-person programs exist.

What do you learn in economics?

As an economics major, you’ll learn about concepts ranging from supply and demand to taxation, inflation, unemployment, and more. You’ll gain an understanding of how our markets work along with international markets and you’ll get insight into how the economy impacts government policies. Your studies will teach you how to think like an economist by developing your critical thinking and reasoning skills and you’ll discover how to apply this skillset to various professions. While other options may be available, most schools will over a B.S. for economics majors.

What is the best major for a lawyer?

Bachelor’s in Economics . Economics is an excellent major for aspiring lawyers, especially for those intending to work in corporate law, intellectual property, or another niche where an understanding of economic theory and the levers that drive capitalism can be useful.

What is a criminal justice degree?

Because the criminal justice and legal systems are so intertwined, a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice serves as an excellent undergraduate major in preparation for law school. Those considering work as a prosecuting or defense attorney may find the degree especially helpful, as the coursework and internships will give students a strong familiarity with the criminal justice system. Potential law students can also form helpful relationships with current lawyers that can provide insight into what it’s like to work in the criminal justice system. Helpful courses include criminology, criminal psychology, law & the criminal justice system, and social science research.

What is a business administration degree?

A bachelor’s degree in business administration is well suited for law school, especially those applicants considering a corporate law track where knowing business fundamentals is helpful . The coursework is rigorous in reading, writing, and quantitative analysis, which is also helpful in preparing for the LSAT.

What are the courses required to take the LSAT?

Courses such as business law, contract negotiations, and public speaking are just a few that have proven to be helpful.

How many pre-law students choose political science?

Approximately 12,000-13,000 pre-law students choose political science as an undergraduate major, making it the most popular major by a wide margin. One in five applicants has a bachelor’s degree in political science.

How do psychology and law intersect?

Psychology and law intersect well, as both deal with human thought and behavior. Psychology experts are relied upon heavily as witnesses and experts in many different legal cases and contexts. Having an understanding of psychological theory and its application can be helpful when it comes to preparing for law school.

What is a bachelors in public policy?

Bachelor’s in Public Policy. Public policy is a major component of law. In fact, public policy is nothing more than systems of laws, regulatory measures, and funding allocations that drive the policy out into society. Law shapes public policy and vice versa.

What is the best language for pre-law students?

English is another famous choice for pre-law students, since so much reading and writing is required to perform well in this field. Learning to synthesize a lot of content and becoming sensitive to careful word choice will make you a stronger applicant and a better lawyer. 4. History. Admitted Students: 2,657.

What does "pre-law" mean?

When people say “pre-law,” they simply mean that they approached college with the plan that, after graduating, they would one day apply to law school. While there is no pre-law major or set of required classes, you can still prepare for law school while in college. Here are just a few ways you can do that:

Is it easy to get into law school?

Graduates go on to be judges, prosecutors, professors, legislators, mediators, and so much more. But getting into law school is no easy matter.

Is there a law school major?

Beyond taking these steps, there is no single best major for law school. You can major in absolutely anything and apply to law school. However, there are schools and programs that do a better job of preparing you for graduate study.

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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.
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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 to social media posts) and will learn to thin…
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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.

Political Science

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Average LSAT Score: 153.8 Average GPA: 3.39 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 …
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Psychology

  • Average LSAT Score: 152.59 Average GPA: 3.35 Want to understand why people think, believe, and act the way they do? Psychology is the study of human behavior and the mental processes that fuel how people interact with each other and the world around them. Since the law is a system designed to govern human behavior, psychology can help lawmakers understand what ki…
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Criminal Justice

  • Average LSAT Score: 145.90 Average GPA: 3.22 Criminal justice is a natural fit for law school since coursework focuses on criminal justice topics. These programs often include courses on court proceedings, the correction systems, and many other aspects of the legal system. Criminal justice degrees emphasize strong research, analysis, and writing skills which are a necessity in l…
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English

  • Average LSAT Score: 155.25 Average GPA: 3.42 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 …
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History

  • Average LSAT Score: 156.22 Average GPA: 3.45 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 studentsnot only study the events of the past, but also study the way different legal systems have evolved, court rulings, treaties, and other leg…
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Economics

  • Average LSAT Score: 158.93 Average GPA: 3.47 Economics is a topic that has drastically altered the shape of the 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, …
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Philosophy

  • Average LSAT Score: 157.53 Average GPA: 3.43 The granddaddy of all mind-stretching mental exercises, philosophy is a fantastic major that builds a student’s ability to think critically and argue. Law is heavily based on philosophical elements like ethics, and human nature—subjects that are commonly taught in a philosophy major. Philosophy is a difficult major. It requires stude…
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Sociology

  • Average LSAT Score: 150.71 Average GPA: 3.29 Sociology is a great major for potential law students because it studies the big picture of society. It looks at the social issues we face in our society like poverty, economic justice, racial discrimination, and LGBT rights. Sociology looks at the way the law can help, and how to develop solutions to fight inequality. In this light, sociology …
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Communications

  • Average LSAT Score: 151.2 Average GPA: 3.32 Students with a passion for writing, public speaking, or negotiation often gravitate to the communications major. This major focuses on team building, organizational communication, and conflict management as well as developing critical thinking skills. These are all transferable skills when it comes to transitioning into law stu…
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Science

  • Average LSAT Score: 148.4 Average GPA: 3.21 When it comes to college admissions, the name of the game is usually to stand out from among your peers. There is no better way to stand out from the pack of law school applicants than with a science degree. While the degree may seem completely irrelevant to law, different areas of scientific study lend themselves well to specialize…
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