what undergraduate degree should i have as an international lawyer

by Kory Jacobs 10 min read

Undergraduate: B.A. In International Studies or International Relations; Graduate: J.D. or LL.

Full Answer

What should I study to become an international lawyer?

Focus on international law: it includes courses in comparative law, comparative legal cultures, international sales and trade, foreign policy, and multinational business law. Besides this, find a specialization: for example, international business law, arbitration of international disputes, international human’s rights, etc.

What degree do I need to become a lawyer?

Whether it turns out to be a Bachelor of Law and a Master of Law if you are European or a college degree if you are American, almost all law schools require an undergraduate degree for admission. If there is no specific field of study, it would make sense to possess a degree in economics, government, history or, of course, international studies.

Can I become a lawyer with a foreign law degree?

Foreign-trained lawyers can gain admission to the bar in 34 other jurisdictions as well, all with varying rules. In almost all cases, the ABA must first review and approve your foreign law degree. This can take a year or more. You can sit for that state's bar if the ABA gives you a nod of approval and you meet the state's other requirements.

What does an international lawyer do?

These lawyers may be involved in negotiating contracts, resolving international dispute, handling mergers, etc. It requires knowledge of different legal systems and understanding of the source of international law.


What should I major in if I want to be an international lawyer?

While there isn't a specific area of study that's required, many law students have undergraduate degrees in history, economics, political science, government, or international studies. Learning a foreign language can also benefit your future career.

What undergraduate degree is best for lawyers?

The Best Majors for Aspiring LawyersBusiness. A business major is a great option for those who are entrepreneurial-minded. ... Criminal Justice / Criminology. Criminal justice is the identification and explanation of criminal behavior patterns. ... Economics. ... English. ... Philosophy. ... Political Science. ... Psychology.

Is international law an undergraduate degree?

Opportunities to study international law at the undergraduate level are available through a legal studies or an interdisciplinary law bachelor's degree program. Students may pursue the international arena by taking core courses on legal system structure and elective classes to specialize.

Is there an international law major?

Description: An advanced, professional study of the law affecting relations between nations, the behavior of international organizations, and the international activities of private citizens and organizations.

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.

What degree do most lawyers have?

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

Which country is best to study international law?

Top Countries to Study Law inUnited States. The United States is one of the best countries to study law in. ... United Kingdom. Another excellent country to study law is the United Kingdom. ... Australia. Australia makes an excellent destination for a Law degree. ... Singapore. ... Canada.

Can you study international law?

Applicants interested in studying international law are in luck. In today's globalized world, knowledge of comparative legal systems is increasingly important. Law schools have responded accordingly and expanded their international programming. A variety of specializations within international law exist.

Is LLB international law?

Our LLB International Law degree enables you to study both domestic and international law with the option to remain at the Law School throughout your degree or to spend either the second half of your second year or the whole of your third year studying abroad (returning to the Law School for your final year).

How do I become an international lawyer?

Eligibility criteria for LLM course in international law:Qualifying exam: A LLB degree or equivalent exam from a recognized university.Minimum marks: The NLUs require a minimum of 50% marks or its equivalent for general/PwD categories; SC/ST categories need 45% marks.

Is international law hard?

An International career is challenging but stimulating. In addition to your formal training, you will need skills in critical thinking, a comparative approach, analytical reasoning, research and writing. Here's the steps to follow if you want to do a career in international law.

Should I study international law?

International Law Gives You Global Reach If you have a passion for travel, a keen interest in other cultures and working across boundaries, and a fascination with geopolitics and the state of the world, studying international law might be an excellent choice.

How can I become an international lawyer?

It could be said that the most direct route into becoming an international lawyer is by becoming qualified in a second (or third, etc.) jurisdiction as a lawyer, and thus being able to practise law and advise clients in more than one jurisdiction and from the perspective of more than one set of laws. The potential gain is clear: businesses are constantly looking for advisors that can take a more international perspective on their commercial goals, and dual-qualified lawyers are well-placed to provide this service. Law firms, too, benefit from offering their clients a multi-jurisdictional service, ensuring their clients do not need to look elsewhere for advice on other jurisdictions.

What are the challenges of becoming an international lawyer?

One of the challenges to grapple with as a budding international lawyer is the ongoing reform of the profession as a whole all over the world. The nation with far and away the most lawyers, the US, has recently seen the first liberalising of the legal profession, with further discussion ongoing, while another important jurisdiction, the UK, has undergone (and is still undergoing) considerable reforms, such as alternative business structures (ABS) for ownership of law firms. And the US has also seen its share of innovative web-based legal services providers, such as LegalZoom and Rocket Lawyer, looking to take advantage of technology and market forces. A wider revolution is gradually taking place in the legal profession.

What is legal education?

Legal education: Learning not just how to think and work like a lawyer, but also how the legal services market is changing, and developing new skills that are relevant for the market today and tomorrow.

What are some examples of international trusts?

Examples of these include criminal defence, family law, employment law, personal injury, real estate, and wills and probate.

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 majors are common for pre-law students?

With that in mind, certain majors do seem somewhat common among pre-law students including Political Science, History, Philosophy and Business. If one is interested in a particular aspect of law (which you stated you are but did not specify which aspect) then they may find related courses helpful.

Is language skills important interpersonally?

But your language abilities, though immensely valuable interpersonally, will most likely prove somewhat less valuable than other assets you will need to secure an international commercial or transnational (inter -governmental) practice .

Is international law a small part of law school?

International law coursework will inevitably be a relatively small proportion of your curriculum in law school. Upon graduating, your career prospects will probably not be greatly enhanced by your language skills, but instead will have much more to do with the quality of the law school you attended and your class rank.

Is law practice competitive?

If you are skilled in these areas, you may succeed well. Law practice is highly competitive, and success tends to be merit-based and also somewhat "political.". You may also wish to think seriously about what it means to you to envy or admire "top" performers.

Is an accounting degree good for law?

A: An accounting degree is really a good background for almost any type of law practice. Any type of corporate or securities law and tax law are definitely good choices. Also, large accounting firms hire lawyers with accounting backgrounds, and often send them back to school while they are working to get an LLM in tax.

Types of international lawyers

International law covers a lot of ground, so it’s common for a lawyer to specialize in one area. Some work on cases for the United Nations, the International Court of Justice, and private organizations that represent clients who have had their rights violated in another country.

Steps to becoming an international lawyer

Step 1) To get into law school, you must have a bachelor’s degree. While there isn’t a specific area of study that’s required, many law students have undergraduate degrees in history, economics, political science, government, or international studies. Learning a foreign language can also benefit your future career.

How much do international lawyers get paid?

International lawyers fall under the general “lawyer” umbrella. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, all lawyers made an average of $120,910 in 2018. Salaries vary based on where you’re practicing, the specific field, and your experience level. In general, the more experience you have, the higher your salary.

How to be a successful international lawyer

Anyone who wants to be an international lawyer should commit to immersing themselves in other cultures and languages. Only knowing the legal side of things isn’t enough to see the whole picture. A deep understanding of a country’s etiquette is essential for lawyers who deal with people regularly.

What is international law?

Let’s start with the basics: International law is the set of rules, agreements and treaties that are binding between countries. That’s for the definition. As a practical matter, International Law covers three areas:

What is a lawyer's specialty?

Most attorneys specialize in one area , such as contract, corporate, customs, immigration, tax or human rights to name a few. They usually advise their clients on the domestic laws of their home country. These lawyers may be involved in negotiating contracts, resolving international dispute, handling mergers, etc.

What is the best degree for law school?

A degree in political science prepares you for success in law school and in a professional capacity by improving reading, writing and public speaking skills. In-depth knowledge about the Constitution and its founding principles as well as the development of the court system also provide strong benefits. 6. Economics.

How many law school applicants majored in philosophy?

Philosophy often falls into this group. According to LSAC statistics, 2,294 law school applicants majored in philosophy.

What is the average GPA for business administration?

LSAC data reveals that students majoring in business administration had an average LSAT score of 150 and an average GPA of 3.22.

What is the best major for pre-law students?

Business. Majoring in business, such as in business administration or corporate business, may be a smart path for some pre-law students to follow. Business degree plans are often rigorous, which may make business majors more appealing to law schools.

What is the acceptance rate for law school?

Leading law schools have an acceptance rate well below 20 percent with an average GPA of admitted applicants close to or higher than 3.8. Your undergraduate-level education directly impacts your ability to get ...

Is a business degree good for law school?

While a business degree may be well-suited for many potential law school applicants, the coursework may be most relevant for those who intend to pursue a career in corporate law or other similar areas. The specialized business degree obtained may make this major more or less relevant.

Is philosophy a pre-law major?

Philosophy is not a major that may immediately come to mind when pursuing a pre-law path. However, law is heavily based on philosophical aspects, such as human nature, ethics and other topics that are thoroughly covered in college-level philosophy courses. In addition to this essential link between law and philosophy, some law schools have higher admissions ratings for liberal arts majors that are considered to be more challenging. Philosophy often falls into this group.

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 are the requirements for a law degree in Georgia?

Georgia imposes two requirements: You must have received your education from a school that was sanctioned or recognized by your foreign government, and you must also be admitted to practice law there. Washington requires that the law school you choose for your LLM degree must be approved by the Board of Governors.

What to do if you don't become an attorney?

If You Don't Become an Attorney. You can also use your foreign law degree in a number of ways without becoming a fully-admitted state bar member. One common option is to become a foreign legal consultant (FLC). An FLC is a foreign-trained lawyer who has set up a limited practice in the U.S. Thirty-one states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S.

How many hours of LLM do you need to sit for the bar in Wisconsin?

Wisconsin has permitted foreign-trained students with LLM degrees to sit for the bar since 2012. The degree must include 700 minutes of instruction per semester credit hour and must be completed in no less than two 13-week semesters.

How long is the bar exam?

The bar exam typically takes place over two days. The first day is a multiple-choice test covering laws that aren't necessarily unique to any one state. The second day's test focuses on the law in the state in which you want to practice.

How long does it take to get a foreign law degree in Vermont?

In almost all cases, the ABA must first review and approve your foreign law degree. This can take a year or more. You can sit for that state's bar if the ABA gives you a nod of approval and you meet the state's other requirements. Only Vermont recognizes foreign law degrees with any regularity.

Is it easier to get into the bar in California than in New York?

Like New York, the California State Bar has relatively liberal admission standards for foreign lawyers. In fact, it might be even easier to sit for the bar exam here than it is in New York.

Do you have to pass the multistate exam to become a lawyer?

Most states require that you pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam as well. Law school studies in the U.S. are rigorous, and students come out with a specific set of skills and a knowledge set that helps them study for and pass the bar.

1. Translator

Primary duties: A translator accurately converts written content from one language into a language preferred by their clients. They may translate memos, letters, legal briefs, scientific documents or books. Translators may also use their comprehension of language and culture to suggest improvements in written content for their clients.

2. Interpreter

Primary duties: An interpreter translates verbal communication from one language to another to foster communication between two or more people who don't speak the same language. Interpreters often think quickly and may be fluent in at least two languages so they can maintain the pace of a natural conversation.

3. Political consultant

Primary duties: These professionals support and manage the efforts and public images of politicians and government officials. They act as public relations specialists and salespeople as they promote their clients by using methods such as advertising and press releases to endorse their candidate or campaign.

4. Intelligence specialist

Primary duties: An intelligence specialist works for the federal government—either in the military or for a national or state security agency. Their primary duties include collecting and analyzing information on topics regarding national security.

5. International benefits analyst

Primary duties: These professionals work for international organizations to create and implement employee benefit programs. They use industry knowledge to analyze industry and employment trends and survey employees to determine benefit needs.

6. Language specialist

Primary duties: A language specialist translates written content and spoken dialogue through interpretation and transcription. A language specialist is often fluent in multiple languages so they can effectively communicate the basic meaning of particular content from one language to another while considering nuance, slang and figurative language.

7. Public relations specialist

Primary duties: Public relations specialists, also called media specialists or communications specialists, create and aim to maintain a favorable public image of the organization for which they work. Their duties help companies communicate effectively with the public.


How We Made This List

  • We put together this list based on 2 important main types of data: the number of students admitted to law school with a certain major, and the average LSAT score of the students with that major.
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  • Students admitted to law school from this major last year:1,327 Average LSAT score of admitted students (out of 180):150.7 Sociology majors have to be comfortable scrutinizing data and writing long papers. Both the critical thinking and writing skills that this major cultivates can be leveraged in law school. Consider this major if the social dynamics of groups interest you, and you enjoy both quantitative and qualitative reasoning.
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Arts & Humanities

  • Admitted Students:1,496 Average LSAT Score:154.2 This group of majors tends to be fairly writing-heavy and attracts students with the focus to spend hours reading. It’s a great pick if you love art and literature but also want to prepare yourself for a legal career.
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  • Admitted Students:1,858 Average LSAT Score:157.5 Traditionally, philosophy is considered the ultimate pre-law major. In this field, you wrestle deeply with logic and reasoning as you consider questions about knowledge, existence, and other fundamental concepts. The same skills directly improve a lawyer’s ability to do their job well.
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Criminal Justice

  • Admitted Students:2,220 Average LSAT Score:145.9 If you love to be hands-on with the justice system, this may be the major for you. No field of study gives you more exposure to law prior to law school. That said, notice how much lower the average LSAT score is relative to other majors. It is not considered as academically rigorous as theoretical disciplines. If you want to set yourself apart at a highly competitive law school, this may not be the m…
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  • Admitted Students:2,373 Average LSAT Score:158.9 Economics offers the perfect blend of quantitative and qualitative experience. Additionally, this field prepares you to be an effective lawmaker and advocate for sound monetary policy. Understanding capital is vital for understanding large portions of tax law and federal regulation.
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  • Admitted Students:2,657 Average LSAT Score:156.2 Understanding the past is critical for interpreting law for two reasons. First, it establishes precedent, and knowing how legal cases have been resolved in the past is central to our understanding of how to decide current cases. Second, a grounding in the past helps you zoom out and understand the broader social context for a piece of legislation. This is a great major for students eager to pursu…
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  • Admitted Students:2,904 Average LSAT:151.2 This category is a catch-all for niche majors not commonly represented among law school applicants. The fact that this category has the third highest number of students accepted shows that you can successfully apply to law school from any major.
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  • Admitted Students:2,960 Average LSAT Score:152.6 Psychology is the third social science to make an appearance on this list, and that is no surprise. This field blends history, reading, writing, and quantitative analysis together, making graduates in this field well-equipped to approach law from almost any angle. Consider becoming a Psychology major if you are fascinated by how people tick.
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