When many students apply to college, they’re often not thinking about college - they’re thinking about what comes after college. For some, that means the work force. For others, it means going to medical school or law school. If you’re thinking ahead already, especially if you hope to become a lawyer, then you’re probably already considering schools and majors with that goal in mind.
When it comes to selecting a major, more and more students feel the need to hyper-specialize. Therefore, choosing a major that seems to directly relate to law school (such as pre-law) makes sense to some. But does it really make sense? Maybe not. For a deeper understanding, consider what prepares students well for law school applications, and then why certain majors are better for that preparation than others.
What makes a good major for law school?
Know, first and foremost, that the American Bar Association, or the ABA, does not recommend any particular major for pre-law students. Instead, they emphasize the need to do well in school and prepare well for the LSAT.
With that in mind, consider what’s on the LSAT for a moment. Its primary focus is on deductive reasoning through questions on logical reasoning, analytical reasoning, and reading comprehension. These questions do not focus on the law specifically. Therefore, a major that lends itself to the law does not necessarily give you a boost on the LSAT.
Majors that focus on this kind of reasoning, however, can give you a boost. To find out which majors might help, look at some charts offering the average LSAT scores for students who pursued particular majors. Students who pursue majors with a fair amount of deductive reasoning work and reading tend to fare better on the LSAT. With this list handy (which is in no particular order), consider which majors sound interesting to you and which ones you think you would do well with.
- Political Science
- Business Administration
Although students tend to do well on the LSAT from any of these majors, it’s important that you choose one you’ll do well with rather than whichever you think is the “right” major.
While it’s hard to generalize good and bad majors, pre-law and criminal justice are widely regarded as poor majors for prospective law students for a number of reasons. Students from these majors tend to have lower law school acceptance rates, they often don’t do as well on the LSAT, and these majors are sometimes considered “easier” majors.
At this point, it may be clear that there are more important factors to law school applications than choosing one of these popular majors for pre-law students. You’ll need to get good grades (no matter what you major in), prepare well for the LSAT, network in college, and take classes that will prepare you well for law school. Accomplishing these goals will do more for you than a particular major will. However, it’s also worthwhile to know which majors are more likely to help you accomplish your goals.