Best Majors for Law SchoolApril 8, 2021
If you’re interested in a career in law, you may be wondering about the best path you can take during your undergraduate studies. A specific pre-law major isn’t necessary, and in most cases, it’s not even available as an undergraduate program.
In fact, with the right qualifications, you can get into law school with any undergraduate degree. That said, it’s important to consider how law schools will review your undergraduate experience, and you’ll also want to consider a degree that can help prepare you for the rigors of a law degree and the area you want to pursue in your future career.
To help you, we’ve put together a list of the best majors for law school based on 2018-2019 school year data from the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC).
The Best Majors for Law School
You don’t need to have a specific major to get into law school, but certain pre-law majors can give you an advantage over other applicants and help you prepare for the law school admission test (LSAT) and your law school experience. Plus, choosing an undergraduate career that compliments your law degree will look good on your lawyer resume.
We’ll cover the best majors for law school based on the percent of applicants who were admitted and how the fields can prepare you for your future career.
Percent of applicants admitted: 82.69%
Average LSAT score: 159.7
A degree in economics is an excellent choice if you’re considering going into corporate law. Even if you’re interested in another field, studying economics can help you develop key critical thinking skills that are essential for success in law.
It can also help you develop the ability to analyze large amounts of data and use it to find connections and solutions to big problems.
Percent of applicants admitted: 81.45%
Average LSAT score: 156.78
Taking a deep dive into the history of the United States can give you a firm understanding of the American legal system, including how it was developed, how it’s evolved, and the precedents that have helped shape it.
You’ll get the chance to learn about treaties, court rulings, and other aspects of the U.S. legal system that can come in handy when you begin your career.
Percent of applicants admitted: 80.61%
Average LSAT score: 157.88
The core of philosophy is wrestling with logic and reasoning to come to conclusions on a matter. You’ll be able to develop and hone your ability to isolate and analyze critical facts and details and be able to support your conclusions in a logical and persuasive manner.
You’ll also learn about ethics and human nature, both of which are key areas of expertise for a successful attorney.
Percent of applicants admitted: 79.42%
Average LSAT score: 155.74
English majors tend to focus heavily on reading and writing, something you’re going to be doing a lot in law school and your career. You’ll learn how to process information and interpret it quickly and cogently.
You’ll also learn how to use language effectively for your purposes.
5. International Relations
Percent of applicants admitted: 79.39%
Average LSAT score: 157.36
If you’re thinking of pursuing a career in international law, getting a pre-law major in international relations may be a no-brainer. You’ll get the chance to learn how the world works, especially how different countries differ in their legal systems and dealings with each other.
You’ll also learn important knowledge in cross-cultural communication, world politics, history, and more.
Percent of applicants admitted: 79.38%
Average LSAT score: 155.23
A finance degree can be an excellent foundation for a career in corporate law. While you won’t go into as deep of a dive into economics, you’ll learn about corporate finances work.
You’ll also get the chance to develop the skills necessary to interpret data to solve business problems and help companies make better decisions.
Percent of applicants admitted: 77.41%
Average LSAT score: 154.68
Like a finance degree, an accounting major can give you an advantage if you’re considering working in corporate law, especially for a large accounting firm. This path can also give you the foundation you need if you’re considering tax law as a focus area.
You don’t necessarily need to go into one of those types of law fields with an accounting degree, though. Instead, you can use it to develop your skills with organizing and analyzing large amounts of data, which will be useful no matter which area of law you pursue.
8. Political Science
Percent of applicants admitted: 77.07%
Average LSAT score: 154.19
Political science is the top pre-law major based on the number of applicants, accounting for 17.5% of total applications. It may feel like a natural choice for general law because the two are so intertwined.
You’ll get a deep understanding of how the American political and legal systems work, especially when it comes to making laws. If you’re interested in pursuing a career as a lawyer and a politician, this may be the best place for you.
9. Arts and Humanities – Other
Percent of applicants admitted: 75.21%
Average LSAT score: 154.99
Beyond English, a different degree in arts and humanities can be an excellent way to prepare for law school. This is primarily because these majors require a lot of reading and writing. What’s more, if you have a specific interest in one of these areas, you can enjoy getting a major in an area you like while not sacrificing your future in law.
Percent of applicants admitted: 72.23%
Average LSAT score: 151.66
Similar to English, a communications major will help you develop important skills in reading, writing, and analyzing text. You’ll also typically be required to stay on top of current events, which can include new developments in politics and law.
As a lawyer, you’ll be most successful if you have a deep understanding of the history of law in addition to the latest developments in the field that can impact your clients.
Ways to Prepare Regardless of Your Undergraduate Degree
Once you choose the major you want to pursue, it’s important to take other steps to ensure that you can maximize your readiness for and chances of getting into law school. Here are some things you can do outside of your main degree focus:
- Take classes on law and history: In addition to taking the requisite courses for your degree, you’ll likely also need to take some elective courses to get all the credits you need. As you choose which ones to take, consider classes on law and legal history, which can help you lay the groundwork for what you’ll be learning once you get to law school.
- Take classes in your area of focus: If you already know which area of law you want to pursue, look for classes that cover the topics you’ll spend most of your time on. Some colleges may offer undergraduate classes that can give you an introduction to corporate law, international law, and other areas.
- Join the debate team or school newspaper: As a lawyer, learning how to speak and write logically and persuasively is a must. Take advantage of the opportunities available to you on campus through the debate team or school newspaper to develop and practice your skills.
- Use your summers for internships: It may be tempting to take the summer months off. But seeking out internships with local law firms, courts, and other legal organizations can give you hands-on experience in your focus area. Plus, if you’re not sure about which type of law you want to pursue, internships can help you narrow down the list.
The Bottom Line
If you’re considering a law degree, you don’t have to have a specific major for your undergraduate degree. Nevertheless, it’s important to be mindful of your interests and also how a pre-law major can help you prepare for your experience in law school and your career.
Take some time to research different degrees, not only in terms of how they might help you but also how they’ll prepare you for the LSAT and your law school applications.
For example, criminal justice is one of the top pre-law majors in terms of applicants, representing almost 5% of all applicants. But only 59.16% of applicants with that major were admitted to law school, so it may not be the best way to get to where you want to be.
The most important thing is that you determine the best fit for you. While certain undergraduate degrees can prepare you in certain ways to law school and beyond, you’ll want to consider all aspects of the decision, including alternatives, to decide how to proceed.