How To Choose a College Major for Law School

If you have an interest in law after graduating from high school, you might ask yourself what the correct major should be in college. Of course, political science and administration of justice are obvious choices, but so are studies in nursing and theology. That’s because there is no such thing as a pre-law degree. We only know of one university that offers a pre-law major, but it’s just a hodgepodge of coursework that is slung together because nobody else offers it. There’s a good chance that you’ll run out of interest pursuing this major too. Then, what do you do? Get a job as a jailer someplace?

Finding the Perfect Law Student

Law schools have no strict criteria on undergraduate majors. They require a strong grade point average and a satisfactory score on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) though. Beyond that, they might look at a candidate’s personal achievements, extracurricular activities or other characteristics. Admission committees are still trying to find the stereotypical law student. He doesn’t exist. Neither does she. The coursework of political science, history, sociology and psychology already exists.  Students can major in these fields, minor in them or take a single class. The fact remains though. Nobody on an admissions committee is going to be at all impressed by the fact that you were a pre-law major.  Law school are searching out admission candidates who have walked to their own beat, notwithstanding the fact that their undergraduate major was something as mundane as elementary education.

What They’re After

Law school admission committees are chasing after a wide range of majors, but the admission decision is also about how a person might contribute to the law school community. Sure, they want to see a course of study that’s loaded with reading and writing, but you have to be able to choose your own unusual and exciting story. It’s not just about majoring in pre-law studies. Those are a dime a dozen. Intentions can also change once a student is admitted. So, what’s the constant? It’s good writing and reasoning. Those are the same engaging qualities that make good lawyers too. Don’t throw a hissy fit on selecting a major for law school. It’s irrelevant. Zone in on that high grade point average coupled with a personal statement on who you are and what you’re capable of if given the opportunity. That plus your LSAT score is what will get the attention of the admission committee.

Your LSAT Score

The general rule is that the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is a requirement for admission to a law school that’s accredited by the American Bar Association. Although there are a handful of exceptions to that rule, plan on taking the LSAT. Your score on the LSAT factors heavily into the issue of acceptance or rejection into law school. Take it seriously, and prepare for it. It’s an investment in time and of course, money. Success on the exam doesn’t equate into admission to a particular law school, but it does give you a fighting chance. You’ll encounter consistent practice exercises and practice exams. They’re intended to teach you how to take the exam. The lowest score possible score on the test is a 120, and the highest is a 180. The average is obviously 150. A 150 with a 3.25 grade point average is going to get you into law school, but it’s unlikely that it’s the one you want. Boost that score up by 15 points or more with a prep class, and you might made the cut. It’s incredible how important that the LSAT is.

Other Factors

Maybe you’re borderline and at the edge. Here are some other factors that can get you admitted. Law schools also carefully consider the background, perspectives and interests of a candidate for admission as expressed in their personal statement. They’ve also found out that a candidate’s work experience gives him or her a better perspective of what they want to get out of the law school experience and the expectations of the law school. They’re also looking for volunteer experience. Volunteering activities also reflect on a candidate ability to lead. They value those who can do that and serve others. Maybe your law school doesn’t interview prospective students. Your goals, interests and professionalism should be carefully detailed out in a written statement and edited so that mistakes are avoided.

When the time comes that you attend college, major in whatever you wish. Whatever interests and challenges you is far better than a major that’s boring.  If it challenges you and you overcome that challenge, you might be bringing something different than your typical pre-law grad. Whether you select science or the humanities, you’ll do just fine. Grade point average, LSAT and a diverse background are going to get you into law school. Always remember that there are more than 200 ABA accredited law schools in the country. Graduate at or near the top of any of those law schools, and you’ll be quite pleased with the job offers that you receive.