If you think you might want to pursue a career in law you will want to start your college preparation right from the beginning. And part of that preparation includes making the right decision when it comes to selecting your undergraduate degree. It might come as a surprise to you that criminal justice or pre-law classes are not necessarily the best majors to go for. In fact, many law school admissions offices may steer you totally away from these degrees. Again, quite surprising since those seem to most to be intuitively the best place to start your law school journey.
However, there are a lot of degrees that are not so intuitive, and others that are understandable to consider. The first few to think about are economics, physics, math and even philosophy. It isn’t so much that you will need to understand all the theories behind quantum physics that will make you a powerful lawyer, but it is about the discipline and that it teaches you to think and process information that these degrees will become important. These programs often require heavy reading which requires you to synthesize a lot of information, and to be able to analyze it, while applying principles of theory. They are very good degrees that will help you prepare for the LSAT, the law school aptitude exam, which is used in assessing your application to the schools at which you applied.
International relations and government relations, as well as business administration are also good preparation for law school. This will help you understand the laws and how they came to be, as well as how our laws factor in to international laws. Depending on the type of law you are interested in you will want to build as much of a base as you can in your undergraduate years. Chemistry and engineering degrees are also good to consider. Some of these degrees may seem way out of line for admission to law school. However, part of the intriguing nature of these hard sciences and difficult subject matter is that it provides diversity. These other disciplines will view things differently, question from different points of view and bring diversity to the classes that are necessary in the study and practice of law. In actuality, the more difficult and varied your degree the more interested many law schools these days may be in offering you candidacy within their programs.
But as mentioned earlier, many law schools don’t necessarily view pre-law courses or degrees in criminal justice in the way you would think. English, history and many liberal arts programs are also less likely to get you admitted in the law school of your dreams. Part of this belief comes from the thought these programs don’t provide the challenge, volume of critical thought or depth of education that the study of the law requires. Many view these programs as easier, and therefore with padded grades or easier to gain a higher GPA, and they may not get the same consideration you would from the more thought provoking and critical thinking degrees.
There is no one perfect degree or one perfect path in which you can follow to either insure you are accepted in to the law school of your choice, nor is there the perfect preparation to insure success should you get accepted. So choose the degree that will challenge you and your thought process, but also once for which you have passion. For only when you incorporate the pursuit of passion can you find the formula to help you achieve your goals and dreams.
Written by Kellie Bertels, an attorney at Bandre, Hunt and Snider in Jefferson City, MO. Bandre, Hunt and Snider are the best attorneys in Jefferson City MO have to offer.