A career in law can be rewarding in all facets of life. It can be intellectually stimulating and provide a grounding point in the fabric of society as you fight for justice for your clients. Getting there starts with a strong academic foundation. Counterintuitively, the experts strongly recommend avoiding any pre-law or criminal law undergraduate degrees. So what is a future lawyer to do? Here are a few options for the legally-minded college student.
The humanities are often dismissed as having purely academic relevance. But as any student of philosophy will tell you, the subject deals with issues of the human condition. And what better subject is there for someone who will be dealing with the actual conditions of human beings on a daily basis? When you have an arsenal of academic material answering tough questions like “what is truth” or “what is justice,” facing a judge and jury is painless.
As a lawyer, you’re going to have to write. A lot and well. Practically speaking, a major in English where you’re asked to consistently evaluate evidence, organize your thoughts and present your argument in a persuasive manner is easily a simulation of the day to day tasks you’ll be asked to complete in a legal career.
“Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.” The wise words of Edmund Burke, famed 18th century politician. A familiarity with history is vital for understanding the intentions of laws and the historical contexts they were written in. The coursework required for a History degree is similar to that of English and would build the same critical thinking and analytical skills necessary for a career in law.
Physics and Math
In terms of getting into law school, a study of 2007-2008 LSAT scores by majors revealed that Physics and Math majors on average score the highest on this entrance exam. Doubtless, the rigorous coursework and dedication to theoretical material of these majors prepares these students for a career that requires hard work and critical thinking.
Regardless of what major you choose, the most important trait that qualifies a student to become a lawyer is their pure and passionate love of law. If you find logical conundrums fascinating, if you enjoy debating concepts over beer with friends rather than discussing last night’s game, if you like following a problem from beginning to end, a legal career is for you. Any student who is dedicated to their studies and finds joy in helping others will succeed in the legal profession.