7 College Majors to Consider If You Want to Be a Lawyer

  • There are several college majors you can consider if you want to be a lawyer.
  • The best majors for a career in law are those that focus on critical thinking, research, debating, and writing.
  • A strong GPA and high LSAT scores are the two most important factors for acceptance into law school.

If you are considering a career as a lawyer, there’s a wide range of college majors you can choose from. The best majors for a career in law are those that focus on critical thinking, research, debating, and writing. In addition to your major, a strong GPA and high LSAT exam scores are important for acceptance into law school. That said, let’s check out some majors that will help you prepare for law school.

Consider these undergrad college majors if you’re considering a career as a lawyer:

A gavel next to two stacked books.

1. Political Science

Political science is by far the most common undergrad majors for a future lawyer. No surprise there. With a strong focus on the study of public policy, government law, and governmental systems, political science is an excellent foundation for a career as a lawyer.

A political science curriculum covers subjects surrounding law and public policy. As a political science student, you can expect to learn about:

  • political theory
  • public policy
  • constitutional law
  • American government systems
  • international relations
  • how the judicial system works among others.

All of these topics are very relevant to a career in law and will prepare you to specialize in any type of law that you choose to pursue.

Political science students spend a large chunk of your time analyzing a diverse variety of written documents ranging from ancient texts and political theories to public policies and social media posts. This will help hone your critical thinking, analytical, and writing skills, which are key for developing strong, persuasive arguments as a practicing lawyer.

Top Colleges for Political Science Majors:

2. History

Majoring in history gives you a vital perspective of how the past shaped today’s laws and the justice system. The curriculum for history majors includes in-depth studies, research and analyses related to specific eras, American and international studies, cultures and civilizations, and social justice through the decades. This gives you valuable insight into individuals from different backgrounds and cultures, which can be a great asset when practicing any type of law.

As a history major, you’ll spend a lot of time researching various themes and topics, drawing conclusions based on historical documents, and creating critical analyses of a wide range of past contentious legal cases. This practice can be very useful as you have to do a lot of research, writing, and critical analyses as a practicing lawyer.

This is another major that will give you a strong chance of getting accepted into law schools.

Top Colleges for History Majors

3. Philosophy

A lot of legal matters touch upon ethics, principles, social and political philosophy, logic, and morality. A combination of these topics are covered in a philosophy curriculum. But the focus is not just on the theoretical aspects of the topics mentioned. You will spend a lot of time doing in-depth research on these topics, debating classmates, and presenting arguments to support your point of view.

Researching and preparing for your upcoming debates and presentations helps you prepare for a career as a lawyer, which involves making strong arguments to convince a jury.

Majoring in philosophy helps you develop three skills that are vital for success in any type of law practice – analytical skills, communication skills, and logical augmentation skills.

Top Colleges for Philosophy Majors:

4. English

An English curriculum includes diverse topics that range from creative writing and critical theory to cultural studies, literature, and historical periods. Reading and analyzing great literary works and historical texts gives you a greater understanding of different eras and how they shaped our current ideas and traditions.

Be prepared to participate in lots of classroom debates and discussions that revolve around various literary themes. You’ll also spend a lot of time on assignments and essays that demonstrate your critical thinking skills.

Studying English will also give you a stronger command over the oral and written aspects of the language. It helps hone your communication and analytical skills. These are invaluable assets when you are putting forward your case in court or creating a written deposition. Think of the time you spend on research, reading, writing essays, and working on briefs as great practice for the many hours you’ll spend doing the same in the law library.

Top Colleges for English Majors:

5. Criminology/Criminal Justice

Criminology and/or criminal justice majors are a great choice to consider if you’re interested in pursuing a career in criminal law or as a defense lawyer or DA. This is an interesting and very challenging law specialty with several areas of specializations that range from forensics criminal law and legislative criminal law to homeland security.

Criminology and criminal justice coursework focuses on the study of crimes, criminals and crime victims as well as the systems that are put in place to address them. As a criminology and criminal justice major you will learn about topics that are highly relevant to different aspects of the criminal justice system, which includes the courts, prisons, and the police force.

Common topics covered in most criminal justice curriculums include a study of the US court system, introduction to criminal law and law enforcement, comparative criminal justice systems, and theories of criminal behavior. The coursework also covers the principles of criminal defense and prosecution, criminal justice laws, criminal justice policy, rehabilitation, sociology, and public policy.

If you’re interested in the science behind solving crimes, look for a college that includes forensics as part of the criminology and criminal justice curriculum.

Top Colleges for Criminology Majors

6. Psychology

A psychology curriculum focuses on the study the science of human behavior, mental health, and what makes people think and act the way they do. The coursework dives deep into the study of the brain and how various experiences impact the way the brain functions and how it shapes behavior and social interactions. Expect to do a lot of research and pore over case studies and theories proposed by expert mental health professionals.

Majoring in psychology will help hone your critical thinking skills while also giving you better insight into how criminals think and what causes them to carry out criminal acts. It can also help you develop more effective programs for rehabilitation. Psychology majors will develop strong research, writing, and analytical skills that will prepare you to be a successful lawyer.

Top Colleges for Psychology Majors

7. Economics / Finance

Economics majors are a great option if you’re interested in a career as a corporate lawyer or tax attorney or you want to work in business and financial law or public policy law.

An economics curriculum includes topics such as monetary and fiscal policy, micro and macroeconomics, basic economic modeling, and market outcomes. As an economics student, you will also study the foundations of what drives the market, economic policies and procedures, supply and demand, consumer behavior, and international trade. You will also learn how to summarize quantitative and qualitative data to solve problems on behalf of your clients.

Majoring in economics will give you a strong foundation for a legal career that focuses on helping individuals, organizations, and government bodies stay within the law.

Top Colleges for Economics Majors

How To Choose The Best Major For You

With a wide range of majors to choose from, how do you choose one that’s the best fit for your journey into being a lawyer?

The best way to choose a major is to consider what type of law you wish to practice. Accordingly, you can then choose a major that most relevant to that legal specialty.

For example, if you want to pursue a career as a tax attorney, an economics or finance major may be the best options for you. If you want to pursue criminal law, it may be better to choose a criminal justice major.

A large chunk of your time in law school is spent researching and writing. Choosing a major that involves a lot of research and writing will help you master these skills. It also paves the way for a relatively easier time in law school.

While the majors you consider on your path to becoming a lawyer are import, make sure to stay focused on achieving a high GPA and a high LSAT score. These two factors carry more weight than your choice of major in getting accepted into law school.

Considering one of these lawyer majors? Use College Raptor to discover personalized college matches, cost estimates, acceptance odds, and potential financial aid for schools around the US—for FREE!

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