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What are good side majors if you are thinking about majoring in law?

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I am thinking about majoring in criminal justice/law. However, I’m not entirely sure if being a lawyer is what I what to do with my life yet. What do you think would be a good side major that relates to law but can also help me in the long run. #law #lawyer #math #lawyers

2 answers

Scott’s Answer


Hi Jasmine,

When you say "side major" , are you referring to a minor? If so, then yes minoring in something can help to compliment whatever you are majoring in as well as give you formal education in a secondary field of study. If you are not entirely sure that you want to be a lawyer, then major in anything that interests you in undergrad as their is no required undergraduate major for attending law school. So for example if you decide to major in computer science, you can do so, and still decide to go to law school if you change your mind.

I hope this helps. Good luck!

I would second this! As an attorney, I majored in psychology during college. I know attorneys that majored in everything from art to biology in college as well. Back in the day, pre-law in undergrad was much more important than it is today. When you apply to law school, your LSAT scores and your overall GPA are far more important than your major. Good luck!

Amanda D.’s Answer


Hey there! I am a tax lawyer (it's cooler than it sounds) and I have two degrees: Finance and Public Policy.

Public Policy was cool because you use statistics to study how effective laws/rules are. For example, if you want people to stop wearing red shirts on Thursdays, you could theoretically create thousands of rules that would result in this outcome. One rule could be, "No one can wear red." Well, now people can't wear red on any day of the week. While this is effective for your goal, it is over inclusive. Another rule could be, "No one can wear red on Thursdays." Still true, but now no one can wear red pants and you don't care if people wear those. Or you can say, "No shirts on Thursdays." Um... Yikes! Finally, you come to "No one can wear red on Thursdays." But wait! You find out no one reads the office memos you send out anymore, so what is the most effective way to communicate this rule? This is an oversimplification public policy but the law isn't the only place where rules exist and when you create a rule there are sometimes unintended consequences. Even though I went to law school many of my public policy friends went to consulting firms. Their firms are hired by big businesses to figure out the best way to implement corporate policies.

Finance was also great because everyone needs to know some business knowledge upon entering the workforce. I feel secure in my personal investing for the future with this knowledge. Also, if you decide to go into law you may find that you enjoy corporate law. Or you want to open your own law firm and your clients are small to mid-size local businesses who need you to create their contracts, help with negotiations, or perform a myriad of other functions. Many of my finance friends went into investing and they do very well for themselves.

My first two examples really just show how almost any major can be leveraged into law. Honestly though, if I had to do it all over again. I would have either majored or minored in accounting. No matter what you do (entrepreneur, lawyer, bubblegum salesman) accounting is the MOST useful degree I can think of. It may not be the most interesting degree to study (so either only minor accounting it OR major in accounting and minor in something you enjoy) but when it comes to your personal independence, accounting is SUCH a useful skill. Because I work in tax law the finance jargon comes in handy but I really wish I knew more about accounting. Let's say you decide not to go into law - every single business needs an accountant. Let's say you decide to open your own coffee shop. You can learn how to run a business (from a family friend, local business owner, or even take entrepreneurship classes in college) but since you have an accounting degree NOW you don't have to hire out your financial work to an accountant and you are less likely to make the typical new business blunder of spending too much and not making enough. Finally, let's say you become a lawyer. There are actually some funky rules about keeping your business money and your client money separate and if you co-mingle these funds you can get into trouble with the state bar association. And you know what? SO many lawyers get in trouble with these rules because they are not very good at keeping their books (accounting lingo). They aren't intentionally misusing their funds, they just haven't had enough experience in accounting to make better decisions. Plus running a law firm IS a business and you want to make money in your business. So, you still either need to hire an accountant OR do your own accounting work.

Also to be sure to take some funky classes in college that have nothing to do with what you think you want to do. You never know what you will discover or how it will benefit you later on!