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What should I major in College if I am working towards being Pre-Law?

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I have always been interested in speech, debated and politics. I've known for a few years now that I want to go into Politics or become a Lawyer. English is my favorite subject in school. I have very good persuasive and writing skills as well.
#college-major #politics#law #college

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John’s Answer

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There is not a single “best degree” for a job in politics, but rather a number of degrees that can help an individual achieve your ambitions Jennifer.

Preparing for a career in politics is three parts luck and one part planning. No matter how much you plan, political success is all about having personality attributes like ambition and shrewdness, and you also have to be in the right place at the right time. Some undergraduate degrees, however, prepare you for a career in the political arena better than others.

UNDERGRADUATE DEGREES FOR A POLITICAL CAREER

The best undergraduate degrees tend to offer some degree of preparation for a future in politics. Degrees in political science or public administration, for example, tend to be good degrees for those who want to learn how politics work.

POLITICAL SCIENCE – You will research current political topics and think deeply about what it means to be a member of the government. After graduation, you’ll be well-prepared to enter law school or you might choose to go directly to a career in public service. Outside of the classroom, you’ll find that many of your classmates will have similar ambitions. You will benefit from being around like-minded peers, some of whom you may encounter again later on in your career. Likewise, your professors will be helpful mentors.

PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION – If you want to be part of the backbone that holds governmental institutions together, then a public administration degree is right for you. As a public administrator, you’ll be responsible for upholding the laws, policies, and regulations that have been imposed by your government, and an undergraduate degree in public administration is the best way to prepare you for a political career.

UNDERGRADUATE DEGREES FOR FOR FUTURE LAW CAREER

The field of law is one of the most diverse fields in the world. Law governs every aspect of life including but not limited to business, international relations, the many workings of government including taxes, crime, patents and many more; as such, students wishing to pursue a career in law are faced with many choices beginning at the undergraduate level as to what is the most appropriate field of study. The answer, like the field, is wide open. Many argue that it doesn’t matter what you study for your undergraduate degree, and it is true that your grades and score on the LSATs play a larger role in getting into law school than your specific area of undergraduate study.

HISTORY – The practice of law demands a strong understanding of history as many rulings are based on precedent rulings and it is important to understand the context of such rulings when presenting cases before a court. History and law are inextricably linked and this makes the study of history a very strong choice. Specifically focusing on your country’s history allows you to understand the evolution of the government and the legal system by which it governs the country.

BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION– A degree in business will give you the financial and management knowledge you’ll need to keep your community running smoothly. You will learn how to balance a budget, manage employees and analyze potential deals. Many business programs emphasize group projects, so you’ll get early experience in working with others. Your business degree will also come in handy after you graduate, when you can transition into a government career, earn an MBA or go on to law school.

When choosing which degree to pursue, consider your own strengths. If you’re a natural entertainer, take courses in business or political science to complement your charismatic demeanor. No matter what degree you pursue, it’s your innate talent that’s going to make you a superstar in the political arena or the courtroom.

Hope this was Helpful Jennifer
Thank You Patrick. “The broadest, and maybe the most meaningful definition of volunteering: Doing more than you have to because you want to.” – Ivan Scheier John Frick
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Ashley’s Answer

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Hi Jennifer,

I hope all is well! To attend law school, you can major in anything as long as you complete a bachelors's degree and take the LSAT. Since you are interested in politics, you can major in Political Science and maybe join your college's debate team or Model United Nations team if they have one. You can even major in English, Writing, or History to assist with speech. A combination can be a Major in Political Science and a Minor in Writing or History. Some students major in Criminal Justice because that focus interests them more. Ultimately, the goal is to receive a bachelor's degree in a topic you enjoy and making yourself a competitive applicant by completing internships. Hope this information helps.

Best of luck!

Kind regards,
Ashley Garcia

Ashley recommends the following next steps:

  • Research majors plus their requirments.
  • Research minors or certificate programs that can be completed in undergrad.
  • Take a look at the LSAT
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Angela D.’s Answer

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Hi there! A great resource is the LSAC website below. The second website below also includes further information. I've also included compiled information from the U.S. News & World Report. The EDsmart website discusses law school majors. In addition, you can search for websites that may provide examples of tests, free tests, video information, admissions statistics, etc. Wishing you the best in your endeavors, Dr. B

Law School Admissions Council - https://www.lsac.org/lsat
LSAT Center - https://www.lsat-center.com/prep-guide/lsat-scores/
Statistics based on information from the U.S. News & World Report 2020 - http://schools.lawschoolnumbers.com/rankings/us-news-report-law-school-rankings
EDsmart (top 10 degrees admitted to law schools in the U.S.) - https://www.edsmart.org/best-majors-for-law-school/
As others have noted, you have some options. If you want a job in “big law,” and not everyone does, I personally would suggest a finance/accounting degree with at least a minor in STEM such as computer science. The STEM degree will differentiate you from your peers and you’ll be a little better prepared to assist large technology companies with their legal problems. Those degrees will also give you a wide set of options if you ultimately don’t go into law. Patrick Reidy
That's great advice! I would add forensic accounting to computer science. Tracking the "money" trail can be interesting to the detail-oriented paper sleuth and can lend towards preventing or detecting fraud, crime, embezzlement, taxes, as well as insurance issues, etc. Angela D. Blaver, Ph.D.
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Syed’s Answer

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Hi Jennifer,

Thankfully, law school has no prerequisite undergraduate courses you need to take. This gives you the freedom to study whatever you want. I would suggest majoring in a subject (like English!) that gets you very comfortable with writing well composed arguments and with reading a heavy amount every week. You also want to grow in your general problem solving and critical thinking skills, so courses like Linguistics and Economics can also help.

The LSAT itself doesn't test any specific knowledge, but the more comfortable you are in reading different kinds of passages to extract the key info, the better you're going to perform.

Best of luck!
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