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What should my undergrad major be if I want to go to law school?

#undecided #major #college #futurelawywer #lawyer

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John’s Answer

Emily, If you interested in learning about the process of becoming a lawyer. As an aspiring lawyer you must first complete 4-year bachelor's degree before applying for law school which typically takes 3-years to earn a Juris Doctor degree.

FOUR STEPS TO PREPARE YOURSELF TO BE LAWER AS HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT

Even before you start looking into colleges, however, there are a number of things you can do in high school to make yourself a good law school candidate and a better eventual lawyer. These steps will also improve your college admissions chances and prepare you for doing well in undergraduate classes.

STEP 1.) HANDS ON EXPERIENCE – Even as a high school student, you might be able to gain hands-on experience in the legal profession. Whether it’s a summer job or an internship for course credit (or even just an informational interview with a friend’s lawyer parent), learn all you can about what lawyers do and how the profession operates. It will place you ahead of the typical law school applicant who’s never seen a legal brief or visited a courtroom. And it will help you figure out if you should go to law school.

STEP 2.) ADVANCED PLACEMENT CLASSES – College is difficult, and law school is even harder. Taking challenging courses in high school will help prepare you for the demands of maintaining a high GPA as an undergraduate, which is one of the most important factors for maximizing your chances of law school admission.

STEP 3.) IMPROVE YOUR SKILLS – Communicating skillfully and clearly is important, both in applying to and succeeding in law school. Even in high school, you can start practicing these skills. Sign up for your school's speech and debate team or try out for a play to start practicing your public speaking. Take writing-heavy courses, such as challenging English and history classes, to improve your writing. If your high school has the option of writing a senior thesis or presenting a capstone project, this can help you work on communication skills as well as learn good research techniques, another important skill for undergraduate and law school.

STEP 4.) STUDY FOR YOUR LSAT – The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is one of the most challenging standardized tests available, It is also one of the most important factors that law schools consider in their admissions criteria. If you know you want to go to law school, give yourself ample time to prepare for the test. Familiarize yourself with the content and format. Do tons of realistic practice problems and questions from actual LSATs. Determine your content weaknesses, and then do enough studying and practice problems to improve your weaknesses.

FOUR STEPS TO BECOMING A LAWER

STEP 1.) BACHELOR'S DEGREE – Although the American Bar Association doesn't designate a particular path of study for prospective law students, some colleges and universities have pre-law programs that can supplement majors in political science, history or related fields. Students in these programs fulfill the requirements for their majors, as well as additional courses in constitutional law, legal research and related classes. Students wishing to specialize in a field like taxation may consider gaining undergraduate experience in accounting through a major, internship or employment. Students in these majors generally have numerous writing assignments and research projects which can prepare them to read legal briefs. Assignments may range from covering theoretical concepts in political science to making arguments in moot court, a seminar-like activity allowing students to play various roles in a trial.

STEP 2.) LAW SCHOOL ADMISSIONS TEST – In order to enter law school, applicants must take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) as undergraduates. Students then submit college transcripts, LSAT scores and completed applications. After reviewing applications, law schools notify candidates whether they are accepted or not.

STEP 3.) JURIS DOCTORATE (JD) DEGREE – Law school generally lasts three years and culminates with you receiving your JD degree. Programs begin by covering fundamental topics in civil procedure and constitutional law. This may be done through case-study and precedent analysis, which is when you read over previous cases in order to understand the arguments made by both sides and the final decision rendered. Once core requirements are complete, in your second and third years you'll take electives, such as bankruptcy or family law. These opportunities allow law students to help prepare cases, revise arguments and gain better understandings of day-to-day practices in law offices or courts.

STEP 4.) THE BAR EXAME – In order to practice law, attorneys must be licensed. Although some states practice reciprocity, allowing lawyers who have passed another state's bar to practice within their borders, each state has its own respective licensing exam. Additionally, some states may require graduates to take the Multi-state Performance Test, the Multi-state Professional Responsibility Examination, a local state bar exam or all three exams.

Emily, law school can be the most challenging and rewarding years of your life. However, admissions can be a difficult and stressful experience. Start your preparation early and you will improve your chances of attending the law school of your dreams.

Hope this was Helpful Emily
Thank you comment icon Thank You Dexter for your Continued Support. If what we did yesterday seems big, we haven't done anything today. John Frick
Thank you comment icon Your welcome Emily, it was my pleasure. John Frick
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Georgina’s Answer

Law school does not require a specific major but developing strong analytical and critical thinking skills will help you go far in the profession. Any major that requires research and writing will develop the muscles you need for writing legal memos and briefs. You should consider logic based coursework as it will prepare you for the LSAT exam. In addition, I strongly recommend having some fundamental business courses. Whether you become a corporate attorney or a litigator for domestic relations cases, ultimately law is a business and having a good understanding of basic business principles will help you be successful in the career since you still need to manage your own "book of business". If you do pursue a legal career and have corporate clients, understanding how their business functions will help you be a better advocate for them, whether in the boardroom or the courtroom.
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Kim’s Answer

Hi Emily!

Your major can be anything you want it to be! Really! I encourage you to take classes that will help you get through law school (speech, debate, grammar, Latin vocabulary, LOGIC (usually in the philosophy dept), which you can usually take with the general requirements and electives.

For the major, think about what kind of law you might want to practice. If you are interested in business law/corporate law, you will need a good foundation in how businesses operate! You will need to understand their financial record-keeping. If you want to specialize in criminal law, you will need to understand the various crimes. This often, but not always, involves science - Suppose your DWI client is accused of homicide, for running over a pedestrian. You will need to try to prove it was an unavoidable accident. There's also white collar crime, and computer crime. If you want to go into Family Law, you might want to major in Sociology.

Realizing that not everyone who starts out to go to law school actually does, and not everyone who graduates from law school finds a job, you may want the major to be whatever your "Plan B" is.

I recommend you check out the websites of the law schools that interest you, and see what their focus is. Besides good grades, they often look for positions of leadership in school organizations.

hope this helps!
Kim
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Jessica’s Answer

As many already stated, you really could study anything you want in college if you want to eventually pursue Law. What I will say is that if you enjoy History that could be a good area to major in for your undergrad. A lot of History Majors that do not move on into Education after graduation, tend to go to Law School. History is not just a regurgitation of facts - it's all about being able to critically analyze documents, laws/regulations, culture, societies, politics etc. and then taking what you've researched to develop an argument and support that argument in a well-written and well-articulated format. History prepares you for Law because it teaches you how to collect and analyze the facts, present a well-founded argument, and how to properly communicate that argument.

I am a little biased because I do have a BA in History and loved it. Today I'm a Compliance Analyst for a bank; which isn't far off from Law as I read and interpret federal/state regulation every day to ensure that the bank for which I work stays compliant with those laws. I use the skills I developed as a History Major in this career every day.
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Robert’s Answer

John Frick's response was fantastic. Suggest you follow his advice when planning for a career in law.

Many of the lawyers that I work with specialize in Financial Services and Tax law. Most went to top 10 schools and excel in their roles. The most common thread across that group is they love what they do. The work inspires the very best in them - its truly something to see how motivated they are to succeed / outperform.

5 step plan:
- make sure you crush undergrad (talking about the future w/o delivering in the present means you will not get into your law school of choice) - grades and LSATs matter
- talk with faculty in undergrad to help narrow down the field/s of law you may be interested in pursuing
- reach out to alumni of the schools you are interested in applying to help provide feedback / help (alumni are a great resource)
- remember to periodically evaluate your choice / focus area along the way (things change overtime so you want to be flexible and not be dead set on option A only)
- lastly, get involved in as many student organizations as possible on campus to help improve your understanding of law while building your resume for law school

Remember you are always being evaluated - always. Make sure that you leave no stone unturned during undergrad, do your best, outperform and have fun.
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Devron’s Answer

Emily, good afternoon. My wife has been a corporate attorney for over 20 years. One of the most important skills as an attorney is to be able to write well. Major in something that interest you. It does not have to be political science, history or english. Keep in mind the need to have good writing skills.
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Edrian’s Answer

Getting a strong foundation is the first thing to do. Political Science or Mass Communication could be a good choice as a pre-law course. You will get to learn things that you would be able to apply in LAW once you entered it.
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LINDSAY’s Answer

You can choose any major. I would personally recommend choosing something that you are truly interested in and/or something which would still be beneficial to you should you end up choosing a different career path.
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Edrian’s Answer

Getting a strong foundation is the first thing to do. Political Science or Mass Communication could be a good choice as a pre-law course. You will get to learn things that you would be able to apply in LAW once you entered it.
0
0
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Georgina’s Answer

Law school does not require a specific major but developing strong analytical and critical thinking skills will help you go far in the profession. Any major that requires research and writing will develop the muscles you need for writing legal memos and briefs. You should consider logic based coursework as it will prepare you for the LSAT exam. In addition, I strongly recommend having some fundamental business courses. Whether you become a corporate attorney or a litigator for domestic relations cases, ultimately law is a business and having a good understanding of basic business principles will help you be successful in the career since you still need to manage your own "book of business". If you do pursue a legal career and have corporate clients, understanding how their business functions will help you be a better advocate for them, whether in the boardroom or the courtroom.
0
0
Updated
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Robert’s Answer

John Frick's response was fantastic. Suggest you follow his advice when planning for a career in law.

Many of the lawyers that I work with specialize in Financial Services and Tax law. Most went to top 10 schools and excel in their roles. The most common thread across that group is they love what they do. The work inspires the very best in them - its truly something to see how motivated they are to succeed / outperform.

5 step plan:
- make sure you crush undergrad (talking about the future w/o delivering in the present means you will not get into your law school of choice) - grades and LSATs matter
- talk with faculty in undergrad to help narrow down the field/s of law you may be interested in pursuing
- reach out to alumni of the schools you are interested in applying to help provide feedback / help (alumni are a great resource)
- remember to periodically evaluate your choice / focus area along the way (things change overtime so you want to be flexible and not be dead set on option A only)
- lastly, get involved in as many student organizations as possible on campus to help improve your understanding of law while building your resume for law school

Remember you are always being evaluated - always. Make sure that you leave no stone unturned during undergrad, do your best, outperform and have fun.
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
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Jessica’s Answer

As many already stated, you really could study anything you want in college if you want to eventually pursue Law. What I will say is that if you enjoy History that could be a good area to major in for your undergrad. A lot of History Majors that do not move on into Education after graduation, tend to go to Law School. History is not just a regurgitation of facts - it's all about being able to critically analyze documents, laws/regulations, culture, societies, politics etc. and then taking what you've researched to develop an argument and support that argument in a well-written and well-articulated format. History prepares you for Law because it teaches you how to collect and analyze the facts, present a well-founded argument, and how to properly communicate that argument.

I am a little biased because I do have a BA in History and loved it. Today I'm a Compliance Analyst for a bank; which isn't far off from Law as I read and interpret federal/state regulation every day to ensure that the bank for which I work stays compliant with those laws. I use the skills I developed as a History Major in this career every day.
0
0
Updated
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Robert’s Answer

John Frick's response was fantastic. Suggest you follow his advice when planning for a career in law.

Many of the lawyers are work with specialize in Financial and Tax law. Most went to top 10 schools and excel in their roles. The most common thread across that group is they love what they do. The work inspires the very best in them and they come prepared everyday to bring their very best - its truly something to see how motivated they are to succeed / outperform.

5 step plan:
- make sure you crush undergrad (talking about the future w/o delivering in the present means you will not get into your law school of choice) - grades and LSATs matter
- talk with faculty in undergrad to help narrow down the field/s of law you may be interested in pursuing
- reach out to alumni of the schools you are interested in applying to help provide feedback / help (alumni are a great asset)
- remember to periodically evaluate your choice / focus area along the way (things change overtime so you want to be flexible and not be dead set on option A only)
- lastly, get involved in as many student organizations as possible on campus to help improve your understanding of law while building your resume for law school

Remember you are always being evaluated - always. Make sure that you leave no stone unturned during undergrad, do your best, outperform and have fun.
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
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Robert’s Answer

Hi Emily,

John Frick's response was fantastic. Suggest you follow his advice when planning for a career in law.

Many of the lawyers are work with specialize in Financial and Tax law. Most went to top 10 schools and excel in their roles. The most common thread across that group is they love what they do. The work inspires the very best in them and they come prepared everyday to bring their very best - its truly something to see how motivated they are to succeed / outperform.

5 step plan:
- make sure you crush undergrad (talking about the future w/o delivering in the present means you will not get into your law school of choice) - grades and LSATs matter
- talk with faculty in undergrad to help narrow down the field/s of law you may be interested in pursuing
- reach out to alumni of the schools you are interested in applying to help provide feedback / help (alumni are a great asset)
- remember to periodically evaluate your choice / focus area along the way (things change overtime so you want to be flexible and not be dead set on option A only)
- lastly, get involved in as many student organizations as possible on campus to help improve your understanding of law while building your resume for law school

Remember you are always being evaluated - always. Make sure that you leave no stone unturned during undergrad, do your best, outperform and have fun.

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John’s Answer

Great question. I have recently asked myself this same question while dealing a lot with immigration scenarios and the strife included with the process. I would recommend criminal justice or Human resources. The in depth explanations and course requirements would set you up nicely for that route. That is only half of the battle. Make sure you are doing your due diligence to prepare for the LSAT and also doing other things to market yourself well enough to be chosen for a Law program. Volunteering at different firms and having letters of recommendation should be helpful as well.
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Lindsey’s Answer

Law school admissions rely heavily ( and I mean HEAVILY) on a matrix scoring method of your GPA + your LSAT score, so ultimately (and somewhat frustratingly) those things matter much more than any substantive experience...though the substantive experience will put you ahead of the pile against those of your peers who score the same. Focus on something you like doing that will help you be a good writer, and get good grades. Also, it sounds counter-intuitive, but some philosophy courses, which focus on "logic games," could potentially help you succeed at the LSAT.