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  1. #1
    DegreeDazed is offline Registered User
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    Apr 2010

    What Bachelor's Should You Get If You Want to be a Lawyer?

    What bachelor's is best to get into law school? My friend says that an English degree is fine, but I'm not sure about that. Should you get a degree in communications or is there a pre-law degree somewhere?

  2. #2
    NorCal is offline Registered User
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    An undergraduate degree in English is usually the best choice from what I understand. Its not mandatory, you can major in anything, but I've been told it helps.
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  3. #3
    TEKMAN is offline Semper Fi!
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    I agree with NorCal, because attorney requires high level of language communications . However, also depends what kind of law you want to practice. If you want to be an Intellectual Property Lawyer, Science and Engineering would be recommended. If you plan to do Taxation Law, then Finance/Accounting .
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  4. #4
    atrox79 is offline Registered User
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    I don't know too much about law school but I know lots of people who major in English, Philosophy, Political Science & History for their undergrad degrees with the goal of going on to get a J.D.. It seems to me that there would be so many applicants with these kinds of degrees at top law schools that even scoring perfectly on the LSAT wouldn't necessarily get you noticed. I heard once (from a lawyer..not that they're so rare that his opinion is gold) that law schools love people with hard science, math and engineering majors. It could help you stand out at some top tier schools if you have high LSAT scores.

    I know a guy who got into UCLA and is majoring in philosophy just because he wants to score a perfect on the LSAT...that sounds like a total waste to me & there's no guarantee he'll score perfectly, so I would say consider the whole package. Major in something that would be useful even if you decided to change your graduate plans halfway through your undergrad.
    Last edited by atrox79; 09-05-2011 at 09:43 PM.

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  5. #5
    SteveFoerster is offline Resident Gadfly
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    Jan 2004
    Northern Virginia & Dominica, West Indies
    An LLB is the best Bachelor's degree for law school.

    Okay, but seriously, before your friend really sets out on a law school track, s/he should take a long hard look at the currecnt employment prospects for recent law school graduates. They're dismal -- and it means a lot of people with massive student loan debt that they have poor prospects to be able to service.
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  6. #6
    Psydoc is offline Registered User
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    Feb 2011
    According to a local judge, who I was on a high school career panel with, "the best degree for law school is a degree that will allow you make a living doing something you enjoy if you fail to get into or out of law school." Makes a lot of sense to me.

  7. #7
    Hokiephile is offline Registered User
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    Dec 2010
    Anything that requires you to do a lot of reading, writing, and thinking. Engineers and scientists often have trouble at first because they're used to more concrete thinking. I teach law students and they mostly have abysmal reading and writing skills, so work on those. Don't avoid classes because they require a lot of reading or a research paper. In my opinion, English as a major (because it is mostly literature) is less helpful. History , political science , economics , philosophy are the most like law school.

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  9. #8
    CalDog is offline Registered User
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    Mar 2005
    Law school admissions are heavily controlled by two factors: LSAT score and GPA. So if the only consideration is law school admissions, then it could be argued that: "the best major for law school is the one that will maximize your GPA."

    In reality, though, this should not be the only consideration. For example, it is clearly a plus if your degree will provide career opportunities in the event that law school doesn't work out, as suggested in Post #6 above.
    Last edited by CalDog; 09-06-2011 at 11:05 AM.

  10. #9
    CalDog is offline Registered User
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    Mar 2005
    The Law School Admissions Council puts it like this:

    The ABA does not recommend any undergraduate majors or group of courses to prepare for a legal education. Students are admitted to law school from almost every academic discipline. You may choose to major in subjects that are considered to be traditional preparation for law school, such as history, English, philosophy, political science, economics, or business, or you may focus your undergraduate studies in areas as diverse as art, music, science, mathematics, computer science, engineering, nursing, or education. Whatever major you select, you are encouraged to pursue an area of study that interests and challenges you, while taking advantage of opportunities to develop your research and writing skills. Taking a broad range of difficult courses from demanding instructors is excellent preparation for legal education.
    As this quote suggests, the most "traditional" pre-law majors are probably "history , English, philosophy, political science , economics , or business". But many other majors can work as well.
    Last edited by CalDog; 09-06-2011 at 11:12 AM.

  11. #10
    Ted Heiks is offline Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member
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    Hands down, a double major in history & political science .
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  12. #11
    Ian Anderson is offline Registered User
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    Colorado, USA
    Quote Originally Posted by TEKMAN View Post
    .............. If you want to be an Intellectual Property Lawyer, Science and Engineering would be recommended. .............
    A friend of mine with an BS engineering degree entered law school with the intent of becoming a patent attorney which he now is.

  13. #12
    brothert69 is offline Registered User
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    Jun 2011
    Disclaimer: I am neither a lawyer nor a current law school student.

    The short answer is any bachelors degree from a RA school.

    The long answer is that every school has different admissions standards. Overall the most important thing is your LSAT score and the second most important is your GPA. However some schools recognize that a 4.0 GPA in liberal arts is much different than a 4.00 GPA in say engineering . As others have already stated a good choice would be a degree that you can use either instead of or in concert with your law degree. Personally I am doing my bachelors in Accounting and plan on sitting the CPA exam before I even consider law school. This way I am active in a profession that is complimentary to a law degree or that I can fall back on if I decide not to attend law school. You should do your undergraduate work in whatever you are passionate about as your are more likely to be successful in that type of study.

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