This thread got me to thinking about what kind of academic background is best for an aspiring law student in the U.S. The ABA says that there is no ideal background and that everyone is different. Any four year degree will do, I guess. That MIGHT be true as far as getting into and through law school but I'm less sure about passing the Bar and practicing law. So here are my personal impressions: Thing Zero, so to speak, is sufficient math skill to understand how much a law degree will cost and how long paying it off will take. Add to that a clear idea of Return on Investment and a willingness to accept what the resulting analysis tells you. Thing Zero, applied rigorously, would instantly eliminate about three quarters of the first year class nation wide and would probably kill off at least half of the law schools in the U.S. This would be a good thing, too, for everyone except the legal academy. Thing One: The ability to read and understand the English language quickly and completely and the ability to express your conclusions in clear, fluid written and spoken English. There is no time to learn the effective use of English in law school. It is also exceedingly unlikely that a Bar applicant will succeed without this level of English proficiency. Thing Two: A good grasp of rhetoric meaning the ability to understand and make logical arguments. Thing Three: A good grasp of the nation's political and legal history. Final Thing: A non-specialist's clear understanding of the scientific method. An actual science or engineering background is unnecessary and in my own experience does not tend to produce a superior lawyer. It seems to me that California might have it right. 60 semester hours of carefully selected college level study (following a decent High School education) really should be enough.