Choosing a Major
Choose a major that you find interesting, challenging and inspiring.
Pre–Law students are required to choose a major in which they specialize. What is crucial is that students choose a major that reflects their intellectual interests and abilities. Choose a discipline that stretches your thinking, challenges you, and inspires you. That said, don't choose a discipline that is so challenging that you cannot get good grades!
Three different approaches to selecting an undergraduate major.
The General Education Option: Because law schools generally do not give “admission points” for a particular undergraduate major, a broad-based undergraduate major has its advantages. A broad-based undergraduate major allows you to explore a variety of disciplines with the hope having the broadest possible education prior to entering law school. Even if you choose this approach, you will want to consider some of the specific courses in our “recommended” list, but the general education approach provides a great deal of flexibility and the exposure to the broadest education. This approach results in choosing a major that reflects your intellectual interests and abilities more than career development.
The Specific Major Option: Another approach is to choose an undergraduate major that will enhance the law degree in terms of a specific career. Are you thinking of a career in the environmental area? An undergraduate degree in environmental science would be a logical choice. Likewise, combining engineering and law, medicine and law, business and law, or criminal justice and law are logical examples of this approach. This approach to choosing a major favors career development over the broad-based undergraduate education.
The “What if I don’t go to law school” Option: Although law school may be your goal now, circumstances may change. If you do not go to law school (or find that law school or the practice of law is not for you), which undergraduate major would be best? This analysis takes you back to Options 1 and 2, but is certainly something that should be considered in your planning process.
A final note: our experience is that double majors will not help you get into the law school of your choice, but may be a way of dealing with the issues presented above.