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So You Want to Be a Lawyer? Insights into Pre-Law Majors

Your favorite shows are about lawyers passionately fighting for their clients about land zoning. Or, you have a relative who practices law and truly enjoys it. What if you want to be the one drafting the End User License Agreements you love to read every time you install new software into your laptop? How can you prepare to be a lawyer? Of course, you will need to attend law school.


Law school admissions in the United States typically require a strong undergraduate GPA, a Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) score, letters of recommendation, extracurricular activities, and a personal statement.


How can you prepare? What should you study in college? Majors that help you sharpen and display your reading comprehension, logical reasoning, analytical reasoning, writing skills, and research skills are great preparation for the rigor of law school.


What Majors Should You Choose?

Political Science is likely the major that comes first to mind when you think about law school. Indeed, it is a very popular major for law school applicants. However, other majors will also give you rigorous experiences to prepare you for law school, such as History, English, Psychology, Philosophy, and Economics. Other popular majors include: Criminal Justice, Sociology, Journalism, Finance, and Public Policy. Lawyers-to-be can also be found studying the sciences: Biology, Chemistry, and Math. Your path ultimately depends on your specific needs. For example, if you wish to become a patent attorney, you will need to take a scientific or technical major before passing the patent bar.

Fun Fact: Meilin studied Math as an undergraduate at UC Santa Cruz before going to Mithcell Hamline to study law. Read about her experience at  Mitchell Hamline here.


How to Test for Personal Fit?

The American Bar Association highlights certain strengths and skills important to developing a career in the law. Some seem quite obvious – such as problem-solving, critical reading, research skills, and excellent writing skills but more nuanced strengths they encourage you to consider are: listening, organization, and relationship-building. The ABA also encourages you to leverage a broad base of knowledge – human behavior, history, science, math, international and domestic politics – to develop competency in the profession.


Before Applying to Law Schools, Ask Yourself:

    • Am I a good listener?
    • Can I read dozens or hundreds of pages in a row – while closely analyzing each word?
    • Do I enjoy writing with extreme care and attention to detail?
    • Can I connect information across different domains of knowledge to figure out how to solve problems?



Written by Meilin Obinata

This article is written by Insight Senior College Admissions Counselor Meilin Obinata.

Meilin Obinata is a Senior College Counselor who enjoys learning from her students. She believes education is a creative endeavor and creates a space that allows students to explore new ideas. As a Bay Area native who grew up in Santa Cruz, she is familiar with the local schools. Read her full bio here.

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