You have decided to pursue a fulfilling career in law. However, you wonder how you can best prepare for that career. You have heard that some students who study pre-law do not quite build the foundation they need to enter law school or begin training with law enforcement. You may have also heard that pre-law represents your only worthwhile option.
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The truth lies between the two. Law schools accept students from all kinds of disciplines, but the four listed below should prepare you best for careers in law.
If you want to focus on criminal, personal injury, or corporate law in your career, consider a degree in criminology for your undergraduate studies. This degree focuses on every facet of criminal behavior. You will also learn about the inner workings of the criminal justice system.
Additionally, should you want to join law enforcement or correction organizations, this degree will prepare you better than every other on this list.
2. English and Journalism
It may seem counterintuitive to earn a degree in English or journalism when you want to continue on to law school. However, both of these degrees will prepare you in ways that no other path can.
For example, both teach you exceptional communication skills and prepare you for the rigorous written and verbal presentations and arguments you will make in the future. English and journalism will also teach you how to think from multiple perspectives and show tolerance and understanding towards your clients.
[What are some of the top career paths followed by law school graduates?]
Economics may also seem like a counterintuitive choice; however, its emphasis on calculation and strategy will serve you well when you advance to law school. Corporations and bankruptcy law firms will need your firm grasp of economic workings. Other entities will need your rational understanding of cause and effect.
4. Physics or Mathematics
Any degree that works with numbers will help you prepare for a career in law. Physics and mathematics can help you in many of the same ways that economics will.
However, these two majors also ready you for law school’s rigors. By the time you complete these degrees, you already have the self-control to complete complex and even sometimes tedious assignments. You’ll have all the mental tools you need to succeed in law after you graduate.
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Which Should You Choose?
The bottom line is that you should choose an undergraduate degree that you know you will excel in. If any of the degrees above play to your strengths, choose them. If another suits you better, opt for that one. Just make sure that the one you choose aligns—in some way—with the field of law you will eventually pursue, even if your undergraduate degree only teaches you discipline.
A recent college graduate from University of San Francisco, Anica loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.