Published June 23, 2018 This content is archived.
Updated April 12, 2023
Here’s the secret: there’s no undergraduate major that will guarantee admission to or rejection from law school. You should choose a major that best fits your interests and goals.
While the Admissions Committee isn’t looking for a specific background or academic major, there are more common disciplines among prospective law school applicants that emphasize proficiencies like critical reading and writing skills, problem-solving skills, research skills, and oral communication and listening skills. These are critical to excelling in law school, on the bar exam, and in legal practice.
A report by the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) lists the top majors of law school applicants for the 2022 enrollment year and these were the 10 most common majors.
Political Science is the not-at-all-surprisingly undisputed top pre-law major.
The second highest number of admitted law students majored in “Other” - topics that did not fall under the other 144 majors listed.
A Psychology degree can be very helpful for prospective attorneys since practicing law is as much about the people involved as it is about the law itself.
The study of criminal justice involves research methods for criminology, criminological theory and the psychology behind criminal behavior.
If you’re interested in corporate or tax law, majoring in economics should provide a solid foundation. Economics is also broadly applicable to other areas of law.
Practicing law requires strong oral and written language skills for things like case briefs, memos, and analyzing and presenting a case. You’ll likely tap into the skills you acquire as an English major while in law school.
Law is tightly entwined with History, as it requires knowledge of legal precedents and origins of laws.
At their foundation, the law must consider ethics, human nature, common sense, and other philosophical topics to be effective.
This major may include concentrations like foreign languages, religion, and design.
Sociology is the study of people in groups. Laws are guidelines for how people are expected to act in groups.
You can apply to law school with any academic background. In fact, if you’re planning on specializing in a specific legal industry (e.g., environmental, medical, intellectual property) you may find it helpful to build a background in that discipline before applying to law school.
Below are a few of the more surprising majors from the pool of 2022 law school applicants.
The award for least expected pre-law major goes to Astronomy with a total of 5 applicants for the 2022 enrollment year.
A close runner-up is Agronomy, the study of crop and soil science.
The third favorite underdog is Dentistry, with seven total applicants.
By now, you may have concluded that there is no right or wrong answer! However, if you’re interested in a specific market, industry, or legal topic, building a foundation at the undergraduate level is a great idea.
And remember, it’s in your best interest to select a major that you enjoy and that will help you build the skills necessary to succeed in law school.
Whatever you decide, be sure to focus and put in the work. This will help you achieve your ultimate goal- gaining admission to law school!