Here, we will be focusing on how to choose a major that will help you get into law school. When I was in high school. I was very interested in government and wanted to have a career in government without being a politician. I thought that the best way to meet this goal would be having a major in political science before going to law school. Importantly, I knew that political science was a major that many law school applicants have. However, if I could have approached the process differently, I would have. I would have evaluated my career and academic interests more deeply. I would have looked at my strengths. Finally, I would have looked for what law schools look for in students. The purpose of this article is to help you make those assessments sooner than I did.

So, how do you choose a major that will help you get into law school? Below is a brief list of the things you should focus on.

  • Play to your interests
  • Play to your strengths
  • How having the right major can help you get into law school
  • How having the right major can help you with your career

Most of this article will be based on the principle, “begin with the end in mind.” To learn more about that topic, click here.

Play to your interests

One thing I have learned over the years is that everyone has more than one interest. For some, it may take time to explore all the activities that interest you. For others, you may already have a good idea of several things you are interested in. You job is to match those interests with academia. At this stage, don’t worry about what major you think law schools would pull students from.

For me, although I had an interest in politics and government, I also think I would have enjoyed journalism, communications, broadcasting, marketing, sports, and more. Each of these fields interest me.

How having the right major can help you with your career

It is also important to evaluate your career interests. Some fields of law require a certain background in your undergraduate. For instance, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) require lawyers who have a background in STEM. If you have an interest in engineering and politics, but want to work with patents, you may want to consider an engineering major and minor in politics.

Other fields of law may require more specific majors as well. It is also possible that certain programs in law schools require a specific kind of major. So do some research before deciding on a major.

Play to your strengths

Finally, you will want to play to your strengths. You may have a uniquely natural skillset such as public speaking, event organization, or writing. Although each major incorporates several skills, some may be more specialized. For instance, computer programming requires a detail centered, quick eye that quickly catches system bugs.

The key to proper major selection is to take all of these considerations and aligning them together. Look at your interests, consider what skills are necessary for success and find a major that intersects the two. You will find that your undergraduate experience is more fulfilling, you will perform better in classes, and achieve strong grades essential to law school admission success.

How having the right major can help you get into law school

Interestingly, the top 5 majors applying to law school in 2019 was:

  • Political Science with 12,967 applicants and a 77.07% acceptance rate.
  • Psychology with 3,850 applicants and a 73.71% acceptance rate.
  • Criminal Justice with 3,673 applicants and a 59.16% acceptance rate.
  • English with 3,402 applicants and a 79.42% acceptance rate.
  • Economics with 3,235 applicants and an 82.69% acceptance rate.

For a complete list of applicants by major, click here.

Although you can certainly choose political science as your major, you will certainly stand out more if you have a major that is less common. STEM majors appear to have high acceptance rates and language majors have extremely high acceptance rates.

I am not saying to select a major because law schools will look at it more when applying. Law schools admit most majors equally. I’m suggesting playing to your strengths. I would not be surprised if language majors have higher acceptance rates because those students develop stronger relationships with their professors. Or if STEM majors work harder to prepare for the LSAT. Or if English majors prepare better personal statements. Select a major that will make you better at what you want to study.

In other words, the major you choose doesn’t matter to admissions boards as long as you use the major to prepare a strong academic resume. Many students choose political science because of an interest in governance. Overall, law schools appear to do a good job at making sure each student is given a fair chance, regardless of the undergraduate major.


So, play to your strengths, find your interests, and make sure you plans align with your academic and professional careers. The sooner you make these plans, the sooner you will find fulfillment in your undergraduate experience.

If you would like to listen to this article instead, play below.

Categories: Undergraduate

Will Laursen

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