Choosing the Ideal Path: What Undergraduate Degree is Best for Law School Success?

Starting your journey in law school can be both exhilarating and daunting. The first step is often choosing the right undergraduate degree – a decision that could influence your success in law school and beyond. But with numerous options available, how does one make an informed choice? In other words, what undergraduate degree is best for law school? Whether you’re passionate about political science or intrigued by psychology, the key lies in aligning your personal interests with a major that nurtures essential skills for a legal career.

Key Takeaways

  • There is no singular ‘best’ major for law school; students should choose undergraduate degrees based on interest, the development of relevant skills for law success (critical thinking, analysis, writing), and demonstrating the ability to handle academically rigorous courses.

  • Common undergraduate majors among successful law school applicants include Political Science, History, Philosophy, and English, all of which help develop vital skills such as research, critical thinking, and communication, and are associated with high law school admission rates.

  • Maximizing undergraduate experience for law school success extends beyond academics to developing key skills through electives and extracurricular activities, building relationships with professors for guidance and recommendations, and gaining practical experience in legal settings through internships or work.

Factors to Consider When Choosing an Undergraduate Major for Law School

Maximizing undergraduate experience for law school success

When envisioning a successful law career, the undergraduate degree you choose plays an integral role. However, there is no universally best major for law school, which leaves room for flexibility and personalization. Selecting a major that resonates with your interests and equips you with the necessary skills for law school success and beyond is of paramount importance.

Furthermore, the law school application process is not just about ticking boxes. It’s about demonstrating your ability to thrive in a rigorous academic environment. Within this context, both a high GPA and the rigor of your course load carry significant weight. Law schools assess your college GPA along with the nature of your coursework during the admissions process.

Personal Interests and Passions

Aligning your undergraduate major with your personal interests and passions is a fundamental aspect of preparing for law school. This alignment can significantly influence your motivation and mental well-being, leading to better academic performance and a more prepared you for law school.

While a high GPA is undoubtedly a critical factor in the law school admissions process, selecting a major solely to boost your GPA may not be the best strategy. In addition to grades, law schools also take into account the rigor of your coursework. They seek candidates who show a commitment to grappling with intricate subject matter and display the capacity to excel in the demanding setting of law school.

Skill Development for Law School Success

Preparing for law school involves more than just acquiring knowledge; it’s about refining skills that will benefit you throughout your legal career. Some of the skills you should focus on developing include:

  • Critical thinking

  • Analytical reasoning

  • Writing

  • Research

  • Oral communication

  • Listening abilities

These skills are vital for pre law students, regardless of whether you identify as a pre-law major or are considering other pre law majors.

Writing-heavy majors, for instance, help develop writing stamina and polish, while research skills play a crucial role in effectively navigating legal resources and crafting arguments. Similarly, oral communication is vital for presenting arguments, while listening skills are essential for comprehending complex legal concepts and instructions.

Law School Admission Requirements

Although the subject matter of your major is significant, law schools do not prescribe specific prerequisite courses. Nevertheless, your course selection plays a significant role in law school admissions, offering a challenging academic environment that underscores your intellectual abilities.

In addition to your coursework, the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is another significant aspect of law school admission. Preparation for the LSAT demands dedicated time and effort, as the test evaluates your reading comprehension, analytical reasoning, and logical reasoning skills, all key to success in law school.

Top Undergraduate Majors for Law School Applicants

Navigating the sea of undergraduate majors can be overwhelming. However, certain majors have consistently proven to provide a strong foundation for legal studies. Among law school applicants, prevalent majors include:

  • Political Science

  • History

  • Philosophy

  • English

These majors not only cultivate essential skills but also have commendable law school admission rates.

Be it Political Science to understand government systems or English to refine your reading and writing skills, these majors adeptly prepare students for the extensive reading and writing demands of law school.

Political Science

Political Science, a popular pre-law choice, familiarizes students with legal terminology and subject matter, while fostering the development of critical and analytical skills. It fosters the development of skills such as:

  • research

  • writing

  • critical thinking

  • communication

  • analytical reasoning

  • oral communication

  • problem-solving

All of these skills are highly advantageous for law school.

The study of Political Science also equips students with a comprehensive comprehension of government, laws, and policy operations, all of which are fundamental for legal education. Whether you’re studying migration, environmental policies, or contentious political issues, a political science degree can be instrumental in laying a strong groundwork for your legal studies.


A history major can:

  • Inspire a legal career

  • Provide valuable context for legal studies

  • Foster a broader appreciation of individuals from diverse cultural and societal backgrounds

These qualities are highly advantageous for aspiring attorneys.

History majors immerse themselves in a diverse range of subjects, from the study of cultures and civilizations to an exploration of social justice issues. With an acceptance rate of 79.1% for history majors applying to law school, it’s clear that this field of study is viewed favorably by law schools.


Majoring in Philosophy is akin to embarking on a journey of inquiry and analysis. Philosophy majors develop a suite of skills including:

  • Critical thinking

  • Deductive reasoning

  • Public speaking

  • Communication

  • Logical argumentation

These skills prove beneficial for law school students, especially in the field of criminal justice and understanding the legal system.

The analytical nature of Philosophy also pays off when it comes to the LSAT. With an average LSAT score of 159.47, Philosophy majors are strong contenders for admission, demonstrating the strength of this major in preparing for law school.


Language wields immense power, and an English major enables students to leverage this to their advantage. English majors focus on reading and writing, skills that can improve your communication and prepare you for the heavy reading and writing demands of law school.

In addition, critical thinking skills developed in English courses, which include critical reading writing, can be advantageous for a future law career as they improve the capacity to analyze intricate legal matters, formulate compelling arguments, and critically evaluate evidence and legal principles.

Additional Majors Worth Considering for Law School

Other fields of study can also provide unique perspectives and skill sets that are beneficial for law school. Some alternative majors to consider include:

  • Political Science

  • Philosophy

  • Psychology

  • Sociology

  • History

  • Economics

Don’t limit yourself to the traditional majors – explore your interests and find a field of study that aligns with your passions and strengths.

Additional majors worth considering for your law school journey include:

  • Mathematics, with its focus on analytical prowess

  • Psychology, which explores human behavior

  • Economics, which offers a blend of qualitative and quantitative skills

Each of these majors offers unique benefits and is worth considering.


Mathematics may not be the most conventional pre-law major, but it offers distinct advantages. Mathematics majors acquire reasoning skills, analytical skills, and the ability to think critically, all of which are highly beneficial in law school. The logical thinking and problem-solving abilities developed through mathematics can be advantageous for various law careers, such as patent law, tax law, and mergers and acquisitions.

Moreover, the analytical nature of the LSAT aligns with the mathematical problem-solving skills, leading to competitive LSAT scores. High LSAT scores are crucial as they heavily impact law school admissions and serve as an indicator of potential success in law school.


Psychology majors delve into the intricacies of human behavior and decision-making, gaining valuable insights that can be applied in legal contexts. Understanding human behavior provides a lawyer with the ability to:

  • Guide and relate to clients

  • Assess witness credibility

  • Analyze jury behavior

  • Develop persuasive arguments

Moreover, a psychology major provides a foundational understanding of human behaviors and the ability to predict them, which is valuable in legal contexts. With an average LSAT score of 155.07, psychology majors not only gain insight into human behavior but also tend to perform well on the LSAT.


An economics degree offers significant advantages to law students as it has wide-ranging relevance to different legal domains, especially corporate and tax law. Proficiency in intricate economic principles is essential for navigating tax law, federal regulations, and enhancing competitiveness when applying to law schools in these specific areas.

In addition, studying Economics fosters:

  • Critical thinking

  • Analysis of data and information

  • Enhancing analytical skills through the comprehension and evaluation of diverse economic concepts and phenomena.

Maximizing Your Undergraduate Experience for Law School Success

Although your major is a significant contributor to your law school preparation, fully utilizing your undergraduate experience extends beyond academics. Equally important elements that can enhance your law school preparation include developing key skills, fostering relationships with professors and mentors, and amassing practical experience.

Whether it’s participating in a debate club, securing an internship at a law firm, or volunteering at legal organizations, each experience adds a unique facet to your law school application, setting you apart from the competition and preparing you for the rigors of law school.

Developing Key Skills Through Electives and Extracurricular Activities

A well-chosen set of electives and active participation in extracurricular activities can significantly broaden your skill set. Electives provide avenues for honing critical legal skills like legal writing, communication, and comparative law. On the other hand, extracurricular activities provide an opportunity to apply these skills in real-world scenarios.

Engaging in internships, research projects, or part-time jobs in the legal field can significantly enhance your preparation for law school. These opportunities not only enhance your resume and personal statements but also provide practical hands-on legal experience, enabling you to gain firsthand knowledge of different aspects of the legal profession.

Building Relationships with Professors and Mentors

Cultivating strong relationships with your professors and mentors can prove invaluable throughout your law school journey. Professors can offer personalized guidance, support, and valuable letters of recommendation for your law school application.

Establishing and maintaining open lines of communication, demonstrating mutual respect, articulating personal goals, and actively seeking advice and feedback on a regular basis can help cultivate a productive relationship with your professors and mentors.

Gaining Practical Experience

Gaining practical experience is indispensable for understanding the legal profession. Part-time positions such as a victim advocate, legal secretary, or paralegal can offer you a glimpse into the legal world, providing opportunities to navigate real-world scenarios, develop practical skills, and gain valuable insights.

In addition, engaging in research work during undergraduate studies can add value to your law school application by showcasing your capacity to:

  • tackle academic challenges

  • cultivate critical thinking and analytical abilities

  • express enthusiasm for particular programs and faculty at the targeted law schools.


In conclusion, the path to law school starts with choosing the right undergraduate major, be it Political Science, History, Philosophy, or even Mathematics. The key is to align your personal interests with a major that nurtures essential skills for a legal career. Don’t overlook the importance of developing key skills, building relationships with professors and mentors, and gaining practical experience. Remember, your journey to law school is not just about the destination, but also about making the most of the journey itself.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does it matter what undergrad you go to for law school?

The prestige of your undergraduate program matters very little for law school admissions. What’s more important are your GPA and LSAT scores. Unlike medical school, law school doesn’t require specific prerequisites in terms of undergraduate major or courses. Focus on excelling in your GPA and LSAT for law school admissions.

Which graduation degree is best for law?

A degree in political science is considered one of the best options for law school, as it helps to improve essential skills and provides in-depth knowledge about the Constitution and the court system. This can greatly benefit your success in law school and in a professional capacity.

Are there any additional majors worth considering for law school?

Consider adding majors such as Mathematics, Psychology, and Economics for law school, as they offer unique perspectives and skill sets that can be beneficial.

How can I maximize my undergraduate experience for law school success?

Maximize your undergraduate experience for law school success by developing key skills through electives and extracurricular activities, building strong relationships with professors and mentors, and gaining practical experience through internships or part-time jobs in the legal field. This will provide you with a strong foundation for law school and beyond.

Practical experience in the legal field is crucial for law school admission as it enhances understanding, provides practical skills, and offers firsthand knowledge of the profession. This can significantly strengthen your application.

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