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What To Major In For Law School: Find The Best Path

August 22, 2023


Reviewed by:

David Merson

Former Head of Pre-Law Office, Northeastern University, & Admissions Officer, Brown University

Reviewed: 01/17/23

If you’re interested in becoming a lawyer and want to know what to major in for law school, read on to find out more!

Pursuing a law degree starts well before you even look at law school applications. In order to get into any law school in the nation, you’ll need to complete a Bachelor’s degree. 

If you’re unsure of which degree to choose, this guide will go over some of the best majors for law school. It will also discuss your acceptance chances if you choose majors outside of these choices.

Best Pre-Law Majors

Top Pre-Law majors

The following majors will allow you to gain basic knowledge that will help you transition into law school better. They will also let you begin honing skills you’ll rely on heavily throughout law school and your legal career.

Criminal Justice

This may be an obvious choice, but this major is directly related to law and can give you a good foundation to begin learning about criminal law.

However, you will also be learning about various other types of law in law school, such as family law, environmental law, international law, tax law, and more. So, this major will only be beneficial for a portion of your education or if you’d like to pursue criminal law in particular. 

If you decide to complete a criminal justice major, experts suggest you double-major in another liberal arts degree that is more rigorous, as criminal justice degrees are often viewed to be less demanding than others. Law schools appreciate when students excel in challenging programs. 

Political Science

This degree tends to be very common for pre-law students. Studying this major allows students to begin learning about politics, decision-making, transfers of power, and how rules and governments are formed and function. These are all also subjects law students must become familiar with in law school. 

Students can begin dipping their toes in the water with this degree because they’ll be introduced to some of the topics that will be expanded on in law school. You’ll see some of the same terminology you will in law school, which may help you feel more confident in your studies.

Another reason to pursue this undergraduate major for law school is it develops your critical, analytical, and writing skills. You’ll be expected to not only analyze complex texts and arguments, but to also develop coherent written thoughts on these materials. Again, these are all skills you’ll need to have to be successful in law school.


For students interested in learning about the past and how society evolved to what it is today, history might be the perfect pre-law degree for you! In this major, you will learn about past rules and governments and how laws came into existence. 

You will also learn why certain laws failed in the past, and why certain laws have passed the test of time for decades. 

Contemporary history programs are also attempting to include more diversity in the type of history students are taught. Pre-law history students are thus able to become more culturally aware, allowing them to be more just, knowledgeable, and impartial lawyers. 

This type of major can even inspire the direction of your legal career if you’re particularly moved by certain discriminatory laws that persist today! 


Another popular choice for undergrad students interested in pursuing law is a psychology major. Psychology majors allow students to begin understanding human behaviors and predicting them. Lawyers are expected to be able to not only understand humans and their actions, but also anticipate how their opponents may react during trials.

This major is also generally research and writing intensive, which can help students prepare for the copious amounts of reading, research, and writing they’ll be expected to do in law school.


Philosophy majors focus on theory and ethics to a great extent. In law school, you’ll be expected to learn legal theories and put them into practice. Ethics are also inseparable from law, as lawyers must act ethically in order to best represent their clients and the justice system. 

Philosophy also delves into the way people think, which can be useful for lawyers who must understand people in order to do their jobs effectively. 


Certain liberal arts degrees should be pursued because students in these majors tend to score higher on the LSAT. 

For instance, students pursuing linguistics degrees are generally accepted at a much higher rate than their peers due to their high LSAT scores. In 2016, 90% of linguistics majors who applied were granted admission to various law schools.

This is likely because linguistics majors have a better grasp on language and interpreting it, allowing them to score higher on both the reading comprehension and logical reasoning sections of the LSAT

Additionally, linguistics majors tend to have good written and oral communication skills, which can help them succeed in law school.


Good communication is an essential legal skill. By pursuing a communications degree, you’ll learn how to successfully communicate in various forms. You’ll also learn how to be a persuasive public speaker, which will be extremely helpful to boost your confidence when you participate in mock trials in law school. 


Much like linguistics majors, mathematic majors tend to score higher on the LSAT, which increases their chances of gaining admission to law schools. These majors help students develop good reasoning and deduction skills, which will not only be helpful on the LSAT, but also in law school and during your legal career.


Any science degree is bound to be academically demanding, which can boost your application if you’re able to achieve excellent grades. Science majors are also expected to have good memorization skills, which can aid law students in the majority of their courses.

English Literature 

An English major can be an excellent pre-law major because it focuses on skills lawyers are required to have: abstract thinking, critical thinking, analysis, and communication skills.

English students also get accustomed to juggling many complex readings at once, which will certainly help them manage their law school readings easier!

Can I Get Into Law School With Other Majors?

While we’ve suggested majors that can help you prepare for law school better, there is truly no perfect major you should pursue for law school! None of the majors listed here will guarantee you a spot in any law school or guarantee success in your legal studies. 

Law school is a different ball game than any undergraduate major, even the most challenging ones. Law schools also always prioritize your GPA over your major, and will actually appreciate if you have experience in multiple disciplines.

So, rather than just pursuing a major simply because you think it’ll look best on your application, pursue a major you are genuinely passionate about. You should also take electives in different disciplines to explore your interests and expand your skill set!

Even if you have a stellar application otherwise, a low GPA is hard to recover from. By choosing a major you actually enjoy, you’re much more likely to get a higher GPA, which will impress the admissions committee more than any degree!

The Skills Law Schools Are Looking For

Regardless of which major you choose, there are certain skills you should begin acquiring during your undergrad that will make you a more attractive law school candidate:

  • Analytical thinking
  • Critical thinking
  • Written communication
  • Oral communication
  • Reading comprehension
  • Deductive reasoning
  • Organization
  • Research ability
  • Interpretation of various materials
  • Creativity

Pursuing courses that allow you to strengthen these skills will make you a more ideal candidate for law school and will help you fare better in your legal studies.

Pre-Law Schools Major FAQs

In case you have any remaining questions about what to major in for law school, here are the answers to frequently asked questions about the best pre-law majors.

1. What Is The Best Major For Law School?

There is no best pre-law major! The best major to pursue is one that you’re interested in and can maintain a high GPA in. In this major, you should pursue electives from varying disciplines to gain a more comprehensive education and show you are academically talented in several fields. 

2. Should I Choose Pre-Law As My Major?

Choosing pre-law as your major isn’t going to increase your chances of getting into law school because these majors can’t actually adequately prepare you for law school – no major can. Additionally, if you change your mind about law school or aren’t able to get in, this degree may be very limiting. 

3. Can I Still Get Into Law School With A Drama Major?

Yes! Many drama majors have gotten into law school because they were able to maintain a high GPA and explored other electives. 

4. Is a Science Degree Better Than An Arts Degree For Law School?

Not necessarily! While both have their perks and let you hone important skills, either degree can help you get into law school if you get the right grades. 

While many believe science degrees are more impressive than arts degrees, this is absolutely not the case! Most arts degrees are writing-intensive and develop skills that are relevant to law school, like reading comprehension and textual analysis.

5. What Major Will Help Me Score Higher On The LSAT?

While no major is guaranteed to prepare you for the LSAT or help you score higher, statistics show linguistics and mathematics majors tend to score higher on the LSAT. Due to these majors scoring above average on the LSAT, they tend to have higher acceptance rates than other majors.

However, you should only pursue these majors if you already have a knack for the subjects. Both programs are rigorous and can be challenging to do well in if you don’t have an interest or skill in the subject. In this case, regardless of if your major helps you achieve a high LSAT score, your low GPA will make you a less attractive candidate.

6. What Is The Most Common Pre-Law Major?

Political science is one of the most common pre-law majors.

Final Thoughts

After reading this guide, your biggest takeaway should be that the best major to pursue for law school is completely subjective. When deciding what to major in for law school, you should pick the major that you feel the most drawn to! 

By choosing a major you’re excited about, focusing on your GPA, and taking a diverse set of electives, you will not only enjoy your undergrad experience more but will also have a better chance of getting into law school!

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