What is the Best Undergrad Degree for Becoming a Lawyer?

If you want to become a lawyer, then you will have to make many smart choices along the way. The first choice you will have to make is what to study in college. There are two different ways that you can approach this question. You might choose the degree that will make you most successful in law school. As an alternative, you might choose the degree that will help you the most as an actual lawyer. Some might be surprised to learn that these things are not necessarily the same. If you’re not quite sure of what you’d like to study, you will be happy to learn that lawyers come from a host of different backgrounds.

Almost any degree can lead to the legal field

The cliche that all roads lead to the legal field is mostly accurate. The attorneys rolls are full of people who studied many different things in college. This means that even if you are not able to choose the perfect major, you still have an opportunity to be a great jurist. Lawyers might study engineering in order to learn analytical skills. They might study English to learn the basics of reading and writing. They might also study something like history in order to hone their research skills. Lawyers might even come from the medical side, having studied a hard science. Each of these things can make you an effective attorney.

Choose a degree that teaches some sort of analytical skill

If you want to become a good lawyer, you need to know how to analyze issues. Knowing the law is not nearly enough. Any fool can look in a book and read a statute. The good lawyer is the one who is able to effectively apply the law to the facts at hand. With that in mind, you should look for a degree that gives you these analytical skills. This could mean the world of engineering, where you will learn to break down practical problems into small parts. It might also mean history, a degree field that teaches you to analyze events and characters from some time period. If you’re being taught critical thinking skills, then it will help you become a good lawyer.

Choose a degree that trains you on reading and writing

In addition to critical thinking skills, you will want to take on a degree that teaches you to read and write. When you get to law school, you will quickly see that reading and writing are the two most important skills for a good attorney. You will be asked to read through cases and other secondary sources. You will be asked to write for a host of different audiences. If you can study something that gives you a good foundation in these skills, then you will come out more prepared for your trek into the legal field.

No one degree stands out over any other. You can come to the legal field from any degree in the humanities, from a communications perspective, or even from a mathematics background. Psychology majors also tend to do well in the legal world. The best advice is to study something that interests you so that you can make good grades.

Further reading available at the Bureau of Labor Statistics.