Law School Discussion

Applying to Law School => Law School Admissions => Topic started by: ruick on April 15, 2005, 07:07:19 PM

Title: unique majors?
Post by: ruick on April 15, 2005, 07:07:19 PM
I dont know which major to choose for college, and im split between two "careers/goals". I'm interested in both the law field and the business field. I still am not certiant, but what if i choose business administration as a major and college - i know law schools are always looking to diversify, and choosing an "alternative" majors actually gives you the edge, would this include BA? That way i see how much i like business, if i'm not interested in doing it for life i'll go law.
Title: Re: unique majors?
Post by: Lanya on April 15, 2005, 08:11:57 PM
Business is a fine major in preparation for law school.  In fact, in law there are many areas that are directly about business law or some area of law that is involved in business transactions, such as business contracts, business litigation, and many more.  Since you say that you are very much interested in both business and law, you may decide to combine your interests later on and go into one of these areas of business related or corporate law.  You don't have to, but getting a major in business will definitely give you an edge in going into one of these fields over someone who majored in something else and has little understanding of business.  So business is a great choice of major for you.  By majoring in it and doing well, you will not be hurting, most likely only improving, you chances of getting into a good law school (if that's what you decide to do later on).

A business degree is by no means a unique pre-law track for your undergraduate education.  Unique majors would be ones like drama, dance, music.  But there are people who major in those subjects as well, go to law school, and do just fine.
Title: Re: unique majors?
Post by: kilroy55 on April 15, 2005, 11:52:10 PM
If you are looking for a unique major, you should enter into the hard sciences.  Although science majors are appearing more in law school, they are still a minority.  Personally, I hold a BS in chemistry and a BA in history, and I think it has helped me to some extent.  I've been waitlisted at places that i should have been outright dinged with my GPA.
Title: Re: unique majors?
Post by: Harrahs on April 16, 2005, 01:49:13 AM
i would major in what interests you; don't pick you're major with the idea in mind of making yourself a more interesting applicant.  although i am obviously not an adcomm, how common -- or uncommon -- your major is will matter very little in gaining admission or not.  there is something to be said for picking a major you feel will you will do best in, gpa wise.

casino
Title: Re: unique majors?
Post by: EPH05 on April 16, 2005, 02:02:55 PM
     As a quick preface let me say that I am a total liberal arts snob and that my opinions are not necessarily informed, correct, or meaningful.  However with that said I would encourage you to pursue a liberal arts degree if you're planning to go to a graduate school anyways (I'm assuming from your first post that it is either a JD or MBA after UG).  Like the other posters I think you should pick a major based on your interests etc., but why enter a pre-professional major when you'll go to graduate school to train yourself professionally.  Take advantage of the opportunity presented to you and get a liberal arts degree that will focus entirely upon broadening your mind and improving your analytical skills rather than preparing you for a profession.
Title: Re: unique majors?
Post by: NoelleMyBelle on April 17, 2005, 03:19:24 PM
If you don't go to grad school, what would you want to do?  Major in that.

A lot of people think that they might got to grade school someday, but circumstances can change.  That's why only a total dumbass would major in pre-law.  Go for a field where you will enjoy the classes, you can get a good GPA, and you will have career options if you want to work right out of undergrad.

Business school might actually be a big different (MBA, I mean) so you might want to ask around on that.  For law school, though, it doesn't matter so don't sweat it.  I completely agree with the poster who said that you shouldn't be choosing a major based on what the AdComms will think...this is YOUR life. 
Title: Re: unique majors?
Post by: Snuvy on April 18, 2005, 03:21:49 AM


i'm a theatre major and going to law school.  (well poli sci dbl.)

but i'd say do WHAT YOU LOVE.  because in the end, if you hate your major your grades will decline and you'll have a miserable time in college.

i would caution being strictly bfa, fine arts, theatrical arts, because they don't have the "tougher" writing requierments that the social sciences place on students, and this is something that a lot of law schools look for...i mean, you can definitely be a business administration major, and that'll work out perfectly fine for law school...but if u're doing something w/ less rigorous writing classes consider taking classes w/ more of a writing emphasis to show law schools you're capabable.

hth

Title: Re: unique majors?
Post by: ruick on April 21, 2005, 04:04:09 PM
thanks for the advise. Well i was interested in BA, but the easiest subject for me to get a 4.0 would be getting a Comp Science degree, since i've taken AP Comp Sci, loads of programming courses,etc.Not sure if im interested in doing it for life though (constant computer typing,but easy for me). So how would law school react to that?
Title: Re: unique majors?
Post by: Snuvy on April 25, 2005, 03:12:53 AM
thanks for the advise. Well i was interested in BA, but the easiest subject for me to get a 4.0 would be getting a Comp Science degree, since i've taken AP Comp Sci, loads of programming courses,etc.Not sure if im interested in doing it for life though (constant computer typing,but easy for me). So how would law school react to that?

it doesn't matter, just hit a homerun on the LSAT.


I second Phantic's advice.
Title: Re: unique majors?
Post by: ThePerfectSoldier on July 28, 2005, 04:48:15 PM
I think its enough to just major in something related to what you plan to do in grad school.
Title: Re: unique majors?
Post by: G-Money on July 30, 2005, 01:06:16 PM
The most unique major I can think of is botany (the study of plants for those of you who don't know).

Btw, business sounds like a good idea.
Title: Re: unique majors?
Post by: Cyndra on July 31, 2005, 09:25:16 AM
Major in what interests you. If you're sure that you want to go to law school or business school, great. Then spend your college days doing something else that you love. You have the rest of your life to immerse yourself in law or business. I was a bio major because I'm a science geek. I knew I wanted to go to law school, but I chose my major based on my interest in the sciences. Who knows, maybe you'll fall in love with something else and find that law school really isn't right for you. Or maybe you'll find that you can combine that non-law related interest with law. I as a bio major have interest in pursuing IP law or health law. It's college. There are no prereqs for ls, so just do what you want.
Title: Re: unique majors?
Post by: wunder on November 11, 2005, 07:41:05 PM
I agree with the others.  Do something you love and are interested in.  I wouldn't have gotten through college had I majored in something "normal."

But, on the flip side, from someone who had a few years' gap before going to law school (my spouse got to go first), pick a major that will allow you to transition into a career, at least temporarily if necessary.  If I had a nickel for every English major friend of mine that is making an hourly wage, I'd be rich.  (Kudos to those English majors who found a job -- I'm not flaming on you -- maybe my friends are all just stupid or something.) Business administration would qualify as career-oriented, as would programming. 
Title: Re: unique majors?
Post by: Vannabunny on November 17, 2005, 12:21:23 PM
Major in what you love, what you think you think you can keep a good gpa in, and get a job if LS is not really for you. I can only stree how important the first one is.

It seems to em the LS dont care too much what you major in - I am a Social Studies Education/Special Ed major with a physcology minor....things I feel passionate about, which in turn drove me to succeed in classes in those areas.
Title: Re: unique majors?
Post by: AmyJD on February 08, 2006, 03:45:37 PM
3.25 GPA and previous year's median LSAT get you into Northwestern:

http://www.mccormick.northwestern.edu/prospective/honorscombinedprograms.html#HPEL

Or, their integrated science program is sort of the 'liberal arts' of the science and engineering world, and highly respected:

http://www.isp.northwestern.edu/
Title: Re: unique majors?
Post by: muffin on March 19, 2006, 03:35:59 PM
thanks for the advise. Well i was interested in BA, but the easiest subject for me to get a 4.0 would be getting a Comp Science degree, since i've taken AP Comp Sci, loads of programming courses,etc.Not sure if im interested in doing it for life though (constant computer typing,but easy for me). So how would law school react to that?

I hope well since that's one of my majors!  If you go to a school whose program is ABET accredited, it qualifies you to sit for the Patent Bar, which means you can become a patent lawyer.  Or if you decide not to go the law school route, you can still be a patent agent.

I wouldn't count on it being as easy of a major as you think though.  My school's CS program has a huge attrition rate because a lot of students come in thinking they're going to get a degree in programming, and honestly, computer science isn't that much about programming.  You're going to have to take calculus based physics, calculus, calculus based statitics, and lots of classes focusing on algorithm analysis (if you didn't like the section of AP CS dealing with Big-O and different sorting algorithms, you probably won't like CS).  Most of it's going to be about math and analytical thinking, *not* programming.  Almost all of the programming after first year is to reinforce abstract concepts (and programming things like two-three trees in an imperative language is a nightmare).  If you're good at that and you enjoy it, however,  definately go for a CS degree.

If you do go this route, make sure you minor or double major in a Social Science or Humanities subject or you will likely notice a large drop in your reading/writing skills -- I've noticed that my critical reasoning skills have atrophied since I've started taking mostly CS classes (although my analytical reasoning skills have become very solid!), and this is despite that the fact that I have a double major in Economics.
Title: Re: unique majors?
Post by: the town drunk on March 19, 2006, 03:43:47 PM
B.A. Douchebaggery
Title: Re: unique majors?
Post by: CuteCUTigerr on May 21, 2006, 09:42:42 PM
I majored in accounting.  I think it's not a bad idea to do something where you have a definite career if you change your mind; you never know what the future might hold.  It doesn't really matter what you major in undergrad although certain majors will do a better job preparing you for law school.  However, you can seek organizations that help you develop these same skills.  Although I majored in accounting, I was really involved in our literary magazine and ethics bowl (debate).  Basically, pick something that you love and don't worry about how that will help you with law school. :) 

To plug my major for a second, though.....you'd be amazed how fascinating debits and credits really can be... :P
Title: Re: unique majors?
Post by: Jolie Was Here on May 22, 2006, 08:35:15 AM
Just by scanning the previous posts, I can see there's quite a diversity of opinions on this one: here's my $.02, which you're free to do with what you will. 

Major in something that you find intellectually engaging and that will teach you to think.  That will be different for different people.  The truth is that very few degrees prepare you with skills and knowledge that directly translate into specific careers.  I'm almost a decade out of undergrad now, and very few of my friends are working in fields that would have been obvious given their majors in college.  There's one with an anthropology BS who works in design, one with a masters in clinical psych who's a makeup artist, a double major women's studies and psych who works as a reading education specialist for D.C. charter schools, a music composition and theory major who's in law school, a computer science major who's acting professionally... 

My own path was pretty meandering - my bachelors is in biology and bioanthropology.  I never worked in the hard sciences post-graduation, but I wouldn't change my ug for anything.  The sciences train you in a type of critical thinking that I may not have picked up elsewhere.  Then I did my masters in Industrial and Labor Relations (the grad correlate to the program linquest mentioned) which blended law, history, economics, bargaining and negotiation skills, sociology, social theory...  I think that a well-rounded education is invaluable. 

I'm not suggesting that my way would be for everyone - it was definitely well-rounded, but also a little schizophrenic.  What I am saying is that there's no sense trying to follow some cookie cutter path at this stage of your life, because very few roads lead directly to a specific end anyway. 

Either way, have fun choosing!
Title: Re: unique majors?
Post by: englawyer on March 12, 2007, 03:45:28 PM
BBA is probably a poor choice, even for a business career.  Companies will not plop you out of u-grad and let you "manage" a team of experienced people.  That is unrealistic. 

The best pre-business major I could think of would be a double major in Industrial Engineering & Finance.

IE is concerned with how to improve manufacturing, increase efficiency, etc.  If you join a company as a IE you can probably move up into more business stuff easily and you will have a high starting salary.

Finance would show an interest in business with some tangible skills.

Along this track , you should aim for something like:
http://www.gecareers.com/GECAREERS/html/us/studentOpportunities/leadershipPrograms/entry_level.html

Aim for the OMLP or the FMP.  FMP in particular is known as one of the best "finance" programs around and will surely fast-track you.  However, I'm sure OMLP would be just fine too.

This course of action would possibly jeopardize law school though.  L-schools do not like "practical" or "vocational" majors, such as engineering or business.


The best "flex" option would be (in my opinion) double major in IE and Math.  Math is one of the premier pre-law majors (along with Philosophy).  Surely shows great analytical skills and will let you master the LSAT.  It is also a "generalist" major.  IE would give you the business option though.  Corporations would also love to see Math (the CEO of General Electric was an Applied Math major).
Title: Re: unique majors?
Post by: Ipsa Dixit on March 28, 2007, 08:38:32 PM
Study something you enjoy as an undergrad and that has a good department.  I double-majored in college, one with a tiny but incredibly supportive department (Classics), one with a giant everyone-is-getting-this-degree huge anonymous classes department (Communication). 

I still keep in touch with the professors from Classics.  I enjoyed both areas of study, but the Classics major made for a much richer college experience.

Also, do internships.  That is where you are going to get practical experience.  I did a few and they were invaluable.  Your major doesn't necessarily have to have anything to do with your internships.
Title: Re: unique majors?
Post by: Captain on April 02, 2007, 10:06:49 PM
Pick a major that interests you, that way you will do well in your classes and get good grades. Soft factors help in admissions, but your major is actually not a very important soft factor -- Numbers are still king.

If you PM me, I'll tell you why I don't believe in an undergraduate Business degree....

Ever thought of majoring in Economics? There are a few law schools (Chicago and Mason...) that integrate economics into their program...
Title: Re: unique majors?
Post by: Captain on April 02, 2007, 10:10:50 PM
Seriously though, the best advice ever is this:

Go into college as an Undecided major. Do the Gen. Ed. classes first and get a taste for different subjects, and let that guide you. Try a bit of everything. Take an introductory accounting class -- it's the most boring business subject, so if you can handle it, you can probably deal with being a business major.

Keep in mind that the Engineers and Science students think that the Business majors are stupid, and the Arts majors consider them ignorant tools.
Title: Re: unique majors?
Post by: pikey on April 03, 2007, 07:46:43 AM
I was a BBA (finance and accounting).  I know I'm smart.  @#!* all y'all!  :D 

But honestly, if that's what you enjoy, then go for it.  I did very well in some difficult classes because I enjoyed it and had an aptitude for it.  In the end, that makes all the difference.  If you're not sure that you want to go to law school or plan to take a few years off in between then business is definitely a good choice. 

In addition, MBA programs look for meaningful work experience. It'll be a lot harder to get that experience with a 'random' major.  However, if you decide to go the business route, you'd be better served to pursue a professional designation (CFA, CPA, etc) before (or instead of) an MBA, which are a dime a dozen.
Title: Re: unique majors?
Post by: Captain on April 03, 2007, 08:14:55 AM
In addition, MBA programs look for meaningful work experience. It'll be a lot harder to get that experience with a 'random' major.  However, if you decide to go the business route, you'd be better served to pursue a professional designation (CFA, CPA, etc) before (or instead of) an MBA, which are a dime a dozen.

OK, correct information to follow:

Less than 20% of MBA graduates studied Business at the undergraduate level.

If you do study business as an undergrad, think real hard about doing an MBA. MBA's cover much of the same course content as your undergraduate business programs.

If you are thinking about an MBA, then I recommend studying something in the liberal arts and sciences as an undergrad.

Economics or Math would likely be helpful, but ultimately it won't matter. Arts majors DO get jobs, and MBA programs don't really care what job you had.

---

While you don't really NEED a CFA, Moni is very right. The exams to get all of those CFA/CPA/etc designations are tough, and anyone who can toss those postnominals on their resume/business card is going to be VERY well respected in those fields.

---

I stick to my earlier advice though... I don't believe in the undergraduate business major, but regardless...

Try out a few different subjects (including business) before declaring. Find a subject that you ENJOY and will excel at. If you are planning to go on to a professional school, your grades will matter more than the classes you took.
Title: Re: unique majors?
Post by: pikey on April 03, 2007, 08:23:32 AM
In addition, MBA programs look for meaningful work experience. It'll be a lot harder to get that experience with a 'random' major.  However, if you decide to go the business route, you'd be better served to pursue a professional designation (CFA, CPA, etc) before (or instead of) an MBA, which are a dime a dozen.

OK, correct information to follow:

Less than 20% of MBA graduates studied Business at the undergraduate level.

If you do study business as an undergrad, think real hard about doing an MBA. MBA's cover much of the same course content as your undergraduate business programs.
If you are thinking about an MBA, then I recommend studying something in the liberal arts and sciences as an undergrad.

Economics or Math would likely be helpful, but ultimately it won't matter. Arts majors DO get jobs, and MBA programs don't really care what job you had.

---

While you don't really NEED a CFA, Moni is very right. The exams to get all of those CFA/CPA/etc designations are tough, and anyone who can toss those postnominals on their resume/business card is going to be VERY well respected in those fields.

---

I stick to my earlier advice though... I don't believe in the undergraduate business major, but regardless...

Try out a few different subjects (including business) before declaring. Find a subject that you ENJOY and will excel at. If you are planning to go on to a professional school, your grades will matter more than the classes you took.

I agree with the bolded, which is why I suggested professional designations.  In response to the italics, just because the majority of MBA's are non-business majors does not mean that the majority of non-business majors get business jobs.  They get MBAs because they do not have a business education. 

If you want a business career, then you have the best shot with a business degree.  People of all backgrounds go into business, but those who are most successful at getting those initial jobs are those who have a business background.  Just like liberal arts types tend to look down on business majors, business people (the ones doing the hiring) often tend to look down on liberal arts majors.  The one exception is econ, which is seen as the next best thing to a business degree (or as one businessperson I talked to put it "the major for those who can't get into business").  Up until 2 years ago, I wanted a business career for most life (and my parents are a CFA and CPA), so I've definitely done my research.  If you are serious about a business career, BBA then designation is one of the best routes to take.
Title: Re: unique majors?
Post by: Captain on April 03, 2007, 09:23:40 AM
just because the majority of MBA's are non-business majors does not mean that the majority of non-business majors get business jobs.  They get MBAs because they do not have a business education.

You'd be surprised how many Liberal Arts majors are running major companies, I'm sure. The easiest way to a job on Wall Street is an MBA, the second-best is a Bachelor's in Business, but they WILL hire liberal arts majors, engineers, science majors... Merrill Lynch hired a Hotel Hospitality major while my dad was working there.

Outside of Wall Street, the people who run companies come from a much more varied background. Sometimes they have a business degree, other times they don't. At the upper-echelons you'll see plenty of MBA's, but the BA's associated with them aren't limited to finance or accounting.

Quote
If you want a business career, then you have the best shot with a business degree.

Just about every job is in a "business." So I guess you mean Wall Street? Finance? Investment Banking? Trading?

Quote
People of all backgrounds go into business, but those who are most successful at getting those initial jobs are those who have a business background.

In Banking/Finance/Stock Trading, yes. In other businesses it isn't the case.

Quote
Just like liberal arts types tend to look down on business majors, business people (the ones doing the hiring) often tend to look down on liberal arts majors.
I really really doubt this entirely.

Quote
The one exception is econ, which is seen as the next best thing to a business degree (or as one businessperson I talked to put it "the major for those who can't get into business").
Which is actually funny, because it isn't true (Econ isn't a major for people who somehow can't get into business). I really don't know who you've been talking to, but they're probably just an a-hole.

Listen, study what you want. I'm kind of over the UG obsession with "OMG UR MAJOR SUX0RS!!!1Lol," some people didn't. Business Majors don't study a well-rounded program, and that can (but won't necessarily) come back to bite you in the ass later on.

Business majors tend to score below average on both the LSAT and GMAT (National Institute of Education study). On average, they make less per month than Computer Science majors and Engineers, with most other undergrad majors very close by (US Census Bureau data...)
Title: Re: unique majors?
Post by: pikey on April 03, 2007, 09:34:57 AM
just because the majority of MBA's are non-business majors does not mean that the majority of non-business majors get business jobs.  They get MBAs because they do not have a business education.

You'd be surprised how many Liberal Arts majors are running major companies, I'm sure. The easiest way to a job on Wall Street is an MBA, the second-best is a Bachelor's in Business, but they WILL hire liberal arts majors, engineers, science majors... Merrill Lynch hired a Hotel Hospitality major while my dad was working there.

Outside of Wall Street, the people who run companies come from a much more varied background. Sometimes they have a business degree, other times they don't. At the upper-echelons you'll see plenty of MBA's, but the BA's associated with them aren't limited to finance or accounting.

Quote
If you want a business career, then you have the best shot with a business degree.

Just about every job is in a "business." So I guess you mean Wall Street? Finance? Investment Banking? Trading?

Quote
People of all backgrounds go into business, but those who are most successful at getting those initial jobs are those who have a business background.

In Banking/Finance/Stock Trading, yes. In other businesses it isn't the case.

Quote
Just like liberal arts types tend to look down on business majors, business people (the ones doing the hiring) often tend to look down on liberal arts majors.
I really really doubt this entirely.

Quote
The one exception is econ, which is seen as the next best thing to a business degree (or as one businessperson I talked to put it "the major for those who can't get into business").
Which is actually funny, because it isn't true (Econ isn't a major for people who somehow can't get into business). I really don't know who you've been talking to, but they're probably just an a-hole.

Listen, study what you want. I'm kind of over the UG obsession with "OMG UR MAJOR SUX0RS!!!1Lol," some people didn't. Business Majors don't study a well-rounded program, and that can (but won't necessarily) come back to bite you in the ass later on.

Business majors tend to score below average on both the LSAT and GMAT (National Institute of Education study). On average, they make less per month than Computer Science majors and Engineers, with most other undergrad majors very close by (US Census Bureau data...)

I was referring to initial jobs not top of the pile.  By the time you're running companies you're long past your initial jobs.  In some ways this parallels the top schools argument.  Of course you can get a top legal job from most schools, but its a lot more difficult.

As for the liberal arts thing, its quite prevalant.  Finance/banking/etc companies are waaaaaaaaay more likely to hire business majors for entry level positions (which is what I was referring to).  An MBA is irrelevant to the discussion, because its not entry level.  For most people, you have to do something before you get that MBA.

As I said in my first post, study what you like and have an aptitude for.  It makes all the difference. 
Title: Re: unique majors?
Post by: Captain on April 03, 2007, 11:42:56 AM
As I said in my first post, study what you like and have an aptitude for.  It makes all the difference. 

Yeah, before we go any further off-topic. TITCR.

Unless you want to do IP (specifically Patent) Law, then you HAVE TO have a science/engineering degree (although I think there is a loophole where the degree can be in anything, as long as you have a minimum of credits in certain courses -- but that's a PITA).
Title: Re: unique majors?
Post by: thorc954 on April 07, 2007, 08:57:05 PM
major in anything. i did math and it made me more appealing.. got into a great school and what not... however, i had no fun in undergrad.  if i could do it again, i would major in history or poli sci, pledge a frat, and just get drunk and have fun more. 

do something fun.  take swimming and tennis class, law school will be four years away and they really only care about numbers.  the only employers that are going to care are the IP firms, but that work isnt the most enjoying anyway, so if you arent a science/engingeering minded person, there is not point in picking anything specific.
Title: Re: unique majors?
Post by: the Caity Cat on April 25, 2007, 12:56:33 PM
I'll echo everyone else here and say that you should major in what YOU like. I tried a Political Science major and it lasted for all of two quarters. I switched to a double major in Spanish (used to be a second major to PoliSci) and Applied Linguistics. Lo and behold, my GPA is higher, I'm happier, and I feel like I'll be better prepared for law school/graduate school because I feel more involved in what I study.

Also, don't go into college thinking you'll major in something and never change your mind. I know maybe two people who did that; the rest of us changed majors at least once. It might take an extra year, even, to figure out what you enjoy, but you'll get a better education for it.
Title: Re: unique majors?
Post by: beeker on April 25, 2007, 01:15:56 PM
The most unique major I can think of is botany (the study of plants for those of you who don't know).

Btw, business sounds like a good idea.

I majored in Archaeology...that's pretty unique, no?