Law School Discussion

Pre-law and other careers

Pre-law and other careers
« on: July 27, 2008, 02:27:04 PM »
I attend a prestigious high school where most people already have their lifeís planned out. I, on the other hand still don't know what career or field I would like to go into. I excel and enjoy both English and History, so I am looking for a career in those fields. One of my teachers suggested law, as in pre-law.
     After doing some research I discovered that some advise not to go into pre-law if you wish to become a lawyer. Another one of my strong areas is design.  I am thinking that I could major in graphic/interior design and then go into law school later. Would that be a bad idea, or because itís different than most majors could that help me. I know that design isnít related to pre-law, but is this still an okay thing to do?   
I am also wondering what else you can do with a pre-law, or political science major; or is it better to have a English or History major? And are their any related jobs that I could go into with a English or History major?


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Re: Pre-law and other careers
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2008, 02:49:00 PM »
It's very hard to map out the rest of your life when you're only 16 years old. I don't recommend being pre-law in undergrad. A political science degree is not a prerequisite in applying to law school. In addition to poli-sci, English majors, engineers, graphic designers and business majors also apply and get into law school.

Your major isn't important. How you perform (your GPA and LSAT) are critical to getting into law school.

At this point, I suggest you survey a number of careers that are of interest to you. Talk to students studying these areas who are in college. Sit in on a class at the local college. Also, take the time to find practicing attorneys and graphic designers. Ask them about what they do and see if you can shadow them for a day.

It's a GREAT idea to major in something not law-related and work in that field for a few years. It will you give you great perspective, and you'll have something unique about your application that the scores of poli-sci majors don't. You may also decide you don't want to be a lawyer, which is fine, too.

There's nothing wrong with being a poli-sci major, though. Nor an English major. Or Economics, etc. Major in the areas that you think are interesting. Take advantage of career testing to see what your strengths are. And then talk to people in those fields. It isn't uncommon to switch careers (not just jobs!) multiple times in one's life, so don't feel like you have to stick with something you thought of when you were younger. The person you are at 30 will be very different than the person you were at 18! It's ok to change the "plan."

Don't worry about not having it all figured out at this point. Just do the best you can and get great grades -- so that you can get into college. Once you are there, take the classes that interest you-- even if they are things you never thought of before. One of my classmates was an anthropologist before coming to law school! We really take all kinds of people from all kinds of backgrounds.

Good luck! Take your time and do your research.


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Re: Pre-law and other careers
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2008, 03:34:34 PM »
Don't major in pre-law, it's regarded pretty much universally as a joke of a major and a poor substitute for a real liberal arts education.

Really don't major in graphics or interior design if you think you'll want to go into law later on. As poor of a major as pre-law is, it's a lot better preparation for law school than any sort of design degree.

Feel free to major in English or history if either appeals to you more than political science. All three seem to prepare you pretty well for law school (all things considered). Also consider philosophy if you haven't already. On actual work stemming from a English/history/poli sci degree, don't count on getting a job directly involving almost any liberal art beyond teaching. A liberal arts education teaches you how to think critically and write well. Unfortunately, it doesn't really teach you any marketable skill set beyond that, hence why so many liberal arts majors go to law school, grad school, or starve to death.


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Re: Pre-law and other careers
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2008, 07:49:04 AM »
The previous two posters both gave excellent advice.  I'd echo them, and add that if you do (read:major in) what you love in college, then the grades will more or less take care of themselves.  That way, you are set up for law school if you wish, or if that doesn't work out, then you are ready for the field directly related to your major.  Plus, you've had an excellent college experience.

Also, as law school dean will tell you, there is no one "pre-law" major.

Re: Pre-law and other careers
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2009, 11:32:20 PM »