Should You Major in Pre-Law or Journalism Before Law School?


I recently came across a question on Quora asking whether a college student planning on attending law school should major in pre-law or journalism.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get much information about the questioner's interests or dreams. Having said that, many college students thinking of law school may have a dream of becoming a badass prosecutor, human rights lawyer, or something else. I can totally empathize.

Still, I would greatly caution college students when they decide their major due to their ultimate desire to go to law school. I think that this stance is pretty risky. The risk comes from three areas:

  • The assumption that your desire to go to law school won’t change throughout college.
  • The assumption that you’ll be admitted to the right law school for you, that you’ll receive good grades, and that you’ll actually get your dream job.
  • The assumption that you’ll actually enjoy your dream job.

It’s impossible to mitigate all of these risks. That said, I think it’s important to get some work experience in the legal field if you’re even thinking about law school. I previously wrote an essay on this idea and you can find it here.

But back to the question. I hesitate to give personal advice since I don’t know much about you. Still, I generally think that if a college student feels passionate about any subject besides law, they should follow that passion. Doing that won’t inherently disqualify them from entering law school. However, a pre-law major may make it harder for you to find jobs in other fields if you end up foregoing law school. It’s just something to think about.

Ultimately, however, law school admissions officers care much more about your GPA and LSAT compared to your undergraduate major. Whatever you choose, just make sure to dominate your courses and nail the LSAT.