My Major Before Law School

Politics

I've lately written several posts discussing whether a college student's major matters when they are applying to law school. I ultimately believe that it's not as important as people believe it is, but in any event, I wanted to share how I think about my own college major at the University of Michigan.

Simply put, I was one of those stereotypical political science majors.

I had been interested in politics since high school and figured that I would eventually want to enter the political world. Law school had also been on my mind, but it wasn’t like I chose a political science major in order to maximize my chances of attending a great law school.

I wouldn’t necessarily say that political science helped prepare me for law school. Sure, you can learn some basics about the U.S. judicial system and the U.S. Constitution, but it’s not going to dramatically help you when you’re in your constitutional law class. I also took several law-specific undergrad courses (national security law being one). In retrospect, I didn’t know what I was doing and the law school-related benefits were marginal at best.

On the flip side, political science courses involve a healthy amount of reading, so you do get the benefit of learning to read long, dense material within a short timeframe. You also improve your writing skills, which is certainly helpful as a law student.

However, I would say that a political science degree wasn’t drastically helpful for law school. But that’s OK. For the purposes of law school, a single major isn’t going to give you a drastic advantage over your classmates. If you’re a college student and interested in law school, your north star is to own your courses (regardless of the major) and dominate the LSAT.