Should I Major in Political Science or Philosophy Before Law School?

Political science

Apologies for the long layoff—I was away for several weeks starting up my latest project, which is called Suspend The Rules. If you're interested, Suspend The Rules is a news organization where we are trying to transform the idea of talking points on the day's political, business, and cultural news. If you're interested, I recommend that you check it out!

In the meantime, however, rest assured that I will continue contributing to this blog and offering my insights on law school and legal practice.

Selecting Your Major Before Law School

About one week ago, I came across a Quora post with the questioner asking if he or she should major in political science or philosophy before law school. This question spoke to me because I majored in political science at Michigan before attending Penn Law.

Normally, I hesitate to give personal advice on a question like this, but I can speak about my experience and my general impressions of the question.

I didn’t study political science solely so that I would go to law school. Granted, law school was something that crossed my mind before college. But I ultimately studied political science because I was interested in the subject matter. I was the nerdy high school student who loved debating political news with my classmates.

While I perhaps should have changed my major for other reasons, I don’t think that there would have been a significant difference between studying political science and philosophy before I attended Penn.

Sure, taking a few logic courses may make you slightly more prepared for the LSAT. That said, the LSAT is a learnable test and I wouldn’t choose a philosophy major solely for that reason. As for political science, you’ll learn some simple things about the U.S. judicial system (perhaps even some case law), but again, I’d argue that the benefits are negligible if you’re solely studying political science to go to law school.

Instead, I think it’s important for any college student considering law school to follow their passion, whether it’s politics, philosophy, or something else. Interests change, especially for college students. It would be unfortunate if a college student regretted his or her major because their 18-year-old-self had this grand vision of going to law school. I’m not saying that this directly applies to you, but it’s something to keep in mind.

If you want to go to law school, your college major isn’t going to matter as much as your LSAT score and undergraduate GPA. Nail those and law schools will open their doors to you.