Law School Preparation

Why is Philosophy the best preparation for law school?

Reason #1 - Valuable Skills

The Law School Admission Council's Official Guide to U.S. Law Schools states:

"While no single curricular path is the ideal preparation for law school, you should choose courses that sharpen analytical reasoning and writing skills. Law schools prefer students who can think, read, and write well, and who have some understanding of what shapes human experience."

The majority of the work you will do as a philosophy major will involve reading, analyzing, and presenting written summaries and critiques of arguments. These are precisely the skills you will use most as a law student and later as an attorney -- and law schools know this. Consider the following excerpt from American Bar Association's Council of Legal Education and Opportunity:

"In assessing a prospective law student's educational qualifications, admissions committees generally consider the chosen curriculum, the grades earned, and the reputation of the colleges attended…Solid grades in courses such as logic, philosophy, and abstract mathematics are generally considered a plus…Law schools will respect your pursuit of subjects you find challenging. This is especially true if the courses you take are known to be more difficult, such as philosophy, engineering, and science. Also, look for courses that will strengthen the skills you need in law school. Classes that stress research and writing are excellent preparation for law school, as are courses that teach reasoning and analytical skills."

Reason #2 - Highest LSAT Scores

Many schools view the Law School Aptitude Test (LSAT) as the single best predictor of a student's success at law school. Your LSAT score will often play as great (if not greater) a role in determining your admission as your undergraduate GPA.

According to data provided by the Law School Admissions Council on LSAT scores from the past few decades, philosophy majors annually have the highest or close to the highest average LSAT scores. Studies show that philosophy majors consistently have the highest average LSAT scores among the twelve most popular pre-law majors, tied with economics.

Reason #3 - One of the Highest Law School Admission Rates

According to National Jurist, philosophy majors are admitted to law School at a higher percentage than any other major.


Reason #4 - Philosophy Examines Issues Relevant to Law

In philosophy, you'll explore topics and issues that may be relevant to your future legal studies or your career as a lawyer. For example, those interested in working in environmental law may benefit from our PHIL 4700 Environmental Philosophy and PHIL 4740 Environmental Justice courses. Those interested in the legal issues arising from developments in medicine and technology may wish to take PHIL 3440 Bioethics, PHIL 3250 Philosophy of Science, or PHIL 3450 Philosophy of Technology. Those interested in working in corporate law might find PHIL 4750 Philosophy and Public Policy and PHIL 3120 Social-Political Philosophy helpful. For issues concerning criminal responsibility, take PHIL 3800 Philosophy of Mind, and for those concerning evidence and justification take PHIL 4100 Epistemology. We also offer relevant courses in Logic and Critical Thinking, Feminist Philosophy, Existentialism, and Postmodernism, all of which are invaluable for putting the law and legal thinking into perspective.