Economics background necessary for law school?

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
User avatar
lawschoolwoohoo
Posts: 115
Joined: Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:24 pm

Economics background necessary for law school?

Postby lawschoolwoohoo » Mon Apr 15, 2013 11:13 am

I went to a liberal arts school where econ was not required. Now I'm thinking I may need it for contracts or corporations. I'm going to law school in the fall, should I maybe get a book or something to try and learn something about the economy? I'm a K-JDer humanities major so I'm pretty much an idiot on how any of it works. Or will law school teach me everything I need to know about it? Suggestions?

buddingjd
Posts: 76
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2012 5:31 pm

Re: Economics background necessary for law school?

Postby buddingjd » Mon Apr 15, 2013 11:15 am

no need - half of my law and econ class didn't know what utility was.

User avatar
mephistopheles
Posts: 1947
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 11:43 am

Re: Economics background necessary for law school?

Postby mephistopheles » Mon Apr 15, 2013 11:17 am

it would make things a lot clearer for you in some classes if you did have an economics background.

plus, thinking of things in terms of externalities and game theory and what not is a huge plus.

El Principe
Posts: 551
Joined: Mon Mar 11, 2013 3:10 am

Re: Economics background necessary for law school?

Postby El Principe » Mon Apr 15, 2013 11:43 am

Not at all.

toothbrush
Posts: 2388
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2012 2:21 pm

Re: Economics background necessary for law school?

Postby toothbrush » Mon Apr 15, 2013 11:46 am

to bandwagon post - can anyone recommend BASIC econ reading that gives you enough of an understanding for the classes that may dabble into economics ?

User avatar
guano
Posts: 2268
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:49 am

Re: Economics background necessary for law school?

Postby guano » Mon Apr 15, 2013 11:50 am

toothbrush wrote:to bandwagon post - can anyone recommend BASIC econ reading that gives you enough of an understanding for the classes that may dabble into economics ?

Just look at whatever your school's 101 Econ class recommends, borrow it from the library, and skim it.
That being said, it doesn't help that much re law school

toothbrush
Posts: 2388
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2012 2:21 pm

Re: Economics background necessary for law school?

Postby toothbrush » Mon Apr 15, 2013 11:51 am

guano wrote:
toothbrush wrote:to bandwagon post - can anyone recommend BASIC econ reading that gives you enough of an understanding for the classes that may dabble into economics ?

Just look at whatever your school's 101 Econ class recommends, borrow it from the library, and skim it.
That being said, it doesn't help that much re law school

alright thanks. whenever this topic comes up on tls there is always a handful of people who say that economics was the major they should have studied because of how much it is req in law school. guess not though.

User avatar
stillwater
Posts: 3811
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 2:59 pm

Re: Economics background necessary for law school?

Postby stillwater » Mon Apr 15, 2013 11:51 am

toothbrush wrote:
guano wrote:
toothbrush wrote:to bandwagon post - can anyone recommend BASIC econ reading that gives you enough of an understanding for the classes that may dabble into economics ?

Just look at whatever your school's 101 Econ class recommends, borrow it from the library, and skim it.
That being said, it doesn't help that much re law school

alright thanks. whenever this topic comes up on tls there is always a handful of people who say that economics was the major they should have studied because of how much it is req in law school. guess not though.


yea, listen to batshit. he's got his fingers on the pulse of America.

M458
Posts: 387
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2012 5:58 pm

Re: Economics background necessary for law school?

Postby M458 » Tue Apr 16, 2013 12:08 pm

Not sure how useful or necessary it is in law school as I'm a 0L, but if you're really curious about it, go here:
https://www.khanacademy.org/library

Scroll down to the Microeconomics and watch a few videos. You can also take an intro level Econ class via Coursera.

User avatar
USMCMatt
Posts: 183
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 1:57 am

Re: Economics background necessary for law school?

Postby USMCMatt » Thu May 16, 2013 8:31 pm

Only if George Mason is on your list...not necessary, but it will help.

tomwatts
Posts: 1551
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 12:01 am

Re: Economics background necessary for law school?

Postby tomwatts » Thu May 16, 2013 8:43 pm

There are a few topics that tend to come up that you will have seen before if you know econ, the most prominent being the economically rational choice. Some of the "reasonable person" stuff that appears most prominently in Torts can be phrased in terms of economically rational calculations. (The Hand formula.) But the central stuff of introductory micro — supply and demand curves, equilibrium, comparative statics, social surplus — is pretty much beside the point for 1L law.

Having a general sense of the central results — competition is good, transactions are good under ideal conditions, etc. — may be useful for some of Contracts, depending on your prof, and some of the upper-level classes may involve this stuff a bit more.

That said, you can probably learn all of it as it comes up in class without ever having dealt with econ before. Econ isn't a prerequisite, just something that may help occasionally in interpreting a point or two. Philosophy is the same way, really: it's likely to come up a little bit in Criminal Law, depending on your prof. Knowing a little about Kant may help you understand objections to utilitarian deterrence theory.

User avatar
Br3v
Posts: 4174
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:18 pm

Re: Economics background necessary for law school?

Postby Br3v » Thu May 16, 2013 8:58 pm

People come to law school with a lot of different backgrounds, many of which don't include econ.

Maybe read up on the Coase theorem or something else econ/law like if you are interested. I wouldn't do it to fill an expected void of knowledge or something though, just read up on it if you are interested.

User avatar
Bronck
Posts: 2025
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2012 1:28 pm

Re: Economics background necessary for law school?

Postby Bronck » Fri May 17, 2013 12:08 am

Lol no bro

User avatar
HankBashir
Posts: 536
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2013 3:01 am

Re: Economics background necessary for law school?

Postby HankBashir » Fri May 17, 2013 1:04 am

toothbrush wrote:to bandwagon post - can anyone recommend BASIC econ reading that gives you enough of an understanding for the classes that may dabble into economics ?


Principles of Economics by Mankiw is the general intro book used around the country.

User avatar
Ded Precedent
Posts: 767
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:26 pm

Re: Economics background necessary for law school?

Postby Ded Precedent » Fri May 17, 2013 1:05 am

Know that Pareto efficiency.

User avatar
Jsa725
Posts: 2003
Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:20 pm

Re: Economics background necessary for law school?

Postby Jsa725 » Fri May 17, 2013 4:49 pm

.
Last edited by Jsa725 on Fri Oct 24, 2014 11:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

dixiecupdrinking
Posts: 3139
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2008 2:39 pm

Re: Economics background necessary for law school?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Fri May 17, 2013 7:46 pm

Extremely basic microecon principles are very useful for law school. You don't need any specialized knowledge by any means, but it helps to be comfortable thinking in terms of economic incentives — if you impose a penalty on an activity, what effect will it have on the amount of that activity taking place, simple things like that. I would actually recommend doing some basic "economics for dummies" type general reading if you've never taken a course in it. Judges have become so schooled in the Chicago model of thinking about law in (often very basic and flawed) economic terms that it's useful to be able to be on the same page.

User avatar
Bronte
Posts: 2128
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 10:44 pm

Re: Economics background necessary for law school?

Postby Bronte » Fri May 17, 2013 7:56 pm

No, you can do just fine with a liberal arts degree, which is what most of your peers will have. I would say that, if anything, a business and finance background is more helpful, at least at a practical level. Especially on the transactional side, much of what big law firms do is finance related. Likewise, in classes like corporations, securities regulation, and secured transactions, it helps to understand the basics of capital structure and capital markets. But again it's by no means necessary.




Return to “Ask a Law Student / Graduate”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests