Are pre law majors really disliked by law schools?

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TDragon
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Are pre law majors really disliked by law schools?

Postby TDragon » Wed Jun 27, 2012 8:38 pm

I'm almost done with my pre law degree and I am going over the application process for law schools. I read that awhile ago (from old sources) that law schools are not a big fan of pre law majors.

How bad will this be for me when I apply to law schools considering that I have a 3.5 GPA and lets say... a 160+ on the LSAT (just thinking ahead).

Will it be a negative for me instead of a positive?

Have any of you had problems or successes when applying to law schools with a pre law degree?

thx.

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ben4847
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Re: Are pre law majors really disliked by law schools?

Postby ben4847 » Wed Jun 27, 2012 8:39 pm

I've never heard this before.

071816
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Re: Are pre law majors really disliked by law schools?

Postby 071816 » Wed Jun 27, 2012 8:40 pm

There's an actual major called Pre-Law?

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fanmingrui
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Re: Are pre law majors really disliked by law schools?

Postby fanmingrui » Wed Jun 27, 2012 8:43 pm

You know who is disliked by law schools? People with low GPA and LSAT scores. Even then, I'm sure you can get some love from TTTs. You know who is really disliked by law schools? People who can't qualify for student loans.

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briviere
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Re: Are pre law majors really disliked by law schools?

Postby briviere » Wed Jun 27, 2012 8:44 pm

chimp wrote:There's an actual major called Pre-Law?

+1

Also, cray.

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cutecarmel
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Re: Are pre law majors really disliked by law schools?

Postby cutecarmel » Wed Jun 27, 2012 8:46 pm

It won't put you at a disadvantage, but I think law schools favor applicants with nontraditional majors. A lot of schools like to boast about the undergraduate majors of their students, but a list that only includes, pre-law, poli-sci, and english, would be pretty dull.

So it won't hurt you, but you also won't have a possible "boost" from having a nontraditional major.

am060459
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Re: Are pre law majors really disliked by law schools?

Postby am060459 » Wed Jun 27, 2012 8:47 pm

I don't know if they're disliked but the corrleation between choice of major and LSAT score should speak for itself.

See TaxProf Blog (http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog ... -math.html)

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TDragon
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Re: Are pre law majors really disliked by law schools?

Postby TDragon » Wed Jun 27, 2012 8:53 pm

am060459 wrote:I don't know if they're disliked but the corrleation between choice of major and LSAT score should speak for itself.

See TaxProf Blog (http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog ... -math.html)


:| Is there a list/ranking of majors that law schools take in. I thought I saw one awhile ago but couldn't track it down. Thx

bobbyh1919
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Re: Are pre law majors really disliked by law schools?

Postby bobbyh1919 » Wed Jun 27, 2012 9:02 pm

You should be spending 100% of your law school related time studying for the LSAT. You can spend the remaining time fretting about a choice in major that you've already completed.

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fatduck
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Re: Are pre law majors really disliked by law schools?

Postby fatduck » Wed Jun 27, 2012 9:08 pm

please describe some of your favorite pre-law courses

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TDragon
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Re: Are pre law majors really disliked by law schools?

Postby TDragon » Wed Jun 27, 2012 9:11 pm

bobbyh1919 wrote:You should be spending 100% of your law school related time studying for the LSAT. You can spend the remaining time fretting about a choice in major that you've already completed.


I am but when im burned out, I like to do additional research on "what my chances are" for getting into law school. Sure I shouldn't dwell on it but I like to know the harsh reality on what I got myself into rather than be blind about it.

09042014
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Re: Are pre law majors really disliked by law schools?

Postby 09042014 » Wed Jun 27, 2012 9:23 pm

Yes they don't like it because it a shitty degree that only dopes take. But since you are aiming for short bus law schools it doesn't matter.

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laxbrah420
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Re: Are pre law majors really disliked by law schools?

Postby laxbrah420 » Wed Jun 27, 2012 9:28 pm

Since we're all being dicks, I'd like to add that they don't like people who write like "negative instead of positive"

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dextermorgan
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Re: Are pre law majors really disliked by law schools?

Postby dextermorgan » Wed Jun 27, 2012 9:28 pm

They don't really give a shit about your major, but it won't help. It's also completely useless for, well, everything.

TMC116
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Re: Are pre law majors really disliked by law schools?

Postby TMC116 » Thu Jun 28, 2012 12:10 pm

No one cares about your major. If you decide not to go to law school though, you'll look like a real asshat with a degree in "prelaw"

I read somewhere that prelaw majors have the lowest median LSAT scores of any major, ~146

EDIT: I stand corrected. They have the second lowest median LSAT at 148. Thanks Nova
Last edited by TMC116 on Thu Jun 28, 2012 12:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Nova
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Re: Are pre law majors really disliked by law schools?

Postby Nova » Thu Jun 28, 2012 12:13 pm

Major in something that will lead to a decent job instead.

avg LSAT by Major

University of North Texas economist Michael Nieswiadomy wrote:Mathematics/Physics 160.0
Economics and Philosophy/Theology (tie) 157.4
International relations 156.5
Engineering 156.2
Government/service 156.1
Chemistry 156.1
History 155.9
Interdisciplinary studies 155.5
Foreign languages 155.3
English 155.2
Biology/natural sciences 154.8
Arts 154.2
Computer science 154.0
Finance 153.4
Political science 153.1
Psychology 152.5
Liberal arts 152.4
Anthropology/geography 152.2
Accounting 151.7
Journalism 151.5
Sociology/social work 151.2
Marketing 150.8
Business management 149.7
Education 149.4
Business administration 149.1
Health professions 148.4
Pre-law 148.3
Criminal justice 146.0

bobbyh1919
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Re: Are pre law majors really disliked by law schools?

Postby bobbyh1919 » Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:25 am

TDragon wrote:
bobbyh1919 wrote:You should be spending 100% of your law school related time studying for the LSAT. You can spend the remaining time fretting about a choice in major that you've already completed.


I am but when im burned out, I like to do additional research on "what my chances are" for getting into law school. Sure I shouldn't dwell on it but I like to know the harsh reality on what I got myself into rather than be blind about it.



It is what it is at this point. While it certainly won't help you, I doubt many schools will see it any differently than any other liberal arts major. The only things that jump off the page are the hard sciences, engineering, math, etc.

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TDragon
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Re: Are pre law majors really disliked by law schools?

Postby TDragon » Fri Jun 29, 2012 1:13 am

bobbyh1919 wrote:
TDragon wrote:
bobbyh1919 wrote:You should be spending 100% of your law school related time studying for the LSAT. You can spend the remaining time fretting about a choice in major that you've already completed.


I am but when im burned out, I like to do additional research on "what my chances are" for getting into law school. Sure I shouldn't dwell on it but I like to know the harsh reality on what I got myself into rather than be blind about it.



It is what it is at this point. While it certainly won't help you, I doubt many schools will see it any differently than any other liberal arts major. The only things that jump off the page are the hard sciences, engineering, math, etc.


Yeah at this point...I probably wouldn't have received a good gpa from those majors anyways

Well thanks for all the responses,even the douchy ones :D

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Tom Joad
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Re: Are pre law majors really disliked by law schools?

Postby Tom Joad » Fri Jun 29, 2012 1:19 am

What do you learn in pre-law and what are tests like?

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TDragon
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Re: Are pre law majors really disliked by law schools?

Postby TDragon » Fri Jun 29, 2012 1:37 am

Tom Joad wrote:What do you learn in pre-law and what are tests like?


A lot of the same classes as law schools but "dumbed down" obviously. Estates & Trusts, Trial Ad, Civ Pro,etc. Tests are decent, some more difficult than others. Its not a tough major by any means but I feel like I learned a lot about the law and the legal system.

I think the reason most pre law students do bad on the lsat is because they are not prepared for that type of test and have a false sense of security because they "know" the law. And as others said, its not a tough major so you probably get more dumbasses that take it without knowing how to prepare for that type of test.

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T00L
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Re: Are pre law majors really disliked by law schools?

Postby T00L » Fri Jun 29, 2012 1:57 am

I enjoyed my undergrad versions of medialaw and conlaw.... but I dont think there is any specific curriculum that helps most for law school. maybe a logic class?

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PDaddy
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Re: Are pre law majors really disliked by law schools?

Postby PDaddy » Fri Jun 29, 2012 2:24 am

TDragon wrote:I'm almost done with my pre law degree and I am going over the application process for law schools. I read that awhile ago (from old sources) that law schools are not a big fan of pre law majors.

How bad will this be for me when I apply to law schools considering that I have a 3.5 GPA and lets say... a 160+ on the LSAT (just thinking ahead).

Will it be a negative for me instead of a positive?

Have any of you had problems or successes when applying to law schools with a pre law degree?

thx.



A 3.5 GPA is solid for most majors. Your major itself is not considered to be one of the stronger ones, but the specific type(s) of courses you have taken is most important when evaluating GPA. Adcoms will pay particular attention to courses involving writing, research and logical/analytical reasoning. The grade trend (either steady or upward is best) is another key factor. The strength of your UG institution can compensate for any perceived weakness in your "course types". If your school is not known for grade inflation, that can work to your advantage.

Other factors include work experience during UG and community service. Any adcom worth its salt will want to give your file a thorough and holistic analysis.

That's a long way of saying that you should not be concerned with your choice of major. More important is that you take a wide breadth of challenging courses and do well in them. Except for to the extent that some majors inherently require students to do more of the aforementioned exercises (i.e. write, research and analyze in-depth), one's "major" per se is unimportant.

If you carefully tailor your course load to address these needs and perform well, you can major in basket-weaving and get into a top school - the caveat being that you need good LOR's, reasonably good softs and a good LSAT score.

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TDragon
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Re: Are pre law majors really disliked by law schools?

Postby TDragon » Fri Jun 29, 2012 3:11 am

PDaddy wrote:
TDragon wrote:I'm almost done with my pre law degree and I am going over the application process for law schools. I read that awhile ago (from old sources) that law schools are not a big fan of pre law majors.

How bad will this be for me when I apply to law schools considering that I have a 3.5 GPA and lets say... a 160+ on the LSAT (just thinking ahead).

Will it be a negative for me instead of a positive?

Have any of you had problems or successes when applying to law schools with a pre law degree?

thx.



A 3.5 GPA is solid for most majors. Your major itself is not considered to be one of the stronger ones, but the specific type(s) of courses you have taken is most important when evaluating GPA. Adcoms will pay particular attention to courses involving writing, research and logical/analytical reasoning. The grade trend (either steady or upward is best) is another key factor. The strength of your UG institution can compensate for any perceived weakness in your "course types". If your school is not known for grade inflation, that can work to your advantage.

Other factors include work experience during UG and community service. Any adcom worth its salt will want to give your file a thorough and holistic analysis.

That's a long way of saying that you should not be concerned with your choice of major. More important is that you take a wide breadth of challenging courses and do well in them. Except for to the extent that some majors inherently require students to do more of the aforementioned exercises (i.e. write, research and analyze in-depth), one's "major" per se is unimportant.

If you carefully tailor your course load to address these needs and perform well, you can major in basket-weaving and get into a top school - the caveat being that you need good LOR's, reasonably good softs and a good LSAT score.


Wow solid piece of advice and most of it applies directly to my situation (my grades have gone up the last two years of UG, and work/internship will hopefully factor into a good decision). Hopefully my legal writing/research classes weren't for nothing.

09042014
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Re: Are pre law majors really disliked by law schools?

Postby 09042014 » Fri Jun 29, 2012 10:23 am

TDragon wrote:
Tom Joad wrote:What do you learn in pre-law and what are tests like?


A lot of the same classes as law schools but "dumbed down" obviously. Estates & Trusts, Trial Ad, Civ Pro,etc. Tests are decent, some more difficult than others. Its not a tough major by any means but I feel like I learned a lot about the law and the legal system.

I think the reason most pre law students do bad on the lsat is because they are not prepared for that type of test and have a false sense of security because they "know" the law. And as others said, its not a tough major so you probably get more dumbasses that take it without knowing how to prepare for that type of test.


Nah, these LSAT by major surveys have huge selection bias problems. top schools don't have pre law. And top schools get the large chunk of top scorers. People who a generally good at sat (those who go to top schools), are generally good at LSAT.

bobbyh1919
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Re: Are pre law majors really disliked by law schools?

Postby bobbyh1919 » Fri Jun 29, 2012 7:21 pm

TDragon wrote:
PDaddy wrote:
TDragon wrote:I'm almost done with my pre law degree and I am going over the application process for law schools. I read that awhile ago (from old sources) that law schools are not a big fan of pre law majors.

How bad will this be for me when I apply to law schools considering that I have a 3.5 GPA and lets say... a 160+ on the LSAT (just thinking ahead).

Will it be a negative for me instead of a positive?

Have any of you had problems or successes when applying to law schools with a pre law degree?

thx.



A 3.5 GPA is solid for most majors. Your major itself is not considered to be one of the stronger ones, but the specific type(s) of courses you have taken is most important when evaluating GPA. Adcoms will pay particular attention to courses involving writing, research and logical/analytical reasoning. The grade trend (either steady or upward is best) is another key factor. The strength of your UG institution can compensate for any perceived weakness in your "course types". If your school is not known for grade inflation, that can work to your advantage.

Other factors include work experience during UG and community service. Any adcom worth its salt will want to give your file a thorough and holistic analysis.

That's a long way of saying that you should not be concerned with your choice of major. More important is that you take a wide breadth of challenging courses and do well in them. Except for to the extent that some majors inherently require students to do more of the aforementioned exercises (i.e. write, research and analyze in-depth), one's "major" per se is unimportant.

If you carefully tailor your course load to address these needs and perform well, you can major in basket-weaving and get into a top school - the caveat being that you need good LOR's, reasonably good softs and a good LSAT score.


Wow solid piece of advice and most of it applies directly to my situation (my grades have gone up the last two years of UG, and work/internship will hopefully factor into a good decision). Hopefully my legal writing/research classes weren't for nothing.


I wouldn't put a lot of stock into that advice. I don't think adcomms have the time to dissect an applicant's transcript beyond a quick glance. Even if they did, it's difficult to tell which classes involve intensive writing anyway. My ConLaw class didn't for example, but I'm sure others who have taken it wrote a good amount.

I also wouldn't worry too too much about grade trends. While they may be useful as an addendum if there was a reason you performed poorly early on, at the end of the day schools get to report one GPA score to the rankings. The bottom line is schools want you to have a high GPA. If you can do that and haven't blatantly tried to take the easiest class possible in every situation, you'll be set.




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