For those who love to argue, conduct research, solve problems, and to see tangible outcomes in their work, majoring in law can be a great path. Majoring in law can provide a pathway to work as a paralegal, lawyer, law clerk, legislator, or judge.
Majoring in law immerses you in the laws, law enforcement groups, courts, and corrections programs that shape the American justice system. Whether you agree with how they work, or find fault with them, our society is governed by laws. We require highly-trained professionals who can interpret and work within the law to make sure it serves us and doesn’t work against us. Moreover, if you have political aspirations, studying law is a great place to start. Be aware that you will need to have earned an advanced degree and pass the bar exam in your state in order to become a practicing lawyer or serve as a judge.
If you’re ready to earn your degree at one of the most prestigious schools in the world, get started with a look at the Most Influential Schools in Law.
Or read on to find out what you can expect as a Law Major.
Industries may come and go, but the law is always present, and with it comes a constant demand for qualified legal professionals. If you’re good at what you do, you’ll always be able to find work in legal professions.
Students who major in law learn how to navigate the law and legal system. They understand the likely impact of changes in policy. They know how to advocate for themselves as well as friends and family in the face of intimidating and confusing legal scenarios. And they know how to analyze and develop arguments. Majoring in the law prepares students with the advanced knowledge and skills they need to live and succeed in a society governed by law.
The stereotypes are true: lawyers, judges, and other legal professionals are well paid. If you’re looking for a job that comes with a six-figure salary (or higher), law might be the field for you.
The law can be used to make the world a better place. Unfortunately, the law can also be abused and used to cause harm. Law majors can affect how the law is interpreted and applied, and even have laws changed, abolished, or created, in order to ensure that they serve the greater good.
Whether in private practice, academia, public defense, legislation, politics, or working in the courts, law majors are all over, influencing law, policy, and outcomes. Today, top influencers in law are bringing positive change to federal law, global surveillance, human rights and much more.
Find out who the Most Influential People are in Law today!
Law degrees are available at all levels of completion, and the degree that is right for you depends on your personal and professional goals. Notably, the law degree path is different from most other fields. Instead of a master’s degree, the standard graduate-level degree for law is a Juris Doctor, which is required for employment as a lawyer or higher. However, you don’t (strictly speaking) have to study law as an undergraduate to get there; in fact, among Law School students degrees in English, philosophy, history, or political science are also quite common.
*Note: Many, but not all, degree programs offer the choice between Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees. Likewise, many, but not all, advanced degree programs offer a choice between Master of Arts, and Master of Science degrees. In most cases, the primary difference is the diversity of course offerings. “Science” degree courses will focus almost entirely on the Major discipline, with a deep dive into a specific concentration, including laboratory, clinical or practicum experience. An “Arts” degree will provide a more well-rounded curriculum which includes both core/concentration courses and a selection of humanities and electives. The type of degree you choose will depend both on your school’s offerings and your career/educational goals. Moreover, there are sometimes numerous variations in the way that colleges name and categorize majors. The degree types identified here above are some of the common naming variations, but may not be all-encompassing.
Your “concentration” refers to a specific area of focus within your major. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) provides a complete listing of college degree programs and concentrations (Classification for Instructional Programs), as sourced from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). According to IPEDS, the following are among the most popular law concentrations:
Your concentration will determine many of the courses you’ll take as a law major. Likewise, you will be required to take a number of requisite courses on foundational topics such as civil litigation and criminal law. However, you will also have the freedom to select an array of courses corresponding to the role or area of legal practice you plan to pursue.
Common law courses include:
To fully function, the legal system needs people employed at all levels, doing everything from interpreting, arguing and changing the law to handing down sentences, filing claims, managing offices, and keeping records. Whether you have aspirations for the highest courts, or just want an interesting job, there’s an opening for you. Your law major can lead to a wide range of career opportunities, including these top jobs:
Curious how far you could go with a Major in Law? Start with a look at the top influencers in the field today!***
Now that you know how to major in law, check out The Most Influential Schools in Law and get started on your path to a law degree.
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