Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Best (and Worst) Pre-law Majors?

graduation cap and tassle

Jim Milles at Out of the Jungle points to postings by law professors Yair Listokin and Michael Froomkin, both of whom think statistics should be required for law or pre-law students.

Prof. Froomkin also has the following advice:

“If you really want to be a good lawyer, I don't personally recommend majoring in anything directly related to law as an undergraduate, or even taking courses in it. That includes "Juvenile Justice". Colleges always teach the stuff "wrong" from the point of view of a lawyer ... wrong from the point of view of someone who needs to work with law rather than recite it. So you will start out behind the other students since you will have to 'unlearn' what you think you know.”

Instead, he recommends that you major in history, economics, literature, math, or "even art". Learning about the world and becoming a well-informed person will make you a better lawyer in the long run. He also recommends reading a first-rate national newspaper every day and taking specific courses. Read his entire post for details.

I would add one recommendation to the pre-law courses recommended above. If you don't have any business experience, take some business courses. The practice of law is a business, but most law schools do not offer courses about the business side of practicing law. Even if you don't plan on opening your own firm, an understanding of the basics of marketing, client development, billing, and management will help you get ahead.

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