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What would a pre-law student concentrate in AT Harvard?

longinghyphenlonginghyphen 41 replies16 threads Junior Member
edited July 9 in Harvard University
I feel like I always preface my post with this, but I just always feel that my question has already been asked before. But I searched and I couldn't find the answer I was looking for. If a thread already exists, please direct me towards it.
My question is, what do pre-law students AT HARVARD typically concentrate in? I emphasize at Harvard because I'm asking specifically about the school and don't want to be moved to the Law School forum. They don't have a poly sci concentration (at least not to my knowledge) which is a typical pre-law major at most schools so I'm wondering what the alternative is considering there are, of course, a lot of future law students coming from Harvard undergrad.
I want to say that I'm aware that any major can get you into law school. But I'm looking for a few concentrations at this school specifically that typically attract pre-law students, just so I can do more research into them. I literally just starting doing this more specific research on universities yesterday so excuse me for any ignorance about Harvard or just majors and stuff in general. And I'm also not fixed on law or any professional field right now. But law is an option I'm entertaining and I want to see how different schools cater to that option.
edited July 9
15 replies
Post edited by CCAdmin_Vic on
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Replies to: What would a pre-law student concentrate in AT Harvard?

  • skieuropeskieurope 41104 replies7747 threads Super Moderator
    what do pre-law students AT HARVARD typically concentrate in?
    Whatever they want.
    I want to see how different schools cater to that option.
    With pre-law advising.
    They don't have a poly sci concentration
    Yes they do. They just call it "Government."
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  • brantlybrantly 4326 replies78 threads Senior Member
    edited August 2019
    No such thing as a "typical pre-law major." Major in whatever you want. There's nothing to research about what pre-law students are attracted to. It's very individual. Music, art history, government, chemistry, math, sociology computer science .... whatever strikes your fancy. No major is better or worse for a student applying to law school.
    edited August 2019
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  • longinghyphenlonginghyphen 41 replies16 threads Junior Member
    So there really is no major that would perhaps prepare me better for the LSAT or just general performance in law school. I know it doesn't matter when it comes to admission to law school, but won't it matter a little once I get there? Or is majoring in government in no way more advantageous over majoring in biology? If so, sorry for the unnecessary thread.
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  • MidwestmomofboysMidwestmomofboys 4215 replies27 threads Senior Member
    Anything which develops critical thinking, reading and writing skills -- so, basically, your usual liberal arts education. Some class in logical reasoning -- reason in communication etc. can make LSAT prep a little more accessible.
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  • evergreen5evergreen5 2071 replies38 threads Senior Member
    is majoring in government in no way more advantageous over majoring in biology?

    Correct.

    Major in what interests you, what you might choose if you weren't contemplating law school.
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  • PublisherPublisher 11617 replies155 threads Senior Member
    Major in any subject that requires analytical reasoning & analytical writing.
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  • CU123CU123 3724 replies77 threads Senior Member
    The key to a high GPA is majoring in something you like and are interested in, which in turn will help you get into Law School.
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  • RichardMZhlubbRichardMZhlubb 18 replies0 threads Junior Member
    edited August 2019
    One consideration is the value of an undergraduate major when looking for employment after law school. Law firms are generally not giving any additional consideration to political science or government majors, but many will, for example, give a candidate with STEM degrees some extra consideration. I can only speak for myself, but I concentrated in engineering at Harvard and the law firm that hired me out of law school was specifically looking for lawyers with technical backgrounds for an energy law practice, and I have now built a 30-year career in this area of practice.
    edited August 2019
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  • JHSJHS 18503 replies72 threads Senior Member
    It's true of law firms, and to some extent it's true of top law schools, too: Real, certifiable expertise in some technical or scientific field is valued. That said, there are hordes of people at top law schools who majored in economics, history, political science/government, sociology, public policy, English literature, what have you.

    It is important that you be a capable, clear writer, and a good critical thinker. It isn't necessary that your major entail a lot of writing as long as you learn your writing ability in other courses. My father was a math major who went to Harvard Law School. Formulating and critiquing proofs is great pre-law preparation.
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  • longinghyphenlonginghyphen 41 replies16 threads Junior Member
    Thanks for all the responses, I think I got what I was looking for! :) What everyone's been saying about the advantages of having a STEM major seems interesting (and I'd love to be able to continue pursuing math to some degree in college). I'll look more into it!
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  • tkoparenttkoparent 478 replies10 threads Member
    I know you said you already have what you are looking for, but I can't resist adding my thoughts. All of the advice you have received is sound, but from my perspective the main point is that you should not organize your undergraduate experience in an effort to maximize your chances for law school. Law schools don't care what you major in, they are looking for analytical and writing skills, and you can develop those in any number of ways. So use your undergraduate years to pursue whatever you are interested in in any event. With regard to the advantages of having a STEM background when you are actually applying for a legal position, that is true, but it goes with the expectation that you would be using your STEM skills professionally by working in a practice area where you could use those skills. Try to learn more about the legal profession through internships, etc. and make sure you understand what you would be getting into. The profession is changing rapidly these days.
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  • coolguy40coolguy40 2947 replies8 threads Senior Member
    You're sort of putting the cart before the horse. You need to get into Harvard first. Here's a little secret. You don't need to go to Harvard to get into law school. If you have the grades and scores to get in there, you can get a full ride scholarship. Starting law school debt free puts you at a huge financial advantage over your peers.
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  • crankyoldmancrankyoldman 700 replies59 threads Member
    Like just about everything else, Harvard's got this covered:
    https://ocs.fas.harvard.edu/prelaw
    But as Coolguy points out, the real trick is getting accepted at Harvard. Univ before worrying about what your major should be.
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  • longinghyphenlonginghyphen 41 replies16 threads Junior Member
    Thanks for the continued advice. And yes... I definitely understand getting into a school like Harvard will be harder than choosing a major. I’m going to prioritize my own interests and really find out what it means to practice law. But @crankyoldman Wow that link was literally exactly what I was looking for when I made this. Thank you (and everyone) SO MUCH!!
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