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Do Law Firms care what your undergraduate major is

unit01unit01 Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
So i'm currently a second year philosophy major, wanting to go to law school. I chose philosophy because it was said that this major had one of the highest LSAT scores, and because of logic and critical thinking that is said to help with law school. But recently as most parents do, they went and asked their friends wether or not my major will help me get a job after law school, and came back with the answer that no, my undergraduate major will leave me unemployed after law school. Now i'm just confused as to why my undergrad major will matter once I graduate law school, I was wondering if anyone knows if law firms do care about what you majored in or if i should just keep doing my thing and not major in something business or stem.

Replies to: Do Law Firms care what your undergraduate major is

  • sybbie719sybbie719 Super Moderator Posts: 20,889 Super Moderator
    edited September 22
    Once you graduate from Law School, you will hopefully get a job as an attorney. Being a philosophy major will not matter. My daughter majored in religion (she really liked and was interested in her major, which was not a fluff major at her school)
    and it did not hinder her in getting a job after law school.

    If you want to become a tax attorney or IP attorney then your undergraduate major would matter.
    Post edited by sybbie719 on
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 29,987 Senior Member
    It can help for some areas of law, like parent law. And a business degree and a law degree can be a powerful combo. But good grades from a good law school mean you will very likely get a job.
  • vistajayvistajay Registered User Posts: 648 Member
    Your undergraduate degree will not matter at all. I do not think I have ever even asked an associate prospect about their undergrad major. Just do well in law school.
  • yauponreduxyauponredux Registered User Posts: 538 Member
    Do you like business or STEM? For that matter, do you like philosophy? Major in something that intrigues you and that you can do well in. Maybe add a minor in something unrelated to give you some breadth.
  • momocarlymomocarly Registered User Posts: 328 Member
    It does not matter unless the law firm has a strong base in a certain type of law. My husband's first firm did a lot of oil and gas so if they saw someone that had an oil and gas background or related degree it did give them an edge. Another firm we know does a lot of media law and a degree is some media related item is a big plus (journalism, film, etc.). Most firms however just want to see how well that you did in law school and don't care much about before that.
  • SouthFloridaMom9SouthFloridaMom9 Registered User Posts: 3,309 Senior Member
    Agree with the above posts . . . one of my undergrad friends was a biology major, and then we were in law school together. She went on to do patent law where a science degree does make a difference (or at least it did back then). Have another friend who is a CPA (accounting undergrad) and an attorney - does estate planning on a high level. Otherwise I don't think it matters that much - if I had it to do over I would focus on a high GPA and high LSATs.
  • ThinkOnThinkOn Registered User Posts: 372 Member
    Other than employment at a patent law firm, your undergraduate major will not be considered by the law firm hiring you based on my experience (Wall Street law firm). For law firms I interviewed at many years ago, the biggest consideration was what law school you attended, your GPA, and journal experience. Thus, I would focus your attention on how to gain admission into the best law school you can. Back when I attended, I don't think law schools cared at all what your major was, just focusing on your GPA, LSAT score, EC's and recommendations. These days, however, I have heard that many law schools are going out of their way to recruit STEM related majors (perhaps because many of the deals that law firms are engaging in are related in some way to technology...just a guess). That being said, I would not pursue a STEM degree just for this purpose. I would pick a major which will produce a strong GPA (and those tend to be in areas that you are interested in). Good luck.
  • bluebayoubluebayou Registered User Posts: 24,404 Senior Member
    edited September 22
    Major in what you like, so you'll earn A's and lots of 'em. Phil is a great major, and one of the few humanities' majors that actually requires critical thinking skills (IMO).

    That being said, a course or two in business could be beneficial to a future lawyer since much of the work is the legal work of business. Even if you go into personal injury or government, having some inkling into what business does can only help, IMO.

    That being said, the first course in Business is usually Accounting 1, and that can be boring as heck if you aren't interested in the field. Perhaps an Econ class or two?
  • unit01unit01 Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    Thank you for all replies, but how would i go about telling my parents this? Because they are so set on the idea of me switching my major to business or economics because of what they heard.
  • yauponreduxyauponredux Registered User Posts: 538 Member
    edited September 22
    Your school's prelaw advisors, alumni office, or career center may be able to provide you with data regarding undergraduate majors of their alumni who have attended law school. If your parents see that a variety of undergrad majors lead to postgrad success, they may relax a bit.
  • ThinkOnThinkOn Registered User Posts: 372 Member
    Excellent advice provided by @yauponredux above. At my NYC firm, we had Art History majors working alongside Econ majors (English major here myself). Any business related background necessary for the job were adequately covered in my law school corporate, tax, antitrust, securities and other business related law classes (e.g., UCC and real estate).
  • saillakeeriesaillakeerie Registered User Posts: 1,702 Senior Member
    Where did your parents get the info that your major will matter? Did they talk with people who would have info about the impact of majors (I agree with others here it won't matter) or is it a one or two off story they heard about someone who didn't get a job after law school grad? Checking with prelaw advisors and alumni could provide useful info. Checking out websites of firms in the city or cities you think you would be interested in working may also help. Many list undergrad degrees of attorneys.
  • unit01unit01 Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    @saillakeerie my parents asked a family friend who is in law school at the moment that graduated with a poli sci degree, they also asked dentists/doctors, though I don't understand how they would know who gets a job or not after law school based on their undergrad.
  • ThinkOnThinkOn Registered User Posts: 372 Member
    Show them this thread...
  • gclsportsgclsports Registered User Posts: 307 Member
    I am a 20 year + attorney. I have no idea what any of the attorneys in my firm majored in for undergrad, and no one has ever asked me what I majored in. I really don't think your undergrad major matters, unless you want to be a patent lawyer (in which case a science or engineering major is an absolute requirement) or maybe tax law (in which accounting might be helpful, but is by no means a requirement). If you are sure you want to go to law school, major in whatever you think will allow you to earn the best GPA and LSAT score, plus help you with critical thinking, writing and public speaking skills. On the other hand, if law school is just something you are considering but aren't sure you'll actually do, you might want to choose a major that will make you marketable in some other field. Good luck!
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