<p>This is in reference to this post:
<p>Is History considered a fairly "easy" major? how are history classes at UCs, and how do law schools look at them? also, does anyone know of any statistics regarding how many history majors are accepted or currenly go to law schools?</p>
<p>The thing is, I'm debating on whether to major in history or sociology. can anyone suggest which one would give me better preparation for law school? In response to other posts, I am interested both sociology and history and I think I will do fairly well in them so the interest and pick-a-major-you-will-do-well-in factors are already there.</p>
<p>Thanks. Any help would be great.</p>
<p>I would assume History, but it all depends on what you want to do after law school, what you want to specialize in. I don't think History is usually an easy major because there's a lot of reading usually, but this should prepare you for LS when you're reading cases and court opinions.</p>
<p>does anyone know what specializations would fall under History and Sociology? I know sociology helps for family law and immigration law, but what else? and history? any inputs/links would be great.</p>
<p>None of the social sciences really help when it comes to "knowing" a practice area of the law, which is not to discount the value of understanding people and having good "bed-side" manners.</p>
<p>It's true that undergrad majors don't really "line up with" various legal specialities, but it would be pretty difficult to become an antitrust lawyer without a basic understanding of economics. A good background in statistics is useful to attorneys who want to specialize in discrimination cases. </p>
<p>That said, as all of us old fogies keep trying to tell you, the beauty of going to law school is that you can study anything you like as an undergrad. If it's history, major in history. If it's sociology, major in sociology. Whatever floats your boat. It really and truly doesn't matter, unless you want to become a patent attorney. Some folks think that it helps to have majored in business or accounting, etc., if you want to specialize in tax, but there are plenty of tax attorneys who didn't. </p>
<p>When you go to law school, you start over again from scratch. There really aren't any requirements.</p>
<p>Just my thought, but in terms of admissions, major is a factor... but I really think that it just matters what "group" you are in. While a ton of people are poli sci, which might work against you somewhat, it doesn't really matter beyond that. I don't think a school would take a chem major over a mechanical engineer - it's the "science" genre. Likewise, history/sociology/anthropology/classics would probably all go in the same group, and French/Spanish/Japanese/Latin would all get clumped together. I could not imagine an admissions committee looking at a history major applicant, identical to you in every way but that you are sociology, and taking him instead. Likewise, sociology probably would not help you. In a minute percentage of cases, it might - but really, that is no way to make a decision on what to major in.</p>
<p>As always - take the classes that you like, because you'll be more interested in them, study more, be more inclined to go to class when you are tired, sick, and generally miserable - you get the drift. That will be more important to helping you out in law school admissions than a specific major.</p>
<p>As for what type of law you can go into - there is a lot to be said for having some sort of specialization, something else to bring to the table during recruiting season. The "old fogies" can help more than I can, but, my advice: you can get this experience in a number of ways. Work after graduation! You'll make contacts with professionals (who know people, who are buddies with the guys in the legal department, whatever. If you want to go into health care law, you can take courses in it - or work in a hospital. Either way, it will strengthen your resume.</p>
<p>As emsibdn pointed out, history can help in preparation for law school due to the amount and types of reading requirements, but my question is, would it prepare you any more than sociology? (That's actually not sarcasm as some would expect, I'm actually asking hehe)</p>
<p>I know NOTHING at all about sociology :). All I know about it is that there's a "white collar crime" class at Wake. I have no idea at all what they deal with, seriously. I assume its human relationships? But like we've been saying, broken record style, for the last weeks and months, major in what you like. Sure, some majors might get preferential treatment in LS to meet some quotas (if there are any...) but if you really like econ (eg) but there are so many econ majors you choose to major in some obscure subject, I think it's going to hurt you more than just going with what you like.</p>
<p>I took some history courses undergrad, and, having completed a semster of law school, I'll go ahead and say that I don't find my history background to be particularly helpful. While there is a lot of reading in history, it's different from law school reading, where you analyze cases and statutes, try to extract a rule, and then apply that rule to a similar situation with a twist. Honestly, I found my engineering background to be better for that.</p>
<p>As for sociology - that could be helpful in certain contexts. It will teach you to think a different way (maybe), which could make law school a bit easier. As with some history courses, you might start to understand what are facts, what aren't facts, what you really don't know from reading something, etc. Sounds odd, but it will make perfect sense once you get to law school.</p>
<p>From what little I know of sociology and from my history courses (part of a classics major) - I really don't think either one is substantially better than the other. You're not comparing philosophy and media communications here - you would have to really split hairs to find an advantage.</p>
<p>Okay, I'm going to be sarcastic just to make the point.
Say a 12 year old girl posted something like this : " I am a really good swimmer and would like to be recruited to college as a swimmer and get a scholarship for it. My dream school is Stanford. Would I be better off specializing in free style or butterfly if I want to get a swimming scholarship at Stanford beginning in fall 2010?"
You know, it might make a difference because 5 years or so from now when she applies to college, there just might be more girls who swim the butterfly faster than she does who are applying to Stanford than there are girls who can do free style faster.
But the only good advice anyone could give her this far in advance is to concentrate on which ever one she can do better and enjoys more. Nobody knows now who will be competing for swimming scholarships to Stanford in 2010. You just can't. And, 5 years from now, she might not want to swim competitively in college at all.
Similarly, nobody can tell you now whether history or sociology at one particular college will prepare one particular young woman "better" for law school than the other. The best advice anyone can give you is to major in which ever one you can do better in and which will give you the best training in reading, writing, analyzing, etc. Say, just as a hypothetical, that the sociology department at your college is notorious for bad teaching and the history department offers lots of opportunities to take small seminars and get lots of feedback on your writing. There's NO WAY WE KNOW THAT. In that case though, you'd be far better off choosing history.
Which you enjoy more and which offers the better academic experience at your particular college should be the basis for choosing between them. Your question is every bit as impossible to answer as that of the 12 year old who wants to know which stroke will give her a better chance at a swimming scholarship at one particular college 5 years from now.</p>
<p>Social scientists try to bring formal scientific methods to bear on the study of people. Different flavors of social scientist focus on different aspects of human beings; for example, economists focus on markets, psychologists focus their attention on the individual psyche, and sociologists focus on human human behavior in groups. Sociology has existed as a formal discipline for about 150 years. </p>
<p>History, as a formal discipline, has been around for thousands of years. It's the study of everything human through time, primarily through the consideration of written records.</p>
<p>In recent times, historians have borrowed the tools of the various social sciences. It's hard to talk about history without talking about sociology, psychology, markets, or government institutions. Conversely, sociologists and economists often engage in historical analysis.</p>
<p>You really can major in anything you want before you go to law school. I'd guess that 80% or more of law students majored in English, history, political science, or economics, but there are plenty of people who studied something else. One of my law school classmates studied fishery management in college.</p>
<p>I studied history, and loved it. Figure out what you love studying, and study that.</p>
<p>Amen, I was an Anthro major. Did it help with law school, or the practice of law? No! Did I have a great undergrad experience traveling around the world? Heck yeah. I think the advice of simply enjoying your undergrad experience is the best advice your can recieve.</p>
<p>Just to add another comment. Go with what Ariesathena and others recommend - major in something that you like and will be sufficiently enthusiastic about to do your best to get top grades. Practically none of the subjects that are taught at the undergraduate level have much to do with any area of legal practice, and those that do can be learned on the job or by taking courses or being given training after employment.</p>
<p>The only exception that I can think of, and I'm not sure it's taught at undergraduate levels, would be a course or two in understanding we human beings - what makes us tick, what motivates us, how to interact with us. That's not taught in law schools either, but the fact is that in order to practice law one must have clients and that means that we must interact with others of the human race in ways that will cause them to want to hire us.</p>
<p>I don't know whether any of the typical undergaduate psychology courses teach such things, but if they do, it wouldn't hurt to take one. Just be sure that you get a good grade.</p>
<p>From what I understand having a high GPA is the most important thing for your undergrad when it comes to law school... My logic is, if I already have to work as hard as possible to have the highest GPA, I might as well do it in something I enjoy. I love history, and don't really mind puytting in a great amount of effort. If you alreayd need a really high GPA, you might as well do it in something that you enjoy!</p>