Looking for school recommendations for intended CS Major planning on Law School

Hi there!

I am a high school senior applying as a CS major. I have my heart set on going to law school and getting involved with restorative justice in the future. Would love to hear any recommendations for schools that are best for potential CS + Polisci double majors (reaches, matches, and safeties are all welcome)! Not considering cost, perfect stats with tons of AP (transfer credits?), Indian ethnicity (born + raised in America), female, mediocre extracurriculars, eh honors, and hopefully good or great essays & LORs.

Thank you.

Are you a US citizen…you mention Indian.

A double major will be tough and it’s not relevant for law school - there is no prescribed major although poli sci is very popular. Some argue that not majoring in poli sci gives you an advantage.

Given you want to do restorative justice, you might find a school with a program. I found that there are 65 schools - but I don’t see any names other than Brown, Northwester, Michigan, Wisconsin, Maine, Lipscomb.

Even with perfect stats, you will struggle to get into top schools as an international.

You might look at LACs with great poli sci programs - such as W&L, Carleton, Colgate…or even GW and American in Washington DC.

Good luck

I think OP is a US citizen. Mentioned born and raised in the US.

OP when you say not considering cost, does that mean you don’t need to or you haven’t discussed it with your parents?

For diverse majors such as these, you may want to look into colleges with notably flexible curricula and strong programs in both of your areas of interest. Amherst and Hamilton might represent two schools to research.

There is no need for any specific major for a pre-law student.

Computer science as an undergraduate major for a pre-law student may be useful for background knowledge in law relating to use of computers. But if that is not your focus in law, what is the reason for choosing computer science as an undergraduate major?

For some reason, political science is the most popular pre-law major, even though most lawyers do not go into politics.

Remember that law school is very expensive, so consider whether a lower cost undergraduate school will let you finish law school with less debt at the end.

Good catch - i missed that.

Why do you want to do a CS major, if you don’t want a career in CS?

If you want to do something computational, and also make an impact in public policy and restorative justice, I’d suggest a data analytics major, with a concentration in poli sci. Then you could use your computational skills to make an impact in your chosen field.

CS is a great major, but it’s a lot of work and tough to get a high GPA for law school… all for something you then intend to put aside and go in another direction with your career. Maybe I’m missing something, but I’d give some thought to whether you could make it all hang together a bit better.

Take a look at the Data Analytics major at Ohio State, for example. The core curriculum includes foundational CS classes, but then focuses on statistical modeling and analysis, and data visualization… and then you choose a concentration (which can be in poli sci and/or public policy) and apply your skills within that sphere, culminating with a capstone project. Curriculum Overview | Data Analytics Major There are similar majors at Denison, Emory, and Penn State among others.

If you’re really intent on straight CS, I’d suggest looking at Northeastern, where you could do a combined major in CS+Poli Sci, rather than a double major. These majors front-load the CS skills so that you’re prepared for your co-ops, but then give you plenty of time to explore your other major focus once you’re done with the CS core. They don’t require quite as much higher math and advanced CS as a straight CS major, but plenty to do CS co-ops and acquire all the marketable skills you could want. Computer Science and Political Science, BS < Northeastern University You could specifically seek out co-ops that match your interests and aspirations. If you have “perfect” stats as stated in your other thread, you should be a strong candidate for NEU, as they love high-stat applicants (and give nice merit awards, especially if you are NMF).

This is exactly what I was thinking.

I do know a lawyer who got his bachelor’s degree in computer science. However, he also worked as a software engineer before going to law school. I also know several lawyers who got their degree in engineering. However all of these lawyers are working in areas that have something to do with both their original degree and their law degree. To me “restorative justice” sounds like something different.

One concern I have about the double major is that it will require more courses. This either involves more time in university (and more $$$) or taking more courses at once (and potentially lower grades). It might be more practical to major in either computer science or political science, and take some courses in the other as electives.

I have wondered about this also. The lawyers that I know got their bachelor’s degrees at a very wide range of universities. You do not need to go to a “big name” university to go on to a good law school. Saving money for law school would be a good plan. I do understand that there are some people who can afford to spend $320,000 for a bachelor’s degree and another $250,000 for law school without going into any debt. These people are however rare.

Your in-state public university is probably worth looking at very closely.

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I have one child who graduated from CS this year and another who graduated from law school. I agree with other posters to rethink your major if you are planning on law school. CS can be grueling. Students stick with it because of the high salary payoff after 4 years. If you do not plan to go into a CS career afterwards, then there’s not much point of doing the degree.

Additionally, the two most important factors in law school admissions are GPA and LSAT. If you go into a competitive major, everyone else will be brilliant and that will pull down your GPA which will make it harder to get into law school.

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My parents want me to have a marketable undergrad degree in case I change my mind about law school, which is why I’m considering double majoring. I completely understand the rigor of CS, but at this point, I’m pretty much locked into it. I’m not locked into the area of law that I want to pursue at this point, but my understanding was that since there is no pre-law major, my undergraduate choices were pretty open-ended as long as I was building the skills I would need for the LSAT and law school. At this point, I’m interested in restorative justice, which involves criminal justice, but I’d rather major/minor in polisci than criminal justice or English. I wasn’t aware of Northeastern’s program and I’ll be looking into it!

You may be able to complete a computer science major with about 9 to 12 courses (of 32 total). If you are well prepared for this major, you could be quite successful in fulfilling it with good grades.

Regarding broader academic planning, some law-related courses or a law‐related minor (separate from your interest in political science) may be advisable.

You do not need any particular major for pre-law. If you are firmly committed to CS, then don’t feel like you need to add another major in political science for pre-law purposes. CS will help you practice logical thinking, but you may want to include out-of-major courses that give you practice in reading and writing of varied subjects, as well as general background about areas of law you may be interested in.

Some information about undergraduate preparation for pre-law:
http://lawschoolnumbers.com/application-prep/choosing-your-major-for-prelaw
http://lawschoolnumbers.com/application-prep/making-undergraduate-courses-count-for-law-school

I was thinking similar - there’s little one can do with a poli sci degree that one couldn’t with a CS degree, but not vice versa.

I work in the auto industry in a sales-type role and my VP was an aerospace engineer. One can get a job at an auto company - you start at the 800# and could work your way into marketing or product development or new car sales or aftersales or whatever - with a poli sci degree. Yep. With a CS degree. Yep. Could you work on a political campaign with a CS degree and no poli sci degree - yep.

So I think the CS major could be smart but no second needed. In fact, not having poli sci will likely help you because these law schools see too much of it.

If you were to work a few years before going back to law school, you could be an attorney related to technical issue - I know that’s not your love but you could perhaps help guide non profits.

Privacy and technology laws are constantly changing and we’ll need some folks like yourself to guide the politicians, etc.

Keep your path - but if you see it’s not feasible to do both in 4 years (unless you want to go longer), keep CS.

My son is doing MechE with a geography minor …can’t fit a major in four years. So perhaps a minor would work.

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If you enjoy it and have the necessary skill, computer science can be an excellent preparation for law school. As usbalumnus points out CS will teach you to think logically and pay attention to detail. Furthermore in our increasingly digital world there is demand for lawyers who understand how computers work.
If you are unenthusiastic about CS I see a red flag. You will be most successful in college if you major in a subject you like.
At the college where I teach double majors are a badge of honor. Nevertheless I do not favor double majors. The second major will increase the requirements you have to fulfill and decrease the number of free electives you can take. Better to do an good job in one major than to spread yourself thin across two.
As a CS major aiming toward a legal career you can use your free electives to study philosophy, literature, and history, subjects that will emphasize reading, writing, and deep thinking, skills that are important for lawyers.
Lastly, look for colleges and universities that offer CS in their school of arts and sciences. Those programs will offer you the most opportunity to supplement your CS major with courses in other subjects.