You are the law.


So you want to go to law school. We're assuming here, since that's the only reason to major in pre-law. There aren't too many college students dreaming about a marine biology PhD who go in for pre-law. Unless, of course, they're trying to sue some whales.

You...you can't sue whales, right?

Well, until someone figures out how to make the whales pay for whatever it is they're doing (probably something krill-related—those guys love krill), you're going to law school. Congratulations. You're probably one of the only people you know who has concrete life goals. Go ahead and take a victory lap.

Get some fresh air. We'll wait.

Ah, welcome back.

As many lawyer jokes as there are out there (and there are a lot), we sort of need our lawyers. Laws cause disputes, and disputes need to be resolved. Otherwise, it's back to using violence to solve everything. And when has that ever helped?

Never, that's when.

Well, except with disputes like, "Which one of us would win in a fight?" Obviously.

The pre-law major can be a little more versatile than it might initially seem. Sure, its primary purpose is for making new lawyers, but there are other professions that can benefit from law knowledge. Not marine biology. They have to have something to do with the law. Human law. Not the law of the sea. That's a far brinier specialty.

One important note is that you don't need to take pre-law to become a lawyer. In fact, there are places that will specifically tell you not to. Philosophy, economics, and journalism majors all have high rates of acceptance into law school, presumably because they embrace the three loves of lawyers: arguing, money, and truth.

Pre-law is designed specifically to help teach you to interact with other law professionals and navigate the tricky waters of the legal system. If you want to be a lawyer, be aware there are lots of good ways to do it. If at the end of this, pre-law still sounds like the right fit for you, then go for it. Shine on, you crazy diamond. Stay on your course and get your law school. When the time comes for us to sue those whales, you will be the one we call.

Famous People who majored in Pre-Law

  • Mohamed ElBaradei, an Egyptian law scholar and diplomat
  • Sargent Shriver, a U.S. ambassador to France
  • Janna Ryan, wife of vice presidential candidate, Paul Ryan
  • Alan Simpson, former Wyoming senator
  • Floyd McKissick, former leader of the Congress of Racial Equality

Percentage of US students who major in Pre-Law:


Stats obtained from this source.