Best Majors for Law School Applicants

Posted by Ann Levine | August 5, 2008

How do law school admission committees evaluate people with different undergraduate majors? Are there good majors and bad majors for law school applications? I wouldn’t quite say there are bad majors – I think there are good things about most areas of study, and if you have good grades then you’re absolutely set.  For a deeper look at what at best majors for law school and how to get in, check out the bestselling book The Law School Admission Game.

Law schools want people from different backgrounds with a wide range of undergraduate majors, and from different schools for that matter. Here is a rundown of the major types of undergraduate majors and how law schools are apt to evaluate you based on your undergraduate major area of study:

1. Majors with scientific fields: You often risk having a lower GPA, but it can be excused because of the difficult curriculum and lab hours. Of course, it also helps to make the case that you want to be a patent/IP lawyer if your have a science/math background. However, it can also risk looking like you really would have preferred to go to med school but you just didn’t have the GPA. If you did well in a science major, you will find that law schools like that and it will help you in the admissions process generally.

2. Pre-Law Majors: Law and Society, Pre-Law, Political Science, and Criminal Justice studies show you have a sincere interest in the subject matter. It’s especially helpful if you do a thesis and/or significant academic or internship work to supplement the curriculum. However, lackluster grades in these subjects will not impress an admission office. A 3.3 GPA in poli sci is not the same as a 3.3 in biomedical engineering or physics.

3. Art/Music Majors: A BFA makes things tricky, but if you do well academically and do a thesis or have something to show for yourself other than being an unemployed actor, then this absolutely works. Actually, I think Art History is one of the best majors for preparing you for law school because it teaches you to look at something you’ve never seen before and apply the facts you’ve learned to determine what you’re looking at. That’s pretty much a law school exam in a nutshell. Anything that shows you’ve done some serious writing will help. Music composition shows you’re a thinking person.

4. Business Majors: Marketing, not so impressive but if you have strong grades and showed a sincere interest in serious things then it’s fine. Economics is better – shows more analysis and academic inclination.

5. Philosophy: Again, writing and analysis. Great stuff.

The question is this – knowing how law schools view your major, what can you do to make up for that weakness? If you haven’t had much writing in your curriculum, how about writing for your school paper or trying to get research published? This is just one example of a way you can use your weaknesses to build your law school applications.

Recap:
1. Pick a major that sincerely interests you.
2. Get the best possible grades in that major.

Law schools want to see people who are serious about their goals, but not singularly minded. Have a hobby too, and if that hobby demonstrates your thinking skills, cultural interests, passions – all the better. Do well at the things you do.

(For those of you worried that your physics degree will be competing against people who studied history, I would say that if your grades are solid and you have strong academic letters and perhaps someone who can attest to your writing ability, then you’ll be absolutely fine.)

Categories: Law School Application Tips

584 Comments »


584 Responses to “Best Majors for Law School Applicants”

  1. A.S. says:

    I have always wondered what the perception of an Elementary Education major would be in the admissions process? Many people say that it doesn’t matter but then my peers in the School of Education are often critical of my decision to apply to law school. I do get to supplement my resume with something unique that most will not have and that is doing a portion of my student teaching in Australia! Thanks for the help!

  2. Anonymous says:

    I graduated with a 3.1 at UCLA but I double majored in economics and sociology within the course of 3 years. Would admissions consider putting a little more weight in my intense curriculum despite my low GPA?

  3. Ann K. Levine, Esq. says:

    Yes, but your reasons for graduating early would make it more compelling. And if you finished in 3 years at the expense of lacking in work experience or leadership experience then it probably would do you good to explore those options. It’s always better to have better grades, but if you have an upward trend in your grades that would help. If schools will only be able to see 2 years of grades by the time you apply, it might not be enough to go on. It sounds like you already graduated, so you are probably gaining work experience now and this would not be an issue for you.

  4. Ann K. Levine, Esq. says:

    Regarding the education major:
    Your peers being critical of your decision has absolutely nothing to do with how law schools view your decision. However, because elementary ed is such a specific trade type education, people will wonder what made you decide not to pursue it. Most people teach for at least a few years after graduation. This may be something the would need to be addressed in your application so it doesn’t look like “Hey, I couldn’t get a job teaching so I guess I’ll apply to law school.” But law schools won’t dismiss you from consideration based on your choice of major.

  5. Mike says:

    I wonder what admissions would think of an applicant who has a B.F.A. in Dance…

  6. thriftydig says:

    Is there a way to quantify major difficulty adjustment for admission predictions? For example, if I have a 3.5 in electrical engineering with a minor in math, may I consider a certain point boost in order to better predict my chances of admission?

    Also, do admissions departments take into consideration the number of credits taken per semester? Some students take only 15, while others take 21 or more. It could be conceived that it would be easier to achieve a higher GPA with a smaller amount of credits and a higher availability of time for studying.

    Thank you so much for you help!

  7. Ann K. Levine, Esq. says:

    Thrifty-dig, this is what they call a “soft factor” – no way to quantify. While there is no “certain point boost”, your strong GPA in a very difficult major will absolutely work in your favor. If you feel your program is unique in the number of credits taken, you may want to submit a brief addendum (BRIEF!) explaining that but don’t compare yourself to all of the lazy people taking fewer credits ; )

  8. thriftydig says:

    Thank you.

  9. Adnan Ahmad says:

    Hi, I have a 2.9 LSDAS GPA and a 3.1 School GPA as a Business major, and the low GPA is due to the Finance and Accounting courses I have taken but I have a high LSAT score. How would my business major be taken into account vs. that of a History or a Political Science major? And does the undergraduate school where I recieved my BBA from play a significant factor in determining admissions if I have a high LSAT score?
    Thanks!

  10. Ann K. Levine, Esq. says:

    Adnan,
    First, Congrats on your “high” LSAT score ; )
    Second, Finance/Accounting is recognized as a tough major, but of course it’s better to have good grades in a tough major….At this point, there’s not much you can do about that except make your application as strong and possible and choose your school list wisely.

    The caliber of your undergrad school is also important, and taken into account. Going to a more highly regarded school will help you. You’ll need to show that whatever factors kept you from doing well in undergrad won’t hinder you in law school.

  11. curiousgeorge says:

    What if you never took school seriously until the age of 29 and decided to go back to school and redeem yourself? How will you be evaluated?

  12. whitney says:

    Ok so I when I graduate I will have a 2.0 gpa, with my bs in biology and theatre. I worked while I was in undergrad, i also have a high LSAT score. That took some time to earn. I’m wondering if I can even be considered as a law school applicant? If you could give me advice I would greatly appreciate it.

    • Ann Levine says:

      Hi Whitney,
      I don’t have enough information about your transcripts, LSAT history, or goals of where you want to attend law school but if your LSAT really is strong then I wouldn’t count you out completely. You may have some ‘splainin to do but just based on what you’re telling me I wouldn’t count you out.
      Ann

  13. saxman says:

    I am a music management major halfway through my junior year. I have a 3.76 gpa and I just got back my lsat score of 173. the college I go to isn’t very prestigious academically, I decided on it because I couldn’t afford to attend a school like Belmont or Miami or NYU for my major. I intern at a semi major record label. My dream law school is Columbia and my final goal is to be a lawyer in the entertainment industry which is why I chose this major. my major courses are about half music and half music business but I end up with a BS and not a BFA What would you say are my chances for Columbia?

    • Ann Levine says:

      Hi Saxman,
      Great GPA, Great LSAT. Congratulations! You have a lot of potential. If Columbia is absolutely what you want (cost be damned!) then apply Early Decision.
      Keep me posted!
      Ann

  14. Dizzy_Lizzy says:

    Hi Ann!
    In the process of considering law shcool and I must say your blog has been a Godsend! So, here’s the lowdown, I messed around for several years, never earning that BA. Then, about 5 years ago, went back to school, got my paralegal certificate and have been working in the paralegal field ever since.

    I have about 20-30 hours left to recieve a BA from the local state school and have dreams of law school. My question is this: Should I pick up where I left off and go for my BA in psychology, or should I go the quick route and get my BA in general studies?

    PS I have not taken the LSAT yet, but plan to in June this year, then back to school to finish my last year.

    Thanks!

    • Ann Levine says:

      Hi Dizzy Lizzy,
      Take difficult courses and do well in them. It doesn’t have to be psych, but “General Studies” isn’t going to knock anyone’s socks off…. Good luck, and so happy the blog is helpful!

  15. Aimee says:

    Hi Anne,
    I’m 21 years old and have had law school in mind since I began college. I went to Rutgers University for my freshman year and finished with a 3.7 gpa, however I got very sick at the end of the year and to leave. I’m still suffering from my illness and haven’t been able to go back to school and I’m considering finishing my degree online through Penn State University. Basically, I’ll have to get my degree in Business (instead of Economics and English like I was going for at RU) and my diploma will read Penn State University (no indication that it was online), which will also look like a lower tier school because it will not be through University Park which is their more prestigious campus. Do you think I should go ahead and do it anyway? It’s either this, or I wait it out to back to RU which may take me a year or two.
    If I can keep up my GPA through PU online and I get a nice score on my LSAT, will I be okay? I feel like I might have to forget any chance of getting into a really good law school…I’d really appreciate your input. Thanks!

    • Ann Levine says:

      Hi Aimee, this is a great question! Look, let’s be honest, it’s not like it’s a question of returning to Columbia for your education – I think you should continue your education right now in any way you can – get amazing grades and focus on your health and return to Rutgers when you are ready and able to do so. You can always submit an addendum explaining this time in your life and schools will be very impressed that you kept yourself moving forward. Thanks for writing!

  16. Aimee says:

    *Ann
    I’m sorry I like to get names right :].

  17. Helen Wiersma says:

    Hi Ann,

    I have a B.S. in chemistry and biology from a top 30 liberal arts school and my GPA was 3.74. I am now in my 7th year of graduate school at Stanford in the biochemistry department. I want to be an IP lawyer. I have two problems. 1) Throughout college I pursued science and only science (well, I was also a two sport varsity athlete) and being a grad student doesn’t allow you to have much free time to pursue extracurricular activities either. 2) I was diagnosed with a serious re-occuring medical condition in my 2nd year and I have had to take four quarters off interspersed throughout grad school. Will either or both of these affect my chances to gain admissions to a law school?
    Thanks so much!

    • Ann Levine says:

      Helen – As long as your illness is under control now and won’t be a factor in law school, the gap time will not hinder your acceptance.
      I actually had a client this year with a very similar background – top schools, fantastic GPAs, all in engineering. He’s starting his 1L year at Harvard this week.
      Keep up the good work!
      Ann

  18. dean says:

    Hi Ann,
    I am a biochem major, chem and bio minor. I have a gpa of 3.3. Tons of volunteering experience. I started college pre med, but within a year realized Law was my calling. Does my gpa put me at a disadvantage? And with a good lsat score, how competitive will I be for law school admissions? Your advice is greatly appreciated.
    Dean

    • Ann Levine says:

      Your GPA is pretty good for such a rigorous program, Dean. So long as all of your volunteer time wasn’t in hospitals and doctors offices (like someone who is geared to be pre-med) and you can demonstrate a sincere interest in law, I think law schools will respect what you’ve done. A lot of what you’re asking is too vague for me to give real opinions on. For example, what is a “good” LSAT score? A good LSAT score is one that shows your aptitude on the test. Also, I don’t know where you went to undergrad, where you’ll be applying to law school, etc. But your GPA and major/minors don’t worry me by themselves so keep plugging away!

  19. Andy B. says:

    Hi ,

    I was wondering how the top 20 law schools perceive/account for the quality of the undergraduate institution. For example, if two students both majored in economics and had a similar GPA and LSAT/ but one of them went to Johns Hopkins , the other one went to U-Mich ( Ann Arbor) , would the student who went to Hopkins have an edge since that is a more prestigious school ( unless my assumption that Hopkins is more prestigious is wrong).

    Thanks

    • Ann Levine says:

      Andy, you happened to pick two schools that are both highly regarded undergraduate schools. A better example would be U. Baltimore versus Johns Hopkins or Wayne State versus U-Mich. In those cases, it does make a difference.

  20. Rhonda Lennis says:

    Hi Ann,

    I was wondering if law schools look favorably upon participation in policy debate in college as compared to other activities.

    Thanks

    Rhonda

    • Ann Levine says:

      The most important thing, Rhonda, is to show real commitment and leadership in whatever you choose to do, but never pick anything just because you think it’ll look good.

  21. Jane says:

    Hi Ann!
    I’m a double major in English and in Psychology with a Minor in Behavioral Science from McGill University.
    My cGPA will probably be around 3.2. I haven’t yet taken the LSAT but I have a strong upward trend during my last two years.
    If my LSAT score is decent, do I have a chance at decent law schools?
    Thanks!

  22. Olivia says:

    Hello Ann,

    I am a freshman in college, and have been dreaming of law school ever since I can remember. I finished the semester with a 3.8 GPA at the University of Kentucky. I love to write, but can get through math if necessary. I am currently majoring in Journalism, and was wondering if this is any good for law? If I do keep the journalism major, I would also like to take up a second major. I have been looking at Psychology, ISC (Integrated Strategic Communications, International Studies, Management, Marketing, and Economics. In and around these areas, do you have any advice on what majors I should apply myself in?

    Thanks!

    • Ann Levine says:

      HI Olivia,
      I’m so glad you’re being proactive and thinking about these things so early on, and also that your grades are off to a great start. Pick a second major that truly interest you and that you think will be valuable in a future career – business experience is helpful to a lawyer, but so is psychology…. pick something you are really interested in and do well in it! Good luck!

  23. Ann Levine says:

    Jane – of course!!!!

  24. History graduate says:

    Hi Olivia, I am currently attending graduate school in order to receive a masters degree in history. I always wanted to teach U.S. And Latin American history but I have always been fascinated with law. I want to attend law school next year but would like to know if my graduate studies or undergraduate studies will be examined separately. Should I do a thesis or comps? What are my chances in getting into law school compared to others? My gpa is 3.7 but I’m scared to take the LSAT because I’m lousy at math, however I know this will always be a challenge for me. Any advise would be so appreciated! Thank you very much and hope to hear from you soon. Sincerely, Lety

  25. Ann Levine says:

    History Graduate, I’m sure Olivia would be happy to answer your question but just in case that was a mistake, I’ll answer it here:
    Math has nothing to do with the LSAT.
    It sounds like you’re in the exploration phase – you may want to start by reading a book (my book?) on law school admissions and this will give you a lot of information on the LSAT, how law schools view graduate degrees, etc.
    Please let me know if you have further questions.

  26. chemgirl says:

    Hi Ann,

    I’m in the midst of getting my apps ready for law school, but I’m still not exactly sure where I should be applying. I graduated from an elite university last May with a Chemistry degree, but unfortunately (due to health issues throughout) a 2.6 GPA. I recently got my LSAT score back and was very happy with my 171. I’ve written an addendum explaining my circumstances, have many good academic LOR, and have solid work experience since I graduated doing technical writing and clinical lab work for a biotech startup. How much do you think that my GPA will hurt my applications? Do I have any chance at any high ranked schools?

    Thanks!

  27. chemgirl says:

    Ann, Yes that’s the plan right now. I know that it is late in the cycle but I wanted to wait for my December LSAT score.

  28. Ann Levine says:

    Chemgirl,
    Your chances for admission at competitive schools will be much better if you wait and apply early for Fall 2012. You have issues that will require review (GPA, health issues) and you need time to create strong application materials. If you are just gunning for a school that will jump on you for that LSAT score (and a resulting scholarship) then by all means, apply now. However, this isn’t the time of year for you to have a great shot at getting into a reach school.

  29. K.V. says:

    Ann, I am completely lost with what major to choose. I am a second year, and am currently in Business. However, I have not chosen a specialization within Business, because I am unsure of what is best for me. What is your advice for choosing a major within business that will best challenge and prepare me for law school?

    • Ann Levine says:

      Hi K.V., It’s about choosing something that interests you and getting the best grades you can. Do writing, do research, form relationships with professors who will sing your praises in a letter of rec. Make the most of your education by being a proactive, responsible and serious student. That will pay off. Exactly what specialization you choose is much less important. Good luck!

  30. Dajeong Kang says:

    Hello. I am wondering if there is a lot of debate involved in Political Science. If so, I will have to practice my public speaking skills as I have not had much experience with it. Also, my personality is introverted and quiet, so I’m wondering whether my personality is right for Political Science. Thank you so much for this very helpful blog!

    • Ann Levine says:

      Dajeong,
      Have you considered getting involved in an organization like Toastmasters to work on public speaking? no matter your major, this is a subject you should work on because it will only help you in your career – no matter what career you choose – to develop these skills.

  31. James says:

    Hey Ann, I am a a senior at a top 3 ivy, my GPA is a 3.34 and my LSAT will be in the 165-170 range based on pre-test. I am majoring in biochemistry and have extensive research experience and would be interested in patent law. My first question is: do I have a decent shot with top-15 law schools or, if not, what tier (number range ) of law school should I aim for a my middle schools (neither reach nor safety)? Two further questions: I am planning on taking a year off in between apps and law school (either running a company or doing lab research), is a year off considered in a negative light by graduate schools? Also, is it more difficult for me to get in if I reveal that I want a dual degree (J.D. phd in biochem)? Thanks so much for the help!

    • Ann Levine says:

      HI James,
      I’m glad your GPA is in biochem. If your LSAT is at the top of the range you listed, you’ll be competitive with T-15 schools, but I hate to talk schools list on a hypothetical (wishful) LSAT score.
      I think taking time off would be good, especially because it would be helpful to have some work experience that backs up your desire to practice patent law. It’s probably much harder to get into your PhD programs than your law degree – the applications are evaluated separately by the appropriate schools.

  32. James says:

    **considered in a negative light by *law schools****

  33. R.B. says:

    Hi Ann,

    I’m a Criminal Justice major and have been told that I’m required to pick a minor. I’m having a really hard time choosing one because of people different opinions. Some would say minor in something that will help you in law school while the others would say just pick something that you’re interested in. What would you think be the best way to choose a minor?

  34. James says:

    Thanks so much Ann, I’m going to buy your book!

  35. Tony says:

    Hi Ann,

    Great blog…

    I am about to graduate this Spring with a BFA in Music from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. My GPA will be a 3.5. I realize that it’s way too late to consider law school for the Fall ’11, therefore I am hoping to start Fall ’12. I want to focus on entertainment law (and music law…) and have my sights set on Temple University. Historically, I have had trouble on standardized tests, landing a 1010 on my SAT’s (back when they were out of 1600)…so I am very nervous about the LSATS. How’s that GPA for a music major? I know Temple is top 100, so my LSATs will need to be in the 155 area? And during this year I have to take off while waiting to apply, what is your recommendation for a job that will look good on my application for law school?

    Thanks for any help

    • Ann Levine says:

      Hi Tony, that’s a lot of questions! If you haven’t already read my book, you might find it to be helpful in answering a lot of these questions. It’s the right time for you to read the book because you will have time to really take action based on my suggestions and plan accordingly for Fall 2012 admission. It’s also time to start thinking about when you will take the LSAT and how you will prepare, especially since it’s a point of concern for you given your SAT history.
      The job you will have is not so important because you will only have it for a few months before you apply.

  36. Tony says:

    Thanks Ann.

    I’m going to order the book tonight! Sorry, didn’t even realize all the questions I was asking…as if you couldn’t tell, I just committed to the decision of Law School!! So I’m excited! It appears your book will probably answer many of my questions. Do you discuss LSAT prep at all? For instance, which is preferred, LSAT Prep Course? Private Tutoring? or Self Study?

    Thanks!

  37. Brittani says:

    Hi Ann,

    I am currently a freshman sports medicine major, but I have recently decided that law is what I want to do. I am trying to choose a major and I am thinking about pairing public relations with sociology or political science. which one would prove more beneficial?

    • Ann Levine says:

      Hi Brittani,
      Public relations probably isn’t my first choice – sociology and poli sci would both be good choices because they require writing and analytical thought. Of course PR is a good practical major if you want to be employable upon graduation, but when applying to law school it’s not as rigorous or relevant.

  38. hockey39 says:

    hi i have a 3.2 GPA at Ohio state with a micro bio major and have interned at law firms for the last 2 summers i am wonder if i can shoot for a 160ish on my lsat could i be competitive from some tier 2 law school

  39. Jennie says:

    Hi Ann,

    I have run into a problem. I am attending a community college and was planning to transfer to Baylor. I am majoring in Philosophy and I have a 4.0 GPA. Here is my problem; Baylor is a little over an hour away and I cannot move there as I have a husband and two small children. I have decided to transfer to Mary Hardin-Baylor instead because it is a lot closer. However, they do not offer Philosophy as a major. Will it hurt my chances of being accepted to law school if I change my major to Political Science and minor in Philosophy; or, would I be better off majoring in Physics with a minor in Philosophy?

  40. Jennie says:

    Because it has always interested me… From your response, should I assume Political Science would be better? There are a lot of areas that interest, so I would like to major in what will prepare me the most for law school.

  41. Ann Levine says:

    Jennie, That’s a good reason! If you can do physics and do well with it, then go for it! It would definitely distinguish you.

  42. Jennie says:

    Ann, thank you so much! I am pretty sure I can maintain at least a 3.8 (but I always shoot for a 4.0 and thus far, have not received lower) if I major in PS; however, physics is more challenging so I may end up with a 3.5. Would the lower GPA in a more challenging major look bad? I was also worried that the admissions office would look at my major (physics) and ask why in the world I decided on law school.

  43. Ann Levine says:

    Jennie, a 3.5 in physics would be SUPER impressive but if you have a minor in philosophy you will also have LORs in a relevant subject and would definitely come across as being intellectually curious, which isn’t a bad thing. But, yes, you’ll have to articulate “why law” a little more than the average applicant!

  44. Jennie says:

    Ann, thank you so much! Your blog is absolutely amazing. The only major I have been able to get from school counselors is, “Any major is fine.” So again, thank you very much!!

  45. HKP says:

    Hi Ann,

    I was just wondering if a minor in economics would really help me out any in applying to some competitive law schools? Currently i have a 3.89 gpa in political science which is my major and i have interned at a private law firm as well as in the offices of two local politicians. I also have a bunch of other work experience in unrelated fields (sanitation, parks department etc..). I’m just not sure if taking on a minor is smart right now since i am finishing college in three years as apposed to four and next year will be my last; and the extra pressure from the minor may be a little to stressful. What do you think?

  46. Nathan says:

    Hi Ann,

    I just recently came across your blog and I must say it is more helpful than anything else I have come across online. I was hoping that you could tell me what you think about my situation. I am currently a freshman in college and have wanted to be a lawyer for as long as I can remember but my family insisted I should pursue something more “reliable”. So I started my freshman year majoring in Industrial Engineering and found out quickly that it was not my calling and that I wanted to pursue law because its something I enjoy. I know the road ahead is a difficult one, but my predicament right now is what I should major in. I plan to double major in two of the following: public administration, sociology, legal studies, interpersonal communications, history, political science. The problem is I don’t know which pair would best prepare me for law school. I enjoy all of these subjects so thats why its so hard to choose just two.

    Sorry for rambling on…any help is appreciated.

    • Ann Levine says:

      HI Nathan,
      I think any of these majors would serve you well. I’m not sure about a major in Interpersonal Communications – I haven’t heard of that one before. The others I know will expose you to writing, thinking, research, etc. The key is to take hard courses, do well in them, and form supportive relationships with faculty members. I’m so glad the blog is helpful – I hope you’ll be a reader for a long time!

  47. Jennie says:

    Dear Ann,

    Please help! I am in my freshman year, working on my undergrad. I am attending a junior college with plans of transferring to, private university, Mary Hardin-Baylor. They do not offer my first choice of major which is philosophy or second which is physics. So, I was planning to double major in political science and english. Well, I just realized that Texas A&M, which is a lot closer to me, offers philosophy as a major; and, thanks to financial aid and scholarships, would be free. So here is my question: Which route do you think would prepare me better for law school, (1) Attend UMHB (private school) and double major in political science and english or (2) Attend Texas A&M (public school) and double major in political science and philosophy?

  48. Jennie says:

    MHB will only cost me about $5000 a year after scholarships; so it really isn’t that much. Does private vs. public matter or are admission decisions mostly made by GPA and LSAT? Also, I just found out that Texas A&M does not offer philosophy as a major at the location near me. Would it be more beneficial to have my second major be english or communications?

  49. tniem says:

    Ann – hope you don’t mind if readers chime in…

    Jennie, as a 1L, can I just say that you should decide your undergraduate school based on which school you feel is going to give you the best education, opportunities, and environment to live your life for four years and forget about law school for now. You will never have another opportunity to go to undergraduate school again (or at least hopefully not). It is a great time to grow, learn, and meet a whole host of people that will be friends for life. That is way more important than which law school you go to down the road or whether you even want to go to law school.

    On the latter point, if you are looking at undergraduate schools, you have forever (and I mean that as someone that went to work for a while before coming back to law school) to decide if you want to go to law school and pick your major. If you already have your life mapped out and you stick to it—great. But many people do change. Do your best to find the right opportunity (including finances) of undergraduate and decide based on that and not worry less about majors. Frankly, many, if not most, of the liberal arts degrees are going to be pretty synonymous.

    Then, if you do decide to go to law school, you are going to be judged on your grades (and LSAT). And likely, if you are happy at which undergraduate school you are at and happy with what classes your taking for your major, you will be in the best position to do well. Which is the key thing to getting into the law school of your choice. So, a piece of free advise from someone that would do a few things differently in picking his undergraduate college—go where you will be happiest (and yes that includes your worries about debt).

    Sorry Ann for this long unprompted response. Just couldn’t help it as someone that wishes he had done a few things differently in applying to undergraduate institutions but very happy with his law school choice.

  50. Jennie says:

    Tniem,

    Thank you for the advise. I am not really worried about debt; however, a free education would be nice. I will most likely stick with the private school and I am not going for the experience or to make friends. Being older than the average student and married with two children, my education is my first priority. I have worked as a legal assistant for quite some time. Also, I have known that I want to go to law school since the beginning of high school (which was a long time ago for me). Therefore, I want to prepare myself as much as possible. My husband is in the military and we move around a lot; so I will not have a choice of which law school I attend. This is why I need to make sure I can get in anywhere.

  51. Matt says:

    Hi Ann,
    I came up on your blog and I must say it has been helpful thus far in my path to becoming a lawyer. I am currently a senior in high school and I will be attending a university in the fall. I am a overachiever, I am constantly pushing myself. I plan on double majoring in the fall and I am having a tough time deciding which major to pick to complement Psychology, one of my options was criminal justice but many people have told me that this major is not a well respected one. My other options were English, Philosophy, or maybe something in science. Which major along with Psychology would appeal to Law Schools the most when applying, and does double majoring increase your chance of getting into a tier one law school?

    • Ann Levine says:

      Hi Matt,
      Double majoring is not essential, but I agree that you should pick something more challenging than CJ – philosophy and English are both good choices. Good luck, and keep reading the blog in the years to come!

  52. Peter says:

    Hi Ann,
    I am a senior in high school and will be attending college in the fall at Northeastern University or the University of Delaware. I still have to decide and the deadline is right around the corner (if you have any input in that decision it would be greatly appreciated)! Law School is a top priority of mine and I have taken classes in high school such as AP Government & Politics and Honors Constitutional Law. Both went extremely well and I received A’s in those courses, but as for a major in college I am still trying to decide the best path for law school. As of now I have been accepted as a political science major in each of my colleges, and I could pursue that with a concentration in law. Although, I am having second thoughts as a poli-sci major and would like to have a bit of a safety net and major in something business related with a minor in political science and philosophy or psychology because I believe I want to focus on being a corporate lawyer. So my question is: which undergraduate business majors would also be good preparation for law school and would not hinder my chances of admission in the more competitive law schools. Your blog has helped me so much already, and any and all input will be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much!

    • Ann Levine says:

      Peter, I’m so glad I have years ahead with you as a reader of the blog!
      Don’t pick a major yet. Take classes in college and see what you like. I don’t think marketing is as compelling as economics, for example, but take classes and see what you think. Most people change majors a bunch of times!

  53. Jen says:

    Hi Ann,

    Would English be considered a weak undergrad degree to have when applying for law school?

    • Ann Levine says:

      Jen, English is a fabulous major because you will get lots of writing experience and you will become adept at thinking critically about other people’s writing. But good grades are going to be necessary! No 3.1 GPAs in English, ok?

  54. Jen says:

    Ann, I think I would go into shock if my GPA was that low! I am almost done with my Freshman year and I have managed to keep my perfect GPA in tact. I am just having trouble deciding my major…

  55. Ann Levine says:

    Jen, English is a fine choice if you’re sure you will apply to law school straight out of undergrad. Good luck!

  56. jaz says:

    Hello everyone, I want to know if having an online Bachelor degree counts if I want to do Law School???

    • Ann Levine says:

      Jaz, in the U.S., you’ll need to go to an accredited undergraduate institution to be considered seriously as a law school applicant to an ABA approved school.

  57. Anne says:

    Hi Ann,
    I am going into my sophomore year at Benedictine College and am currently majoring in Secondary Education, Psychology, and Theology. I have recently decided that I want to go to law school upon graduation but am unsure if I will get accepted at a top tier school since I will be graduating from such a small school with these majors. I do have a 3.9 GPA though! I guess my question is: should I switch to pre-law with psychology and theology (because I am very passionate about those majors) or remain in the education department? Also, will the fact that I am attending such an unknown undergraduate school toss me out of the running if I apply to top-tier schools no matter what my major is? If not, is there anything I should do during my undergraduate years that would help me stand out in the application process?
    Thanks,
    Anne

    • Ann Levine says:

      Anne,
      if it helps, let me tell you that I’ve heard of Benedictine! Your good grades there are a huge plus. I would say that secondary education is a fine thing to major in and a fine and honorable career, but if you’re absolutely sure you want to go to law school, I’d want to know why you pursued this area. I don’t want it to look (later, on your applications) like you were undecided or decided you hated teaching. But if you want to be a teacher, you should do that! I highly suggest you read my book – I think you’d find it very helpful at this point in your undergraduate career. Keep reading the blog!

  58. Lizzy says:

    Hi Ann,

    I have a question, how will law schools view an applicant that majored in accounting and then got a master’s in information technology. In accounting I did not do so well, I had a 3.2 gpa but in information technology my gpa has gone up. With regards to law school admission, is it bad to change focus like this?

    • Ann Levine says:

      Great question, Lizzy!
      The truth is that you will have to go out of your way to show why you’re going to law school since your background doesn’t easily translate to a career in law. Your grades aren’t terrible – that’s not as much of a concern to me as why you would be going to law school.

  59. Lizzy says:

    Thank you so much for your response Ann. I am very interested in corporate law as well as electronic discovery; I believe my background definitely gives me a strong understanding of technology’s role in law. My question is where would I present these facts in my application? Would I use personal statement space or should this go in a diversity statement? Or should this be presented in some other fashion?

  60. Ann Levine says:

    Lizzy, it’s more personal statement appropriate than diversity statement.

  61. Mark Coleman says:

    Hello, I have a couple of questions…When I first started my undergraduate degree I was a Community College majoring in Criminal Justice and earned my Associates Degree. My GPA at the community college was by no means impressive. I got a 2.518. I had to repeat quite a few courses. I believe it was like 4. However, while I was enrolled I was in foster care and was moving quite a lot and didn’t have a stable home. Didn’t know where I was going to live. After I went to a small private college in my city and was majoring in Business Administration and earned a 0.9 GPA, but during that time my foster dad was in and out of the hospital sick and needed a blood transfusion. Not to mention we were being evicted because my foster dad had to leave work permanently due to his illness. However since the I have turned my grades around. I went to a new pvt school in my city and got a 3.26 GPA majoring in Sport Management and then I transferred to the University of Kentucky still majoring in Sport Management and received a 3.077 GPA. Unfortunately, I have to transfer from University of Kentucky because of financial aid and come back home to University at Buffalo. I have not received a bachelors degree yet, but I was wondering if I continue my upgrade trend will I be able to go to law school. By the way I will be double majoring in African American Studies and Economics at the University at Buffalo this coming fall 2011 semester to get myself on the right track

    • Ann Levine says:

      Mark, the question isn’t what you should pick as your major (both are fine choices, and if you can handle the Economics coursework and keep your grades up then more power to you) but whether you will be competitive for law school admission. Your personal story is rare and impressive, and the fact that you’ve stayed on course in school is really great – law schools will recognize your efforts in that regard. The important thing will be to set yourself up for success on the LSAT because that will make all the difference for you. Of course, you’ll also need an addendum explaining your undergraduate history.

  62. Mark Coleman says:

    Or would it be best to double major in Legal Studies and African American Studies

  63. Alex says:

    Hi, I’m a first year student at UCSD majoring in Poli Sci. I did not take school as seriously as I should have and my gpa (3.1) suffered. With that said, what is a GPA law schools (top 10?) look for amongst undergrads?

    • Ann Levine says:

      Alex, you have plenty of time to get your grades up! Upward trends do matter to top law schools. So consider this semester a fresh start, concentrate on grades, build relationships with faculty members, and seek out challenging academic opportunities and excel.

  64. Thad says:

    Hi I have been interested in attending law school now for two years. I got my B.A. in Arts Entertainment & Media Management and a minor in Marketing in May 2010. Through out my college career I hadn’t even thought about law school until I took a music publishing class in which my professor was an entertainment lawyer. I completed a three month internship at a major record label last year before I graduated. My undergraduate GPA is 3.0 which i know is low for law school. I am currently enrolled in an LSAT prep course and plan to take it in October of this year. I have been in the course since Nov 2010. Any advice??

  65. Rebecca says:

    Hello Ann,
    How would a Spanish Language major with a minor in Literature and Philosophy be viewed as an applicant to law school? From reading your blog, I have not seen any students with foreign language majors (or minors!) ask for advice. Languages have always been a topic of interest to me, but now I am wondering if I should consider double-majoring in Philosophy to make my application to law school more competitive?

    • Ann Levine says:

      Hi Rebecca, I think that would be great because Spanish is a great fluency for a lawyer to have and balancing it with writing/analytical thinking classes would be great. I don’t think you need a double major but you will want LORs from philosophy and literature professors.

  66. Maria says:

    Hey, so I’ve been doing some research on what law schools I can get into and I did my LSDAS gpa and it came out to be 3.6. But my cumulative at bachelors will be 3.9. I went to Community College and did bad on a couple of classes and therefore retook them and did better. Haven’t taken the LSATs yet but I’m scoring 170 on the PT. What are my chances of getting into the t14?

    • Ann Levine says:

      Maria, I just don’t know enough about you to fully analyze your situation and see how likely it is. Without knowing your full story, I can’t do anything more than offer you a calculator. The point of this blog isn’t to say where people have a chance of getting in but to answer questions about the admission and application processes and strategy. I always welcome questions but really personal questions like this require admission consulting. The good new is that your degree GPA is high and you have strong potential on the LSAT so an overall GPA of 3.6 is really not the end of the world. You may want to consider an addendum but if the difference is obvious from your transcripts and LSAC Academic Summary Report, then it may not be necessary.

  67. Hi,

    I am second year undergrad working towards a B.A. degree; majoring in Political science and minoring in communications. I am wondering if this pairing is okay ?

  68. Elizabeth says:

    Dear Ann,

    I am in the process of researching schools that could give me a good foundation in Art Law. I am specifically interested in working with auctions, collectors and museums in acquisitions. My undergraduate degree is a B.F.A in Art History from a fairly well known studio art college. My final GPA was a 3.51. I was just wondering if you could offer me any advice?

    • Ann Levine says:

      Elizabeth, for you I think this is all about location near places where you can intern in art law. And you’ll want to take initiative in building this niche career, for example by following art law blogs. A quick search showed me schools that have Art Law clinics and classes (including Harvard, Wash U, Columbia, etc.).

  69. Bryan says:

    Dear Ann,

    I’m thinking of switching my major from Business to Journalism and communications. I’m a good writer, so I believe Journalism will further my writing skills. How do law school view this major. Thanks for your help.

    • Ann Levine says:

      Bryan, If you want to learn to write, take classes that allow you to write lengthy, well-researched papers like history, English, philosophy, etc. Journalism is sort of a technical-writing, and to be honest it’s dying out. I’d hate for law schools to think you wanted to be a journalist, thought there was no future in it, so applied to law school. I rarely “diss” a major out of hand but if you’re doing it for law school reasons, I wouldn’t pick Journalism. If you’re doing it because you really want to be a writer, then journalism, English, creative writing, etc. are all great choices.

  70. A.G. Jenkins says:

    Hi Ann,
    First, great website! I have a few questions for you about my potential law school candidacy; a little background to start, though: I graduated from UVa with a 3.36 in English. The plan was to go to law school after working in a law firm but I tried to study alone for the LSAT and ended up with 2 scores of 150. So, I worked in a law firm as a file clerk until the economy went south and they had to cut my hours so low that I couldn’t afford to live. In searching for solutions to this problem I applied to master’s programs and got offered a full scholarship to Wake Forest University’s MA in English. I completed that degree on time this past May (3.5 GPA). I am currently teaching at a proprietary trade school but am interested in going to law school with an eye towards working in policy research and analysis, especially at the state level. My legal background is not so hot though because I just got DUI (BAC <.15) and Reckless driving-Speeding misdemeanors, and this three years after a charge for improperly operating a motor vehicle while using a cellular phone. What's worse is that the cell phone charge carried an implied consent violation because I was physically unable to consent to alcohol testing because I was in a hospital bed undergoing testing while the officer was questioning me. I was also treated with fentanyl, an opiate stronger than heroin, for the pain inflicted by the femural and sternal fractures I suffered as a result of the car accident the use of the cell phone (texting) caused. Side note: please don't text and drive, I drove my car into a tree with beer in the trunk which is what started the request for alcohol testing in this wreck

  71. A.G. Jenkins says:

    Hi Ann,
    First, great website! I have a few questions for you about my potential law school candidacy; a little background to start, though: I graduated from UVa with a 3.36 in English. The plan was to go to law school after working in a law firm but I tried to study alone for the LSAT and ended up with 2 scores of 150. So, I worked in a law firm as a file clerk until the economy went south and they had to cut my hours so low that I couldn’t afford to live. In searching for solutions to this problem I applied to master’s programs and got offered a full scholarship to Wake Forest University’s MA in English. I completed that degree on time this past May (3.5 GPA). I am currently teaching at a proprietary trade school but am interested in going to law school with an eye towards working in policy research and analysis, especially at the state level. My legal background is not so hot though because I just got DUI (BAC <.15) and Reckless driving-Speeding misdemeanors, and this three years after a charge for improperly operating a motor vehicle while using a cellular phone. What's worse is that the cell phone charge carried an implied consent violation because I was physically unable to consent to alcohol testing because I was in a hospital bed undergoing testing while the officer was questioning me. I was also treated with fentanyl, an opiate stronger than heroin, for the pain inflicted by the femural and sternal fractures I suffered as a result of the car accident the use of the cell phone (texting) caused. Side note: please don't text and drive, I drove my car into a tree with beer in the trunk which is what started the request for alcohol testing in this wreck. So, my question for you is what do you think my chances are for getting into a good constitutional law program and how long should I wait before trying to apply if ever?

    • Ann Levine says:

      AG, sounds like you learned quite a lesson. I think you need a few years to prove success in a field, getting your act together, and something on your resume that shows an understanding of what the legal profession is. That would also give you time to study appropriately for the LSAT and retake it, and perhaps let your earlier scores fall by the wayside.

  72. A.G. Jenkins says:

    Learned a few invaluable lessons indeed. Thanks for your promp response. All the best to you,
    AGJ

  73. Bryan says:

    Thank you Ann for your input. The bottom line is that I know I want to be a lawyer, and I’m not sure what major would be best for me. I’m in business right now-perhaps econ or business administration, but I’m not keen on money, so business, though I’m in it, isn’t were my heart is-law is-my dilemma.

    • Ann Levine says:

      Bryan,
      I hate to break it to you, but most areas of law are really about money. If you want to be prosecutor, public defender, public interest attorney, then ok. I agree that business isn’t right for you. Pick what is right for you, what you are passionate about, and excel in it. The rest will follow.

  74. Harsh says:

    Hi Ann,
    I am going to start my Junior year of college at UC Merced. My major is political science and I hold a 3.4 GPA. I had rough second semester freshman year but my grades have been on the incline since.
    I already have experience with internships. But I have yet to take my Lsat. I really want to get into a T50 law school.
    What do you think of my chances of getting into a top law school?

    • Ann Levine says:

      Harsh, I love that you are thinking ahead. Your #1 priority this year has to be your GPA and getting fabulous letters of rec from faculty. Do significant research and writing and excel in it. That’s #1.
      Ann

  75. Harsh says:

    Thanks for the advice!
    Can you please clarify what you mean “research”? And as far as my Lsat when do u suggest i start preparing for it and when should I take it?

  76. Ann Levine says:

    Research often entails working with a professor on one of his or her endeavors or taking higher level coursework that involves writing an extensive research-based paper.

  77. Chris says:

    Hi Ann,
    First let me say I absolutely loved your book – it cleared up so many questions I had – specifically with internships and work experience. However, I do have one question still, and it regards my choice of majors.
    I started college last fall with about 40-50 credits from high school and AP courses. Most of these courses have completed my general education requirements, and they have enabled me to not only double major in history and political science, but also add another major in philosophy. Better yet, my schedule also allows me to minor in art history (my university does not have an art history major, unfortunately).
    So, do you think I should just double major in history and political science and take courses in various subjects (like economics, business, english, etc.), or take the triple major (something that might interest me a bit more)? I currently have a 4.0 GPA, and am in my college’s Honors Program, so I’m not extremely concerned about how it would affect my academic standing.
    Thanks!

    • Ann Levine says:

      Chris, thanks so much for the great feedback on my book! (I always appreciate those 5-star reviews on Amazon : )
      You’re doing GREAT in college – fabulous. It really doesn’t matter to law schools whether you triple major or double major and take courses that interest you. Just keep taking challenging classes, enjoy yourself, and keep up that 4.0!!!!

  78. Lizzy says:

    Hi, Ann
    I have a few questions:

    1. Will it look bad if I take longer than four years to graduate? I switched majors so it may take longer than I thought. I am in my junior year by the way.

    2. My GPA is kinda low (2.9) also because I switched majors and because I slacked off a couple of semesters ago and did poorly. Should I retake the classes I did poorly in to boost my GPA or should I just concentrate on getting better grades from now on?

    3. My major doesn’t have a internship component to it. Will it look bad on my application if I don’t have any internship experience? Other than that I am involved in a couple of community services organizations, I have a part-time on-campus job, and just starting attending a local Toastmasters club to improve my public speaking skills.

    • Ann Levine says:

      Hi Lizzy,
      1. It’s pretty standard at a lot of public schools – it’s not the end of the world.
      2. Don’t retake classes- it won’t boost your GPA according to LSAC.
      3. You can get an internship even if it’s not required by your school or supported by your school. But raising your GPA should be your first priority.
      Ann

  79. confused says:

    hi ann,
    would it look better for law school if i went to the us naval academy and did a division one sport and majored in something along the lines of international relations or political science, or if i went to johns hopkins, played a division three sport and majored in economics or international relations?

  80. Ana B. says:

    Hi Ann,

    I’m a junior majoring in Global Business and Marketing with a GPA of 3.55. I’m thinking of minoring in Legal Studies, could that boost my chances of getting into a good Law School. Also what else could you suggest to do?

    Economy is really bad these days, but I’m grateful to have financial aid and scholarships to pay for almost all my school expense. I was wondering would I be able to get financial aid and scholarships in law school ?

    • Ann Levine says:

      Hi Ana.
      Minoring in legal studies would show interest and would also give you law-related faculty members to write you letters of rec.
      I believe scholarships should be a huge consideration in deciding where to attend – keep your grades up and put a lot of work into preparing for the LSAT, then choose schools that will find your numbers really appealing. I have a chapter on this in my law school admission guidebook and also discuss the importance of cost in choosing a law school in my upcoming book (due out in October!).

  81. Jim Fitzsimmons says:

    Is there a diffence is how you are rated when applying for law school with a BA in Psychology of a BS? THe schools we are looking at only offer a BA and I don’t know how much weight the BS is given?
    Thanks-

    JIM

  82. Bert says:

    Hi Ann,

    Just finished reading your book. Great stuff. I have a special case. I am a triple major at UCSB in Biochemistry-Molecular Biology (like a dual degree), Business Economics, and Global Studies. My UCSB GPA is 3.2 but that’s with horrible freshman grades. My GPA has been consistently higher than my average every quarter since the second quarter of freshman year. I have also taken many community college courses that raise my GPA to about a 3.3-3.35. I have not yet taken the LSAT but have been seriously studying for a while. Will my triple major make up for my lower GPA? I have also started a hedge fund using a computerized trading system that I designed and have been managing money since my Junior year of college. Do you think I have a chance of getting into a top law school?

    • Ann Levine says:

      Bert,
      I love my Gauchos! Glad the book was helpful.
      The triple major is nice and shows diverse interests and abilities, but the upward trend is really the key to overcoming your overall GPA. Until I know your LSAT score, I can’t answer about law school choices (and “top” school means something different to everyone – top 100? Top 5?).

  83. Ash says:

    Hi Ann. I am considering law school. I have an B.S. In Education ( my minor was English) with a 3.4 gpa ( played a college sport all four years) and a Masters in Educational Administration with a 3.86 gpa. I am also a Nationally Board Certified Teacher and have 10 years of teaching experience. Will admissions look more at my undergrad or graduate degree? I’m wondering how applicants with graduate degrees and years of experience in another profession are viewed. Will these things work in my favor?
    Thank you. Your blog is very helpful!

    • Ann Levine says:

      Hi Ash,
      I talk about this in my book, and actually my soon-to-be-released book (The Law School Decision Game) may help you in your decision making process so keep an eye out for that.
      With 10 years of teaching experience, I feel like you’ve used your degree and this is not a case of not liking teaching once you hit the real world. I worked with an applicant this year who had a similar background in teaching and she really articulated her reasons for making a change and it turned out beautifully – she was admitted to some fabulous schools.

  84. Katie says:

    Hi Ann,

    I’m majoring in psychology and history at Ohio State. My GPA is only about a 3.4, but that’s mostly because the first two quarters of my freshman year I did horribly (going into spring quarter freshman year my GPA was a 2.4). This was due to the fact that I hated my major, biology, and that it just took me way longer than it should have to realize I was going to have to study to do well. Since then, I’ve gotten almost all As. I don’t have an LSAT score yet, but I’m wondering if/how much my GPA will damage my application. I also thought, since all the classes that I did poorly in were math and science-based (calculus, chemistry, and biology), I should probably take some other courses that involve quantitative analysis, to prove that the low grades were due to the reasons cited above and not just the fact that I can’t do math. I was wondering if three statistics courses (two of which are are psychology-specific) and two economics classes are enough to dispel that idea.

    • Ann Levine says:

      Katie,
      This is a very common situation – starting pre-med, getting bad grades, doing well once you change majors. Law schools understand this and won’t hold it against you too much. As long as your Academic Summary Report shows an upward trend, law schools will take this into consideration.

  85. Eboni G says:

    Hi Ann,
    I have a couple of questions for you. I had attended a community college my first 2 years of my undergrad career, in hopes of doing paralegal studies. That all changed when I find out that my community college was ABA approved, so I just focused on my getting my basics and transferring. Well during this time, my dad became ill with brain cancer, and at this time I was just finishing up my spring semester going into the summer session. Well when he passed away, I did not make the grades in 2 courses. Therefore, my GPA drop to a 2.84. To make a long story short I had to take some courses over and my GPA from my community college is a 3.226 . During my time at the community college, I made dean list for 2 semesters and I join Phi Theta Kappa honor society. Since I am transferred my GPA will start over, and I get a fresh start at my new school. My main concerns is that my school is really not known outside of the state of Texas (University of Texas at Arlington AKA UTA), and I’m still undecided in my major. I chose to major in poli-sci w/ a concentration in public administration and have minors in business and urban and public affairs (public administration also, it really just different course you can take in any subject). Therefore, my other question is, should I just keep the business minor and double major in sociology or communications (since the business school will not let anybody use them for a double major) the only thing you can do, as a non-business major is minor. Alternatively, should I just major in business and work first then go to law school. I’m just trying to get see what all I need to work on, and how I can make my stand out from others. I have not taken my LSAT yet but in PT I have scored between 175-180. Therefore, I’m just trying to get idea on chances.Thank you for your help!

    • Ann Levine says:

      Eboni,
      First it’s important for you to understand that law schools will see all of your grades, whether your current school counts the community college grades or not. Repeated course grades do not count toward your law school GPA. This is so people can’t transfer to escape a history of bad grades – it’s to keep things fair between all applicants. You will need to write an addendum explaining the circumstances. It’s not the end of the world, but I wanted you to be aware of this issue even though it’s not the question you are really asking. I don’t think the question about what to major/minor in has anything to do with whether you work before going to law school – that’s a personal preference and one I discuss in my upcoming book, The Law School Decision Game, due out in early October. The most important thing is to get the best grades you can. Lots of business majors go to law school – it’s fine preparation for many aspects of legal practice. You wouldn’t then want to write a personal statement about how you hope to be a prosecutor ; )
      Good luck!

  86. Sherry says:

    Hey Ann,

    Basically my story is similar to most people here. I partied too much, had family issues, and hated my major. I stuck with my major (chemical engineering with a minor in economics) and I screwed around until my Junior year. Since it took me so long to get into the swing of things my GPA suffered severely. I will most likely graduate in May with a 2.5 to 2.8 (my major GPA will be 3.0). Besides my low GPA my resume is stellar. I have had internships, papers published, great recommendations, and have scored extremely high on practice tests for the LSAT. Will my low GPA take me out of the running even though I have an tough major or will I have a chance of getting into a decent law school?

    Thanks,
    Sherry

    • Ann Levine says:

      Sherry,
      You will absolutely get into a good law school if your LSAT is strong. It’s a good reason for being a “splitter” – having avery difficult major is something law schools will appreciate. I’ve helped people get into top 50 (and higher) schools with GPAs under 3.0, just keep up the good work with the LSAT.

  87. Elizabeth says:

    Hi Ann,

    I am in my second year at Southern Methodist University. I really want to become a lawyer. I have decided to go into business and minor in psychology. What would be a good major in the business course? Is that a good idea going the business track to get into law school? What other activities should I get into for a better chance?

    • Ann Levine says:

      Elizabeth, anything rigorous that you perform well in will help you get into law school. There is not one magic major choice that law schools are looking for – doing well in a harder major is the best thing you can do, whether that major is science or business or liberal arts.

  88. Curious says:

    Hi there Ann,

    I am in the process of choosing a major and I was just wondering if my choice would correspond well with law school. I am leaning heavily towards Russian Language and Literature with a minor in Religious Studies. I am also currently working on improving my application with volunteer work and raising my gpa (currently a 3.5). Also, how are state schools regarded in the application process? I.e. Would the University of Washington – Seattle have more prestige than University of Colorado – Boulder?

    Thank you so much!

  89. Ethan Hartkemeyer says:

    Hi Ann,

    I’m currently a sophomore at Marquette University, double majoring in Public Relations and Political Science. Do you feel that I have strong majors to apply to law school, and what grades would be ideal? I feel that it is almost too late to change if those majors aren’t ideal as I have already completed 78 credit hours. And will internships required for my Public Relations degree help me in the law school application process?

    Thanks!

    • Ann Levine says:

      Hi Ethan, Political science is fine. You already have a lot of credits. What are your grades? Internships in PR aren’t going to help you for law school admissions: it might look like you don’t really know what you want to do and just couldn’t find a job in PR.

  90. Alex Daley says:

    Hey Ann,

    I am a Freshman in college studying Communications and have had my mind set on Law School since Junior Year of High School. Although I also plan on minoring in business and earning my Journalism Certificate, will the “soft” reputation of the Communications degree keep me out of the top schools even if my grades, soft factors and LSAT scores are up to par? If so, would changing my major to Political Science be a more intelligent decision?

    • Ann Levine says:

      Alex, it also depends where you are in school, but if you are concentrating on writing/journalism then that is better than doing advertising in terms of making a connection to law school. But why don’t you take this time to take a lot of different classes, including political science, history, etc., and see what you really enjoy.

  91. Alex Daley says:

    Ann,

    Thank you for getting back to me so quickly. But I am into my first semester at Loyola Marymount University, and have just talked to the Pre-Law advisor. I am now positively going to be double majoring in Comm and Political Science. Would these two focuses, a high LSAT score, and the maintenance of an outstanding GPA in these courses make my resume competitive? Excluding the “soft” factors of course.

  92. Ann Levine says:

    Hi Alex. My cousin is a freshman at LMU right now….knowing how small the school is, you’re probably his roommate : )

    I think you’re absolutely on the right track! I hope you’ll be reading the blog for the next few years, and you’d probably love my books too! http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_1_13?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=ann+k.+levine&sprefix=ann+k.+levine

  93. Alex Daley says:

    If his name is Josh that would be an amazing coincidence, thanks for all the help, he’s a cool kid, small world! I will definitely be checking out your books, thank you!

  94. Ann Levine says:

    ALex, Nope but it was a nice try!

  95. Andrew says:

    Dear Ann,

    I took a slightly unusual school path and am wondering how it will impact my law school application. I am currently a senior at a smaller state school in the Midwest majoring in math and physics. I have a 4.0 GPA and a 177 LSAT score. I’ve in some sense been at the university for 5 years, and in some sense only for 1 year. I started taking courses there as a freshman in high school, and graduated from high school last year with my junior year at the university completed. Considerations both of cost and of time as well as a determination to push forward to greater things led me to decide to stay there to finish my degree this year. I would greatly appreciate your input on how law schools will regard this path as well as my age, and any particular things I should stress or explain in my applications.

    Sincerely,
    Andrew

  96. Sam says:

    Hi Ann!

    I am currently a junior political science major at UPenn and a varsity athlete. I do not have a great GPA (3.0), but it is on the upswing, and considering the rigors of a sport and the grueling workload at a school like Penn, would a law school take this into consideration in the admissions process? I am also considering a sociology minor. Would this help my cause?

    Thanks!

    • Ann Levine says:

      The minor won’t help you, Sam, unless it helps boost your GPA. Being an athlete at a great school like Penn and then killing the LSAT will definitely work in your favor.

  97. tnguyen says:

    Hi Ann,

    Your blog/website is a Godsend! I am a Liberal Studies and Mathematics double major (with a 3.8 GPA) at University of California, Riverside. I never would have imagined even considering applying to law school, but I interned at a non-profit for education in the summer in DC and absolutely loved it and saw that I could make a change in education policy rather than teaching in the classroom. I am interested in pursuing a law degree and a Ph.D in Education degree concurrently to eventually go into academia/research. Would my admission to law school be at a disadvantage if I applied to both law and the Ph.D program at the same time? Also, what is your view on math and/or education majors pursuing law?

    • Ann Levine says:

      tnguyen, I’d hate to take a prospective teacher out of the classroom – especially before you really have a chance to use those skills. It’s hard/rare to do a JD/PhD. Before you pursue it, talk to people who have the job(s) you hope to have one day and see what they say and what educational background they think you need. Lots of education majors (and even some math majors) go to law school, but it can be hard to overcome the “why law” hurdle unless you have the experience to “sell” that idea credibly.

  98. Christian Chan says:

    Ann,
    I am currently attending FIU with a GPA of 4.0

    I am quite stressed on what to double major in, or even just a single major. The problem is that I also work full time to pay for my expenses so I don’t have that much time to spend taking the “recommended” pre law majors like philosophy or a science. I am in International business and thinking about doubling it with MIS or switching even my Int. Business for something else…

    What are your thoughts?

  99. Chandra says:

    Dear Ann,

    I am currently in the process of applying for law schools for fall of 2012. I will be ready to submit my applications in the next week or two, but I am wavering on sending them in and wondered if you had any advice for me. After law school I will work initially as a patent attorney (hopefully I will be able to obtain a federal judicial clerkship for a year or two first).

    A brief listing of my background in chronological order: started as a music performance major with a scholarship, transferred into animal science, graduated undergrad in chemical engineering in a top program with a 2.8-2.9 GPA, obtained a PhD in Biophysics in a top program with a 3.2-3.3 GPA and ran my own equestrian business during graduate school, currently 2.5 yrs into a postdoctoral research project in biochemistry.

    The reason I am wavering on sending the applications in is for a couple of reasons. a) I feel like my GPA is weak. b) My LSAT score is weak (155), and I feel like the fact I work full time and had only a few months to prepare will not matter to admissions. Two of the schools in my area are ranked in the top 11 schools and I was hoping I might be competitive even with a lower GPA considering my extensive background. I am unsure whether I should send the applications in as is, or if I should attempt to retake the LSAT and try to improve my score (my practice test scores ranged from 151-172 depending on the exam). What is your advice?

    Sincerely,

    Chandra

    • Ann Levine says:

      Chandra, your application seems all over the place – I want to make sure you are choosing the right schools for your credentials. Your PhD is great but your application materials are going to have to make clear that you have real direction for choosing law school and you’re not just a perpetual student. Your practice score range on the LSAT is all over the place – it’s not a meaningful range. If you really want to go to Top 11 programs, you need to consider putting the time in and taking the December LSAT.

  100. Christian Chan says:

    Managing Information Systems: basically a class that is focused on our developing technology and enabling us to manage and effectively use technology. I was thinking that this would be a good double major considering whatever field I enter will need a proficiency in computers and what not. Do you think it is that important for me to have a double major? Considering I will graduate with a near perfect gpa (3.97 give or take since i will probably receive at least one A-) and get a LSAT of 170 (did a practice last week with no studying and got 165) what are my chances of getting into harvard? will these chances be raised if I major in philosophy or have a double major?

    thanks again for your time

  101. Ann Levine says:

    Christian, philosophy would be a much better choice, especially if you have aspirations of Harvard.

  102. Christian Chan says:

    Thanks Ann,
    Also what if I stuck with business since I want to go into corporate law, but took all my extra credits with philosophy? would that be good?

  103. Colleen C. says:

    Hi Ann,

    I’d like to know your input on my situation! I am a senior Molecular and Cellular Biology and Chemistry double major at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. My GPA is 3.2, hopefully 3.3 after this semester. There is an upward trend in my grades (freshman year 1st semester was a disaster 2.4). Although I haven’t exactly showed interest in law in my undergraduate career, I am now considering applying to law school. My mother has worked for a leading malpractice insurance company my whole life so I’ve had a lot of exposure to the medical-legal world. What LSAT score do you think would help me gain admission to a school like Loyola or Depaul in Chicago? Their 25% GPA is 3.13 and median LSAT is about 160. I was thinking a 165-170 would be competitive? Is my GPA too low? Thanks so much!

    • Ann Levine says:

      Colleen C., Your GPA is not “too low” – Look at the school’s 75th percentile LSAT and that’s where you make yourself competitive, but since you had a difficult major, you have a shot at or around the median, or even a bit lower with strong application materials.

  104. Colleen C. says:

    Thank you, the 75% percentile LSAT is 160. Do you think it will hurt that I haven’t exactly shown interest in Law in terms of my extracurriculars. For example, I am an EMT and have volunteered in many hospitals. I’m afraid the fact that I started out pre-med will show that I am not committed or interested in law as a career. How can I show the admissions committee that I am committed to earning my JD not MD?

  105. Kristine K says:

    Ann,
    I want to be a patent attorney and thinking of applying this year, however I am worried about my previous GPA. I did not do so well In undergraduate. I started off in a community college did 2 years and had a GPA of 2.6 I failed
    And repeated 2 classes. However, than I transferred to a state school graduated with bs in biology with 3.168 GPA. I knew I wanted to go to law school so I continued my education and went on to get my masters at a top state research university for biomedical sciences and currently have a 3.5 GPA. My LSAT is 170. Also, for a year I ‘ve been an office manager for a small law firm and managing all aspects of the firm for the attorney.
    Should I apply or wait ?

    Thank you,
    Kristine

    • Ann Levine says:

      Kristine, no reason to wait. You’ll want to explain your undergraduate performance but your LSAT and legal and science background put you in a great position for acceptance to strong law schools if you present yourself well in the applications.

  106. Murphy says:

    Hey Ann,

    I am in need of your wisdom and guidance. Here’s my situation.. I am a 2011 graduate of a top 10 liberal arts college. I was a Political Science major with a low gpa of 3.25 (3.7 senior year, 3.5 junior year- upward trend bonus points?). I played intercollegiate varsity football for all four years and was the captain of the team my senior year. I studied abroad in Italy for a semester, was an appointed student ambassador and volunteered every week as a tutor. Now, I am prepping to take the LSAT in December and am working as a legal assistant at a firm in LA. I am expeceting to score in the mid 160s to low 170s. What do you think my chances are of getting into a T14 school? Should I focus my search in 2nd tier schools? In particular I am wondering about: UCLA, USC, Northwestern, UC Berkeley, GTOWN

    Any guidance you can give me will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    • Ann Levine says:

      Hi Murphy,
      I don’t comment on schools on the blog but I love how you spent your college years and that’s something law schools will appreciate. Your schools list will be very different with a 162 than a 168 so it’s an impossible question : )

  107. TINA W. says:

    Hello Ann,

    I want to become a lawyer. I made this decision as I finish my BA in Marketing. My GPA is 3.4. I know it’s not the best major for law school admission but if I earn a high enough score on the LSAT, do you think I have a shot? Thanks!

  108. Fadi says:

    Hi Ann,

    I graduated from the University of Delaware a year ago with a 3.3 B.S. in Physics. My LSAT score is 172. I haven’t had work experience in that time.

    I figure that, in terms of numbers, I can assume my 3.3 is about a 3.45 for the average humanities law school applicant. Is that correct?

    Also, I am Mexican-Arab-American. Does every school give me some sort of Affirmative Action boost or is it more subjective than that? I have heard that Stanford is very receptive to that, but I believe I would be a fringe candidate there.

    I can see I would have to stress that I do want to go to law school, but rest assured that it is now what I want to do. I am very interested in the philosophy and logic of law.

    Thanks in advance!

    • Ann Levine says:

      Fadi,
      Your GPA is worth more than a 3.45 in humanities but there isn’t an exact scale. It’s simply subjective. Most schools appreciate diversity, especially if you have a relevant, compelling story to tell and it’s not just checking a box.

  109. Kristine K says:

    Thank you Ann!

  110. Kevin H says:

    hello Ann,

    currently im a junior at the university in california and i spent first two years at the community college

    i was working full time as i attended CC so my grades t were just horrible with many Fs and Ds and Ws.
    without including all those failing letter grades, my gpa at CC is 3.35. if you include those however, it significantly downgrades my gpa to 2.70(maybe lower i do not remember accurately)

    so i made a huge commitment before i come to this university and my major concern is that if i am able to pull out over 3.8 at my current 4 yr university, does law school admission tends to forget about my horrible CC gpa and only look at my University GPA?

    or should i give up my hope of getting into top 10 law school since Fs and Ds from my CC years will significantly lower my lsac gpa??(even if i get 4.0 at 4yr university, my overall gpa will only be 3.4ish)

    thank you!

    • Ann Levine says:

      Kevin H, The upward trend and reason for your poor grades will absolutely be considered when your application is reviewed. You may not be in Top 10 territory but that alone shouldn’t kill your dreams. Continuing doing your very best at school and don’t tell yourself that it’s Top 10 or nothing. You either want to be a lawyer or you just want to really impress people with your school name. For more on this, you may find my new book helpful: The Law School Decision Game: A Playbook for Prospective Lawyers.

  111. Ivy Anderson says:

    I am only a high school student with high hopes in becoming a lawyer. But i am having a hard time finding the right college to apply for. Could you help me ?

    • Ann Levine says:

      Ivy, any four year college that is accredited and rigorous and respected is a pick that will allow you to attend law school in the future. I look forward to many more years of you reading my blog!

  112. Max Hare says:

    Hi Ann,

    I am currently a senior at the University of Oregon. I am pursuing a BA in Business Administration and a BS in Political Science. I will be graduating Spring 2012, after 3 years and 1 semester. I first started taking college classes while I was still in high school. Unfortunately, I did not take my first classes very seriously. This has resulted in a diminished GPA. Currently, my GPA is a 3.49 at the UO, and I have not had a term lower than 3.86 since earlier this year. I have been taking taking 21+ credit hours for the last year. I ended up taking 36 over the summer (including 2 online classes). In addition, I took a practice LSAT and I got a 171 without any prior review. If I am able to raise my GPA to 3.62 and score, at the very least, a 171, what are my chances of getting into Columbia, UPenn, or Georgetown? Oh, I am planning on applying in the Fall of 2012.

    Sorry about the long post, I just want to know your insight on the matter. It seems that the more research that I do, the more ambivalent I become with my chances.

    Thanks!

  113. Holly says:

    Hi Ann,
    Thank you so much for your blog!
    I am a freshman at the University of Alabama and am currently majoring in international studies with a minor in french. I have been planning on studying abroad in France next spring and also possibly again my junior year. I was wondering if there is an amount of time studying abroad that is viewed as too much? Also, attending a large state school like Alabama, when I apply to law schools, will my final gpa be weighed differently than an applicant from a more prestigious undergraduate institution? One more question, I am considering picking up a second major in political science after taking AP courses in high school which really interested me. Would adding this popular major hurt my chances at top law schools and would I be better off adding philosophy instead?
    Thank you so much for your time!

    • Ann Levine says:

      Holly, ROLL TIDE : )
      (I”m from Huntsville : )
      I think it’s fine to study abroad but you will need to get letters of rec from faculty so keep that in mind. U of Alabama has a very fine reputation so don’t worry about that. Both political science and philosophy are fine choices. Choose what you love.

  114. Andrew says:

    Hi Ann,

    I graduated from West Chester University of Pennsylvania with a 3.814 GPA in philosophy. Throughout my undergraduate years, I also gave volunteer lectures on disability and care ethics one or two times a semester for a couple of my philosophy professors’ ethics classes, and continue to do so post-graduation. And during my senior year, I was president of the West Chester Philosophical Society, for which I held weekly meetings to discuss various issues. I really would love to go to Harvard Law with a focus on human rights issues, international law and environmental law; while also participating in the Harvard Law School Project on Disability. But I realize these ambitions might be a little lofty given that I did not graduate from a prestigious university, nor is my GPA in the top 50% of those accepted to Harvard Law. And to further complicate things, I attended Arizona State for three whole semesters before withdrawing due to bipolar disorder, which was undiagnosed at the time (since my bipolar has been well managed). My first two semesters there I did great averaging above a 3.9, but by the end of the third semester my GPA was at a 3.1 before I medically withdrew the fourth semester. So, is it necessary for me to share my transcripts from ASU, and is Harvard Law out of the question? I take the LSAT in february and am very strong at test taking. I reason that if I score above a 170 I will be able to get into a top 12 program. Is this a reasonable expectation? Other than Harvard, my second choice would University of Chicago, because I would love to study under the likes of Martha Nussbaum and Eric Ponsner. And my third choice would be University of Pennsylvania, because it is a great school and is close to home. What advice, if any, do you have that might be helpful for me in achieving my goal?

    • Ann Levine says:

      Hi Andrew,
      I think the issue is that I’m not hearing anything from you that tells me you would be competitive for the schools you mentioned. I think you need to wait and see how the LSAT goes and how you are able to build your resume and essays, LORs, etc. I think if you are taking the February LSAT you should apply for Fall 2013. You will need to send ALL of your transcripts to LSAC, and you’re going to have to explain the upward trend without raising a red flag in your application. I don’t count you out, but I want to temper your expectations.

  115. hotpinkgurlxoxo says:

    Hey Ann,
    I am a freshman at Rutgers and have been considering law school for a while now but I am afraid that when I graduate from Rutgers I might not be able to go to law school right away for financial reasons. I was thinking about double majoring so that I could have a safety net major to get an actual job with. Majors I have been considering are: political science with a focus on international relations and economics. I am in the business school but I am considering to go to Arts and Science because it seems that business school majors don’t really mean anything. Is that a wise choice considering that I might no go to law school right away? Also, instead of double majoring, should I major in poli sci and minor in a language like mandarin or arabic?

    • Ann Levine says:

      Hi HotPinkGurlxoxo (by the way, you should probably think about creating a more professional nickname for online discourse : )
      You can double major – I think that’s fine. And languages are cool. Don’t pick something based on what will get you into law school – choose what you want to do and do well in it and use every opportunity to develop and explore your interests. I hope you’ll be a blog reader for a good long time!

  116. Max Hare says:

    Thanks Ann! You totally made my day, and gave me further motivation! I’ll post my results on your blog!

  117. jarrison says:

    I need some reassurance! I’m a freshman, trying to pick a major with an eye on intending law school. The best advice internet trawling has been able to give me is “it doesn’t matter.” Now, I just want to make completely sure: ARE DOUBLE MAJORS ACCEPTABLE?

    I just finished talking with a councilor for the Humanities Dept. at my school, and she told me that double-majoring hurts your chances in the admissions gamut “because it shows law schools you can’t focus on one thing.”

    Is this your experience, or is it all right to double-major? Should I politely ignore the advice of my councilor?

    Sincerely,

    Jarrison

  118. ohita says:

    i am an undergraduate of economics, i should be graduating next year april and i intend furthering my education in law not economics. From your point of view do you think that s adviceable and do i have to start the entire law degree from the scratch or get a masters in law instead, its been a major bother for a while now…

  119. Mike says:

    Hi Anne,

    I have 3 degrees all in Nursing (Associate, BSN and MSN) I currently practice as a Family Nurse Practioner and was interested in apply to law school (I want to work and solve medical malpractice cases). I live in the Boston area and was wondering what my chances are of getting into law school based on my experience in nursing. I practiced as a Registered Nurse for 5 years, and Ive been a nurse practioner for 3 years. I was thinking of going to either Boston College or Boston University for law school. My GPA’s are all around 3.3 for all of my degrees. Thanks !

    • Ann Levine says:

      Mike, I would encourage you to do a lot of research before you do this, and particularly look into the LSAT and how you might do on that exam. The fact that you’ve been in nursing for so long might make it seem like you don’t really know what you want to do, so you’d want to think about how you would articulate your decision to law schools.
      Ann

  120. Jacky says:

    Hi Ann, I just spent the whole afternoon reading your blog, very interesting! I wanted to get your input on my situation. I started college right out of high school and I have always wanted to be a lawyer since I grew up around my aunt and she’s a lawyer. However, I felt like it was impossible since I have poor parents and wouldn’t be able to go to a 4 year college right away. I started off at a community college majoring in nursing and then radiology tech because my aunt knew my situation and talked me into doing a short program and then pursue a bachelors once I was financially stable w my career (radiology tech). I took courses for about over 2 years dropping a couple of classes each semester because I was working full-time to help parents pay rent. My classes consisted of sciences which I had to retake a couple of times after dropping and successfully passed with B’s. Well early this year I decided it was enough and I was going to do whatever it takes to pursue my dream of becoming an attorney and started taking sociology & poli sci. classes at the community college and took out student loans to transfer to University of New Orleans and now majoring in soci. & minor in poli. science. I feel like my academic record is horrible and the law schools may question my medical field majors at the community college which were never even changed before I transferred. My lowest gpa at the comm college was 2.4 now I have a 3.2. :) sorry my story was long!

  121. Jacky says:

    I also was having trouble deciding on a minor. I know poli sci is more law related but I am also really interested in psychology. What do you think about a soci/psych? Or should I stick with poli sci? Hope to hear from you soon :)

  122. Jacky says:

    Ok thank you! & do you think when the time comes to write my personal essay I should include everything I just told you in case they question the medical major and why I want to attend law school etc?

  123. Ey says:

    What chance do I have? 3.4.humanities major.gpa, 3.02 cum gpa but I have 9 fs and 2ds that will be lsac counted. Lsat not taken but mybe 165.

  124. Drew says:

    Ann,
    I’m graduating this quarter with a BS in Biochemistry with a concentration in Polymer Chemistry and am interested in going to law school, most likely for patent law. My UGPA unfortunately is a 2.75. While in school I worked 20-30 hours a week, which I feel is the biggest reason for the lower grades, however they have been stronger as of late. I have done research every quarter starting my junior year including a full time research position two summers ago, and a full time internship with a chemistry laboratory this previous summer. I have yet to take the LSAT, but plan on taking a few months off to prepare and take them in June in order to apply for Fall 2013. Realistically, what are my chances of getting into a law school, and what LSAT score would I require to be at least somewhat competitive at a decent school? Or will my grades hold me back too much? Thanks!

    • Ann Levine says:

      Drew, between your difficult major and the number of hours you worked, you grades won’t hinder you from getting into law school. Look at the schools you would like to attend and see what their 75th percentile LSAT score is – that’s what will put you in range for consideration.

  125. Lucas says:

    Hi Ann, I’m currently a first semester freshman at Brigham Young University. I have known for quite sometime that I have wanted to go to law school. About six months ago I returned from Cordoba, Argentina where I was an LDS missionary for two years and speak fluent spanish and currently teach spanish at the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah. I love spanish and want to major in something that I’m passionate about so that I can practice immigration law in the future. Would it be “too weak” of a major if I majored in Latin American Studies and minored in Spanish? More thank likely I could do a double major. My grades are good. I’m an above average test taker. Just want to know if this is an okay route or if I should change my course from the start. Thanks for your help!

  126. Camille says:

    I finished my undergrad with BS, majoring in Psychology. My major GPA is a 3.4, and my overall is lower, GPA of 3.14, due to poor performance my first two years. Eventhough, I chose a “softer” science major, I challenged myself with electives in accounting, calculus, biology etc.I have lots of volunteer experience in public service, teaching. I have dreams of pursuing my interest in law, possibly going for the fall of 2013. What should I be doing right now to help boost competitiveness to “top” schools?

  127. Brian says:

    Hello Anne,
    I am a third year Political Science major at UC Irvine and I recently changed majors from pre-med to pre-law. I was struggling with the sciences and doing very well in all other subjects which is reflected by my cumulative and major gpa’s. My political science gpa I am going to graduate with is a 3.84, but my cumulative gpa is a 3.1 due to my poor grades in organic chemistry and bio chemistry. I have not taken the LSAT yet because I am not sure if I will be able to get into a school that will allow me to payoff the large loans I will have to take out. I have also been able to make the deans list every quarter since i changed majors. Will the admission boards for more prestigious law schools overlook the poor cumulative gpa for the high major gpa or should i look into spending a fourth year retaking some of the science classes that I did poorly in.

    Thank you

    • Ann Levine says:

      Hi Brian,
      The upward trend and change of major are good things. While Stanford and Berkeley might not overlook the GPA other top law schools in CA will if your LSAT is within range.

  128. Brian says:

    I also forgot to add that I play on the tennis team and am captain of the club soccer team if that will help my cause. And I am looking at the tier 1 top 50 law schools in California (UC Berkeley, UCLA, Stanford, UCI) as far as weighing my decision to go to law school is concerned.

    Thank you

  129. Beth says:

    Dear Ann,
    I’m a sophomore and I’m attending one of the top 20 public universties, and i’m not doing so well. Currently, I have a 2.3 gpa and I’m a bio major. My freshmen year i got 3.7 but my orgo grade was really bad, hence the 2.3. I was wondering of switching majors, you see following a med school dream was more my parents dream then mine. I know I suck at chem, love bio but for med school I need both. I’ve always shown love and good aptitude for history and politics. Even though I hate writing essays, I’m pretty good at it. So I was wondering what major I should choose in order to be a good candidate for law school? Also, I’m tri-lingual and I have a minor in French ( I could switch it to a major), and with the bio classes I’ve taken I might have a minor in Bio up for grabs. Could you please help me in choosing my major? And, could you tell me what type of classes i’m suppose to take to get into law school? Your help will be greatly appreciated!!

    • Ann Levine says:

      Hi Beth. The good news is that you have a lot of time to turn things around. If med school isn’t for you, get out of biology now. French would be awesome. Try out history and political science classes and see what you think of them. Any major will get you into law school, but not any grades. You must turn the grades around and find something YOU enjoy.

  130. Josh says:

    Hello Ann.

    I just came across your blog and I think your advice is great.

    I am a B.S. Organizational Leadership major and I will be graduating with a 3.8 GPA next month. My degree will be from Mountain State University, which is not a high ranked school but it’s currently a tier 2 school (if that matters at all). My major has involved a lot of writing and research assignments. I am also about to start an interdisciplinary studies in communications graduate certificate program that I have a scholarship for at the same school, it involves a grant writing class. Currently, I am getting my applications ready for fall 2012 MBA programs. Afterwards, my goal may be to pursue law school. If I manage to earn an MBA from a school such as UCF, could this help me get into an ivy league or high ranked law school?

    I have not taken the LSAT yet but I know that a good score is important as well.

    • Ann Levine says:

      Hi Josh. Your MBA won’t tip the scales tremendously. It may also appear that you don’t really know what you want to do since you are getting the degrees in such close succession. But your undergraduate grades are great and your LSAT score will be more important than your MBA.

  131. Josh says:

    Also, I have been volunteering with SIFE (Students In Free Enterprise) to raise food for the hungry.

  132. Matt says:

    Hello,

    I am currently a student at Miami University (OH) where I am double majoring in Sport Studies and American Studies. I have a 3.61 GPA, and I am interning in my school’s athletic department. I want to work in NCAA compliance and eventually become a high school athletic director. Do you think I should consider attending law school if I want to work in compliance rather then getting a masters right after undergrad?

    • Ann Levine says:

      Hi Matt. I have a number of friends with JDs who work in athletic compliance. I suggest you talk to people who have jobs you would like to have one day and ask them about their backgrounds and what they suggest based on their experiences.

  133. Matt says:

    *For my Sport Studies major I will get my degree in Kinesiology and Health. Courses I’ve taken include (anatomy, physiology, nutriiton, motor learning & performance along with sports business classes).

    Thank you for your advice!

  134. Jonathan says:

    Hi Ann, I love your blog and I am always reading your comments and advice. Thank you for your encouragement for those of us who have defined statistics.
    I am currently a senior at Hopkins majoring in biomedical engineering with a GPA of 3.3 and minor in entrepreneurship and management. I had some family issues during the sophomore year which affected my overall GPA. I have 172 on the LSAT, and I was wondering how competitive I would be for the T15, and if attending a graduate school to raise my GPA prior to applying for the law school would be a good idea.

    Thank you always, and Merry Christmas!

    • Ann Levine says:

      Hi Jonathan, so happy you love the blog and that it’s helpful. You have tons of potential for a reach school like the T15 because you go to Hopkins and have a challenging major there. If you can show an upward trend, even better. I don’t think you need graduate school unless it’s a degree you want for some other reason (wanting to do patent law, etc.).

  135. Matt C says:

    Hi Ann,

    This blog is amazing! I’m a senior in high school and have been accepted to Northeastern U and U of Michigan, and have high hopes for Johns Hopkins and Georgetown. I haven’t decided on my major yet, but I’ve applied into the Finance and Economics programs. I’ve always excelled in the sciences (especially chemistry) but was led to believe by my guidance counselor that majoring in Finance or Economics would give me a leg up in law school admissions because I aspire to become a corporate lawyer. Do you think going to Michigan over Northeastern would be a leg up, and is Michigan on the same playing field as Hopkins and Georgetown? Would it be more beneficial to get a high GPA in chemistry or chemical engineering rather than in finance or economics? I know I’m starting early, but I want to begin as early as possible. Is starting LSAT private tutoring this summer too ambitious? Thank you so much! Will definitely buy your book in the future.

    • Ann Levine says:

      Matt C, I’m glad you’ll be a long-time reader of the blog! Michigan is a highly respected undergraduate school, as are Georgetown and Hopkins. Law schools won’t see Northeastern as being in the same league as those. I’d rather you have a high GPA in finance or economics or something along those lines – a lot of people with majors in science don’t have very high grades and it can look like they don’t know what they want to do with their lives.
      Whatever you choose, spend time in college experimenting with different subjects to find the right thing for you and DO NOT START on LSAT prep until your junior year.
      Good luck!

  136. Lauren says:

    Hi Ann,
    I’m a freshman and I’m considering law school. I’m currently a media studies major. My mom says it’s food for law school since its so general and the media is becoming increasingly relevant in society, but I’m not so sure. I tend to get good grades (3.88 GPA this semester) and I work really hard. I’m just afraid that even with good grades and LSAT scores the media studies will seem too easy and it will seem as though I didn’t need to try as hard. What do you think?

  137. Nicole says:

    I started my B.A. as a political science major, because I wanted to study Civil Law; however, now I want to study Entertainment Law. What would be a better B.A. for Entertainment Law? Also, if my GPA is 3.3 and I work full time and also compose music/lyrics for a band outside of school would that be taken into consideration or something even worth mentioning in my application?

  138. Taylor says:

    Hi Ann,
    I used to be a nursing major but then switched to a psychology major and have always gotten very good grades (straight A’s). I have always been interested in law and believe I could do very well because I am a hard worker and I am a people person. I guess what I am asking is, is a psychology degree and all of my good grades good enough degree to be considered for law school acceptance?

  139. Taylor says:

    Hi Ann,
    I was originally a nursing major but switched to a psychology major because it is what interested me most. I have always gotten good grades, made Dean’s List, and often get straight A’s. I have always been interested in law and believe i would make a very good lawyer because i am committed, motivated, and very much a people person. I guess what I am asking is, is psychology a good enough major to be considered for law school acceptance?

  140. Nicole says:

    Hi Ann,

    I just recently came across your blog and it’s been so incredibly helpful! Thank you for taking the time to write this and provide advice to all of us who aspire to go to law school!

    I have a question concerning credit hours. Right now, I am feeling very overloaded- I am taking a full course load in addition to working part-time, engaging in extracurricular activities, participating in my internship (which will last both this quarter and next), and studying for the LSAT. If I drop to 10 credits this quarter and next quarter, instead of taking the standard 15, do you think I will be looked down upon for taking a lighter course load?

    A little more background information on me: I am a junior. I am majored in a Pre-Law Studies program, as well as Disability Studies, and my current GPA is 3.86. I have already completed 120 credits and only need 60 (~4 quarters) left to graduate, so I can take it a bit easy and still be on track for graduation. I plan to take the LSATs in June. I am very interested in applying to a few of the Ivy League schools. Do you think reducing my credits will negatively affect my chances of acceptance?

    Thank you very much! I greatly appreciate your help and this wonderful blog!

  141. Nicole says:

    Also, I just realized that it might be important to note that if I were to drop down to 10 credits, I would still be taking two 400-level courses this quarter, and two 400-levels in the spring, as well.

    Thanks again!

    • Ann Levine says:

      Nicole, if you drop in credits make sure to write a thesis, take on a significant project, work, etc. Do something with that time that shows you were not slacking and you were building your experiences.

  142. Ann says:

    Hi Ann,

    Will a Ph.d strengthen an applicants chances for admission to a T51-T100? If you consider the following variables: Degrees awarded by HBCUs.

    FAMU BSW 1995 (Social Work) 2.69 (personal reasons explain gpa, but upward trend honor roll in final year); and a TSU MPA 2012 (Currently 3.5) upward trend Fall 2011 3.89.

    Practice LSATs now 162.

    • Ann Levine says:

      Ann, don’t go get a PhD just to get into law school – that’s not necessary. But I have had clients with PhDs overcome lower LSAT scores and other weaknesses in applications more easily. It is a point of interest, but can also look like you’re a perpetual student who doesn’t know what she wants to do with her life.

  143. Jess says:

    Hey Ann!

    Do you think that a double major in French and economics, French and history, or history and economics would be more useful?

    Thanks heaps!

    • Ann Levine says:

      Jess, as long as you excel in what you do you will be fine for law school admission with any of these combinations. I always think language proficiency is nice…

  144. Yesi says:

    Hi Ann,

    I’m a pretty much full-ride independent student at Gettysburg College. I am originally class of 2012, but I transferred from UH Manoa after my first semester and practically non of my credits counted at G-burg. So now I am class of 2013. I currently have a 3.47, but have been on the Dean’s List (as per my transcript) for the past 3 semesters, even while I was stuck in a ruck from studying abroad in Japan during that huge earthquake last March and I have to talk to my school because I believe I should have been on the Dean’s List some other semesters as well. I also have 2 W’s on my transcript which both have explanations, one for a big health problem in the middle of my semester making me have to cut down on credits, and the other for bad communication with a professor and learning later that in fact the course was listed wrong as counting towards my major.

    I am a Japanese Studies and International Affairs double-major with a Spanish minor. However, I have been seriously considering dropping my IA major so that I can graduate one semester earlier than planned (because G-burg does not want to pay for the last semester and I honestly cannot afford such a pricey tuition). What do you think I should do? Should I just take out major loans and finish the double-major? Or am I still a good candidate for law school with just Japanese major and Spanish minor (my dream school is Columbia).

    I also have a lot of circumstances that can explain my slightly low gpa,but I am not sure if exploiting them is the right thing.

    From this info, how high are my chances of getting into law school (especially Columbia) and what score on the LSAT should I aim for?

  145. Mr. Christopher says:

    Hello Ann! :)

    I am currently a high school student who is planning his career path early on. Literature has been a love of mine ever since I was young, and I was planning to pursue some majors that are founded on Literature. Both Journalism and English are my most prominent choices and I was wondering if double majoring in both English and Literature would provide me with a foundation as a basis for Law School in the future?

    Thank you oh so very much! :)

    • Ann Levine says:

      Mr. Christopher, I love that you are thinking ahead! Since you would be honing your writing and analysis skills with these majors, I think you would be building a great foundation for law school.

  146. Jeremy says:

    As of late, I have been conducting standard research on Law Schools and their respective admission minimums. In doing so, I must say I think I am in a pickle, which is unfortunate because my entire decision to pursue it is based on the fact that it is a mutual match.

    Issue #1: I began going to school taking on large class loads right out the gate, as a result I have a current GPA of 2.7, despite having peaked and achieving successive 3.5+ semesters.
    Solution: According to my obssesive calcualations I can salvage it, and spike it up to about a 3.3, maybe 3.4 (or just a 3.1/3.2 if I apply before my recieve my B.A., an option that is open two local universities) if I keep up what I am doing now, which is more than possible.

    Issue #2: Just the mere action of attending school has been a fight for me. I dropped out for about a couple months in trying to do the ‘right’ thing for my family (married w/two daugters under age 4) by almost becoming a truck driver amid pressure and lack of support from both of our families. However, I reality hit me very hard, and I realized school is the best thing (though not the quickest) for them and lastly myself. As a result, I am currently unemployed and struggling to find work.
    Solution: The obvious, but I only have so much contro over that.
    Issue #3: I am currently 32, and projected to finish my B.A. at the end of this year when I will have just turned 33.
    Solution: I do not own a time machine; however, no one believes I am 32, on account of I look (in their words) 19, and those that hire are only human after all, right?

    My degree major is Sociology, although my filler classes (to save money) taken at the Community College have in Philosophy (12 units of Philo); and I began my studies as a newly minted freshman in Aviation.

    Am I correct in assuming that as a law student applicant my cons out weigh my pros?

    What can I do to overcome these cons?

    Thank you, so much for this service,

    -Jeremy M.W.

    • Ann Levine says:

      Jeremy, You have life experience and that does count for something. You had to fight harder for your degree and you have these things in perspective. However, I can’t comment on whether the cons outweigh the pros because I don’t know where you are in school, what your LSAT score is, where you will be applying, whether you are a good writer, whether you have strong letters of rec, etc. But people have gotten into law school with less than what you’re telling me.

  147. Krystal Wright says:

    Hello Ann.
    I’m a little confused here so please help. For as long as i can remeber i have always wanted to be a lawyer. I have my associates degree is science and have no clue what I should get my bachelors in. I am interested in behavioral science, sociology, criminology, and legal studies. I really don’t no which way to go.

  148. James P. says:

    Hi Ann,

    I received my BS in Electrical Engineering from University of Wisconsin-Madison with a 3.4 GPA, participated in several extracurriculars, and was the EE Honor Society President. I’m currently working as a patent examiner for the USPTO, looking to apply to law school in one of the coming admission cycles. I plan to take the LSAT in a few weeks, and my practice test average is around 160.

    I know that GPA and LSAT are the deciding factors for admission, but have heard a mixed response when it comes to other factors, such as work experience, extra curriculars, undergraduate college difficulty, etc. Given your expertise in LS admissions, how good are my chances in getting into a top 25 law school? Should I defer the LSAT and try for a higher score?

    I’ve had my sights set on George Washington University in DC, as IP law will be my emphasis. Given my work experience and intended focus on IP, will the fact that GWU has a good IP program help my admissions chances?

    Thanks for your help!

    • Ann Levine says:

      Hi James P.
      Your work experience is incredibly relevant and important. There is no rush to take the LSAT. You could wait until June if you feel there is more you could do to prepare.

  149. Jeremy says:

    Ann,

    Thank you!

  150. Mary S says:

    Hi Ann

    I have a peculiar situation. I went to SFU right out of highschool. I really couldn’t decide where my passions lie . I couldn’t figure what I wanted as a career and had 88 credit hours . Eventually I was put on academic probation and kicked out. I had to take courses at a college level prior to going back. This was 1998. I had a child, single mother, sister has schizophrenia, brother committed suicide. I have many things that were going on in my life. However, my question is that my gpa at college is 3.67. I got an associate degree in arts with crim specialization. I want to go back to SFU(in Canada) and complete my bachelors in crim.(another two years). Even if I rocked my last 60 credits, my cGpa at university will be shot with my previous 88 credit hours and academic probation. I finally at the age of 35 figured out that I want to be a lawyer. What do you think of my chances?

  151. Julia says:

    Hi Ann,
    I will be entering my third year in college transferring from a Miami Dade College, where I will get my AA in Political Science and will be entering FIU to get a Bachelors degree in Psychology. What I would like to know is if majoring in Psychology and minoring in PoliSci would look good for admission into a Law school?

  152. Chris says:

    Hi!
    Just came across this as I searched for good majors to do before you go for Law because I’m in a Sociology class and in the book it mentions Michele Obama being a Sociology major before going to Harvard Law. I was maybe considering it but, my question is, would bring at a community college for two years before going to a four year be bad? I’m at my local CC because I got a scholarship from the state of NJ for graduating high school high up in class numbers, to be more accurate, 15/140. I didn’t take a lot of honors classes so I was unable to be higher up in the rankings. But I’m here at CC because of financial reasons and well, we can’t afford a lot of loans so I’m taking this as a good thing. Would the idea of CC be a sign of, well this person couldn’t make it in a real college or would my reasons of being an NJ Stars student be a good redemption for being at such an unimpressive and might I say easy school. I do hate how some of my classes aren’t really a challenging as I thought but this current semester changes things because my Soiology class is going like it should and I’m in a Holocaust and Genocide class that’s also pretty heavy on work.

    PS, I’m glad to see someone is keeping up with such a topic for so long helping anyone for over a year with questions. You’re the kind of person more people who went through such situations should be like!

    • Ann Levine says:

      Hi Chris. Glad to help! Lots of lawyers started at CC. Really! Just do really well there. I love that you’re keeping cost in mind – that shows good judgment. Do really well and then transfer and do well at your university too. All of your current grades matter so keep focused.

  153. Chris says:

    Forgot to mention, I want to pursue something along the lines of Family Law Attorney, I couldn’t handle anything with criminal. Business would be okay too but I prefer family because, well I guess I’m just a family guy! (no, nothing like Peter Griffin!)

  154. Joshua says:

    Hey Ann. I am currently majoring in Journalism and have dreams of going on to law school and becoming a lawyer, specifically speaking, a criminal lawyer. Is my current major a good choice? And my former teacher told me that a minor in Political Science wouldn’t be too bad either. What are your thoughts and how could I succeed in this field?

    • Ann Levine says:

      Hi Joshua,
      Any major that teaches you to investigate and write concisely is good preparation for becoming an attorney, I think. Choose courses/minors that interest you and that are challenging. It doesn’t have to be political science.

  155. Parker says:

    Ann,
    I am graduating this spring with a B.S degree in physics. My GPA is 2.9. My career goal is to become a Patent/ IP Lawyer. I have not yet taken the LSAT, but hope to get into LS for the beginning fall 2013 program. I have 4 years work experienced in sales and sales training. My question basically is, what are my odds at getting into LS? I also took a business law class from a 9th circuit judge and he said he would write me a sterling letter of recommendation. I have a job offer to work as a composite engineer after I graduate. Will taking that job help my chances of acceptance? What should be a good goal for an LSAT score? Thank you for your time and advice.

    • Ann Levine says:

      Parker, why wouldn’t you get into law school? You had a difficult major and your grades in it weren’t horrific. You need to start preparing for the LSAT and seeing what your range is before we start talking about chances for admission.

  156. Renae says:

    Hello Ann,

    I am currently finishing my BS/MS in Biomed at Drexel U with a concentration in Bioinformatics. I have a solid GPA at 3.63. I’ve thought about Patent law for a few years now but a lot of what I’ve researched recommends a Ph.D if you have a major in the life sciences. In your opinion is a MS sufficient to be competitive in admissions and in the field?

    • Ann Levine says:

      Renae, I know many people in the field without PhDs but I suggest you look online at people who hold jobs you would like to have one day and see what degrees they hold. You can also schedule informational interviews with those people in your area and ask their opinions.

  157. kay says:

    Hey Ann,
    I am international student from asia , i am currently pursing masters in mechanical engineering in ucsd majoring in materials,minor= fluids, i am interested to become a patent attorney , i had an important question is it necessary that i need to be a us citizen to appear for LSAT, attend a law school and to be come a patent attorney ? , and also if i am allowed will my masters degree be counted ? .. i m in my first year and have gpa of 3.2

    • Ann Levine says:

      Kay, you don’t need to be a citizen to take the LSAT or go to law school or, to the best of my knowledge, to be a patent attorney. Your masters GPA is a subjective factor but not a substitute for your college grades.

  158. Sonya says:

    Hi Ann,
    First, as a parent of a high school senior interested in law, I’m thrilled to have found you! There is so much confusion on the internet, that it’s no wonder so many kids get lost in the process! My son applied to state schools, and has been accepted to all. He initially applied in Biology (dad is a physician, I’m a nurse) so I think that was his thought in just something to put down on the application. Questions: As far as undergraduate degrees( I’ve read everything on your blog and have ordered your book), he is just struggling with declaring a major. Afraid that if he ends up with a Poli Sci and decides against law school, being unable to get a job after college. Second, how do we find out which undergrad schools are looked at being better, or are they equal because they are state schools (Clemson Univ & University of SC). Also, his Clemson acceptance was actually in the “Bridge” program. This meaning his Freshman year is at a local community college (still has Clemson ID, dorms, etc); then if he maintains a 2.5 GPA he comes into Clemson Fall 2013 as a Sophmore. Would this Bridge program be looked at negatively by law schools, even though it was only his Freshman year? Wondering if that should effect which undergrad school he chooses? Sorry to be so lengthy! Mom just needs help to guide him to the right choice!

    • Ann Levine says:

      Hi Sonya, I’m also thrilled you found me ; )
      Your son needs to pick a major in something that he is truly interested in, finds challenging and can excel in. It can be biology or political science or art history or business or anything else that he sincerely enjoys.
      The Bridge program would not be looked at negatively: succeeding in this program would be a way in much like transferring from a community college and might be what he needs to gain academic confidence and to prove himself. But you didn’t mention whether he would need student loans to attend Clemson – I think doing well at USC without debt would be better than him having debt at Clemson, so long as he gets stellar grades, and this would free up his future choices. But if you are paying for his education then this is obviously not an issue.

  159. Sonya says:

    Thank you for your time Ann! Received your book for him to read, and I also bought a copy for my iPad for me to read. He has now been accepted to the College of Charleston as well. CofC is a liberal arts college. He will get state scholorships for grades and SAT scores., but we will pay the difference. The cost of all is relatively the same. Any recommendations on schools? I haven’t been able to find anything online that says one is better ranked than the other. He doesn’t have a clue yet as to what interests him. He is extremely interested in National Defense, and had at one time mentioned CIA/FBI as a huge interest, but doesn’t want to do the military requirement. Not even what law he should set his goals for! I think I’m going to accept all three offers, lose a little money than is non-refundable, but will give us time to read your book and do more research. Would it be advantageous for us to have a consultation this early in the game?

    • Ann Levine says:

      Hi Sonya,
      You don’t need me yet. Your son should choose the school that is best for him and then work hard once he gets there. Oh, and I know from very personal experience that a JD can be one way into the FBI : )

  160. Darris says:

    Hi Ann

    Im a recent college graduate and I have a low gpa. I wasnt what you would call a motivated student and really didnt live up to my full potential as a student due to not really knowing what I wanted to focus on academically for my future career. I originally wanted to be a lawyer and let people around me scare me from following my passion and now I really want to go to a law school to follow my passion. My question is what are the chances of someone like myself getting into a law school and what should I prepare myself for in convincing a school I am dedicated enough to be allowed into a program to prove myself

  161. Jill says:

    Hi Ann,

    Would you consider Communication Studies a good major to get into law school? I am a sophomore in college right now and considering changing my major, but I want to make sure that I am making the right decision. My current major in Public Relations, but I really do not think it would help me get admitted. Coursework for Communication Studies includes Political Communication, Speech Writing, Persuasion, and Negotiation & Conflict. I thought classes like these would look really great on my transcript, but I wanted your opinion first. Thank you for your help!

  162. Matt says:

    Ann,

    Im currently a sophomore at the University of Miami, i am on the Pre-Law track and am currently trying to decide what my major is going to be. My dream is to go to law school and eventually practice contract law. I was wondering what type of major would make me most competitive when applying to law school? i am considering Business Law and Economics, do you think double majoring those will make me an attractive candidate for perspective schools?

    • Ann Levine says:

      Matt,
      Let me begin by saying, “GO CANES!”
      I think Business and Econ would be great – I don’t think double majoring is super important to be honest. So long as you take challenging classes and do well in them, you’ll be fine! Keep me posted on your progress.

  163. Jacob Murphy says:

    Hello Ann,

    I am a finishing up my third year of undergraduate work and plan to apply next September for law school. I’m majoring in business administration and minoring in physiology, English, or accounting, I haven’t decided yet because I am taking those classes in the summer. I have a 3.2 GPA and have yet to take the LSAT. Do you have any advise such as which minor I should pick and internships or anything I should do this summer?

    • Ann Levine says:

      Jacob Murphy,
      I wouldn’t minor in physiology but English and accounting both have value for law school. If you don’t have work experience or anything on your resume that shows you know what you’re getting yourself into with law school, then I do suggest finding something for the summer. However, if you are taking classes this summer I’d rather you put your energy into bringing up your GPA than in cramming in a minor and an internship.

  164. Jacob Murphy says:

    Ann,

    One more thing, I am family friends with a senator from my state, he has his J.D. from one of the law schools I plan on applying for. Would it be a good idea to get him to write a letter of recommendation since he does know me personally?

    Thank you.

  165. EmilyU says:

    Ann,

    I am a freshman poly sci major and right now am dead set on going to law school. I am going to pursue a BA instead of a BS (I don’t want to have to take more science classes- not a strong point). However, with a BA I have to declare a minor. I came into college with a lot of AP credits so I am almost finished with my general education requirement and need to start working on my minor next semester. Unfortunately, I have no idea what to minor in. I am considering anthropology, history, legal studies, or english. Do you think any of these could be better than the other or give me a boost above other potential law school applicants?
    Also I am going to be an RA next year and am involved in a state legislature club. Should I pursue student government as well? Or try to become more involved?

    • Ann Levine says:

      EmilyU,
      I am so happy you’ve already started reading my blog! That’s awesome!
      I think all of those minor options are good ones – they all require thinking, analysis, writing – choose what you will enjoy the most.
      You need to keep your grades as strong as possible – don’t add things to your resume at the expense of your grades. And choose activities that interest you – not as resume builders. Doing what interests you will not only lead to more success but will also distinguish you from those who obviously choose their activities based on what they think is expected from a pre-law person. Use college to explore your interests, to grow, to enjoy, and the rest will follow.

  166. Matt says:

    Ann,

    i have another question i have a 3.2 at the moment and it seems to be a bit low for the law schools i want to apply to. I want to go to Law school is DC or near where i live in the northeast. Should i focus on trying to get my grades much higher and focus more on my LSAT scores which i am currently doing workshops for since i am going to be a Junior next year.

  167. Dmitri says:

    Dear Ann
    I’m senior at UGA and environmental Health science major with a 2.98 GPA. I was wondering with a kind of a low GPA would I have a shot at not only getting into law school but a top tier school (Top25)? I scored a 160 on my LSAT, I have a ton of volunteer service, raised a guide dog puppy and Children’s miracle network etc. I have participated in ROTC programs and also I am a scholarship athlete. look forward to hearing back from you
    Dmitri

    • Ann Levine says:

      Dmitri,
      You don’t give me enough information to help you with this – it’s possible you could get into a T25 but I’d have to know a lot more about you to determine whether you’d fall into that category. It also depends on which Top25 school you’re considering. I do think it’s a bit high, though, and you shouldn’t draw a line in the sand under school #25.

  168. J.K. says:

    With a math degree (UGPA 3.34, LSAC 3.15) and LSAT 151 I am wanting to be a patent attorney. I already have 5 years of engineering experience plus other academic engineering classes after my first BS degree. The USPTO is reviewing my application to take the patent bar already. I was laid off and have just been dedicating my time to my tutoring business that Ive owned for 2 years. If I dont get into the school I want this year, whats my best move? Do I take the LSAT again (3rd time) or remarket myself to them next year as is?

  169. L.R. says:

    I am interested in applying to law school. I recently graduated from college in May of 2011 with a B.S. in Middle Grades Education with a concentration in Social Studies and Language Arts. I have been teaching for almost a year. My GPA was 3.65. I have always been interested in law but I fell in love with teaching also. I decided to pursue teaching while in college. Now I am thinking that there might be something greater in store for me. Do you have any advice for me regarding my perceptions of being a lawyer? How plausible is it even though I come from an education background (that is very specific)? Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.

    • Ann Levine says:

      LR, I have worked with a lot of people with education backgrounds who apply to law school and it’s always a bit tricky because you don’t want to sound like teaching it too hard, pays too little, does not have a big enough impact. People in your situation always make it sound like they want to work in educational policy. You’ve only just started teaching – I’d hate for good teachers to leave such an important profession! As you explore your law school decision, check out

  170. ML says:

    Ann,
    I have wanted to go to law school since before I can remember. The summers after my Freshman and Sophomore years of HIGH SCHOOL I interned at a law firm working 9-5. I am not a Freshman at Washington and Lee University with a 3.5 GPA. This summer I will interning for a District Attorney’s Office in my home county. I also have job experience in other fields. I want to move to New York for law school and attend Columbia or NYU. What sort of LSAT score, extra curricular’s, and GPA should I be looking for? Does my experience help my application at all?

    • Ann Levine says:

      ML – Congratulations on being so proactive.
      Your grades are your #1 priority during college so you’re off to a good start. Your upcoming internship is also fabulous – keep doing exactly what you are doing, find things that you are passionate about, develop yourself into a well-rounded and serious student, and in your junior year you can start to think about the LSAT. Form relationships with professors – take 2-3 classes with several of them so that you have people ready to write meaningful letters of rec on your behalf, and you will be ahead of the crowd. Choose activities based on your passions, not on what you think you should have on your resume. Challenge yourself to grow – whatever that means for you: travel, creative endeavors, etc.
      Your high school experience won’t be what gets you into Columbia or NYU – top flight grades and a 95th percentile LSAT score are your goal!

  171. WM says:

    Ann,
    I am an Accounting major at state university with a 3.4 gpa. I made a 2.5 my 1st semester bc I partied too hard. I have made above a 3.75 every semester since. So I hope to graduate with a 3.6-3.8. I am a sophomore (59 hours after this semester), and a student-athlete (wrestling) for a top D1 school. Since I redshirted my 1st year I still have 3 more years after this semester, and plan on obtaining my 150 hours for my CPA. What type of masters degree should I get, or should I just double major with something else? I really want to practice tax law! I fell in love with Notre Dame while visiting, and I know they have a well respected law school. With my gpa what will I need on my LSAT to get into a school like that? Will athletics help me in applying to law schools? Or will they hurt me as I have no summer off, and limited work experience?

    • Ann Levine says:

      WM – Division 1 athletics AND maintaining a 3.75 since your first semester??? FABULOUS!!!!!!! Clear career direction with accounting to tax law – this is great stuff!!!!!!! Most people would get a finance or business related degree as a Masters, don’t you think?

  172. Alexandra says:

    I plan on getting a BSN and I am interested in applying for law school at the end of my 3rd year. Would this distinguish me amongst applicants? The reason behind it is that I have an infant daughter, and I also need to be able to work while in law school. Nurses have a very flexible schedule and can work full time hours in 2-3 days a week (also nights). Would this also help me pursue a specialty in Patents/IP?

    My daughter will be ready for preschool by the time I would be starting law school, and don’t think it would be a problem.

    Would you recommend I also pursue a Philosophy minor while in my undergraduate, to show that at the end of the road I am interested in law?

    • Ann Levine says:

      Alexandra, the benefits of a minor in philosophy would be (1) a letter of rec that is more relevant, talking about writing ability and analytical thinking and (2) more writing experience for you.
      I don’t think a nursing degree is necessarily a direct line to patent law, but the judgments a nurse must make and the patient care aspects will make you a compassionate and decisive attorney.

  173. WM says:

    I was thinking about finance as well. Mainly due to how much of it is similar to accounting and it would be the least extra amount of classes. But I also have that extra year and summers so it wouldn’t be difficult for me to branch out to something else. I guess I just needed reassurance that having no work experience/ internships won’t hurt me! That is why I was wondering if a Masters of something not related to business might be a must to set me apart.
    PS: your blog is awesome, and it has already helped me plan for my future even though I have plenty of time!!!

  174. Matt says:

    Ann,

    I was wondering if i graduated with a degree in psychology with 3.4.-3.5 and had an LSAT score between 163-167 if that would be ideal for me to get into a law school such as George Washington university or Boston University?

  175. Ann Levine says:

    Matt, there’s a big difference between a 163 and a 167 for those schools…

  176. Matt says:

    Ann,
    sorry about that we will go the inbetween then with 165

  177. William says:

    Hi Ann!
    I am an international student in a Top 40 Liberal Arts College in the US. I am double majoring in Biology and Political Science, and minoring in Applied Math. My current GPA is 3.53; also, I took two 4-credit summer courses and ended up with 2 As, which would push me to 3.57. SInce the biology major, I got B-s in Organic Chemistry and Physiology, they kinda drag my GPA down…So my question is in terms of my rare combination of majors (natural science + social science), will my relatively low GPA stand out and look better? I havent taken LSAT yet. What range of LSAT score could keep me in a safe place for a Top 20 Law School? I really want to go to the law schools like Cornell and Georgetown, in my situation, is LSAT enough? Thank you very much!!

    • Ann Levine says:

      William, tough courses and a good school – your GPA is just fine. Take a look at the 25th percentile GPAs at the schools you are interested in and that should give you a good idea of where you should strive to be (hopefully closer to the 75th percentile, of course, but the 25th is a good guidepost).

  178. Wes says:

    Hi Ann, I am a criminal justice major with a 3.3 GPA. I have heard and read that law schools look down upon applicants with a criminal justice degree. Is this true? Thanks!

    • Ann Levine says:

      Hi Wes,
      It is not thought of as a very difficult major, and it is usually offered only at less prestigious undergraduate institutions, but it does show sincere interest in law so it is certainly not the end of the world: lots of criminal justice majors do attend law school, after all.

  179. Moe says:

    Hi Ann,

    My initial interest in law began when I essentially became an “education advocate” for my son with learning disabilities. I had my son at age 18 and began college at Rowan U at age 21 and it’s been and on-again off-again bumpy ride ever since mostly due to raising a family and family issues. I entered Rutgers post-divorce and maintained a 3.5 GPA meanwhile my X-husband kept taking me back to court for custody which resulted in 18 court appearances in 21 months all while attending Rutgers full-time and raising my son. Unable to continue paying lawyers, I began writing my own motions and 4 prominent lawyers recommended that I attend law school and one offered me a job.. However, a plethora of events happened including a bad illness and a nervous break-down and I stopped attending Rutgers in the midst of the semester and my A grades turned to D’s and F’s because I waited to long before doing anything about it. Now, my life has stabilized, my son is raised and I’m ready to tackle finishing my bachelors, but I fear I’ve ruined my chances of law school since my overall GPA is only a 2.9 now. I have 90 credits so I need another 30 to graduate. I also live in a different state and will Not be able to return to Rutgers. I am also trying to decide whether to attend the local State College and major in Business Management or attend the local University (not as prominent as Rutgers). The University offers a legal studies program that I am also considering. Obviously, if I return, my grades and “consistency” will be important. Do you think I still have a chance of ever gaining entrance to law school? Any other suggestions you have are welcome. Thank you.

  180. Michael Patterson says:

    I’m a 26 year old Iraq Vet and attending UNCC, as a freshman straight out of the Marine Corps. I really want to practice law but have no idea what course to take to be appealing to a law school. Id like to avoid the generic Pre-law, or Polisci majors, although they sound extremely fun, I understand the importance of being diverse. I understand leadership and perseverance. Is business majors what law schools want? English majors? Would psychology majors be worth anything? Even though Im halfway through my 20′s already, i’m playing the ever so typical college freshman indecisiveness game. I know what I want my career and endgame to be, but the path to get there is what throws me for a loop. Any advise for a Marine vet too stubborn to give up his dream?

    • Ann Levine says:

      Hi Michael, I responded to your email but will respond here too since your post is applicable to others. I believe you should pick something interesting and challenging, that will give you the opportunity to do significant writing and research, to interact meaningfully with faculty members, and where you can excel in a rigorous environment. That can be business or psychology or English or Art History. Use your time in college to find your passion and do well.

  181. Lance says:

    Hi Ann,

    I am just completing my AA with a 3.0 GPA at a california community college. I really want to stay in the town I am living in and wasn’t accepted to the university in this town. Would law schools accept a fully accredited BA degree in general studies from an online/classroom college from Missouri? I just don’t want to live in the cities that I was accepted at in the CSU system. It is Columbia College, which has classes at my community college daily, so it would not be online ed, but actual classroom. Is this a big mistake?
    Thank you.

  182. Lance says:

    BTW, I am an English major now.

  183. Lance says:

    The degree offered is a Bachelors in General Studies. They also offer a BS in Psychology, but I like the history and english classes much better.

  184. Ryan says:

    Hi Ann,
    I am an undergrad student trying to figure out which area of law I want to go in to. Which area of law is in the most demand in today’s economy? Thanks!

    • Ann Levine says:

      Ryan, great question! Check out blogs by lawyers and start reading to see what is interesting to you. Some things are recession proof to some extent (bankruptcy, workers comp, insurance defense, family law, etc.) and some things are tied into the economy more (mergers and acquisitions). Find what interests you and check out all of the options. It also depends on your own skills (do you speak another language? perhaps immigration law, etc.).

  185. Lance says:

    Hi Ann,

    Did you say the retaking classes to improve your grades is not a good idea and the law schools will be able to see that you re-took them? How is that possible?
    Thanks!

  186. Ann Levine says:

    Lance, they see it on your transcripts but it won’t factor into your LSAC GPA.

  187. Lance says:

    How do W’s, withdrawals, look on transcripts vs having a C or lower?

  188. Julio says:

    Hi Ann,
    I am a 38 yr old that graduated from HS back in 1991. Always wanted to be a lawyer but did not have the time or money to go to college. I started a family and worked for two logistics companies during all these years as a Supervisor / Manager. I also started my own Tax preparation business which allowed me to quit my job and free up my time (nine months out of the year) to spend it with my family and to go back to college. I would like to go to law school and eventually practice immigration law. My dilemma is that I am not interested in any majors that prepare me to be an employee. I am self-employed and do not wish to go back to the corporate world. I like Business & accounting and I am working on becoming an enrolled agent with the IRS. Would I have a chance of getting into law school at this age? Would the fact that getting a major in anything just because it is a requisite to go to law school hurt my chances? I could major in accounting or business since I also do bookkeeping in my practice. Would law schools even look at candidates this old? Would I have a better chance if I major in business and go back to the corporate world for a while? Thanks for taking the time to read this post.

    • Ann Levine says:

      Julio, I have a client who got into Harvard Law at age 45. Your age is not the issue. Choose a major that interests you and do well in it – you don’t have to pick something just because you think law schools will like it. But make sure your grades are very strong and you get good letters of rec from faculty members.

  189. Lance says:

    I am taking 19 units this semester and I believe I bit off a bit more than I can chew. Would it be wise for me to take a W rather than receive a C or D in one of the classes? Then I can retake the class next semester.
    BTW, I just ordered your book and am anxious to get it and read it!
    Thank you for this great blog!

  190. Arielle Shine says:

    Hi Ann,
    I am currently a junior and have a 3.98 GPA in psychology. I will finish my major in 2 classes which leaves me 6 classes to still take. Should i pick up a sociology minor (I already took soc 101) or would taking classes more focused in pre-law, such as political science, be beneficial for applying to law school?
    Thank you!

    • Ann Levine says:

      Arielle, your GPA is great – good job! You don’t have to pick up classes just for law school. If you are interested in these subjects, then do take them because you are interested in them. I’d rather see high level writing and research and extra scholarly efforts than taking entry level political science.

  191. Kimberly says:

    Hi Ann,
    I am currently a freshmen at Penn State and am lost as to which major I should pursue. I am interested in Sociology and Woman Studies, but I was concerned if these would be good majors for law school, or should I stick with political science and criminal justice. I am interested in poli sci and crim j, but not as much.
    Thank you in advance for your time,
    Kimberly

  192. Tommy F says:

    Hi Ann,
    I am currently a Sophomore at the U of TN Knoxville. I have a 3.5 GPA. I am pursuing a degree in Biochem, but recently I have added Economics as a second major. I have several activities (Treasurer of College Republicans, Volunteer with Red Cross) and I am studying abroad this summer in London (Economics and Political Science classes). I originally had no plans for Law School, but at this point I am too entrenched in Biochem to change that (and I really like). Do I have a shot at getting into U of TN Law School? Is there something else I should be doing?
    Thank you!!!

  193. Matt says:

    Ann,

    If i graduate with 3.45 and a degree in psychology and score around a 166 what are my chances of being admitted to Georgetown law?

  194. Matt says:

    Also the degree is from U Miami in FL, Go Canes!

    • Ann Levine says:

      Matt, while I love UM and try to do as much as possible to help my fellow Canes, I can’t tell you your chances at any school in the blog format (otherwise I’d have to quit my day job to answer all of the posts : )

  195. CuriousMom says:

    Hi Ann,

    How do elite law school admission folks view a pass/fail in an non major course (art history) on a transcript? The dilemma is this: Is it better to take the A- on transcript that would bring down the GPA (A- translates to 3.7) vs. doing a pass/fail option for this course? Wondering if the top T14 schools view pass/fail as worse than getting an A-.

  196. Laura A. says:

    HI Ann,
    I have been out of school for 10 years. I am considering getting my law degree now. I have a B.S. in Marketing with a minor in Jewish Studies from Indiana University. My GPA was 3.28 GPA AND an M.L.S. (Master of Library and Information Science) with a GPA of 3.79, also from Indiana University.

    I’ve been working in law libraries, but would like to obtain my JD in order to advance in academic law libraries. How do law school admissions committees view a Master of Library and Information Science? Do I have the grades to make the leap into law school?

  197. Laura A says:

    How do Law School admission committees view a Masters degree in Library and Information Science? I have my MLS (GPA 3.8) and an undergraduate degree in Marketing – Indiana University..3.29.

    I am interested in obtaining my JD to further my career in academic law libraries.

    Inquiring minds want to know!

    • Ann Levine says:

      Hi Laura,
      One of my clients with a MLS went to Northwestern Law and recently graduated from there! Of course, she didn’t have a 150 LSAT but it does show you that you have relevant skills that law schools will appreciate.

  198. Laura A says:

    Hi again Ann,

    I forgot to add.. I scored a 150 on my LSATs. Do you have much experience with librarians who would like to go to law school and their chances for admission?

    Love the site!

  199. Laura A. says:

    Thank you Ann for responding. I appreciate it. I am a little different than your average law student. My intent was never to practice law, but to be a legal librarian..and you cannot really advance in academia without a law degree! Most folks who aren’t in my field don’t realize this. Thanks again!

    • Ann Levine says:

      Laura A,
      See whether the places that hire legal librarians care WHERE the law degree is from. Are they looking for academic pedigree or are they simply making sure you have the JD? This is very important for you to understand.

  200. Maggie says:

    Hi Ann! I am a senior in high school and have very recently come to the realization that Law is my calling, particularly Constitutional Law. I discovered your very helpful blog in the process! I am in the process of deciding what college to attend – all options are top 100 national liberal arts schools or universities, but while my GPA was above a 4.0 and 2090 SATs, the top Ivies were out of reach. Crazy, right? Anyways, I have hopes of attending a Top 5 law school. With that in mind, my main question is: how much importance is placed on the undergrad school attended in gaining admittance to the top law schools in the country? Should I choose, for example, to attend Wake Forest over Penn State, even if WF is more expensive? Should I attend the best, most highly regarded school I get into, or the one that is most affordable to minimize debt? Thank you!

    • Ann Levine says:

      Maggie, I really want to congratulate you on thinking about these issues as a senior in high school. If you’d be taking on debt during college, then choose the cheaper option so that you have room to take on debt in law school: I’d hate to see you compound debt on debt. But kick butt at PSU – go out of your way to engage in rigorous academic projects, a thesis, serious writing and research, etc. Be a superstar there!

  201. Laura A says:

    Thank you again. I don’t need to go to a top tier school, but I don’t want to go to a school that is at the bottom of the barrel either. I enjoy reading your blog.

  202. Chelsea says:

    Hi Ann,

    I’m currently attending school at UGA, but due to some extreme events that have happened within the last year, my grades dropped from a 3.5 to a 2.7. After this semester is over with, I plan on returning to my hometown and going back to school down there. I plan on redoing the classes that I did badly in because of these events. The college in my hometown is not near as prestigious, but is accredited. I’m worried that retaking these classes and doing well in them won’t look like I’m capable of correcting my wrongs, but actually be less impressive because I took them at an “easier” college. I don’t really have control over my moving back, so retaking the classes at UGA is not an option. I also plan on applying to UGA for law school. Do you think that they will look negatively at me, even with a high GPA, for leaving school here when I apply back?

    Thanks!

    • Ann Levine says:

      Chelsea, only retake the classes if your school requires it. LSAC won’t count your repeated grades in your overall GPA so you may be wasting your time and actually hurting your GPA. If you have to move back, then do it, but build your GPA!

  203. James Mellon says:

    First of all, I have found your blog and your dedicated answering to the comments helpful! But, I read about half ot the comments and most of the questions seemed to be coming from college students, and I am a current high school Junior. I have a 3.9 unweighted GPA, a 31 on the ACT, and strong extra-curriculars with a community focus. The issues are mainly economic, my family is lower middle class and will not be able to aid much in tuition, and if my goal is to ultimately be enrolled at a top 3 law school: should I take on the student loans to go to a elite university for my B.S. or go to Ohio State, my state school, for drastically less money?

    • Ann Levine says:

      James,
      If you have to take out loans for undergrad AND loans to attend an elite private law school, you are going to find yourself mortgaged to the hilt…. I’d worry a lot about that. If you really excel at Ohio State and do serious things (and have more money to travel and take unpaid internships) you may be in a much better – and less stressful – position.

  204. Aaron Babajoni says:

    Hi. I have been reading your blog and everything you are saying is very helpful. I am currently a Freshman at the University of Illinois majoring in political science. My plan is to go to law school and become a corporate lawyer one day? The one issue I have right now is that I am not happy in political science and I am considering switching my major to agricultural and consumer economics with a concentration and consumer economics and finance. Another option I have is to switch and double major in Economics and communication in the school of LAS. My question is which major looks better in terms of applying to law schools. I am thinking of sticking to agricultural and consumer economics. Do you think ill be ok if I can keep my GPA up to a 3.5 by the end of senior year with a good LSAT?
    Thanks

    • Ann Levine says:

      Aaron,
      I love that you are thinking ahead. Change your major to what you want – I love the idea of consumer econ/AG. Do what you are passionate about and YES to keeping that GPA up to (and above) 3.5.

  205. Monica Santos says:

    Hi Ann,
    I am really struggling trying to find a major that fits me and being something that i would love to do. I am currently a English major, not sure if i want to go into the Education field. Next semester i was planning to change my major to Sociology with a minor in English. I am interested in law though, Im not sure how far i want to take it though. Am i leading myself in the right direction for a concrete foundation?

    • Ann Levine says:

      Hi Monica,
      great question. You didn’t mention what year you’re in in school and whether you have to declare a major or whether you still have time. What classes have you enjoyed? What interests you? Are you a good writer? Do you like history? what about sociology interests you? Think about what you like to learn about, seek out professors to talk to about making your decision, and spend some time exploring jobs to see where you see yourself. The good news is that you’re not locked into anything – the world is your oyster : )

  206. David says:

    Hi Ann,

    I am a junior physics major at the University of Maryland. I have a 3.38 GPA right now and I am hoping to raise it to around a 3.5 by the time I graduate. I want to go into patent law because I think it is something I would succeed at and enjoy doing. However, I have been considering going to graduate school (in physics) before attending law school because I think it would be fun (I know, I’m weird). I would love to hear what you have to say about attending graduate school before going on to law school. Specifically, I want to know whether earning a Masters degree in physics would increase my chances of getting into a higher-tier law school and earning a higher initial salary. If so, would getting an M.S. give me a substantial advantage over the competition or just a small one?

    Thanks,
    David

    • Ann Levine says:

      Hi David. A lot of patent lawyers get a masters before going to law school, actually. Check out the bios of people who do patent law at the level that you think might interest you and see what they did before going to law school.

  207. Dennis says:

    Hi Ann,

    I have a question (bet you’ve heard that a million times:) ) Anyway, I am a junior in college getting a dual degree, B.A. in International Relations with a minor in poli sci and a minor in history, as well as a B.S. in Finance. I have a 3.7 GPA and I have scored in the high 160′s low 170′s on numerous LSAT practice tests. I would like to go into international business law specializing in M&A/Securities. I thought law schools would like to see a well versed candidtae, so as a result I added the B.S. in Finance. My dilemma is that with this addition I will now graduate in the Fall of 2014 (instead of Spring 2013-when i normally would). Which means I could not apply to law school until Fall 2015. It is a lot of work and money. My question is that will law schools really look at that second degree in Finance as an “eye-popper” and make my chances for admittance that much better? Or is it a waste of time and money?? Thank you very much for your time!!

  208. Matt says:

    I’m kinda nervous I’m a psych and political science double major, and just finished my freshman year with a 3.4 gpa. I also took a preliminary lsat and scored a 154. Is this bad good or Indifferent? I’m pretty nervous I’m not going to be able to get into a good J.D. program.

    • Ann Levine says:

      Matt, you are just getting the hang of college. You have time to get into the swing of things and get your grades up – a consistent upward trend is a good thing. It’s also way too soon for you to take a preliminary LSAT. You have a lot of growth and learning coming your way if you take advantage of the opportunities offered in college; try again during your junior year. And good luck!

  209. covebysea says:

    Hi, Ann:
    I so love to read your blogs :). Clean, inspirational and informative. I had a 3.5 UGGPA in mechanical engineering, minor CSE in a prestigious engineering school in Asia, (ranked top 5% and honored graduate). and 3.8 in a UC* (master degree). and I also worked in space program for a while in a research lab. I wonder how the admission committee thinks of my GPAs? I was an international student…I am in my mid 30s, although i’ve been thinking of law school since the day I came to US, when it is the time to really make a decision, I would love to hear what you would say if it is a wise decision. assume I can get a good LSAT score :-))

  210. covebysea says:

    Hi, Ann:
    I so love to read your blogs :). Clean, inspirational and informative. I had a 3.5 UGGPA in mechanical engineering, minor CSE in a prestigious engineering school in Asia, (ranked top 5% and honored graduate). and 3.8 in a UC* (master degree). and I also worked in space program for a while in a research lab. I wonder how the admission committee thinks of my GPAs? I was an international student…I am in my mid 30s, although i’ve been thinking of law school since the day I came to US, when it is the time to really make a decision, I would love to hear what you would say if i still have a chance to target some top schools. assume I can get a good LSAT score :-))

    • Ann Levine says:

      covebysea,
      Thank you for your comments. I’m so happy the blog is helpful. I am not sure if your undergraduate degree was in English, but I’m guessing it was not. Your grades and ranking will still count, especially since law schools know there is unlikely to be grade inflation. Having a graduate degree in the U.S. helps as well. Your reasons for going to law school must be made clear in your application, but I have worked with many clients with international engineering backgrounds who have gotten into very good U.S. law schools.

  211. Calvin says:

    Ann,

    I recently obtained my bachelor’s degree as a returning non-traditional student after dropping out 8 years ago. When I dropped out I had a 1.9 GPA and I had attended several colleges over the course of 3 years. After returning my GPA was 3.1 during the 4 semesters it took to complete my remaining credits and it brought my overall GPA up to a 2.4. I have a strong interest in becoming an NFL agent and I believe going to law school would help prepare me for contract negotiation and some of the other aspects dealing with collective bargaining agreements. With that low of a GPA would it be impossible to get into a law school or would there be some consideration given to the grades I made after returning to college as an adult?

  212. Betty says:

    Hello Ann.
    I am a 3rd year student at the University of Toronto majoring in Sociology and Human resources /industrial relations with a CGPA of 3.47. I want to go to a decent Law school after graduating in 2013, but havent taken my LSAT yet. First year of university wasn’t my best however I have had an upward trend in my grades. I was wondering if my GPA is acceptable for law school if I do well in my LSATs?
    Thank you!

  213. Evan says:

    Hi Ann,

    First of all, I love reading your blog. It’s been extremely helpful for me. I am a Psychology major and just finished my second year at UC Berkeley. I have a 3.98 GPA. I am worried that this major will not be viewed by law schools as rigorous or writing-intensive enough. Is this the case? Would adding a minor like Philosophy, Geography, or Public Policy improve my value in their eyes? And of these (or other) minors, which would you recommend? The philosophy department at Berkeley is notoriously difficult and A’s are exceedingly rare. Would it be better for me to minor in Philosophy and probably get worse grades than if I minored in something else?

    Thanks, Evan

    • Ann Levine says:

      Evan, Congrats on the fabulous GPA from a great school. Don’t worry about what could have been – just do the best in what you’re doing. A writing intensive course would be enough – you don’t need an entire minor unless you want one. And who is to say you wouldn’t get fabulous grades in Philosophy?

  214. Diane says:

    i was recently accepted to the an elite undergrad business school and top 15 liberal arts school. I know at this time i want to go the law school path. My aspiration (which i understand comes with quite the challenge) is to work as GM at MLB team.
    I am having trouble deciding whether the undergrad business school which is accompanied by tremendous job opportunities and name recognition trumps an economics/spanish degree from liberal arts school.
    i do like the smaller environment that comes with liberal arts option but concerned about missed opportunity. ANY THOUGHTS are so appreciated at this time.
    thank you for your insights and working on your blog

  215. Sandy says:

    Hi Ann,

    I changed from biology to Philosophy and Literary Journalism in my 3rd year of college, finally accepting that I love the humanities and the sciences were too much for me at a fast paced research university. These new majors willl boost my lacking 2.9 GPA by the time I graduate, but I’m worried about how it will look on my Law School applications. If my GPA recovers will they still have questions about those science grades? I havent taken the lsat, and am still doing research in the sciences because I can’t imagine not doing any science. Will they see this as unfocused, as opposed to a general enthusiasm for all types of learning? Thank you in advance for taking the time to read and post on here!

    • Ann Levine says:

      Hi Sandy,
      Major changes are pretty standard, and philosophy is good preparation for law school. I’ve actually never heard of Literary Journalism as a major before, but at least you’re writing!
      When I am worried about a client’s apparent lack of focus, I will want to see a clear, well-considered plan for why law school is the right move for you, that you’ve really done research into the career options, etc. “Love of learning” isn’t a good enough reason to go to law school, and law schools will worry about that.

  216. Erin says:

    Hi Ann,

    I’m currently finishing up my third year as a Biology major at UC Irvine with a minor in Political Science. My GPA is a 3.1 and I realized quickly that I didn’t want to a pursue a career in the Biology field and that Law was where I truly felt passionate. I am nearly finished with my Biology course load and am now questioning whether I should attempt a double major in Poli Sci. Would this be beneficial to me as a competitive applicant? Or would taking a year off after my senior year and interning at a law firm and studying for the LSAT be a better plan?

    Thanks in advance!!

    • Ann Levine says:

      Hi Erin. You don’t necessarily need a double major, but at least taking some courses in Poli Sci would help you make this decision and also allow you to get some relevant LORs. Taking a year off might be a great idea if you’re not sure what you want to do and would give you time to concentrate on the LSAT and make some decisions.

  217. Ingrid says:

    Hi Ann,

    I just graduated from high school with a 3.86 unweighted GPA and will be attending the University of Georgia in the fall. I’ve been reading the questions and responses in the blog, but I still feel the need to ask, if Psychology is a good major if I want to attend law school in the future. Also, how much would me being fluent in Spanish help me?

    Since English is my second language and I have only lived in the US for six years, should I double major or minor in English? Or would Political Science be more beneficial?

    Thank you for your time! Your blog is extremely helpful.

    • Ann Levine says:

      Hi Ingrid,
      If you are interested in Psychology then it’s a good choice. Choose something you are passionate about and do well in it. If you change majors until you find the right fit, that’s ok too.
      Doing well in any non-science based classes will demonstrate your English proficiency but working extra hard on your writing would absolutely prove beneficial to you as a law school applicant, as a law student, and as an attorney. I hope you will be reading the blog for a few more years : )

  218. Henna says:

    Hello Ann,
    I am a sophomore at Rutgers University that is a part of the business school. I want to major in either finance or economics. I enjoy both subjects equally but finance is really difficult at Rutgers and may potentially harm my GPA. Economics would be a much easier route and would lead to a higher GPA. It also leads to a high LSAT score and is preferred by law schools. Economics would be the clear answer except if I want a steady job before law school to save up money, finance would be more stable and offers more jobs. Also, the business school at Rutgers is very useful and small so I have a lot of resources and by choosing econ i would no longer be in the business school, What would you recommend I do?

  219. henna says:

    I am a sophomore at Rutgers University that is a part of the business school. I want to major in either finance or economics. I enjoy both subjects equally but finance is really difficult at Rutgers and may potentially harm my GPA. Economics would be a much easier route and would lead to a higher GPA. It also leads to a high LSAT score and is preferred by law schools. Economics would be the clear answer except if I want a steady job before law school to save up money, finance would be more stable and offers more jobs. Also, the business school at Rutgers is very useful and small so I have a lot of resources and by choosing econ i would no longer be in the business school, What would you recommend I do?

    • Ann Levine says:

      Henna, don’t choose the easy route. The difficulty of your major is a consideration in how schools evaluate your GPA. And if you might want to work to save money for law school (a great idea!) then this should absolutely be a factor in your decision. You can still get good grades in finance – you’re not choosing between having a 2.5 and a 3.5. You are obviously bright, forward-thinking, and analytical. You will do well no matter what you choose.

  220. henna says:

    I think that I will struggle to maintain above a 3.0 if I stick with finance as the business school has 23 required courses in order to major in finance. Economics is in the school of arts and sciences therefore it only has 15 required courses of which are not as difficult. I honestly think I can get a 3.5 or above in economics but there is no way i can get above a 3.5 if I stick with finance.

  221. henna says:

    Also, do you think that the job market after college is all that different for finance and economics majors?

  222. James says:

    Ann,
    I am a rising senior at a top 20 University, with a double major in Molecular Biology, and Political Science. I have held several internships in law firms and lobbyist groups, and I have quite a few extracurriculars. My GPA is a 3.7, and my LSAT score is a 175. With this in mind, how likely is it that I could be accepted into a top-tier law school like Harvard or Columbia? Thanks for your time!

  223. James says:

    Ann,
    I am a rising senior at a top 20 university, double majoring in Molecular Biology and Political Science. I have had several internships with law firms and lobbyist groups, and have quite a few university extracurriculars, with leadership positions. My GPA is a 3.71, and my LSAT is a 175. What are the chances that I could get accepted to a top-tier law school, like Harvard or Columbia?
    Thanks for your help!

  224. Ingrid says:

    Thank you for your advice Ann!

  225. Wayne England says:

    Hi Ann,
    I’m interested in going to law school after I graduate college. I’ll start USC next year but I’m having a hard time deciding on a major that will be good on my application. Whichever major I choose I will minor in either english or philosophy to gain more writing and analytical skills which will also benefit for taking the LSAT. I want to work at a big law firm like Skadden for example I’m planning on maintaining at least a 3.6 GPA and getting a high LSAT score 176 or above. I want to attend Columbia law school. The majors I’m stuck on deciding between are business, accounting, political science, economics, and communication. Which major and minor combination should I choose to make my application stand out or make me a more competitive applicant for prestigious law schools?

    • Ann Levine says:

      Wayne, I love how goal oriented you are! Here’s some good news – In each of the past two years, I’ve had clients at USC who got into (and chose to attend) Columbia Law School. One was a political science major and the other was in the school of business/accounting. Communication would be my least favorite pick of the bunch – not known for being especially challenging or attracting those who are especially bright (and before I get called out for this, I was a communication major in college back in the day, but I double majored in history). Good luck, and keep reading the blog/books over the next few years. I love gaining readers who stick with me!

  226. Wayne England says:

    Thank you so much Ann. It looks like political science it is and I will keep reading your books and blogs.

  227. Keneka says:

    Hello Anne,

    My name is Keneka and I will be entering my Junior year this fall at SUNY Binghamton Upstate New York. I have always wanted to be a lawyer and go to law school, but I don’t think my grade are even worth applying. My first semester GPA was a 3.1, then in spring it fell to a 2.1 because I was going through some things at home and had to go home very often. Through my entire sophomore year i’ve tried to bring my GPA back up and so far its at a 2.5. I am currently taking 2 summer classes to at least bring my GPA to a 2.9 by this fall. Considering that I am already a junior do you think its to late to pick up my GPA for when I apply to law schools? Also, I start taking Kaplan LSAT courses spring of 2013, to take the LSAT August 2013. I am very involved within my campus, in terms of student groups and volunteering. My goal is to get into the University of Pennsylvania Law School, NYU and Boston University school of law.
    On a side note I am a double Major in English, with a concentration in creative writing and history. My GPA’s for both Majors are a 3.7 and 3.0.

    • Ann Levine says:

      Hi Keneka,
      You still have two more years to bring your grades up so don’t give up on your dreams. You’ve already chosen the Kaplan program a year in advance? Make sure it’s the best one for you before you commit. There are so many great options now. Keep up those major grades and continue reading the blog for inspiration!

  228. Maggie says:

    Hi Ann,
    I’m about to be a junior, and while my GPA isn’t amazing, it’s above average, and I intend to bring it up quite a bit. I’ve thought of doing my basics at UT Austin, and intend to go into Criminal Justice. I’ve been looking into many websites and colleges, but I’d simply like some advice on how to get into a distinguished law school such as Baylor. I’m positive my grades will be more than acceptable by then but, I’m a little confused by the majors. I want the best for my future but my passion lies in music. However I didn’t know that it could be tied to law someway. That is, if I read the blog above correctly.
    Thank you so much for all the heldful information

    • Ann Levine says:

      Maggie,
      If your passion is music, why would you apply to law school? In The Law School Decision Game I talk about people who really want to be screenwriters or musicians but become entertainment law attorneys, and how unhappy they are on the whole. Criminal justice doesn’t sound like the right major – it’s not thought of as being particularly rigorous, and also it doesn’t sound like your passion. That’s not a good mix. Explore what you love and do well in it, and do your research about whether law school is right for you before you start choosing a major just to go to law school.

  229. Wayne England says:

    Which major would help me more in the long run with practicing corporate law. Finance, Accounting, or Economics? I already know neither has much writing or analytical thinking but that’s why I’m planning on minoring in philosophy

  230. Edward Bryant says:

    Ann,

    I am currently entering my third year at Buffalo State College this fall. I am majoring in Physics with a 3.84 gpa. I am involved in a couple of organizations and I have about 100 hours of community service. I am worried that the school I am attending now will not be regarded by law schools as “prestigious”. Will this affect me much in the application process? My dream is to attend Fordham Law. I have yet to take the LSAT and I am a URM.

  231. Misty says:

    Ann,

    I am currently entering sophomore year I am majoring in Psy, but I’m thinking of majoring in Criminal Justice however I’m not sure I was told to major in Psy cause of my interested in some sort of Family law. I had a horrible year I obtain a D on my psy class so I’m doing summer seccion but my grade are not good with low Gpa of 2.5 do you believe this would effect me for law school?

    • Ann Levine says:

      Misty, The good news is that you have plenty of time to bring up your grades. No matter what your major you need to concentrate on learning to be a good student.

  232. Abby says:

    Hi Ann,
    I will be a senior in high school this fall and I have a few questions, even though I am still pretty young!

    People tell me that I am early and that there is nothing I can really do, but I know my career path and what I want to do, so it seems silly not to start today!

    I am about 95% sure that I will be attending the University of Kentucky in the fall of 2013. It is not a highly selective school, however, after visiting at least seven schools, I know that it is the school for me.

    So, I have a few questions:

    1. I was wondering what advice you have as far as what I can do now to prepare for law school in general.

    2. I am pretty sure that I want to practice family law, so does this make a difference as far as ways to prepare?

    3. I am having a lot of trouble picking a major. From reading your blog, I have gathered that it is important for LS to know that I was focused on law from the beginning. I want to pick majors that I am interested in, but still show the LS that I have wanted law the whole time, however, I want to be a competitive candidate. I was considering the following majors/minors in various combinations: Psychology, English, Criminal Justice (though I heard that this is not highly respected), History, Political Science, philosophy, sociology. I know I should pick what I am interested in, but all of these interest me.

    4. I know it is best to do well in the hardest major, but how do you feel about Double Major vs. Focusing on one thing vs. Major and minor.

    Thank you so much!
    I can’t wait to read your books!

    Abby

    • Ann Levine says:

      Hi Abby,
      It’s great that you’re show much interest right from the beginning. Any of the subjects that interest you is great – I see absolutely no difference in admission rates for people with double majors versus a single major and a minor. Just pick what interests you and excel. Work closely with faculty, do lots of intensive research and writing, shadow family law attorneys and judges and, most of all, use your time in college to explore your passions, to grow, to become a leader.

  233. Ernesto says:

    Hello Ann,

    I am so glad that I saw this blog. I am having a difficult time on choosing what to do. I just completed my first year at UCLA as a pre-Business Economics major and my GPA is currently a 2.7, which I am not very proud of. I had a difficult time adjusting to college and the reason for my low GPA are because of accounting courses and some economics courses. I have always had an interest to attend law school and I was planning to double major in Business Economics and Political Science. I have decided to leave Business Economics behind since I am not excelling in the courses and stick with Political Science, a major that I am most definitely passionate about. I am also considering to pick up a Public Policy minor. My question is that since I want to go to a good law school (some that I’m considering are UCLA, USC, Columbia, NYU, Berkeley, etc) I really want to stand out. I am going to try really hard to bring my GPA up during my second year at UCLA. I was thinking of picking up a double major in Chicano/a Studies, but I don’t know if this would be a good combination. Please advise me on whether or not I should do this or consider other majors to complement my Political Science major and minor. I realize that many students choose Political Science, but I really want to stand out. Law school is my dream and sometimes I just feel like its such a hard goal to reach. I am looking forward to your response. Thank you.

  234. Danny says:

    Hello Ann,

    I am so glad that I saw this blog. I am having a difficult time on choosing what to do. I just completed my first year at UCLA as a pre-Business Economics major and my GPA is currently a 2.7, which I am not very proud of. I had a difficult time adjusting to college and the reason for my low GPA are because of accounting courses and some economics courses. I have always had an interest to attend law school and I was planning to double major in Business Economics and Political Science. I have decided to leave Business Economics behind since I am not excelling in the courses and stick with Political Science, a major that I am most definitely passionate about. I am also considering to pick up a Public Policy minor. My question is that since I want to go to a good law school (some that I’m considering are UCLA, USC, Columbia, NYU, Berkeley, etc) I really want to stand out. I am going to try really hard to bring my GPA up during my second year at UCLA. I was thinking of picking up a double major in Chicano/a Studies, but I don’t know if this would be a good combination. Please advise me on whether or not I should do this or consider other majors to complement my Political Science major and minor. I realize that many students choose Political Science, but I really want to stand out. Law school is my dream and sometimes I just feel like its such a hard goal to reach. I am looking forward to your response. Thank you.

    • Ann Levine says:

      Hi Danny,
      I don’t get a chance to answer blog comments every day – I try to do it twice a week. I get so many that it’s hard to keep up sometimes but I really try to answer everyone individually.
      I think the double major sounds really interesting, actually. It’s all about turning things around with those grades and doing things that interest you. Hang tight!

  235. Danny says:

    I don’t know if you received my comment, but next to the date posted it says my comment is awaiting moderation.

  236. Phil says:

    Hey Ann,

    As a rising senior in High School, I can’t tell you what my college GPA is or what I’m currently majoring in. I will say that I’m seriously considering being a lawyer, even at this point. I took a pre-law class my junior year in High-School and completely fell in love with the logic and the debate and the power of laws.

    My question for you has probably already been answered: I have aspirations for medical school as well, and probably won’t be sure which I want more until late(r) in college; is there a way to find a middle path to buy my mind some time before deciding, at least in terms of majors?

    Thanks!!

  237. Iliana says:

    Hi,
    I recently graduated with a B.A. in communication studies, do you know how that would be viewed by law schools? I graduated with an overall 3.0 gpa, but my last two years were all A’s so would they look at the overall or just the last 60 hours? I have had leadership roles in organizations during school, while having 5 years of sales experience, would that help? Also, what’s the first step to get started in applying to law school or where could I find that information?

  238. Ed says:

    Ann,

    Hello, I am a 39 year old that unfortunately decided to drop out of college in my junior year about 16 or so years ago, then 2 years ago I decided to go back and chose an online program at University of Phoenix. Although I still question that decision, I was so focused on returning that I fell for the overwhelming amount of marketing and information and subsequently graduated with honors and a 3.95 GPA with a BS in Management. My total UG GPA is 3.0 and now I am working on my MBA at University of Scranton currently with a cumalative 3.47 GPA and will graduate in 2013. My resume is good as I have only worked with 2 organizations since high school, first U-haul with low and middle management positions 12 years and Sysco 9 years now as a Senior Marketing Assocaite with many corporate awards. My LSAT was unimpressive at 145, will I be considered a good candidate or does my score overshadow the rest of my application? What are my options? Can I improve my application? Thank you!

  239. Lisa says:

    So I am about to start my sophomore year in petroleum engineering, and realizing it is not for me. I have a 3.1 GPA and am surprised to find I do better in my non math and science courses. Complete opposite from high school. I was wondering what you would suggest major wise if I want to make a switch towards the liberal arts side? Is it best to switch to a “typical” pre-law major such as criminal justice or political science? I have been practicing LSAT problems recently and get about 95% right. I feel law school just might be the right way to go. I am just completely lost as to what to major in! I don’t want to stick with the science curriculum because it has already killed my GPA, but I don’t want to have to take a fifth year to get a BS because I wasted a year in science. Any ideas!? Thanks!

  240. RS says:

    Hi Anne,

    You’re blog has truly saved me from sleepless nights. I just finished my freshman year at the University of Pennsylvania Engineering, majoring in biomedical engineering. I am having absolute nightmares about whether I should or should not continue with engineering…my cumulative GPA right now is a 2.69. I have to say, my second semester was quite rough. I definitely overloaded myself with 6 classes, all of which were some of the most difficult a freshman can take. First semester I had a 3.02 GPA and second semester was a 2.3. Pretty much everyone who knows me well has been telling me that I am better suited for law than engineering… and after much self-searching I’ve decided to aim for law school. However, I don’t know whether I should switch out of engineering now into a major like PPE (Politics, Philosophy, and Economics) or whether I should stick with engineering. I think, if I take a lower workload next semester, I should be able to pull my GPA up at least then. I am nervous about switching out of engineering because first year is basically just natural sciences and math, and I feel that I haven’t taken any real engineering classes yet. I also think learning the problem solving skills of engineering will help me with law. I want to go to a law school like Univ. of Penn. Do you think it makes sense for me to continue with an engineering major, given that my ultimate goal is law?

  241. This site is extremely informative. I learned a lot here, appreciate it

  242. Ramin says:

    Hi Ann,

    First, I’d like to thank you for taking your time and answering our questions. This blog is awesome!

    Second, I scanned all the questions and your answers and did not find a question/answer that would answer my question. And so I thought I should ask you too.

    I’m finishing up at the community college. I just graduated this spring with an AAS in Information Systems. I started an AA in Mathematics this summer and will graduate at the end of next summer. So far, my GPA is 4.0.

    In the past, I honorably served 8 years in the Air Force.

    I’m fluent in English and Russian.

    I’m 35 years old now.

    My ultimate goal is JD/MBA from Harvard or Stanford (or an equivalent).

    To get there, I’m thinking about a BA with a major in Philosophy and a minor in either Music or English when I transfer to a 4-year college.

    Obviously, I have an option of getting a BS in either Electrical or Computer Engineering since I am very strong in math, but I’m afraid I will not be as well-rounded and well-prepared for graduate school as I would be after BA in Philosophy.

    Could you please tell me what you think of my plan overall? Could you also tell me what you think about minors in Music and English combined with a Philosophy major?

    Thank you very much!

    • Ann Levine says:

      Hi Ramin,
      I think engineering backgrounds are very well respected by law schools if you do well in your field. Keep up those perfect grades and attend a four year college with a good reputation.

  243. Noel Castillo says:

    Hi Ann,

    My goal is to run a successful corporation (mostly entertainment based). I finished high school with a 4.0 and earned an AA in Humanities with a 3.3 GPA. I attended Musician’s Institute in Hollywood, CA for a 1 year certificate program in keyboard performance. Towards the end I dropped out to go on tour with my band. I eventually branched out and started doing my own thing as a solo recording artist.

    Once I decided to take measures into my own hands everything changed. Throughout my experience with studio sessions and shows I began to carefully build a strong and loyal team of recording engineers, producers, recording artists and business partners. I connected with the entertainment industry fairly quickly and eventually learned how to organize my own shows for famous and local acts as a promoter.

    I never thought that studying law would ever cross my mind but I love the idea of completely understanding my business. It seemed like entertainment law was right around the corner for me since I enjoy dealing with contracts for my team but I feel like my future corporation will eventually engage in non-music related business affairs. With this is mind, I am now considering corporate law.

    Unfortunately, I have no idea what I should major in before law school. I want to really catch their eye. My interests are music composition, writing lyrics, philosophy, business management, and quantum physics. What do you think I should do? I’m really confused.

    Thank you for your time!

    • Ann Levine says:

      Hi Noel,
      It sounds like you need to go back and get your BA. I suggest you take lots of classes that demonstrate writing ability, research, etc. Philosophy and business management both sound like good choices.

  244. Ok, Thank you for the feedback.

  245. Lukas Savitz says:

    Hello Ann,

    I’ve been serving in the Air Force for the last 9 years. I have been in and out of school for multiple reasons and have yet to finish my BA. Also, I’ve gone to multiple universities and changed my major every time I change schools. It’s been a trying couple of years.

    I have wanted to go to law school since I was in high school. GPA has never been an issue. I believe that, between all of my 100+ credits in various subjects, I have maintained ~3.4 GPA. I’m just really curious about a couple of things.

    A) I have the ability to get out in 2 years and I will be 30 years old when I apply to law school. Will my 11 years in the military be looked at positively and as an excuse for the time completing my degree? Will my age be looked at negatively?

    B) I can easily complete either a mathematics, computer science, or psychology degree in that time. I love math and I seem to have an aptitude for both that and psychology. Which of these do you feel would be the most well regarded?

    Thank you for any information you can provide.

    • Ann Levine says:

      Lukas,
      1. 11 years in the military is a great thing. Your age will not hurt you, especially if you make a good case for why this makes sense for you at this point in your life.
      2. I love the idea of math!!! Choose math! You will do well, obtain valuable problem solving skills, and sound like a really smart guy! I worry that my computer science people have to make a case for why they aren’t continuing in the IT field, and psychology majors are sort of a dime a dozen….. (sorry to all of my IT and psych people, but here’s a guy asking me BEFORe he’s made the choice…..)

  246. April says:

    Hi Ann,

    I have been working in the banking industry for 7 years and my position involves the processing of Legal Attachments. This requires me to interpret different state laws and legal documents on a daily basis. This has sparked my interest in the law field. It wasn’t until one of the attorneys at my job asked me if I have ever considered going to Law School. I have just completed my AA in Liberal Arts and am struggling to decide on a major for my Bachelor’s Degree. I am deciding between Paralegal Studies or Latin American Studies. I was looking for a Legal Studies program, but I can’t see to find one in any of the schools in my area. I’ve thought about Spanish or a Business Degree as well. I want to pick something that will help me get into Law School and peaks my interest, but I also want to make sure I pick something that I can use if I don’t get into Law School. I’m 29 years old so I feel that I shouldn’t be frivolous with what I choose? I thought the Paralegal Studies would be a good stepping stone for Law School but someone told me that it wouldn’t be a good idea. I would really appreciate your thoughts on this.

    Thank you in advance for any information you can provide.

    • Ann Levine says:

      April, I would pick Latin American Studies, Spanish or Business. They are more rigorous and they more closely represent the kind of writing and thinking that will prepare you for law school.

  247. Tayler says:

    Hi Ann,

    I am an incoming freshman at a pretty selective university. Academically, my down fall tends to be math but I plan on getting a tutor this fall. My ultimate goal is to graduate with nothing below a 3.5 and be admitted with a LSAT score above a 155. I plan on majoring in International Studies (and maybe History) with a minor in Spanish, Political Science, or Psychology.

    As I prepare to make my class schedule for this fall what are some subject areas that could make me stand out to law school admissions? Do you have any advice for what I should study, I have time to change my mind?

    Thank you, I really appreciate your advice!

    • Ann Levine says:

      Tayler, I love how proactive you are, and I also love that you’ll be reading the blog for years to come.
      You need to take this time to explore everything that interests you. Take classes that you are sincerely excited by and make friends with your professors, and try to take multiple classes with many professors. The subject matter is unimportant so long as you are challenging yourself, writing, speaking, researching – learning and growing.

  248. Kevin says:

    Hello -

    I am a freshman at a Big Ten university. I am interested in law school and plan (at this time) to work towards a bachelor degree in chemistry. By taking the BA route I can take classes that would offer more diversity but would be a bit easier academically. By taking the BS route I would be a bit more specialized but grades may end up a bit lower. Any suggestions?

    Kevin

    • Ann Levine says:

      Kevin, We need talented people in the sciences. I never like to discourage anyone from taking that route, even if they do end up going to law school. Do well in chemistry, if that’s what really interests you. A lower GPA in Chemistry is a lot more interesting to law schools than a great GPA in Political Science.

  249. Joe says:

    Hello Ann,

    I am starting my last semester of Undergrad and have a question. I am graduating this fall with a BS in Economics from UM( Ann Arbor) with most likely 3.2 if I end up taking the 2 difficult and time consuming classes I need to end up with a Minor in Biology. I am also currently studying for the LSAT and getting in the low 160s- high 150s in the early practice stages so I was wondering if it would be wise to devote more of my time to study for the LSAT and forgo the minor in Biology and take two business related classes instead to fill up my schedule. Do you think this would increase my chances of getting into a top 50 school? Let me know if you think it would be wise to do this or keep the Minor and take the difficult classes. Thank you very much, I would really appreciate your input!

    • Joe says:

      Hi Ann,

      I forgot to mention that the business classes should be fairly less difficult then the biology classes and was also wondering if experience in those classes( marketing and leadership) might look a little better on a resume then the minor in Biology? Thank you for the help.

    • Ann Levine says:

      Joe, You don’t need the minor in biology. Take the time to study for the LSAT.
      Since you’re applying this fall, your current grades won’t be part of the initial consideration of your law school application (although schools will see them eventually and you don’t want your grades to tank, especially if you end up applying next year in stead).

  250. Jonathan says:

    I’m an electrical engineering major who is considering law school for potential post BS schooling.

    1) From your response, they do take into account your major when evaluating. My overall GPA is ~3.3 (looking to raise it up more in this last year) and my engineering GPA specifically is a 3.5 (didn’t take classes seriously until I started taking only engineering classes). A lot of people are in the 3.8 region when they apply but are in an academically easier major- do you think I am in a bad position when speaking about the top tier schools? They seem to be very concerned with appearances of a high average GPA, regardless of major.

    2) I also have higher-GPA semesters the semesters I take a heavier course load (I need a big course load to feel enough of a challenge to stay on top of things, otherwise I get complacent, lol) and my heaviest loads have been the last few semesters with only my engineering classes (taking 6 classes a semester). Would they take this into consideration?

    3) I have engineering internships- 2 from last summer and this summer. Does that help or is it irrelevant since it has nothing to do with law?

    4) Would it be appropriate to message law-school admission advisors from schools asking question such as these and asking what they think and consider when evaluating potential candidates?

    5) What do you feel should be my target as a minimum score on the LSAT?

    I’m just trying to get a feel for what kind of mountain I have to climb to get myself in position to be accepted to a tier 1 school. From everything I’ve read, it is worthless with how saturated the market is with law degrees right now to really go anywhere but a top tier school unless you have an in or are at the top of your class.

    Thanks!

    • Ann Levine says:

      Jonathan,
      The difficulty of your major is taken into account, absolutely. But remember that at the very top law schools, they get plenty of people with science based majors who also have high GPAs. It doesn’t mean you won’t be in the running, but it might explain why you feel top law schools care only about the appearance of a high GPA.
      Taking large course loads might be something you point out to the law schools – but if your grades are consistent throughout your education, this probably isn’t necessary.
      Everything you do (internships, etc.) helps. Law schools don’t only want people who filed papers at law firms. But you’ll want to make a case for why law school is the right next step for you.
      Don’t send generic messages like that to admission offices. They will point you to generic info on their websites. Not meaningful.
      There is no “minimum” score or “target” score because it depends on your own abilities to perform well on the LSAT. Look at the schools you hope to go to and look at the 25th – 75th percentile LSAT scores and that will give you an indication of the range that would be ideal.

  251. Nolan says:

    I will be graduating with a BBA with a major in Information Systems and hopefully a 3.9 GPA. Technology is challenging the courts in many ways. What are your thoughts? Am I a candidate for law school given my degree?

    • Ann Levine says:

      Nolan, assuming you attend a reputable school and you make a good case for why law school makes sense for you, the degree shouldn’t hold you back because your grades are fabulous.

  252. Sara says:

    First of all, how does my undergrad school of choice affect my chances of being admitted into law school (public or private)? Second, I’m considering majoring in anthropology. Is this a bad idea in the hopes of continuing onto practing law? And will having a minor give me a leg up in admissions?

    • Ann Levine says:

      Sara, the quality of your undergraduate school does matter, and doing well in a rigorous academic environment is respected. Anthropology is a perfectly fine major for applying to law school. It makes no difference if you double major or minor. Just get the best grades you can at a good school and show you can compete in a challenging field.

  253. Melissa R. says:

    Hi Ann. I’m attending law school in Brazil, which is an undergraduate program. I am seriously interested in attending law school in the US after I finish my degree here. My GPA is currently 3.72, I intern at a law firm and intend on having some of my papers published before I graduate. Do you think there would be a chance of being admitted into a US law school if my degree is from another country?
    Thanks for your attention and expertise.

  254. Amy Gregory says:

    Hi!

    I am an Economics major and a Criminal Justice major. Along with that, I will have minors in Political Science, Philosophy, Business Administration, History, and Communications. Not only that, but I am heavily involved in organizations on campus at a private college. My GPA is only a 3.0, but I am only a sophomore and came in with a GPA of 2.6. So, I have brought it up, and hope to continue to. Furthermore, my college has a credited internship program with The Washington Center in D.C, which I hope to attend one summer. So, excluding the fact that I have yet to take my LSAT’s because I’m only a sophomore, what would be my chances of getting into a good law school? Also, I plan on taking my LSAT’s fall 2013. That way, I could either re-take them, if needed, or know my score early enough to send in an early application. Is that a good idea, or should I wait?

    Thanks!

    • Ann Levine says:

      Amy, you are obviously a go-getter. I just want to make sure you are spending your time and energy in the right direction. If you aren’t starting law school until Fall 2015, then wait until 2014 to take the LSAT (if you want to do it really early, you can do February 2014). There are a lot of reasons for this, #1 being that you need to concentrate on bringing up your grades rather dramatically; and #2 that your LSAT score may only count for some schools for 3 years so you don’t give yourself much of a window in the event you take some gap time.

      • Amy Gregory says:

        Hi! Thank you for your response. I apologize for taking a while to get back to you! Furthermore, I have made above a 3.0 each semester I have been there. So, it only slowly increases(it is easy to bring it down, and SO, SO hard to bring it back up). I should be able to graduate with at least a 3.5. I am just really stuck between what I want to do. It is either government work or a lawyer. I’m just concerned about giving my time and money to the LSAT and not getting into the college that I want to get into. So, I believe what I am asking now is if all of my fields of study and my MANY extracurricular activities have that much of a positive impact on my acceptance?

        • Ann Levine says:

          Amy, you will never know what goals you can achieve until you try. If you think you might be perfectly happy doing government work, then do it! You can go to law school later, perhaps. But until you start preparing for the LSAT, you won’t know what law school you might be able to attend. And yes, your upward trend in your grades and your extracurricular activities DO matter to law schools!

  255. Mark T. says:

    Anne,

    I am at a decision point for choosing between two majors. I recently changed from being a Biochem major to english and econ. Because I spent 2 years as a biochem major, I have a more limited timeframe for graduation. Ideally, I’d like to stick with 2 majors (both english lit and econ). Due to time, it’s not looking like I’ll be able to do so. Which of the two do you think would be best for prepping for law school? English is my forte, and it would allow me to take a few other classes that I would enjoy (formal logic, some constitutional law classes).

    • Mark T. says:

      Also, I have a second related, question. Since I was a biochemistry major before, but changed, my GPA is more in line with that of a science major. However, I have been and will continue to get straight A’s in my English classes and other classes; will law school admissions councils take into account my changed major and GPA’s?

    • Ann Levine says:

      Hi Mark,
      It sounds like English would be a fine choice for you – absolutely. And doing some writing would be a good counterbalance to your science classes.

      • Mark T. says:

        Thank you very much! Final question: I am considering retaking an organic chemistry class to get a higher grade in it. However, I have changed my major and taking the class will create difficulties in my schedule. How bad will a bad grade (D) in one class (I did fine almost all my other science classes-mostly B’s) look on my transcript to a Law school admissions council if they see that I’ve changed majors and have done well in what I changed to?

  256. Ann Levine says:

    Mark, LSAC won’t use the retake grade, only the original, so it won’t really help your overall GPA to retake it.

  257. Mark T. says:

    How does taking different classes play into LSAC decisions? They want a well-rounded mix, right?

    • Mark T. says:

      Sorry, I mean classes outside your major (last question, I promise! Thank you SO much for your help; your book has been an invaluable resource thus far)

  258. tonia says:

    Hi Ann! I’m an economics w/ empirical analysis. I’ll be graduating with a 3.1-3.2, but a year late. I have decent references (two teachers and one alumni). I have a lot of dropped courses, but over the last two years I haven’t had any, and my GPA went up from a 2.8. I haven’t taken the LSAT yet, but I’m sure I’ll do well, probably around a 156-160. The school I want to get into only takes 300 people from 1500 applicants. The median GPA is 3.34 and LSAT is 156. So what I’m asking is, even though my GPA isn’t up to par and I’m graduating a year late with a lot of dropped classes, do I have any shot at getting in with a difficult degree and a high LSAT???

  259. Abigail says:

    Hi Ann!
    I just came across your blog and it is extremely helpful. Thanks for that! I’m a freshman in the honors college at Arizona State University and I’ve already made up my mind that law school is the place for me. I’m very advanced- technically a year ahead due to past credit. I have a decent GPA of 3.8. I’m looking at an accelerated program to get my BS and MS in Criminology/Criminal Justice in only 4 years. My questions are: Is CCJ the right path to go? Is the accelerated program worth it? Will a MS help my chances in getting into law school? I’m hoping to go to a really well known law school, like Yale or Stanford. Does it matter that ASU isn’t particularly prestigious?
    Thanks again for your insight!

    • Ann Levine says:

      Hi Abigail, I’m so glad the blog is helpful – I hope you’ll be reading for years to come!
      You don’t need the MS in CJ, no. Just get great grades doing what you’re doing, and do lots of writing and research and choose really intellectually stimulating opportunities.

  260. Marlene says:

    Hey Ann!

    I was majoring in economics but I got a little sick of it because it is very math oriented at UCLA…

    I was minoring IN political science and I am now majoring in political science.

    I will most likely keep my 3.77 by the end of next year, which is when i plan to apply to law school.

    my question is… how can i explain my change in major?

    I took some hard math engineering courses and i would like to know idf that could help me in any way.

    I like political science so i might be able to pull off a 3.8+ by winter of next year ( i understand they ask me for my grades after i applied)

    and I just wanted to know if there were any suggestions on your part about what I should do to make myself shine in the app.

    Im worried as coming across as weak because my math courses from economics did not allow me to keep a 4.0

    • Ann Levine says:

      Marlene,
      You don’t have to explain this at all.
      Your GPA is great – there won’t be concerns about this.
      Really.
      The fact that you took tough courses and still did well is better than having a 4.0.

  261. Kishan says:

    Hey Ann,
    Im an 11th grade student in highschool, planning to apply to either Georgia Tech, University of Florida, or UNC Chapel Hill. I have a 3.6 unweighted and a 4.4 weighted, which will hopefully be brought up to a 3.75 and a 4.6 respectively by the end of the year. Im taking my SATs this week and will score hopefully around the 2200s. I also go to a public school that is ranked #8 in the nation (#4 last year). However in comparison to my class i am ranked barely in the top 20%. I know you are majorly focused on advising students applying to law school, but i am strongly considering law school and was hoping that you could help advise me at an earlier stage. I know i can get into UF for undergrad with a scholarship that will cover almost all expenses (as my brother had the same grades and is doing the same), but i was wondering if colleges are largely concerned with what school you go to. Seeing that i want to do engineering so that i can study patent law, georgia tech is a much better school, but since it is out of state it will also be more expensive, along with the fact that i most likely wont get a large scholarship. Also, while taking calc i am starting to second guess my choice at engineering, as i am sure much of it is related to calc. I have been a math wiz in all my previous classes but calc is starting to trip me up, but just in relation (I can still probably get an A in the class) I have also recently considered political science as it seems interesting to me and this website (http://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/political-scientists.htm) puts its median salary at 107,420. But everywhere else i looked it doesnt seem promising. It seems to parallel law school in the way that if you arent at a top school, you wont do well. Sorry this is so long, but last question… Electric engineering or Mechanical engineering? (obviously in respect to patent law)

    Thank you for all you help!

    • Ann Levine says:

      Kishan,
      I congratulate you on thinking about things early.
      In terms of choosing a school, I think you should apply to both and see what you are offered and then decide whether to go for the cheaper option or the seemingly more prestigious one.
      Also, I can’t really help regarding which kind of engineering will best prepare you for patent law. I suggest you reach out to people who do patent law and inquire. But since you have lots of time to make these decisions, I suggest you go with what really interests you. Things tend to follow from there.
      I hope you’ll be reading this blog for years to come.

  262. Randy says:

    Hello Ann. Currently, I am a college sophomore graduating with an Associate of Arts degree this month and transferring to University of North Florida as a junior in January 2013. I began my college studies as a full time student in January 2010, along with full time employment, which was challenging. I intended that my chosen career calling was in healthcare since I have done volunteer work in hospitals, later realizing that healthcare was not the profession for me. Instead, I have found myself to be more of a skilled writer, critical thinker and excellent speaker.

    During the past 3 years, I made many high grades, along with a few low grades due to my schedule and personal hardship/family problems, resulting in my GPA of 2.6. I am currently in the process of completing my final course of Public Speaking, which I have an A+. Beginning January 2013, I start university classes in my major of Psychology as a junior. My job schedule has changed positively, giving me more time to concentrate on my work. I intend to make A’s from this point out to raise my GPA as I am fully aware that a high GPA is a plus for law school, along with studying the LSAT preparation material that I have so that I can make a high score of 170+ before applying to law school.

    A career in law is what I want and I do not plan on giving up or quitting anytime soon. What advice can you give to someone in my situation?

    • Ann Levine says:

      Hi Randy,
      I’m glad your schedule will allow you to focus on school now that you are at a 4-year university. It’s not necessary for you to have a 170 to get into law school (although, hey, that would be awesome!). Concentrate on getting the best grades you can in the next year – that should be your first priority. Get to know professors too, and set yourself up for stellar academic letters of rec.

  263. Miguel says:

    Hello Ann,

    I am interested in being accepted into a MBA/JD program. Unfortunately, I am not sure what my chances are. I am 22 years old and my GPA is only a 3.2. I am not very happy w/ my GPA and I have to admit being a first generation college student I felt lost and confused my first years of college. At one point I was about to drop out of college because of academic warnings for having a 2.0 GPA. Through the encouragements of a professor, I continued though. The last year and a half I have been averaging a 3.8 GPA. I have also served as Vice-President of Administration in Alpha Kappa Psi Business Fraternity and Treasurer at the Entrepreneur Organization on campus.

    In addition, I co-founded a start-up company and attracted venture capital investors to invest in it. I currently serve as President of the company while attending classes in the day. I also met an attorney in my city and she has helped me write a provisional patent for an invention of our company and our next step will be to write a non-provisional patent. Alongside this, I started a small non-profit organization that collects and donates books and toys to little children.

    This winter I will start researching with a reputable professor from my college. I am trying to gain as much academic experience as possible to increase my chances of being accepted to a good MBA/JD program.

    What are your suggestions? Would my low GPA affect my chances of being accepted?

    Thank you

    • Ann Levine says:

      Miguel,
      FIrst, I love the upward trend in your GPA. Schools will appreciate that effort, and your research with a professor. They will also appreciate your work experience and non-profit efforts. (I don’t think I’d let on that you plan to work while a full time law student, though….)
      If your LSAT comes back in range, and everything is presented very well in your application, you will be a great candidate.

  264. Robert says:

    Hi Ann,
    My daughter is an undergraduate at a small private school. She has always had a goal of becoming an attorney. She decided on a major in communication, but is currently undecided on a minor. She is currently taking a theology course and really enjoys the class. Her professor is encouraging her to minor in theology. Her concern is that although she likes the curriculum, she wants to take something that will help her get into a good law school and further her career. What is your opinion about a minor in theology for a future in law?

    Thank you

    • Ann Levine says:

      Robert, There’s nothing wrong with theology! It is a thinking, writing, and research based area of study and would absolutely be valued by law schools.

  265. Robert says:

    Thanks Ann! That is very helpful. Happy Holidays. :)

  266. Anne says:

    Hi Ann,

    I am currently studying journalism and psychology, and would essentially love to become a journalist (primarily a writer). I will soon begin the internship process, but I was also considering law school after I finish my undergrad degree. I know that law school is for those who want to be specifically become lawyers, but by going to a law school will I be more distinguishable as a journalist?

    Thanks!

  267. Dana says:

    I transferred schools twice and had to take care of a family member so I had hard time in school. It took my two additional years to graduate. my overall gpa is 2.8. my lsat score is 168. Do you have a chance of getting into a school ?

  268. Mark T. says:

    I have a quick question: I changed majors from Biochemistry to English literature; I had a decent GPA for a science major during that time (roughly a 3.3-3.4), but now that I am no longer in the sciences, I am trying to bring that up. I have gotten all A’s for 2.5 semesters (4.0 within my new major), but my GPA was only raised to a 3.65 or so. How do law school admissions councils look on that sort of performance? I know that I was able to demonstrate improvement and excellence in my new area, but I am worried that my final GPA will not be enough. What do you think?

  269. Kay says:

    Hi Ann,

    I am currently a freshman in undergraduate. I have been drawn to law since I was young, but since the recession hit I started to consider other fields. Now that I am in college, I can’t help but start to think about law and law school again. However, every time I do research I find depressing information that the law field is saturated and that law school students will rack up tons of debt and not be able to find jobs in firms after graduation. This kind of scares me! How true is this perspective? Is the outlook for aspiring lawyers any good? Finally, do you think going to a certain law school will have a tremendous impact on the fate of one’s career?

    Thank you,
    Kay

  270. Jordan says:

    Ann-
    I am currently a Sophomore at Ole Miss. I am sitting around a 3.0 as a Forensic Chemistry major. I have taken a few Poly Sci courses and have enjoyed/excelled in them. I am pretty involved on campus, and am also Greek. I have definitive plans to change my major. However, I am at a toss up between going with Political Science or Legal Studies for my degree plan. I am sure by the lighter course load, by GPA would improve. However, my question to you is, what degree would offer more? I plan on getting Masters in Diplomacy and International Relations on top of -a JD. I am assuming Poly Sci should be my degree of choice, but I am worried as to
    How much weight a higher GPA would carry in terms of attending a more prestigious law? In addition, I have already purchased a few LSAT/ GRE books and am doing copious amounts of independent research as to what I should be doing. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks!

    • Ann Levine says:

      Hi Jordan,
      You should be able to get a high GPA in either major if you can pull off a 3.0 in Chemistry. It’s too early to worry about the LSAT but for now do significant writing and research and get the best grades you can if law school is in your future.

  271. Caroline says:

    Hi Ann,

    I, too, am a splitter, which is making it very difficult for me to decide what tier(s) of law schools to be looking at. Here’s my situation: I graduated from Mount Holyoke College this past May with a major in astronomy and a double minor in physics and French. My GPA was 2.7, and it took me an extra year to graduate because I took time off to battle the depression that at least in part contributed to my low GPA. HOWEVER, in taking LSAT practice tests with minimal studying, I’ve been scoring 160-172. With a discrepancy like that, what kind of tier am I looking at?

    P.S. I’m looking at IP/patent law, and am currently working part-time in sales.

    • Ann Levine says:

      Hi Caroline,
      I love your areas of study and your undergrad school – that’s great stuff. I think you need your LSAT score range to narrow a bit with more preparation but you will do very well if you can keep this up.

  272. crposton says:

    Ann,

    I am interested in law school and I graduate in May 2013. I was not very serious about school when I was younger andmy grades show it. After leaving the Navy I went back to college. I started with a 1.78 GPA but now have a 2.96 after4 semesters. My GPA at my current school is a 3.67. If I can score in the 160′s on the LSAT what do you think my chances would be to get into Vanderbilt? My major is Economics with a Psychology minor.

    • Ann Levine says:

      CRposton, I don’t count you out! This is a very common story and one that law schools appreciate! Keep up the good work and let me know how I can help. Good luck on the LSAT!

  273. Luis says:

    I am a sophomore at Rollins college and I am majoring in computer science my gpa right now is a 3.4 but these computer science classes are starting to get really tough, I already have a minor and I am debating switching majors to environmental studies(relatively short major and I would likely end up with mostly A’s) my older brother went to Harvard law school. Should I stay with computer science (a harder major) but risk a higher gpa or switch majors and have a very high gpa? I would be much happier and less stressed switching my major as well.
    Thanks,
    Luis

  274. Lisa says:

    Hi, Ann,
    I am a paralegal major at my local community college. I only have five classes left after this semester, and I have a 4.0 GPA. I will be transferring to a four year school in spring 2014, and have two questions for you. Firstly, does the school itself make a huge difference? I am hoping to get a full scholarship into a private college, based on my GPA and the fact that I am also an American Honors student and a member of Phi Theta Kappa. My other choice is a public university.
    Secondly, I am undecided on what to major in once I transfer. I am choosing between Political Science and Criminal Justice, or possibly Sociology or Psychology. I am a very strong writer and have really enjoyed my paralegal classes. Which would be he best choice for someone like me, and improve my odds of getting accepted into law school?
    Thanks in advance for your reply!

    • Ann Levine says:

      Hi Lisa,
      As long as both universities have good reputations, go where you would not need to take out loans.
      Criminal Justice isn’t really thought of as being a very rigorous major, but it also depends on what law school you are hoping to attend.

  275. Nathan says:

    Hi Ann,

    I’m an undeclared major, junior year (I know, I should just choose already!), with a 4.0. I’m not a native speaker, but I lived in a Spanish-speaking country for a few years and am fluent. I’ve been taking a bunch of Spanish and philosophy classes because I think they’re fun, so I’ll probably end up majoring in one of the two. I’ve been thinking of majoring in Spanish, and was wondering if that really helps people get into law school. The obvious thing to do would be to deal with immigration and whatnot, but do you know of any other uses? I also heard from a friend that law schools actually aren’t too into Philosophy majors, so that kind of made me nervous about getting to serious about philosophy. What are your thoughts?

    • Ann Levine says:

      Hi Nathan,
      Glad your GPA is good and majoring in Spanish is a perfectly fine choice! I don’t know who would say philosophy isn’t a good choice – my philosophy majors get into great schools and do well in law school.
      But choose what you want to do. Spanish is important in many aspects of law, including business, criminal, family law, etc.

  276. Betsy says:

    I am majoring in Environmental and Natural Resources, concentrating in Economic Policy, and minoring in Business Administration. I have extensive research experience (two publications), several internships, am very involved on campus, am Vice President of my Greek Organization, hold a part time job, and have a 3.5 gpa. I am only a junior and am starting to prepare for the LSAT. My concern is that I will not have the gpa to compete with Pre-Law and Poli Sci applicants. However, my goal is to become an Environmental Attorney (I have taken several law courses in addition to my major and minor and did very well.) Any thoughts, advice, or input? Thank you!

  277. Ricky Spence says:

    Hi Ann, I am currently a sophmore in college who wants to be a entertainment lawyer and Im having trouble deciding on an undergrad major. I want to major in legal studies but Philosophy seems to cross my mind also, So I wondering which major do you think is better to major in for best law school admission and Lsat scores? [My gpa is a 3.0]

    • Ann Levine says:

      Hi Ricky,
      Legal studies isn’t really seen as being a thinking major – of course it depends upon the caliber of schools you’re aiming for…

      • Ricky says:

        Thanks Ann:~)…
        Do you think political science would be a better major for me rather than philosophy or legal studies? I plan on attending Indiana University..

  278. Chantel says:

    I wanna become a lawyer but i know i have to get my AA or BA or BS Degree but i dont know what to aim for. So please help me.

  279. A Lorena says:

    Ann,

    I graduated high school thre years ago and since then have been working full time at an Engineering company doing accounting work with out any accounting back ground.
    Law has been my only true interest since I can remember but because English is my second language and I started high school after being here only a few months my grades were not the highest. I am currently upgrading some of the main courses and I am almost finished.
    I have now decided it is time to apply for my undergraduate degree and I am mostly considering Philosophy or Pshychology. I am aware that I have a long road ahead of me but I am truly looking forward to it.

    My only worries are the fact that I have upgraded some of my grade 12 courses and wondering if that will look bad on my application later on?

    Any advice will be greatly appreciated!

    • Ann Levine says:

      A Lorena, I don’t know what you mean by “upgrading” your high school courses. No one will see your high school record when you apply to law school.

  280. A Lorena says:

    Sorry for the confussion.
    In that case my question has been answered.

    Thank you!

  281. Joe says:

    Hi Anne,

    Thank you so much for this blog. I’d appreciate if you are able to answer a few questions.

    I used to be pre-med and now I am pre-law. A lot of people have been telling me that we are over-flooded with lawyers and lawyers are basically starving nowadays. What is your opinion on this issue?

    Also, what major, in your opinion, prepares you the most for Law School?

    Thanks so much!

    • Ann Levine says:

      Hi Joe,
      There are a lot of articles about this in the media, and you may want to check out The Law School Decision Game on Amazon – that will help you as you explore law as a career choice.
      Pre-law, philosophy, economics, business…. there are so many majors that help you hone the reading, research, writing, analytical and communication skills you will need.

  282. Karli says:

    Hello Ann!

    I come from a decently small town, and chose to attend college in my hometown due to numerous different reasons. The college that I attended it not exactly as prestigious as many other schools are (suuch as Harvard of Yale). I will be graduating very soon in May with a degree in Sociology and Political Science. I majored in these two subjects because I love them and I can relate everything I learn to my every-day life. Throughout my entire college career I have worked for the same company since I turned 16, and have recently moved up to a new position in that company. I worked almost full time, while still being a full time student on campus as well. I will graduate with about a 3.4, and am currently interning with the local District Attorney’s Office. I have not yet taken the LSAT due to my busy schedule but plan to take it once I am fully prepared this summer. I also plan to take a Paralegal program locally compliment my current Bachelor’s Degree.

    With all of that being said:
    1) Is my degree desirable for admission to law school? 2) Is obtaining my Paralegal Degree a good idea? 3) Do most Law Schools take in to consideration how much outside work you were doing during under-grad?

    • Ann Levine says:

      Hi Karli,
      It sounds like you have a lot going for you. You may learn a lot from a paralegal certificate but it’s not necessary. Law schools ABSOLUTELY consider the hours you were working during school. It counts for a lot.

  283. Meagan says:

    Ann,

    I am currently a junior at UT Dallas majoring in Biochemistry. I have a 3.7 GPA and my scores on my practice LSATs are consistently 167-168. However, I’m not involved in a lot of things on campus, but I am involved with some undergraduate research, and I had an internship at a well known chemical company last summer. I’m worried that my GPA isn’t quite as high as it should be because Physics and Calculus were hard for me. Are these going to hurt my chances of getting into a good school? Also, is a B.S. in Biochemistry sufficient for Patent Law? I was thinking that if I needed to, I could get an M.S. later after I complete law school. Lastly, would it be a good idea to study for and take the patent bar exam in those few months before I start law school in the fall of 2015?

    • Ann Levine says:

      Hi Meagan,
      I love your grades and your major – you’re doing great!
      I think you are doing beautifully and your degree is right on – you don’t need a masters. But you should talk to some patent lawyers in Dallas and ask them about the patent bar and getting your masters. You will learn a lot from informational interviews.

  284. Tony says:

    Hello Ann, I am currently a freshman in college and I want to become a Entertainment Lawyer but I am undecided about an undergrad major, would it be a good idea to major in criminal justice and to minor in political science? or to major in political science and minor in criminal justice? I’m interested in both..

  285. Jeff says:

    Hey Ann,
    I am planning on going to law school and I was just wondering what’s the best major to major in as an undergrad to help me prepare for law school? Also what’s the required gpa to get in Law school?

    • Ann Levine says:

      Hi Jeff,
      Almost anything that challenges you, helps with research and writing ability, and improves your reading comprehension will be good to study in college.
      There is no “required” GPA; just get the best grades you can!

  286. Candice says:

    Hi Ann!

    I am two months away from getting my associates degree and in the process of beginning my studies for a bachelors degree this fall 2013. However, I am trying to think of a good major and minor to pursue. The combination I am considering now is a major in Accounting and minor in Communications or a major in Business Administration and minor in Communications. My question is which would be a better choice ? I really do feel like these areas interest me. Thank you so much !

  287. Zac says:

    Hi Ann-
    I am a high school senior making my decision regarding undergrad options. Some of my acceptances include University of Georgia, Connecticut, Alabama, Indiana, Wisconsin, Florida, Miami, … I have plans of obtaining my JD from a top tier school (currently thinking UVA or Harvard) and would like to focus on environmental law and policy.
    My question is regarding the importance of the school I receive my undergrad in. I don’t want to make a decision now that won’t help me later considering I have options. I’d like to attend UM but the programs are very science orientated, I’d like to attend Alabama but am concerned about the lack of prestige, Wisconsin has a top rated program for poli sci but I’m not sure if I see myself there. Would a double major in poli sci and econ with a minor in environmental sci from the honors college at UA compete with the same from UW or UGA? Is it preferable to be in the honors college at UW or UA over regular courses at Miami? Please advise.
    Thank you very much.

    • Ann Levine says:

      Zac,
      I love that you are thinking about these questions. You’ve been admitted to great schools.
      Don’t attend any college where you don’t see yourself being comfortable. I think going to Alabama makes you incredibly diverse at the bigger schools (and their law school is now a Top 25 law school!). Miami is a great school (I went there) but it doesn’t sound like the program is what you are looking for. I want to make sure you wouldn’t be taking on debt during undergrad, and if you are, then you should consider finances in this decision!
      Wherever you choose to go, do well. You could attend Harvard Law School from any of these schools. It’s what you do with your time there (serious research! fabulous grades! writing a thesis! great internships! Leadership experiences) that will make the biggest difference.

  288. Ken says:

    Hi Ann! I’ve been reading your blog and have a few questions for you! I go to Rhodes College in Memphis, TN. I have a 3.3 in Poli Sci here (I’m a 2nd year) if I could get a 3.6 in music would that look better for law school admission if I minor in Poli Sci? I love music but don’t want to be a music teacher. I volunteer a lot and have started charities and worked a lot with special needs people. I also have a job. On practice tests I get around a 158-160 on the lsat (which I know is totally hypothetical but better then nothing?). Would I be able to get into Arizona State University Law? If so what major would be best? Thank you so much and sorry about the list! Keep up the blog!

    • Ann Levine says:

      Hi Ken,
      Why can’t you aim to get a 3.6 in Poli Sci? Would your music degree be a BFA?
      A score in the high 150s – low 160s should put you in the running at ASU, yes.

      • Ken says:

        Thank you for the reply! It would be a BA not a BFA. I’m aiming for the 3.6 in Poli Sci but just can’t seem to get above a B+ in most of the classes except a few. Thank you again!

  289. Naomi says:

    Dear Ann,

    I want to be a Human rights lawyer.
    I have two choices of BA : one is in a University of applied science in The Hague, Netherlands, studying International Law, the second is English literature and Film studies at Concordia University. Which is best?
    I want to go to NYU.
    Thank you

  290. Maya says:

    Hi Ann,
    I’m a freshman at a fairly prestigious small liberal arts school. I’m planning on double-majoring in music (as a BA, not BFA) and government (which aligns more with my career interests). My mama, who works in medical admissions says that she and her peers are impressed by super different majors, like mine, but I’m having a little bit of a crisis moment- would I be a stronger applicant if I dropped music down to a minor and double majored in Gov and American Studies, or Gov and Gender Studies? I know for sure that music is not my future career, but I really enjoy my music classes.

    Thanks!

    • Ann Levine says:

      Hi Maya,
      Here’s a great example: I have a current client with a music major combined with international affairs. He has just been admitted to several Top 14 law schools and even a top 5. He did well in both, showed how they both taught him things, aided in his development, and he sought out research opportunities with faculty. He is a fabulous candidate for law school!

  291. Matt S says:

    Hi Ann,

    I graduated in May 2012 from Rutgers University with a dual degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering, B.S. as well as Political Science, B.A. At my time at Rutgers, I was a student leader for Rutgers University Student Assembly and made some great changes to the student government. I was one of the key people to lead most of these efforts as I was on the executive board. My overall GPA is 2.7. I did have extraneous circumstances where I paid my schooling on my own and worked part time throughout my college years. In addition to that, I got into a major motor vehicle accident and sustained quite a few injuries. I overcame my injuries and graduated. Right out of campus, I was hired by a Fortune 500 consulting firm. I was fortunate enough to get my first project in Compliance domain and my client is a leading Financial institution. The project gave me great exposure to corporate law. My team consists of attorneys, investment bankers and project managers who have over 20 years of experience in the complaince domain. I am learning a lot from these individuals and see myself as a corporate attorney. I am going to take my LSATs in June, I want to know what score will I need in order for me to get admission into a top tier law school?

    • Ann Levine says:

      Matt S,
      You have some fabulous soft factors. Take a look at the school you consider “top tier” and see what the 25th and 75th percentile ranges are for that school. Your GPA will always be below the numbers they provide, so you would want to be on the high end for the LSAT to have a great shot at getting in. As long as you are in range – between the 25th and 75th percentile on LSAT – you will be seriously considered if your application materials do you justice.

  292. Daniel Gomez says:

    Hi Anne,

    I’m currently studying at Andrews University in Michigan and was wondering if I stand a shot at a top Law School with a BA in Theology and a Minor in Political Science? A History Professor recently laughed at me and told me that I don’t stand a chance at Law School and said that History would be a better fit for Law School prep. What would you say his to his counsel? Lastly, my dream is to end up in Law School by 2015 is there anything you could recommend to me to do if I do continue on my Theology/Minor in Political Science path? Thank you and look forward to your response.

    Daniel Gomez

    • Ann Levine says:

      Daniel,
      Your professor sounds like an idiot. Keep doing what you’re doing if you love it and excel in it.

  293. Sarah says:

    Hi Ann,
    I’m a freshman in college and I’m seriously considering law school. I was thinking of majoring in Creative Writing because it’s something I’m good at and enjoy. I know law schools value writing, but I’m not so sure about creative writing, as it’s more abstract and not your typical type of academic writing. Can you tell me whether or not you think it’s an appropriate major for law school? Or do you think I should major in something more concrete, like literature?

    Also, how important are internships for applying to law school?

    Thank you!

    • Ann Levine says:

      Hi Sarah,
      I’m glad you stopped by the blog. I think the most important thing for you to do right now is to pick what YOU want to study; don’t pick what you think law schools will want to see. If you love creative writing and you are learning and growing, then don’t change because you’re trying to impress a law school. As you move through college, pick experiences (internships and otherwise) that allow you to grow and explore your career options. If you end up with law, great, but if you open your mind and find yourself elsewhere then at least you won’t regret choosing a major based on wanting to go to law school. Does that make sense?
      I write a bit about this in The Law School Admission Game, second edition, which is coming out in the next few weeks. Keep an eye out for it!

  294. Racquel says:

    Ann,

    First off reading this may have been the most reassuring thing I’ve seen in awhile in regard to majors and Law School. I have one year of college left at a no name university in Florida (although I love it). Ironically your first “chunk” of text applies directly to me, Electrical Engineering degree with the overwhelming desire for IP/patent law. The one thing that has me freaking out about applications is the fact that I’m only going to have a 3.2 overall GPA and that alone makes me think I need to count out applying to anywhere I desire to go. I’ve got a year of engineering internships under my belt and my hope is that MIGHT give me a little boost in the application department, maybe?

    Currently freaking out.

    • Ann Levine says:

      Racquel,
      I’m so glad this has been helpful to you. Your 3.2 in engineering is completely respectable and solid! I don’t know what schools are in the “desire to go” category but your school choices won’t be clear until we have an LSAT score for you.

  295. Conrad says:

    Hiya Ann,
    I’m a sophomore in high school currently, and I was wondering if you could help me find the right path in my education. I unfortunately have slacked off this half of my high school life, and I’m in need of help. I love English class, and also love engineering. Which would be better to pursue? Also, if I apply myself for the next two years, will I be able to go to the “University of Washington”? ALSO, is it possible for me to complete my 4 years there, and enter the school of law that they have? My dream is to become a defense attorney… I have been told that it’s a very tough job, but it seems like such a morally rewarding job, if not also for the money… Anyways, I would love to defend the innocent and help others! I apologize if this is too much to ask, but please respond back. Please give me any advice you can as well!

    Thanks a bunch!

    • Ann Levine says:

      Hi Conrad,
      I love that you are thinking ahead. Right now, I want you to concentrate on the classes you are taking in high school and really explore your academic potential. I can’t comment on chances of getting into college (I am, after all, the Law School Expert rather than the College Expert) but I know it’s not too late for you to apply yourself and do well in your future, no matter what you choose to do!

  296. Giuseppe says:

    Hello,
    I am currently working on getting my associates degree, I do not have a great GPA, however, I understand that I will have to drastically change my study methods, and improve my GPA. I know I can do this and I am determine to do it. I am thinking of majoring in Political science, but I am now thinking about majoring in Economics, I have read many threads on the topic but still not sure about it. Do you recommend on either one of them in specific?
    Thank you very much in advance.

    • Ann Levine says:

      Giuseppe,
      Economics is the more difficult major, but if you believe you can do it and be successful in the classroom it is a great (challenging) area of study.

  297. Elizabeth says:

    Thank you for the blog! I am a junior majoring in Elementary Education (STEM emphasis) via a full Teaching Fellows Scholarship at a very reputable state university. I have a 4.0 GPA and will finish in May of 2014. I spent one semester studying abroad in Australia last year, ride on the university equestrian team, am active with a service fraternity, etc. I will have an obligation to teach for 4 years within 7 years of graduation or I can pay back the state for the scholarship on a prorated scale based upon how many years I do teach. Ultimately I want to either teach on a university level or work in the field of education law. So either way I am planning graduate school and fill like I could perhaps really fill a knish with education law and that is an area that interests me. Couple of questions – would I be disadvantaged to teach a couple of years prior to applying to law school and would it be best to move right from undergrad to graduate school? I am OK either way – I am gathering input so I can make an informed decision. I have not taken the LSATs yet but know I need to get on the ball and start making a plan! Thank you!

    • Ann Levine says:

      Elizabeth, You have great credentials for whenever you apply to law school.You have trained to teach and we need great teachers- go teach! When and if you are truly ready, law school will be there.

  298. Sam says:

    I am currently a sophomore and am majoring in CS. I would like to start law school as soon as I get out, but was wondering if I should change majors or not? If not what should I be doing to prepare for law school?

    Thanks!

  299. Britts Mom says:

    My daughter just graduated from HS a week ago (2.7 GPA- she struggled in her Freshman yr). She wants to be a Lawyer- always has. She took Latin I & II in HS, has over 150 Community Service hours, and for ALL of her Senior year (5-6 cases per month) she volunteered with the Teen Court in our county (started as a juror, clerk of court, Def. Atty, but mostly Pros. Atty- which she loved!). She is applying for an Internship for the summer with the County Courthouse (which they are pushing for her!).

    She has signed up for her Paralegal AS Degree at the local community college in the Fall (so she can work her way through, and will probably switch to get her BS in Criminal Justice, then go on to Law School. Is this the right path (college-wise) for her to take besides Paralegal & Criminal Justice? Are there specific degrees that will better help her get into Law School? ALSO, being that Law School is expensive, and she will only be 22-24 when she graduates with her BS, she has thought about joining the Military to gain experience in the Legal field and earn the GI Bill. Would this experience help her?

    • Ann Levine says:

      Britts Mom,
      This is a great question. Her high school grades won’t have any impact on her law school applications. But neither will anything she did in high school. Now it’s all about what she does in college. The military is a fabulous option and might be really great for her. I think she should read the new version of The Law School Admission Game when it comes out 6/11/13 because I actually talk a bit in there about Criminal Justice majors.

  300. Cory L says:

    Dear Ann,

    Hello, I am interested in attending law school at Murray State University or the Georgia State University. I need a little guidance and advice of what to expect once I enter law school. I have been interested in law studies since I was a young girl but I have heard many stories of how toilsome law school can be. However, I have not changed my mind on becoming a lawyer. I must mention I am an upcoming senior in high school but I have great writing skills that have provided me the opportunity to start my first semester of college this summer through dual enrollment. I am aware that writing is important in law school however I would like to know if Psychology and Sociology are good majors for law school applicants. When the office of admissions look at my application I want them to say, “I want her!” but how can I get that reaction? I really need your help. I will be the first person in my family to become a lawyer and that will be a big accomplishment for me. I anticipate your response and I would like to thank you for taking time to read my comment.

    • Ann Levine says:

      Hi Cory, I’m not familiar with a law school at Murray State, but GA State absolutely has one! I give you so much credit for thinking about your future goals. Psychology and Sociology are both fine majors for law schools. I highly suggest that you start by reading my new book that is coming out in 2 weeks – I think it will really help you make great decisions moving forward.

  301. Riley Pearson says:

    Anne,
    I graduated one year ago with an AAS in Civil Engineering Technology. I had a 3.5 GPA from Montana Tech. I’m currently working as a land surveyor. Through work experience I will become a registered land surveyor in approximately four years. Several of the RLS that I work under have talked to me about eventually pursuing a law degree to become a land use/real estate attorney.
    They say that the real world experience I will obtain from working in the field of land division/boundary law would be extremely useful in a law office.
    I’ve been thinking about re-enrolling in college and majoring in political science with a minor in GIS. GIS would be just to further my knowledge in my current field. I was thinking of only being a part-time student while I work full time. Once I obtain a BS in poly-sci, I would also be an RLS. At some point after that I was thinking of applying to law school at either the University of North Dakota or the University of Montana.
    What are your thoughts on a plan like that? Would the admissions dept. look at my practical real world experience also? Do they look down on someone who was only a part-time student through their undergrad? Is it bad to not apply to law school immediately after completing an undergrad program? Any advice or help you can give is greatly appreciated.
    Sincerely,
    Riley Pearson

    • Ann Levine says:

      Hi Riley. I think this is a fabulous plan for you – it helps you in your established career and also also in the event that you decide to go to law school. Being part time through undergrad is a fine plan because of what you will be doing, especially for the law schools you are hoping to attend. I wish you all the best in your endeavors.

  302. Adina says:

    Hi! I’m currently a sophomore at Hunter College. I want to get my BS in Nursing but am not sure if I will be able to work as a nurse because it may be too gory for me. My GPA is currently a 3.425. I want to know what law school will think of my degree in Nursing? (I would apply to NYU,Cordozo). Thank you!

    • Ann Levine says:

      Adina, Nursing is a great profession! We need bright, talented, compassionate nurses in the world! If you decide it’s not for you and you apply to law school, you should demonstrate a reason why law school makes sense for you. Same as I would say for someone getting a teaching certificate or any other area specific to a profession that is valuable!

  303. Anna says:

    Hi Ann,

    I am currently a Junior in high school and have always wanted to be a lawyer. I had originally thought I would major in pre-law but, upon research, have heard that that would be a BAD choice. I had also thought to minor in Public Relations/Communications and major in Political Science because I am very detailed orientated, organized, good with public speaking, good with planning, good with graphic design, and creative. Should I rethink my choices, and do you have any other suggestions for me?

    Thanks!

    Anna

    • Ann Levine says:

      Hi Anna,
      I do love that you are thinking ahead. I don’t, however, want you to think about your college major yet. Think about where you want to go to college, and explore lots of options of what you want to study once you are there. Most people change majors at least once in college, so it’s better to go in with an open mind and choose what you really want to do based on what interests you rather than what you think would “look good.” If you are interested, my new book talks a lot about different majors and how they are perceived:

  304. Lindsay says:

    Dear Ann,

    I am in the midst of applying for law school. I am going to be a senior at Stanford University this upcoming academic year. I have a 3.7 GPA as an English major with an emphasis in creative writing. I am afraid law schools will not find my classes as vigorous as someone majoring in biology, chemistry, or engineering. I have leadership roles in extracurricular activities, and I have community service experience. I am going to take the LSAT soon. Should I apply to law school? My grades are a mixture of b+, a-, and a.

    • Ann Levine says:

      Lindsay, if you want to go to law school, of course you should apply to law school! I always look at it this way: Don’t worry about what other people have that you don’t. Worry about presenting yourself in the best possible way, showing how you’ve grown from your experiences, what you are passionate about. Keep your eyes forward, rather than checking out your competition. Your GPA is great, from a great school, so approach this with a good attitude and you have tons of potential.

  305. Tremecia D says:

    Hello Ann,
    I will be starting my first year in college at Howard University. I am positive that I want to go to law school once I finish my first four years of undergrad. I want to become a corporate lawyer in the future. I plan on Majoring in English and I was wondering if that is a good major that could help me do well on the LSAT?

    • Ann Levine says:

      Hi Tremecia, Studying English will help you with reading, writing and critical thinking, so absolutely!

  306. Ali says:

    Hi Ann,

    Could one attend law school having no prior experience in a traditional legal setting, per se? I would love to get a JD to help me in a career such as consulting or something public policy related. I’m a rising sophomore and over the summer I interned at my Senator’s office, so I’m serious about getting work experience.

    Secondly, if one wanted to practice law in general, how important is it to get a business/finance background during the undergrad years? Is someone at a disadvantage if they aim to become a corporate lawyer but with no significant business experience and no education in business or economics?

    Thanks so much!

    • Ann Levine says:

      Ali, Yes, you could. No specific work experience in the legal field is required for people applying to law school.
      There is no disadvantage to not having a corporate/business background prior to law school, but certainly those are skills that are beneficial in law practice.

  307. Nikki says:

    Hello, Ann!
    I’m a soon-to-be freshman at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo/California Polytechnic State University (it goes by many a name). We’re known for Engineering, Architecture, Business, and Agriculture…but as of right now I’m in English. Starting at the age of 5, I have wanted to be involved in law. However, because my interests are so vast, it’s hard for me to decide on my major, and Cal Poly is very impacted…making it difficult to switch or add on to a given major; we also dive right into our majors on our first day. I’m really interested in English and Business. I know Accounting is a great major in case I find law is not for me, but it is also hard to get into. What I’m asking is, if I am able to major in Accounting, should I double major Accounting with English, major in Accounting and minor in English, or vice versa? I’m not sure if I can handle a double major. seeing as I plan on placing a lot under my belt in college. I expect there to be solid ECs, ample LSAT study sessions (I come from an extremely competitive hs where people study for the SAT at least 2 years in advance rigorously), and also activities to keep me mentally sane; don’t want to beat the workhorse too hard. I also know it’s easier to add a minor than an extra major at Cal Poly. You’ve only got one chance to change/add another major, but the guidelines for adding a minor are much less restrictive and intimidating. At this point in time, I think I’d perform better as an English major, but to be fair…I’ve never taken Accounting classes.

    As a second question: say I don’t double major and just go with a minor… would adding Psychology as a double minor be a wise decision? I had taken a General Psych course at my local CC. As a high school student, I always pegged English and Psychology as my raisons d’être (especially English–and I know sufficient writing practice is a godsend when prepping for law school). It was only until I realized that, for me, obtaining a law degree would open more doors for the careers I’m seriously considering (ex. FBI) Would there be any benefit to adding Psychology?

    Thank you so much for taking the time to read this! I’m really shooting for a top 20 law school…or MBA if I make Accounting my core. I’d just really appreciate your input!

    Sincerely,
    Nikki

    • Ann Levine says:

      Hi Nikki,
      Welcome to Cal Poly! (I’m in nearby Santa Barbara and very familiar with the school). When you get there, look up Professor Ronald Den Otter. He’s the pre-law guru there and a great guy.
      Don’t worry about deciding on a major yet – explore different classes and see what you like, where you excel, which professors you enjoy. Touch base with me in a year and let me know what classes you enjoyed this year and how your grades were.

  308. Suzan says:

    Hi Ann,

    I have a few questions I hope you can helpe with.

    1. Will I be putting myself at a disadvantage by studying for the LSAT myself without taking any formal prep classes? I have a current edition of the Kaplan LSAT book that I follow. It would be difficult for me to afford a prep class.

    2. I have a BA in Psychology from the University of Cincinnati. My university GPA is a 2.97 and my college GPA is a 3.46. I fooled around and blew off classes in my first and second year of college- I was 17 when I started school here. I also worked about 30 hours/week throughout college. My internship was at Children’s Hospital in an autism research lab- it was the only lab of this kind in the country. I worked on original research under a doctor and graduate student. I know this has no relation to law at all. Do I have chance of getting accepted by a decent law school if I get a good (170+) LSAT score?

    3. I would like to apply for the Fall 2014 term. My LSAT date is late October. I do not have any volunteer work or legal work in my past. Could I hope to be accepted if I apply right after my LSAT? Would it be smarter to work for a while in some legal setting and to apply for the following year?

    Thank you for your help! I apologize for any spelling/punctuation errors- typing this from my cell.

    • Ann Levine says:

      Hi Suzan,
      I love that you’re reading my blog from your phone!
      You don’t need a formal prep class but you need better books…. Read this post about the best LSAT prep options for self study.
      I love U of Cinci btw (my dad was a dean there). I love that you worked through college, did research, lots of good stuff there. Of course you have a chance of getting into a good law school.
      Try applying this year with your October LSAT score. If you end up applying next year you can add things to your resume, but don’t rush around to do it now.

  309. Amine says:

    Hi Ann,

    I have few questions regrading international students admission to law schools i hope you can help me with.

    I’m from Morocco, I’m 25 years old, I have a civil engineering degree form a top engineering institution in Morocco which is equivalent to a bachelor degree in the US. Besides, I have a master’s degree in structural engineering form a top 3 university in Québec (frensh Canada). My undergraduate GPA is something in between 3.7 and 3.8 i’m not sure.I have work and research experience and i can speak 4 languages. I have not taken the LSAT yet but i’m confident that i can score 170 or more. I would like you to evaluate my chances of admission to a top 10 law school if i mentioned in my personal statement that i’m interested in Business law and I would like to know how law schools admission services deal with applicants with foreign credentials.

    Thank you in advance

    • Ann Levine says:

      Hi Amine,
      My international applications with high GPAs and LSAT scores (and it may be possible that you need to take the TOEFL) do very well in the admission process. This year they are attending Harvard Law School, Columbia Law School and others. I can’t comment on your personal statement topic over the blog format because I do not know enough about you, but it would be a mistake to ignore the diversity/language skills that you bring to the table.

    • Ann Levine says:

      Amine, stay posted for an upcoming blog topic on international applicants!

  310. Simoni says:

    Hi Ann,
    I’m about to graduate with the paralegal course along with my Associate in Arts in order to transfer to a university. English is my second language, and I earned in two years a 4.0 GPA. Law school is my goal, but I am struggling now with what major to choose. Criminal justice was my first option, but I have read some articles about low LSAT scores from people whom chose CJ major.

    • Ann Levine says:

      Simoni,
      Criminal Justice is meant to prepare you for a career in law enforcement, but most universities don’t offer this as a course of study because it is more vocational in nature. I think the low LSAT scores from CJ majors isn’t BECAUSE people choose CJ, but more that people who choose CJ are at schools with lower entrance requirements and without the same educational backgrounds that allow for more sophisticated reading, writing and analysis. This doesn’t apply to everyone, and also depends on where you want to go to law school. A top law school may not regard CJ as being particularly difficult but good grades in this major from a local college may be sufficient for a local law school.

  311. Bruin2013 says:

    Hi Ann,

    I am about to begin my second year at UCLA and currently I have a 3.4 GPA (which I feel is low). I am a Poli Sci major/ History Double Major. My goal right now is to raise my GPA as high as I can. But my question and concern is whether I should even pursue a double major? I really enjoy both subjects, but I don’t want to feel like I’m doing more work than I really have to. I am 100% sure I want attend Law School, but I want to attend a top ten law school. Besides high LSAT test scores and involvement on campus, is there anything else I should do?

  312. stateschool says:

    Anne,

    Does completing four years of Division 1 athletics carry any weight in law school admissions? I currently have a sub par GPA with a major in economics.

    • Ann Levine says:

      stateschool, YES! Schools appreciate the demands and expectations of being a Division 1 athlete throughout college.

  313. Kaylan b says:

    I am currently a Junior pursuing a degree in Social Work, how will this major compare to others when applying to law school?

    • Ann Levine says:

      Kaylan, It’s great that you’re in a helping profession, showing you care about people and are acquainted with real issues. But why not be a social worker?

  314. Alexis Braswell says:

    Ann,
    This article helped me a lot. I am a sophomore in high school and I have always wanted to be a lawyer. I was going to major in Business when I get to college but after this I’m not sure. Would Business or Journalism be better? I’ve always exceeded in English so I think that would be good but I would like your opinion.
    Thanks :)

    • Ann Levine says:

      Hi Alexis, Business and Journalism are both great majors as preparation for law school. Lawyers deal with business issues all the time – whether running their own law practices or advising businesses or prosecuting fraud issues. Journalism of course helps you learn to spot issues and write concisely and effectively. So choose the major you would want to have in the event that you decided not to attend law school. And spend time exploring things in college. You have lots of time to make this decision and I hope you’ll be reading the blog for years to come.

  315. Brittney F says:

    Hi Ann,
    I am currently a high school senior who is in the midst of completing college applications. I have been struggling with what major and minor to declare. I have a strong passion for going to law school and becoming an international lawyer but I am not sure what major will help me the most in my quest to get there?

    • Ann Levine says:

      Brittney F, I’m so glad you are already reading the blog. Most college students change their majors, so don’t fret too much over this right now. Pick courses that are interesting to you and decide what you like. If you really want to be an international lawyer, consider studying languages and cultures, consider political science, history, etc. See how you like those subjects and how you do in them. Take your time in college to explore your interests.

  316. Marcella says:

    Hi Ann,

    Forgive me if you already answered this question, but I didn’t see it. I am currently a business management major which is more practical than psychology, however I find psychology far more interesting. Which major would law schools prefer? I am currently in a supervisory position at a large hospital and intend to go into healthcare law (bioethics).

    Thank you for your advice,
    Marcella

    • Ann Levine says:

      Hi Marcella,
      You’re right. Business management is more practical. Both business and psychology majors go on to law school, so don’t make the decision based on what law schools would prefer – make the decision based on what you want to do and study.

  317. Jess says:

    I am currently a freshman double majoring in Accounting and Finance.
    Do you think this would be a good combo for a good Entertainment Law school?

  318. kaytee says:

    Ann,

    I transferred after my freshman year, and my school wouldn’t accept my GPA only the credits, I also had some trouble adjusting the first semester at my new school. Furthermore, I have been working part-time and/or (sometimes both) doing internships throughout my entire college career. Thus, I only have a UGPA of about 2.9, I majored in Environmental Studies, minored in Economics and also am about to finish my GIS (geographical information systems aka mapping) certificate. My LSAT score this past october was a 158. Have I ruined my chances because of my low GPA to get into a good school? I’m interested in Pittsburgh and Vermont to do some type of environmental law, with Case and Maryland as my reach schools but I am really stressing about my GPA.

    Thanks!

    • Ann Levine says:

      Kaytee, I believe in controlling only what you can control. Your GPA is what it is at this point – explain how you’ve been working and how you got off to a rough start. Hopefully you have great academic letters of rec to show what a promising and engaged student you are. And then move forward and apply and hope for the best!

  319. Kevin says:

    Dear Ann,
    After 3 years of being a pre-med, bio major, I realized that medical school was not for me and dropped out. While I was there I had to retake a few bio classes and my GPA was 3.5. After dropping out, I worked for 5 years doing odd jobs. One day I decided that law was a great choice for me. I started all over again by reenrolling in college. I basically did all 4 years again from scratch. My GPA in Philosophy is a 4.0 and my LSAT is 172. What advice do you have for me about explaining my situation to admissions? Should I explain it in an addendum or personal statement? Thanks.

    • Ann Levine says:

      Kevin,
      You can use your personal statement to explain this, or an addendum if you have something else to share in your personal statement. Luckily, your GPA has always been good, and I think this story makes you pretty darn interesting when combined with your great LSAT score. I feel you will do well!

  320. Elena says:

    Dear Ann,

    I majored in Physiology at UCLA and started off with a high GPA but completed with a dismal GPA of 3.1 due to personal/financial circumstances in my last two years. After working and volunteering abroad for a few years, I decided to get my M.S. in Global Medicine at Keck School of Medicine (3.6GPA). Clearly, I had been on a pre-med/health track. During my time at the masters, however, I met some students in my program who were pre-law but majored in science in undergrad. This introduced a new career option that I had not considered before. At the same time, my boyfriend was attending law school and I often caught myself more engrossed in what he was learning. After exploring the idea of law school as a potential path for myself, I realized that this is the career that I want to pursue. Given that I have not shown any interest in law school before, how would you recommend that I proceed now? How will my GPAs affect my chances at getting into law school (my practice LSAT scores are in the 170s)? Would physiology be considered an adequate technical science for patent law?

    • Ann Levine says:

      Hi Elena,
      In terms of the patent law question, I defer to patent law professionals – reach out to the patent bar and to practitioners and see what they have to say about your background as a good fit for that field. If you can really pull off a 170+, law schools will take you seriously and be willing to give you a chance.

  321. Michele says:

    Ann,
    Thank you for this blog and your books. I bought both law school admission game books and they’ve been a big help. I may be requesting your services when I’m closer to applying!

    I am a non-traditional student in my late 40′s (had computer programming career, stay at home mom, current real estate broker (own small RE business and commercial cleaning bus w/my husband), back to school when my son was starting high school.

    I am currently attending St. Leo University in Florida. I am a Criminal Justice major and have just about completed all required courses. My GPA is 3.9. I know CJ isn’t the best major but it’s too late now. My professor who also teaches at USF did say he believes St. Leo’s program is the best CJ program in the country. He has written me a recommendation.

    I was thinking of either minoring in accounting or business management. Will this help or should my electives be in all different areas? Like micro and macro economics, philosophy course etc.

    Our community college has a paralegal program and I wanted to take legal research and writing and a couple of law classes (cyberlaw, wills, trusts and estates, tort (I really want to take tort!)). The electives I’ve already taken are Business Law I and II, Statistics, Admin and Personnel Law, and Finite Mathematics. Do you think I should take some of the community college courses since St. Leo doesn’t offer them?

    For my last 30 credits I want to take the best courses that will help with law school admission. Any suggestions would be appreciated. I also wanted to know what you mean when you say to take classes with extensive research and writing. Just about every single course I’ve taken I’ve written a research paper(including Art and Religion, Corrections, Police Administration (did a great paper on Supreme Court decisions affecting law enforcement).I have researched and used many law journals and peer reviewed articles. In the law classes I’ve used Westlaw, did case briefs and research papers. Are there other (specific) classes that you consider better classes to take to show this?

    Sorry for all the questions…I’m just concerned that I won’t be able to get into a top 20 school because of my major and age. I am taking the LSAT in June and applying fall 2015. My practice tests have been in low 170′s. My goal is mid 170′s so that I’m in 75th percentile for both gpa and lsat at most of the better schools. I am willing to move to go to one of these schools. Thanks so much. Michele

  322. Stel says:

    Hey Ann,

    I just came across your blog, which gave me the encouragement I need. I have a quick few questions. I am in my first semester as a Freshmen at a small liberal art school that has been rated among the best. How will colleges view that, since it is a small school? I am a Psychology Major and Neuroscience Minor. How would law schools view that? I have always wanted to become a lawyer and I was wondering if I should start practicing my LSAT now? My first semester grade weren’t that good (3.5, but I am working hard to bring them back up. I was looking through your blog and you spoke about English being a good Major, so I was wondering if I should minor in both English and Neuroscience? Also what is the scale for the “acceptable gpa”? in other words, is 3.5 bad? 3.6? 3.7? I take parts in many clubs with hope of holding a leadership position one day. I really just want to do everything possible to secure a spot at a great law school. I would love to get some advice.

    Thank You!!

    Stel

    • Ann Levine says:

      Hi Stel,
      Glad the blog has been helpful and that you have many years ahead of you to read it as you get through college. A small liberal arts school with two interesting and challenging majors? That’s all good stuff! Don’t start thinking about LSAT yet, and 3.5 is a good start with lots of room to grow to be competitive at top schools. You may be interested in reading The Law School Admission Game to gain an understanding of the law school admission timeline and how to make choices during college about your activities and endeavors. http://lawschoolexpert.com/books/law-school-admission-game/

  323. Fahd says:

    Hi Ann,

    I’m a grade 12 student in high school and an aspiring lawyer. My goal is to pursue a career in corporate law and was wondering what bachelors degree would increase my probability of entering law school and at the same time be a back up in case the legal profession doesn’t work out. A response would be greatly appreciated, Thank You!

  324. Ashely says:

    Ann,
    I will be graduating next year with a major in Chemical Engineering and minor in Philosophy from Lehigh University. I have a 3.2 GPA currently but should be able to bring it up a bit by then. My natural strengths were always in reading a writing (I got almost perfect in both on the SAT). I have worked as an undergraduate researcher and plan to get a ChemE internship for this summer. I am also on multiple exec boards. What can I do to improve my chances of getting into law school? Also, what range of schools should I looking at?
    Thanks!

    • Ann Levine says:

      Ashely,
      Congratulations on doing so well at a great school and on combining chemistry with Philosophy.Assuming you perform almost as well on the LSAT as it sounds like you did on the SAT, then the sky will really be the limit on schools you aim for.

  325. Zhane says:

    Hello Ann
    I am currently a junior in college at a great school, I am majoring in Finance and my current GPA is a 3.3 I was just wondering if my major is a disadvantage or an advantage when applying to law school, my aunt is a lawyer she advised me that law school do like diversity in bachelor degrees, my goal is to became a corporate attorney.

    • Zhane says:

      *(my aunt is a lawyer she advised me that law schools do like diversity in bachelor degrees, my goal is to became a corporate attorney).

    • Ann Levine says:

      Zhane, your major is great and makes perfect sense given what you hope to do. It is also seen as being a rigorous major, which is good. Your aunt is right!

  326. Elizabeth says:

    Hello Ann. I have just discovered your blog and find it very informative. I am a freshman at a small private universty with a major in Criminal Justice and a minor in Legal Studies and Analysis. Additionally, I am persuing a certificate in accounting that is geared towards CJ majors. I have recently been invited to join the Honors College and that is where my dilemma lies.

    My advisor points out that given the requirements of the accounting certificate and honors college obligations, that I will need to chose one over the other as it is essentially impossible to get everything completed in 4 years given the availability of the required courses. I am asking for your opinion as to what would be the best choice (accounting vs. honors) when considering how law school admissions officers will view these credentials. To add to that dilemma, I have a long-term goal of working as an attorney for the US Justice Department (e.g., FBI) and have been informed that at a minimum an accounting minor is suggested, even as an attorney there, to help analyze fraud when dealing with criminal cases. I know that criminal justice may not be the best pre-law major as far as difficulty but it is my passion and given my long range goals, seems appropriate to me. My university has a law school and I will need to remain in the legal minor as the school offers preferences for admissions in their law school if GPA and LSAT scores meet their minimal standards. However, my law school dream would be to attend Georgetown.

    Finally, a little background. My GPA first semester was 3.75 and so far, my second semester is on track to remain at that or a higher level. I am a
    student athlete, a senator on the student government, a tour guide at the school and have a job there in the student activities department. I also have an outside job in a medical office a couple of evenings per week plus some Saturdays, as well as full time in the Summer. I am in a highly selective leadership program at my college that requires several hundred hours of community volunteer work annually. My volunteer services obligations are to teach sports to inner city grade school children, while encouraging them to chose a healthy lifestyle and be respectful to others. I am very active at school and enjoy being involved in the pre-law and criminal justice societies. A national leadership honors society recently invited me to become a member after being nominated by faculty. I have been offered a position as a resident assistant beginning in my sophomore year. I am applying for a Summer internship which offers exposure to the local policing, criminal courts and prison system.

    Thank you for any advice that you may be able to offer me as I make a choice between an accounting certificate vs. honors college. While my college is small and regarded more regionally rather than nationally as some of the top tier institutions, I love it here and am hoping after LSATs and graduation that Georgetown Law will be a realistic expectation.

    Elizabeth

    • Ann Levine says:

      Elizabeth,
      You are obviously on track to be a superstar. You are doing everything right. I would rather you do honors IF that means getting more involved in research and writing. But if you can work with a faculty member independently and/or do a thesis, then you will be able to accomplish this. I do not think you need the accounting certificate, but it’s up to you.

      • Elizabeth says:

        Thank you Ann. Your recommendations are very much appreciated. I believe that I will enter the honors college program. I will also pick up a copy of your book!

        Elizabeth

  327. Stacy says:

    Hi Ann,

    I wanted to do a “professional” program. My dream during high school was to go to Med school but I faint at the sight of blood and also I hate touching people! After high school I slacked off and failed out of community college. Because of that my GPA was 2.7. I just got serious during the past year and raised my GPA to a 3.06. Now all I think about my school and getting into a prestigious college. Unfortunately, my GPA doesn’t allow that. Now I want to get into Stanford Law School and if not then get into SMU Law school. I have a medical condition which makes it impossible for me to attend school physically so I have to resort to online classes. I wanted to do accounting but Texas Women’s university doesn’t offer that, they only offer bachelor of science in community health study. Do you think this is a good study for law school? I’m planning on raising my GPA all the way to 4.0 if I attend Texas Women’s University and then get a high LSAT score. Do you think Texas Women’s University would be even considered from Stanford Law School? I can only resort to online classes for undergrad which aren’t offered by many universities.
    Thanks,

    Stacy

  328. CT says:

    Superb, what a webpage it is! This webpage presents helpful information to
    us, keep it up.

  329. Avery says:

    Hello Ann,

    I have just recently found my way to your blog, and I have seen a great benefit from not only your articles but also your comments that follow.

    Now to my question,

    I am currently an undergraduate student majoring in Mechanical Engineering and Physics with minors in Mathematics and Nanotechnology, currently I have a high 3.8 cumulative GPA; I have been contemplating adding an additional minor in either Finance or Accounting but am having trouble deciding between the two. Of the two minors, which would you believe to be more beneficial to a law school applicant?

    Of all of the divisions of law that I have researched and looked at, Patent Law seems to be where I am leaning the most. Any advice you could pass on would be most appreciated, my current dream is to attend a certain law school on the east coast that is rather prestigious, and I will need all of the help that I can muster.

    • Ann Levine says:

      Hi Avery, I’m glad the blog has been helpful.
      I love your major and your GPA. Both finance and accounting are useful for lawyers. Business law involves both!
      Let me know if I can be of help as you look toward your dream school.

  330. Aymee says:

    Hello. I’m an international student and I want to enter in the law school, but I’m trying to do it at the smart way. I was thinking that I can double major, first with a paralegal A.S and then complete the B.A degree with another career but, I’m not sure if that is a strong way to do it. If you can help me please with some recomendations. Thanks.

  331. Mike says:

    Hi, Ann. I’m so delighted to have found your website, I’ve learned so much in just a few days! I have a few questions for you.

    I’m approaching my mid 20′s, having spent my early adulthood in the military. I just recently completed a little more than a year in community college (to complete my gen. ed requirements,) and so far everything has gone swimmingly well. I finished out 3 semesters with a perfect 4.0 GPA and made the deans list. I was accepted for transfer to a smaller state school in a remote area with great scenery and a good local reputation, my education is free thanks to the GI Bill and I earned a substantial merit scholarship to help with living expenses as well. I’ve always had a knack for writing and decided to major in Journalism, with a minor in Media Production, but I still have the option to switch to English without wasting any major’s coursework until at least December.

    Law has been my calling since my military days when I attended paralegal school in my spare time, earning excellent grades. I have not taken the LSAT yet, as I’m planning to take a formal logic class next spring to help with the ‘Games’ section. I plan to become a member of the Pre-Law Club and school paper at my new institution as soon as possible, which will give me 2 years at least of EC’s to put on my application.

    Just an FYI, I am aiming for HLS, Yale, Georgetown, Michigan and the ilk if I can keep the good grades going and do well on the LSAT. If everything goes pretty well I also plan to apply to several lower tier law schools in the hope of winning a full-ride. I think I’m on the right track here, but I worry like everyone else. Is my major a decent choice? I know it’s more pre-professional than scholarly, but it does involve a lot of research and writing. Could I be doing things better? I’d love to hear your take on my plan. Thank you!

    • Ann Levine says:

      Hi Mike,
      Congratulations on your recent success in school. Make sure to engage in research an writing courses an work closely with faculty along the way – make the most of the opportunities your school offers.

  332. David C. says:

    Hello Ann! First off, ROLL TIDE! I read that you’re from Huntsville and my dad and his whole side of the family is from nearby Athens. just started reading the Law School Admission Game, and I’m patiently waiting for the Law School Decision Game to arrive in the mail. Anyhow, I was hoping to get a feel for where I stand right now. I am a non-traditional older student(35). I am a Marine Corps veteran(honorable discharge after sustaining a service related injury-nerve damage in leg/foot), and I spent several years after that working in fitness sales. Currently, I am beginning my Junior year this fall as a Public Affairs major at Wayne State University. my current GPA is 3.1, but I am planning on putting all my energy into raising that. I will also be starting my LSAT PREP for the test in June. Assuming I do well on the LSAT, how much would my ‘soft factors’ play in the admissions process. Aside from being a military veteran, I am active with the WSU College Republicans, Oakland County Young Republicans, WSU Student Veteran Organization; as well as a member of the Disabled American Veterans(DAV), and I volunteer regularly with the VFW helping out with fundraisers and such(I’m a big advocate for helping veterans, especially those with disabilities). I’m also active with the Michigan Republican Party, and I was elected as a precinct delegate during the recent primary election for the upcoming Republican State Convention. During my first two years in school, I wasn’t 100% sure I would be able to attend law school, with the financial aspect being my main concern and not wanting to load on the debt. However, I recently discovered my veteran benefits will not only cover my bachelors degree, but will pay for law school as well. It feels amazing to have that financial stress off my shoulders now. I am interested in the field of corporate law and will be striving for admission into a top 50 school. I am curious how I look right now as I begin the admissions process. I also keep a good relationship and line of communication with many of my professors. Sorry so long winded!

    • Ann Levine says:

      Hi David – I knew some people with your last name when I was in HSV – any relation to Natalie?
      I’m glad the books are helpful for you. Your soft factors will absolutely be a factor that assists you in the application process. I think you will have a lot of potential if you can make the LSAT work in your favor. Go ahead and get your faculty letters of recommendation just in case anything happens. Feel free to reach back out when you are ready and I’d love to see if I can help.

  333. Justine Knox says:

    Hi Ann!

    I am done with my AA now and I am trying to choose between the two majors to continue in: Business Administration with an emphasis in management OR Public Policy Administration? I really want to work in defense court after law school, and I just wanted to know what you thought would be the best degree to get in order to get into law school. My GPA is a 3.0 right now, and I am currently studying for my LSAT. I still have about 20 more classes to take, and I will bring my GPA up. Let me know what you think. Thank you!

    -Justine

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