Pre-Law: Choosing a Major
Law schools accept students from a wide variety of majors. There is no pre-law major at UMass Amherst, and law schools do not favor (or disfavor) students who major in “pre-law” or a law-related field. If possible, it is a good idea to pursue a double major, or a major and a minor. This ensures that you will have upper level courses on your transcript from at least two disciplines. Doing well in those courses demonstrates your intellectual breadth. But don’t go crazy and triple major—at a certain point, your transcript can start to look like you’ve lost focus. Students who want to pursue certain types of law, such as environmental law, international law, business law, or patent law, will find they are stronger candidates on the job market if they have an undergraduate major or coursework in a relevant field. For example, the most successful applicants for patent law jobs have undergraduate and/or graduate degrees in the sciences, and business lawyers often reap benefits from studying economics and/or finance. If you are on an exploratory track or dissatisfied with your current major, there are multiple resources and offices on campus available to help you explore your options so you can find the course of study that best matches your interests, skills, and aspirations.