dcsimg

Case Closed: 4 Prelaw Fields to Study

How many lawyers does it take to screw in a light bulb? Perhaps a better question is: How many lawyers does it take to found a nation? Lead a civil movement? Ensure your drinking water is safe? Because for every lawyer jibe -- and there are plenty -- there is an Abraham Lincoln, Thurgood Marshall or Barrack Obama making history. When you tally them up, more than half of U.S. presidents were attorneys. Not too shabby for a profession that takes so much heat around the water cooler, eh?

Law is a high-potential, but high-skill career. Good attorneys get to know their way around a court room, not to mention the law. They know how to argue a case (and when to keep quiet). They write and research as well as any investigative journalist. You might think the obvious place to start law training is through campus-based or online pre-law degree programs, but The College Board notes that those specific programs are few and far between. The reality is that law schools accept applicants from virtually any field of study, but that doesn't mean they don't have preferences. Want to improve your odds of getting into a great law program? Look into the fields below that can provide your pre-law ticket to a law-school career.

1. Political Science

Love 'em or hate 'em, politics make the world go round. Political science majors learn how to navigate the three branches of the U.S. government, all of which have a hefty say in the creation or upholding of the nation's laws. They also spend a great deal of time researching and understanding varying political philosophies and ideologies, which is excellent training for professionals whose success depends on their ability to understand and influence clients', judges' and jurists' minds.

2. Criminal Justice

Where political science majors study how laws are made, criminal justice majors learn how they are enforced. They read countless court cases, study the law and learn how to interpret it. They learn how law enforcement agencies and criminals work. All of these skills translate nicely not just into a law career, but also to a career as a police officer, detective or federal agent. In other words, criminal justice degrees provide some level of job security (even if you decide to scrap law school all together).

3. Forensic Science

From fictional blood-spatter-expert-turned-serial-killer Dexter Morgan to a number of primetime crime scene investigation dramas, the field of forensic science has moved out of the lab and into the realm of American consciousness. Part criminology, part biology, forensic science programs teach students how to use technology and the power of reason to analyze blood, DNA and similar evidence for law enforcement and courtroom use. These skills are invaluable to a future lawyer whose understanding of such evidence can make or break a case.

4. Paralegal Studies

Want to get a sense for what it's like to be a lawyer before investing years to law school? Consider paralegal studies. Paralegals are often thought of as the support cast for attorneys, but according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, they increasingly perform the same tasks as lawyers, like researching cases or filing motions. A paralegal studies program will sharpen your writing and research savvy, teach you about different areas of law and deepen your understanding of legal processes, all skills that could serve you well in law school

Think outside the box

Each of the careers on this list serve as an obvious segue to law school, but you do not have to limit yourself to law-oriented fields of study to get into a great program. Online pre-law degrees provide excellent training, but a discipline like English where you learn to read and analyze literature and write argumentatively is also solid choice. The same can be said for journalism, which nurtures writing and research skills, or psychology, which helps you to get into the minds of others. Our advice? Choose a major that you truly enjoy and can excel in -- law schools will appreciate your enthusiasm (and stellar grades). Should you already have a four-year degree, you can also find any number of online pre-law degrees available at the master's level.


Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

    See More

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.

Searching Searching ...

Matching School Ads
5 Program(s) Found
  • Find Your Purpose with a Theology Bachelor's Degree from GCU's College of Theology
  • Flexible online and campus class options. Find what best fits your needs!
  • Several B.A. degree options - Biblical Studies, Worship Arts, Christian Studies and more.
  • The College of Theology's guiding pillars are Gospel Centered, Church Focused and Missions Oriented.
  • Speak with an enrollment counselor today and learn about our various theology bachelor's programs.
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
3 Program(s) Found
  • Online Bachelor's programs include Healthcare Management, Public Health, IT, Psychology, BBA & Criminal Justice
  • Dedicated to delivering quality education and personalized attention to students since 1899
  • Provide a range of campus experiences and services online including advising, tutoring, student community, and career services
  • Give students and alumni access to career assistants who help with resumes, cover letters, job hunting, and more.
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
  • Walden’s online MS in Criminal Justice program can equip you with leading-edge skills to address today's increasingly complex criminal justice issues.
  • Study a unique blend of criminal behavior theory along with technology, homeland security, and management skills applicable to the challenges facing the law enforcement community.
  • Synthesize principles from criminal justice theories, processes, and practices to promote social justice and positive social change.
  • Gain broad exposure to the field of criminal justice, study the latest theories, and explore today’s increasingly sophisticated criminal justice issues.
  • The MS in Criminal Justice program can help you develop a blend of technology, homeland security, and management skills that you can apply immediately on the job or use to advance your career.
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
  • Bachelor’s and master’s programs in Criminal Justice available
  • Ranked among the Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2017
  • Concentrations include Forensics, Homeland Security, and Cybercrime and Security
  • Students study law enforcement operations, corrections, and criminal investigation
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
  • Bachelor degree programs include English, Education, Mathematics, Theatre, Biophysical Sciences, Christian Ministry, and more.
  • Ranked among the Best Online Graduate Education Programs in 2016 by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Regent’s School of Education has yielded a 95% pass rate on the School Leadership Licensure Assessment.
  • Regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
  • Online Courses
5 Program(s) Found
  • Earn your degree online from Ashford University!
  • Choose from Undergraduate and Graduate classes
  • Business, Health Care, Psychology and Liberal Arts programs to choose from
  • Apply Now! Classes begin every Tuesday!
  • Online Courses
2 Program(s) Found

An accredited online university, Capella University offers bachelor’s, master’s/MBA, doctoral, and certificate programs designed to take you to the forefront of your profession. Our competency-based curriculum delivers foundational knowledge and real-world skills, so what you’re learning is immediately applicable to your career. Right now, more than 36,000 students are expanding their opportunities with Capella programs.

  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
4 Program(s) Found
  • Ranked one of the Best for Vets schools in Military Times Edge magazine’s 2013 “Best for Vets” edition.
  • Offers MUSE (My Unique Student Experience), a content delivery system that gives students the option to watch, view, read or listen to required course materials.
  • Allows students to complete courses at whatever pace they want.
  • Provides IntelliPath, a proprietary learning technology that lets students learn at their own pace.
  • A DANTES-affiliated university and member of the Service Members Opportunity Colleges.
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
  • Ranked among the 2015 Best National Universities by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Designated as a Military Friendly School every year since 2012 by Victory Media.
  • Offers credit for prior learning and experience through assessment tests.
  • Provides a short term Leadership Certification program in partnership with EQUIP®.
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association (NCA).
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found

Saint Mary's University of Minnesota's Online Master's Programs

At Saint Mary's, we take pride in offering online graduate degrees designed to complement the schedules of working adults like you. Get an affordable, convenient education from a top-ranked university that's grounded in real-world applications.

Saint Mary's University's long history of innovation in education continues with the launch of our new iPad® application, allowing for learning on the go. Our commitment to our Lasallian Catholic tradition of continuous learning, ethics and advancing the common good also endures.

  • Online Courses
5 Program(s) Found

100% Online & No Standardized Testing

We are committed to helping you achieve your goals and complete your degree as quickly as possible.

Show more [+]
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found

Founded by the Society of Jesus in 1851, Saint Joseph's University (SJU) has been developing the minds and abilities of men and women in a challenging academic environment steeped in the enriching Jesuit tradition of cura personalis (care of the entire person). The strong liberal arts foundation promotes an environment of open-minded investigation and debate and attends to developing students beyond their academic accomplishments, while maintaining high academic standards. The University strives to be recognized as the preeminent Catholic comprehensive university in the Northeast.

  • Online Courses

Featured Schools