If you are thinking about majoring in criminal justice before law school all the power to you. However, you should know that law schools don’t necessarily look for a criminal justice major when looking over the applications.
In one of my previous posts I tackled the criminal justice versus law school question in a different manner. Its nature is a little different from this particular question, but it may provide answers to those that are interested in law school, criminal justice, and the legal field.
Personally, I wanted to go to top-notch law schools in the country. With a high practice LSAT score, great letters of recommendation, an honest personal statement, and 3.96 undergraduate GPA I pondered about going to some of the top law schools in the country. I had a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.
After months of deliberating and questioning my personal motives I chose the criminal justice route, instead of the law school one. I was more interested in the sociology, psychology, and “the way things work” aspects of the criminal justice system. To this day I remain happy with my decision.
Should you major in criminal justice?
Well, a criminal justice major would not hurt if you plan to practice “public” sector law. Criminal law and immigration law are just two examples, where a criminal justice bachelor major would be feasible ( but is not required ).
Some people say that a business degree or a political science degree will do the trick. The fact is that law schools want to accept individuals of diverse backgrounds, including myriad types of college degrees.
Zack touched on what possible majors may work best, and although not exhaustive, I must agree that some degrees can PREPARE you better for law school than others, hence making them more marketable when compared to a Criminal Justice degree:
- Political Science
However, these are not the only baccalaureate programs that will get your foot in the door and you should consider the fact that many law school hopefuls don’t make it past the first year of law school, yet alone the application process itself. What it boils down to is: Do you want to fall back on a degree you had no interest in or would you take your stab at law school and fall back on a degree that you know can bring you enjoyment even if you never make it through law school. Think about it.
If you are not sure what to major in, and you like law enforcement and criminal justice, then I would recommend majoring in criminal justice or related degrees. Keep in mind that a criminal justice degree is not the only option for you.
If you are not sure and don’t know if you like criminal justice, yet you would like to go to law school after your bachelor degree, I highly recommend majoring in something you like. However, the stronger the subject matter of your undergraduate degree, the stronger are the chances that you will get into the law school of your choice (Zack’s assertion of a solid degree that will prepare you applies here). A degree in basket weaving won’t help. So, you must choose wisely.
NEW – check out one of my latest posts: Thinking of a Law Degree Online? Think Twice About Online Law Schools
If you have any more questions about law schools, the criminal justice system, or just want to leave a comment you can do so below… in the comments section, of course. Good luck!
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- 10 Criminal Justice Careers Without Carrying a Gun