Careers in Law
What skills will increase the likelihood that you will get into the law school you prefer?
What skills will help you succeed professionally once you complete law school?
How can you develop and demonstrate those skills?
The best preparation for law school is academic excellence. Law schools consider an applicant’s LSAT score, GPA, and personal statement.
The LSAT is an exam that all law school applicants are required to take. It does not test knowledge of the law or criminal justice system. Instead, it is designed to evaluate students’ ability to think analytically. This means that the content of the courses you take is not as important as their rigor. The best preparation for getting into law school is to take the most difficult courses you can with the most demanding professors.
If you develop strong skills in analytical thinking, applying abstract ideas to new situations, problem solving, reading of difficult material, and writing, you are more likely to be a strong applicant. These skills are not only important for getting into law school: they also are important for succeeding as a law student and as an attorney.
We recommend students interested in a legal career specialize in the research and analysis track. This specialization trains students to think abstractly and to apply abstract ideas to new empirical situations. Courses that emphasize writing are also extremely valuable. For example, you might consider a minor in English or philosophy to develop your reading and writing skills.
If you are interested in particular kinds of law—environmental law, family law, labor law, corporate practice, and so forth—then you should take substantive courses that will give you a background in those areas. For example, to prepare for family law, you might take Sociology of the Family (SOC 351). Similarly, to prepare for a career in environmental law, consider enrolling in Sustainability and Society (SOC 332) and other regularly-offered environmental sociology courses at WSU.
For additional information about pursuing careers in law after earning your sociology degree, visit these resources: