Is a philosophy major with an english minor good for pre-law?
Or is it better to have english as a major and philosophy as a minor?
- j153eLv 75 months ago
If the self-selected majors' SAT scores are noted, the effect of e.g. English or philosophy training on LSAT scores appears non-significant.
Depending on what law specialization(s) you're interested in, you might elect a couple of course in micro and macro economics (business law, contract law), biology (environmental law), political science (constitutional law), and/or psychology (criminal law). Doing English lit crit is often less useful than two courses in normal and abnormal psychology, in terms of uncovering human behavior.
Philosophy paper writing emphasizes logic, deduction, some induction, and use of specific terms to explain your thesis. This may be a little closer to the new style of writing you'll be practicing in law school classes, than is English composition, either creative or analyzing of literary works. A couple of good books beneficial for learning the law school and lawyerly style: "Thinking like a Lawyer," Schauer, and "1L of a Ride," McClurg.
Also, Merriam-Webster's "Law Dictionary" gives clear English definitions of about 10,000 of the most-used legal concepts, and these are the building blocks with which legalese is written, focusing on the key or salient facts and points of a case, and as applied to precedent. Legal writing is focused with those concepts foremost, and is concise and to the point, and as such is something you might find worthwhile practicing before entering law school.
And, "The Rule of Law" by Bingham is worthwhile.
In terms of philosophy, logic, including finding formal and informal fallacies, is worthwhile, and it is likely that John Rawls' left-leaning social justice "Justice as Fairness: A Restatement" will continue to influence some law courses' orientation.
So, would suggest you finalize your own preferences (philosophy/English, English/philosophy) and then correlate your choice with the quality of the teaching in both depts. English lit has gone quite experimental or away from classics in recent decades, so that may be a caution. If you can find a course on Shakespeare, that's usually good, and is probably the best investment of your time. In a philosophy major, you may be able to focus or self-select to develop some expertise in Natural Law and legal positivism, aspects of the philosophy of law, and which two schools are somewhat polarized towards God and God's Nature, and social facts, respectively.
Along with Rawls, Herbert Hart's "The Concept of Law" and John Finnis' "Natural Law and Natural Rights" would likely be an interesting trio to compare, if one were doing a senior thesis, and/or in one or another course(s).
- RobinLv 75 months ago
probably best just to have law
- .Lv 75 months ago
Google "LSAT scores by major." You will see that Philosophy majors tend to be near the top. So yes.