People make plenty of jokes about lawyers being greedy, but the fact is, they do a lot of difficult and important work—work that isn’t going anywhere. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that career opportunities for lawyers will grow by 10% by 2020.
Lawyers can work at law firms, where they will defend clients whom they feel are being unfairly and unlawfully treated. They can work for a government entity, prosecuting criminals on behalf of the people. They can work for businesses, schools, media outlets, and other entities, defending their best interests under the law, providing legal consultation, and taking legal action against people when necessary. Some lawyers go on to be judges, and many politicians have first become lawyers.
The average lawyer, according to the BLS, earns more than $112,000 per year. A lot of that can go toward paying off loans for an undergraduate degree and law school. All lawyers must attend law school prior to practicing law. And while there’s no such thing as an online law school that grants a Juris Doctor degree, a few undergraduate degrees that can be attained online would be ideal for those interested in pursuing a career in law. There is no one right undergraduate degree to earn while applying to law school, so students may want to choose a degree that interests them and that they can do well in.
One degree that might perfectly complement a pre-law mindset is an online degree in political science. Students who earn a degree in political science can often choose one of a few specializations, such as international relations or law. Students in undergraduate political science programs will likely take courses in the American legal system, each branch of government, political analysis, political history, comparative politics, and politics and media.
Students may also wish to pursue an undergraduate online degree in criminal justice or criminology prior to attending law school. Students in these programs will take courses in crime prevention, the criminal justice system, punishment and corrections, rehabilitation, sociology, and criminal psychology.
An online degree in philosophy could also be helpful for students hoping to pursue a career in law because of the way philosophy students are forced to think “outside the box.” Students will likely take courses in critical thinking, logic, ethics, morality, values within certain societies, identity, and human nature.
In students’ final year as an undergraduate, they are required to take the LSAT, which is the law school entrance exam. Upon completion of law school, students will take an exam called the Bar in order to become practicing attorneys.