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Pre-Law and Philosophy

The Value of Philosophy for Law

Many philosophers and students of philosophy go to law school, and there are now many successful philosopher-lawyers. Based on the available data, it is clear that philosophical training is of great value both in law school and in legal practice.

The law is a field for which philosophical training is generally excellent preparation, since students acquire the ability to develop and analyze arguments,  uncover assumptions and presuppositions, identify fallacies in reasoning, and structure complex ideas. Both formal and informal logic are of important use in the study and practice of law.


Quantitative Data

Studies show that philosophy majors receive higher scores on major standardized tests, including the GRE and the LSAT


Comparative data from one Law Schools Admissions Test (LSAT) showed the following scores:

    • Philosophy majors - 157.0 (4.7 points above the average)
    • Religion majors - 156.6 (4.3 points above the average)
    • Economics majors - 156.2 (conomics majors scored 3.9 points above the average
    • History majors - 154.5
    • English majors - 153.5
    • Political science majors scored 151.5


Of all the majors examined (including journalism, sociology, business, the arts, criminal justice, accounting, and languages), philosophy majors, outperformed all other majors on the LSAT.


The National Institute of Education concluded that philosophy majors scored:

    • 10% higher than political science majors on the LSAT
    • 15% higher than business majors on the GMAT
    • Higher than all other students on the verbal portion of the GRE
    • Higher than all other humanities majors on the quantitative portions standardized tests, second only to mathematics and science majors


For more information on the data above, see the American Philosophical Association's Careers for Philosophers and The Philosophy Major.  See www.apaonline.org


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 Last Modified 10/4/13