Professional Schools

Law
The Mathematics Major - Professional School Concentration
Strongly Recommended Courses
MS 255 - Logic and Proofs
Other Recommended Courses
Major or Minor in Mathematics

About Law School

Although you may choose from several different paths to a good legal education, whether the law school you choose is public or private, large or small, church-related or independent, or affiliated with a university, you'll find that the basic curriculum focuses on certain legal skills required of all lawyers. A legal education is designed to develop your analytical, creative, and logical reasoning abilities.

Lawyers must know how to analyze legal issues in light of the constantly changing state of the law and public policy. They must be able to advocate the views of individuals and diverse interest groups within the context of the legal system. They must give intelligent counsel on the law's requirements. Moreover, lawyers must write and speak clearly and be able to persuade and negotiate effectively.

Most law schools require three years of full-time attendance, or four years of part-time study, if a part-time program is offered. Although law schools differ in the emphasis they give to certain subjects and in the degree to which they provide you with opportunities for independent study and clinical experience, nearly all law schools have certain basic similarities.

Most law schools rely on the "case method" approach to teaching. First-year curricula usually include courses in civil procedure, constitutional law, contracts, criminal law and criminal procedure, legal writing and research, property law, and torts.

Most law schools share a common approach to the task of training lawyers. Many emphasize particular teaching methods, placing students in legal internships for academic credit, or using government or legal resources of a surrounding community. A number of schools have developed specialized programs of instruction combining law with other disciplines such as business, public administration, international relations, science, and technology.

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Why Major in Mathematics?

A degree in mathematics provides a strong foundation for anyone that wishes to pursue a career in a variety of professions. The skills that one gains from mathematical training is especially useful and relevant in the legal profession. In fact, law schools think it's a great major because they realize that studying mathematics develops analytical skills and the ability to work in a problem solving environment; these are skills and experience which rank high on their list of assets.

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Preparing for Law School

All Law School Admission Council (LSAC)-member schools require a bachelor's degree for admission. Beyond that, law schools want students who can think critically and write well. These attributes can be acquired in any number of college courses, whether in the arts and humanities, the social sciences, or the natural sciences.

An undergraduate career that is narrowly based or vocationally oriented may not be the best preparation for law school. As long as you receive an education including critical analysis, logical reasoning, and written and oral expression, the range of acceptable college majors is very broad. What counts is the intensity and depth of your undergraduate program and your capacity to perform well at an academically rigorous level. The curriculum for an undergraduate degree in mathematics at Stetson University fits these criteria.

The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is a half-day standardized test required for admission to all 198 law schools that are members of the Law School Admission Council (LSAC). It provides a standard measure of acquired reading and verbal reasoning skills that law schools can use as one of several factors in assessing applicants. The test is administered four times a year at hundreds of locations around the world.

Criteria That May Be Considered by Law School Admission Committees

- LSAT score
- Undergraduate grade-point average
- Undergraduate course of study
- Graduate work, if any
- College attended
- Improvement in grades and grade distribution
- College curricular and extracurricular activities
- Ethnic/racial background
- Individual character and personality
- Letters of recommendation
- Writing skills
- Personal statement or essay
- Work experience or other postundergraduate experiences
- Community activities
- Motivation to study and reasons for deciding to study law
- State of residency
- Difficulties that you have overcome
- Precollege preparation
- Past accomplishments and leadership
- Anything else that stands out in an application

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Useful Links

Much of the content on this page is thanks to information gathered from some of the links below. Students are strongly encouraged to visit some of these sites.

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