Subjects You Need to Study to Become a Lawyer?

Dennis O’Clair/The Image Bank/Getty Images

There are no mandatory subjects a student must study to become a lawyer. However, subjects like English, public speaking, history, economics and mathematics may provide a good foundation for prospective lawyers.

The American Bar Association (ABA) accepts students from all academic backgrounds, note authors at There are no right or wrong academic paths to pursue at the undergraduate level, and prospective lawyers need not have formally studied pre-law classes in high school or in college. However, most law schools do require at least a bachelor’s level degree in order to admit students, according to authors at In addition to an undergraduate degree from an accredited university, students are often required to take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) before enrolling in law school. The LSAT is a standardized test that scores students based on their responses. This test is important because, like many undergraduate institutions, the score that students get on their LSAT usually determines what law schools they apply to and may be accepted in to.

Suggested Courses Formal requirements aside, there are no academic studies required for those who are considering a career in law. However, English, mathematics, economics, history, government and public speaking are suggested courses for people to take who are contemplating a legal career, advises the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The field of law requires the analytical, grammar and writing skills that courses in English provide. Lawyers spend quite a bit of time reading and analyzing cases, which makes having the ability to read documents and texts closely significant. Lawyers will also be expected to draft formal legal documents, such as memorandums, which means that having superior writing and editing skills will also come in handy. In addition to written skills, law schools will encourage students to have good public speaking skills, as most lawyers will spend at least some time in the courtroom. Public speaking skills can be acquired through several types of undergraduate debate and public speaking courses. Even after completing college, people who need to improve their oratory skills and techniques can find classes through groups like Toastmasters, which is a program designed to further working professionals’ oral communication abilities.

Special Topics Since the field of law encompasses many different areas of concentration and specialization, people considering a possible career in law are also encouraged to study courses in areas of law that they may be interested in at the undergraduate level. Students considering a career in environmental law, for instance, would be wise to take environmental science or biology classes at the undergraduate level. Similarly, those considering a career in international relations law are encouraged to take related classes like history, political relations and international affairs in college. While students may choose to pursue different paths within the field of law, they will be subjected to the same basic training in law school. Most law schools have a three-year program that teaches students fundamentals of law. In the first year, students will learn the basics of civil procedure and criminal law. They will also learn how to do proper legal writing and legal research. The successive two years build upon those skills with more specialized classes.