A Tip for Students Interested in Law School

By Sean Carroll | September 1, 2009 2:07 pm

A new study looks at the average LSAT scores of students with different undergraduate majors, sometimes grouping related fields together to gather a statistically significant sample. (Via.) And the best scores were attained by students studying:

  1. Physics/Math (160.0)
  2. Economics (157.4)
  3. Philosophy/Theology (157.4)
  4. International Relations (156.5)
  5. Engineering (156.2)

At the bottom of the list? Prelaw (148.3) and Criminal Justice (146.0).

I’m not one to crow about the superiority of physics with respect to other fields, so I found this more amusing than anything else. Still, that’s a pretty substantial gap between #1 and #2, if you compare to the differences between the lower scores. The obvious explanation: physics and math students get to be really good at taking tests like the LSAT. I don’t imagine this correlates very strongly with “being a good lawyer.” Then again, I don’t think that good scores on the physics GRE correlate very strongly with “being a good physicist,” over and above a certain useful aptitude at being quick-minded.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Academia
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Cosmic Variance

Random samplings from a universe of ideas.

About Sean Carroll

Sean Carroll is a Senior Research Associate in the Department of Physics at the California Institute of Technology. His research interests include theoretical aspects of cosmology, field theory, and gravitation. His most recent book is The Particle at the End of the Universe, about the Large Hadron Collider and the search for the Higgs boson. Here are some of his favorite blog posts, home page, and email: carroll [at] cosmicvariance.com .

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