English for a Career in Law
English majors develop strong critical reading and writing skills. Students in English tend to read large amounts of material and to analyze it at the most precise levels of detail.
As critics, students spend their time evaluating the merits of texts and their arguments, often by examining the exact nature of the way that texts put words and sentences together. English courses typically demand that students ponder the meaning of language, consider the ways in which statements can be understood, and think about unintended meanings and their consequences.
As writers, students learn how to develop nuanced and polished arguments based on careful interpretations of language. Whether discussing the various meanings of a poem, editing a difficult manuscript, or questioning a critic’s point of view, English majors are developing the skills that are necessary for law school.
Coursework in law school typically involves extensive reading, research, and writing as students learn how to prepare arguments – written and oral – for professional settings like the courtroom. On average, the English major is among the top disciplines in preparing students for law school. Majors tend to score above average on the LSAT exams, and often outperform even their peers in pre-law programs.
The American Bar Association mentions English as one of the traditional majors to take in preparation for law school and also includes critical reading; writing and editing; oral communication and listening; and research among their list of "Core Skills, Values, Knowledge and Experience."
UND English alumni have gone on pursue Juris Doctor (JD) degrees at law schools such as the University of Minnesota, the University of Idaho, William Mitchell College of Law, and UND's program, among others. They have served as editors of Law Review at their various institutions, and they have also clerked for judges, including serving a ND State Supreme Court Justice and the 9th Judicial District Court of MN.
Connect With an English Advisor
If you are interested in attending law school following graduation, contact Adam Kitzes to serve as your professional advisor. Professor Kitzes can help recommend courses that might best suit your needs and interests, help locate internships and other professional opportunities, and provide feedback as you prepare your law school application and cover letter.