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drizzydrake24

Accepted Students, What was your major?

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Hello All,

 

I am interested in applying to law schools in the future and I am not sure what I want to major in. I understand that for UBC you just need a degree from a recognized institution, but I am curious as to what the accepted applicants majored in? Thank you for your help!

Edited by drizzydrake24
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Study whatever you think you'll do well in, if law is your only aim. HOWEVER, and trust me when I say this, the chances of you changing your mind in the next 4.5-5 years (most people don't finish their undergrad in 4 years) are high. I changed my mind a million times, my brother changed his mind and I've seen a thousand other people change their minds. That means you should study something you can both do well in and that you can utilize after graduation. 

A humanities major won't necessarily get you a job, but it will teach you how to write a good essay (you decide if that's worth it). General sciences are only slightly better, but again, they don't really lead to anything concrete. Engineering will of course be very useful, but you will walk out with a shit GPA (unless you're a genius like my brother with a strong science and math background). Accounting is useful, but it's not necessarily easy. Accounting is the most difficult business major there is and most of the upper year courses are on par with engineering courses (intermediate accounting still gives me diarrhea whenever I think about it). 

Take a look at the list of top scorers on the LSAT. I'm too lazy to find it right now, but I remember most of the top scorers being math and philosophy students (easy to see why). 

If you want the absolute easiest major in the world, and you're SURE that you're only going to pursue law after undergrad, then go for marketing. In fact, if you go for a BBA degree without declaring a major, you can pick some of the easiest courses known to man. Just avoid finance and accounting and you'll be fine. As long as you have a half working brain and semi-beating heart, you can get an A in most BBA courses. Just try to figure out what the instructors want, give them exactly that and make sure you find the easiest electives (you'll be required to take breadth electives) and you'll be walking out with a 4/4 GPA. 

Oh and if you're in Vancouver, avoid SFU and Douglas AT ALL COSTS. They start their A+ at 95% and their A's at 90. An 85 is only an A-. Basically you'll be starting a marathon with a broken leg. Fuck that. If you're in one of those two schools, abandon ship right now. Swim to Capilano or UBC.

Good luck.

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5 hours ago, drizzydrake24 said:

Hello All,

 

I am interested in applying to law schools in the future and I am not sure what I want to major in. I understand that for UBC you just need a degree from a recognized institution, but I am curious as to what the accepted applicants majored in? Thank you for your help!

It really doesn’t matter. We have a huge variety of backgrounds. Take what interests you. 

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4 hours ago, Abii said:

Study whatever you think you'll do well in, if law is your only aim. HOWEVER, and trust me when I say this, the chances of you changing your mind in the next 4.5-5 years (most people don't finish their undergrad in 4 years) are high. I changed my mind a million times, my brother changed his mind and I've seen a thousand other people change their minds. That means you should study something you can both do well in and that you can utilize after graduation. 

A humanities major won't necessarily get you a job, but it will teach you how to write a good essay (you decide if that's worth it). General sciences are only slightly better, but again, they don't really lead to anything concrete. Engineering will of course be very useful, but you will walk out with a shit GPA (unless you're a genius like my brother with a strong science and math background). Accounting is useful, but it's not necessarily easy. Accounting is the most difficult business major there is and most of the upper year courses are on par with engineering courses (intermediate accounting still gives me diarrhea whenever I think about it). 

Take a look at the list of top scorers on the LSAT. I'm too lazy to find it right now, but I remember most of the top scorers being math and philosophy students (easy to see why). 

If you want the absolute easiest major in the world, and you're SURE that you're only going to pursue law after undergrad, then go for marketing. In fact, if you go for a BBA degree without declaring a major, you can pick some of the easiest courses known to man. Just avoid finance and accounting and you'll be fine. As long as you have a half working brain and semi-beating heart, you can get an A in most BBA courses. Just try to figure out what the instructors want, give them exactly that and make sure you find the easiest electives (you'll be required to take breadth electives) and you'll be walking out with a 4/4 GPA. 

Oh and if you're in Vancouver, avoid SFU and Douglas AT ALL COSTS. They start their A+ at 95% and their A's at 90. An 85 is only an A-. Basically you'll be starting a marathon with a broken leg. Fuck that. If you're in one of those two schools, abandon ship right now. Swim to Capilano or UBC.

Good luck.

What school offers this BBA lol? Wish I had got mine there instead

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4 hours ago, Abii said:

 

If you want the absolute easiest major in the world, and you're SURE that you're only going to pursue law after undergrad, then go for marketing. In fact, if you go for a BBA degree without declaring a major, you can pick some of the easiest courses known to man. Just avoid finance and accounting and you'll be fine. As long as you have a half working brain and semi-beating heart, you can get an A in most BBA courses. Just try to figure out what the instructors want, give them exactly that and make sure you find the easiest electives (you'll be required to take breadth electives) and you'll be walking out with a 4/4 GPA. 

Agreed. I have a BBA in Accounting. Thinking about Intermediate still gives cold sweats. Every other business class I took outside of accounting (and tax) was easy. I knew this and pushed off the hard classes to my last term where the law schools don't look. :) 
That said... good luck getting a job with a bare bones Marketing degree if you decide law is not for you. So don't go down that route without a backup plan.

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I am a political science major, but as said above study what makes you happy, not what you think looks good on a law school application.

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I majored in philosophy, and that's because I love philosophy. But also, you want to choose a major that you feel you can get great marks in. Ultimately, if you're trying to get into law school, you want to choose a major in which you can obtain the highest GPA possible. Because I love philosophy, I really put effort into my assignments, papers, presentations, etc., and as a result, got great marks.

If I had to major in psychology, or political science, or some other Arts degree or (god forbid) a science degree, the innate interest just wouldn't have been there, and my marks would have suffered for sure.

It really doesn't matter at all which major you choose. Law schools don't discriminate on which major you choose, they really just want to see that you have a high GPA and have the ability to study hard and learn challenging material. If Chemistry is your jam, major in Chemistry. If you love history, major in history and go ape shit. Make sure it's something you are genuinely curious about and want to learn about, then, try like hell and give your best shot.

Edited by proflucas
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Woops, sorry, didn't realize this was in a UBC thread. I have NOT been accepted by UBC... just rambling on over here...

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8 hours ago, Nabbo said:

What school offers this BBA lol? Wish I had got mine there instead

I can't imagine a BBA degree being too different from school to school. They give you enough leeway in every school in terms of course options and majors. You just have to pick your poison. Go for the easy bs courses with the aim of law school or take some tougher courses with the aim of CPA/CFA etc... 

Pretty much every policy type course that I took was a complete and utter joke. Figure out if your instructor is a conservative or a social justice warrior (very easy thing to do) and hand in papers that cater to his/her bias. I had a 4th year business strategy/policy course with an old Albertan teacher (I'm in Vancouver). The second the guy walked into the class with his leather boots, high-rise jeans and tucked-in shirt I knew I had to turn into a conservative to get the grade. Dropped into his office, introduced myself, got to know him a little and that was that. For the duration of that class I was a conservative. That's all undergrad is pretty much (unless you're in the sciences or engineering). 

8 hours ago, Dosko said:

Agreed. I have a BBA in Accounting. Thinking about Intermediate still gives cold sweats. Every other business class I took outside of accounting (and tax) was easy. I knew this and pushed off the hard classes to my last term where the law schools don't look.  
That said... good luck getting a job with a bare bones Marketing degree if you decide law is not for you. So don't go down that route without a backup plan.

lol I remember intermediate 1 like yesterday. I had 5 classes that semester and I spent more time on intermediate 1 than the other 4 courses combined. I got A's and A+'s in the other 4 courses, but walked out with a B for the intermediate. That ended up being my only non-A grade in my last 60 credits. Surprisingly I managed to get an A+ in intermediate 2 (easy teacher). Decided not to take tax . Figured it could potentially destroy my GPA. My thinking was that if I get rejected from law school I can just take the one tax course and for my CPA. 

I kind of regret the decision though. I don't think tax would have been much harder than intermediate. Just more stuff to memorize. A lot of people I've talked to say tax is actually easier than intermediate. It's just more stuff to remember. 

Edited by Abii
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6 hours ago, proflucas said:

Woops, sorry, didn't realize this was in a UBC thread. I have NOT been accepted by UBC... just rambling on over here...

I haven't either. lol I didn't realize this was a UBC thread. But it doesn't matter. The advice given still stands. You want to go to law school, major in something that will churn out a high GPA.

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13 hours ago, Abii said:

"Oh and if you're in Vancouver, avoid SFU and Douglas AT ALL COSTS. They start their A+ at 95% and their A's at 90. An 85 is only an A-. Basically you'll be starting a marathon with a broken leg. Fuck that. If you're in one of those two schools, abandon ship right now. Swim to Capilano or UBC."

 

Edited by average

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This. Wish I saw this 4 years ago...I will forever hate SFU if I don't get in this cycle

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1 hour ago, average said:

This. Wish I saw this 4 years ago...I will forever hate SFU if I don't get in this cycle

Ouch man. That's unfortunate. Have you calculated what the difference would be if you went to a "normal" school? One that follows a normal grading system? 

I have no idea why SFU does this! And Douglas follows that system because it caters to students wanting to transfer to SFU. I also don't understand the whole "let's build a frickin' university on top of a mountain" so you can't bike, walk or even bus to school anytime it snows. Watching buses slide down the hill during exam time is fucking sad haha. Every damn year too. 

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Well SFU's grading scales depends on the major. I was a psych major and also took many crim course. Most of our psych classes were scaled: top 10-20% automatically get within the A range, next 10-20% get Bs, etc (the scale also depended on the size of the classes, the course and the prof). So in some classes, an 88% would end up being an A+. I know Crim was quite difficult though with the non-curved grading scale already mentioned (95% being A+). 

Most of the comments above are pretty accurate. At Allard, this year's first year class had like 50% social sciences/arts backgrounds if I remember correctly.. I could be wrong. But in general there doesn't seem to be a particular major that is best suited. From anecdotal experience, I think most people struggled with trying to get the hang of legal writing in the first month of class where some of the essay or legal writing assignments were due, regardless of whether they came from an Arts or Science background.

I will say this though. I took quite a few crim courses at SFU (mostly the legal ones - 135, 230, 330, 332, 335, 338). They were all pretty tough to get into the A or A+ range, however, they have proved to be useful to me at the least. Particularly 230, 332 and 335. I had read quite a few of the cases that we went over and some of the concepts felt a bit like review in class. Having said that, the advantage is slight. I enjoyed the undergrad courses but the extent of detail required for law school often requires more depth. 

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17 hours ago, Abii said:

I can't imagine a BBA degree being too different from school to school. They give you enough leeway in every school in terms of course options and majors. You just have to pick your poison. Go for the easy bs courses with the aim of law school or take some tougher courses with the aim of CPA/CFA etc... 

Pretty much every policy type course that I took was a complete and utter joke. Figure out if your instructor is a conservative or a social justice warrior (very easy thing to do) and hand in papers that cater to his/her bias. I had a 4th year business strategy/policy course with an old Albertan teacher (I'm in Vancouver). The second the guy walked into the class with his leather boots, high-rise jeans and tucked-in shirt I knew I had to turn into a conservative to get the grade. Dropped into his office, introduced myself, got to know him a little and that was that. For the duration of that class I was a conservative. That's all undergrad is pretty much (unless you're in the sciences or engineering). 

lol I remember intermediate 1 like yesterday. I had 5 classes that semester and I spent more time on intermediate 1 than the other 4 courses combined. I got A's and A+'s in the other 4 courses, but walked out with a B for the intermediate. That ended up being my only non-A grade in my last 60 credits. Surprisingly I managed to get an A+ in intermediate 2 (easy teacher). Decided not to take tax . Figured it could potentially destroy my GPA. My thinking was that if I get rejected from law school I can just take the one tax course and for my CPA. 

I kind of regret the decision though. I don't think tax would have been much harder than intermediate. Just more stuff to memorize. A lot of people I've talked to say tax is actually easier than intermediate. It's just more stuff to remember. 

Taking exclusively "joke" courses may backfire on you when you get to law school and have to compete with people who actually took challenging courses.

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One thing that never seems to get mentioned enough is if you know what field of law you want to go into. If you know you want to go into corporate law, it would stand to reason that having a business undergrad would be a huge upside when looking for corporate jobs. By the same logic, polisci if you want to go into politics, economics if you wanted to work for the Competition Bureau or some other policy positions et cetera.

Do challenge yourself though, if for nothing else that you lessen the chances of becoming some people I know where they treat everything like high school and act entitled when they're cruising with a mid-80s average in a piss-easy program, then acting smug about it.

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17 hours ago, Abii said:

Pretty much every policy type course that I took was a complete and utter joke. Figure out if your instructor is a conservative or a social justice warrior (very easy thing to do) and hand in papers that cater to his/her bias. I had a 4th year business strategy/policy course with an old Albertan teacher (I'm in Vancouver). The second the guy walked into the class with his leather boots, high-rise jeans and tucked-in shirt I knew I had to turn into a conservative to get the grade. Dropped into his office, introduced myself, got to know him a little and that was that. For the duration of that class I was a conservative. That's all undergrad is pretty much (unless you're in the sciences or engineering). 

 

This is true for the most part... I found that success in undergrad (apart from studying and working hard) was largely about "playing the game." I know some really intelligent people who consistently receive lower grades than me, and I believe a large part of that is because they refuse to play this game of catering to whoever is marking your work. It is honorable, but unfortunate. Unless your school/dept. utilizes an anonymous grading system, the last thing you want is your marker (prof or TA) to feel antagonistic or hostile feelings toward you. 

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20 minutes ago, RNGesus said:

One thing that never seems to get mentioned enough is if you know what field of law you want to go into. If you know you want to go into corporate law, it would stand to reason that having a business undergrad would be a huge upside when looking for corporate jobs. By the same logic, polisci if you want to go into politics, economics if you wanted to work for the Competition Bureau or some other policy positions et cetera.

Do challenge yourself though, if for nothing else that you lessen the chances of becoming some people I know where they treat everything like high school and act entitled when they're cruising with a mid-80s average in a piss-easy program, then acting smug about it.

I guess, but my interests changed throughout law school. 

18 hours ago, Abii said:

I can't imagine a BBA degree being too different from school to school. They give you enough leeway in every school in terms of course options and majors. You just have to pick your poison. Go for the easy bs courses with the aim of law school or take some tougher courses with the aim of CPA/CFA etc... 

Pretty much every policy type course that I took was a complete and utter joke. Figure out if your instructor is a conservative or a social justice warrior (very easy thing to do) and hand in papers that cater to his/her bias. I had a 4th year business strategy/policy course with an old Albertan teacher (I'm in Vancouver). The second the guy walked into the class with his leather boots, high-rise jeans and tucked-in shirt I knew I had to turn into a conservative to get the grade. Dropped into his office, introduced myself, got to know him a little and that was that. For the duration of that class I was a conservative. That's all undergrad is pretty much (unless you're in the sciences or engineering). 

Sounds like a pretty unpleasant education - I usually avoided profs that were like this. More power to you, though.

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I feel like a lot of people have OP's question. I'm procrastinating readings, so here are some thoughts:

If you're thinking about undergrad, and you find yourself leaning towards using it as a stepping stone towards the law, ask yourself why you want to do that. Do you actually want to do lawyer work? Would you be interested in learning about the law? If you couldn't become a lawyer for some reason, what would you like to do? If you could make a decent amount of money doing any kind of job, what kind of job would you want? What about being a lawyer will help you get the jobs/career you want? What skills do you want to develop so that doing the things you enjoy becomes easier and more fruitful?

Since law school requires some undergrad education (but not in any particular area), you should try to find something that you enjoy AND/OR that will help you develop skills that you think will help you in your career. You're going to be dedicating several years of your life to that program, so you might as well choose a major that's going to do something for you while you're in it. Why suffer through a boring, useless program because you thought it would be easier to get into law after? Suffering of that kind is just not necessary.

I think I've said this before elsewhere, but another consideration is that undergrad programs open other opportunities, including jobs (oddly enough). If you are stuck in a BS major (and I don't mean a bachelor of sciences), you might be less likely to find cool opportunities, or the opportunities available won't be of interest to you. I guess I just want to recommend keeping an open mind at every stage, rather than planning the whole seven years and shooting through like the only goal is completion.

If you do want to be strategic about grades, maybe have that as the second (or forty-fifth) consideration when choosing a major. Don't just browse your university for the easiest courses (but if you're torn between two equally appealing programs... why not?). Keep in mind that you need decent grades, but you also need life experience and writing/reasoning/organization skills (not to mention some personal discipline) to succeed in law.

I also want to say that you need to want "something" from your career -- if not for law school applications, then for your own happiness. Just getting licensed as a lawyer isn't enough for that. If you're struggling to work out what you want to do with your career at this stage, and then you do the easiest possible thing in undergrad, you risk missing out on chances to explore what you might actually want/find what you enjoy and develop your skills accordingly so that you can get a job in a related area.  

 

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