Baylor University
Department of Classics
College of Arts and Sciences

Baylor > Welcome > Classics and Your Future > Pre-Law


Why Classics?

Why not Classics? Each year nearly 300 majors across the country apply to law school and their collective LSAT record has been among the best in the nation.

Year Applicants Mean
2009 305 160.3
2008 291 159.5
2007 287 159.5
2006 281 158.9
2005 283 158.9
Data provided by LSAC Data Services Group. The annual national average is around 152. A score of 160 (out of 180 possible) falls around the 80th percentile.

Law schools report that Classics majors thrive, achieving distinction in grades and the prestige of law review membership more frequently than students from a background in political science, economics, "pre-law" or "legal studies" (Harvard Magazine, May 1998).

Prominent lawyers who began their career in Classics include James A. Baker III (former White House chief of Staff, Secretary of the Treasury, and Secretary of State), Jerry Brown (current governor of California), and William Cohen (former Secretary of Defense).

Hone your Talents

The American Bar Association emphasizes that success in the legal profession come not from any particular major, but rather from a broad range of challenging courses that foster core skills.

  • Analytic and problem solving skills
  • Critical Reading
  • Writing Skills
  • Oral Communication and Listening Skills
  • General Research Skill
  • Task Organization and Management
  • Public Service and Promotion of Justice.

The Classics program at Baylor engages students in each of these areas. Questions of civic responsibility and justice permeate ancient literature. At all levels, courses in Latin and Greek emphasize precise reading, analysis, and logical application of grammatical rules. To this core, upper level courses add research, presentation, and writing components. As a discipline, Classics is dedicated to exploring all aspects of Greek and Roman antiquity over a period of more than 2000 years. The broad, interdisciplinary nature of such study fosters planning, research, and knowledge integration skills.

The Princeton Review (Guide to College Majors 2010) provides an excellent summation: "One reason that Classics majors are so successful is that they completely master grammar. ... Ultimately though, Classics majors get on well in life because they develop intellectual rigor, communications skills, analytical skills, the ability to handle complex information, and above all, a breadth of view which few other disciplines can provide."

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