UPDATE: This post chronicles stats for law school applicants; the data for matriculants has been posted here.
Several years ago, Professor Michael Nieswiadomy (North Texas) released a paper (available on SSRN) on the LSAT scores of economics majors. I thought I'd make some inquiries with LSAC for some data on this subject to follow up.
I asked for all data of 2013 applicants and matriculants to law school. Applicants self-identified one of 142 majors; they could select more than one if they so desired. I obtained the median LSAT scores, and the median GPA scores, for these groups.
Below is a chart identifying the median LSAT scores and GPA scores based on self-identified major, for majors with at least 150 students taking the exam, among all law school applicants. A few majors are labeled on the chart.
Perhaps 150 is too low a figure for categorization (other studies typically require 400 to 450 students), but I thought a slightly more inclusive sample might be of interest.
As you can see, the best prospective law students were the Classics majors. Even though there were just 190 of them, they achieved a 159.8 LSAT and a UGPA of 3.477--the highest in both categories.
Among the rest, there is a pretty good correlation between LSAT and UGPA. As expected, some of the majors with disproportionately low UGPAs but high LSATs were in the sciences (I labeled Biology, specialization; Biology, general; Electrical Engineering; Mechanical Engineering; and Mathematics on the chart.) Among majors with disproportionately low LSATs but high UGPAs were Accounting, Law, Social Work, and Spanish.
Professor Brian Leiter has noted that other studies, which often link Philosophy and Religion into a single category, may distort the quality of Philosophy majors. The chart reflects a significant difference between the two. Philosophy majors (n=1773) achieved a 156.8 LSAT, good for sixth-highest in this set, but suffered from a slightly lower UGPA than would be expected, 3.308. Religion and Religious Studies majors (n=230) were a far smaller group with a lower LSAT score (154.6) but a much higher UGPA (3.434).
The chart below includes the comprehensive list of all majors with at least 150 applicants, sorted by LSAT score. Some very small majors (e.g., Art History, Music, and Policy Studies) scored quite well.
Among those majors with at least 1000 takers, the top major was Philosophy, followed by Economics, History, English, and Political Science.
Granted, one cannot identify causation based upon these scores. Students self-identify majors, sometimes more than one, or sometimes none at all; others self-select into taking the LSAT altogether (opting for medical school, business school, or a lucrative career instead of law school).
|ARTS & HUMANITIES - OTHER||1734||151.7||3.275|
|BUSINESS & MANAGEMENT - OTHER||239||151.1||3.171|
|SOCIAL SCIENCES - OTHER||465||148.4||3.168|
|ANY AREA NOT LISTED - OTHER||3595||145.0||3.122|