Attorney

EMILY GUBLER CLARK

Columbia Law School BS Math BYU

“After graduating from BYU in Mathematics in April 2004, I moved to New York City and started law school at Columbia… (Now) I’ve accepted a job post-graduation with Lewis & Roca in their Las Vegas office.”

“Mathematics has been a wonderful preparation for law school. Math was a surprisingly excellent prep for taking the LSAT… Being a math major in law school sets you apart from the majority of law students who are humanities majors, a distinction that proves advantageous upon applying for jobs.”

Attorneys act as both advocates and advisors in our society. As advocates, they represent one of the parties in criminal and civil trials by presenting evidence and arguing in court to support their client. As advisors, attorneys counsel their clients about their legal rights and obligations and suggest particular courses of action in business and personal matters. They research, comprehend, and apply local, state, and federal laws and a good background in mathematics will help a student get admitted to law school and assist in the understanding of complicated theoretical legal concepts.


Low End Salary:   $55,870/yr
Median Salary:   $115,820/yr
High End Salary:   $187,200/yr


Education:

Formal requirements to become a attorney usually include a 4-year college degree in a field such as mathematics, 3 years of law school, and passing a written bar examination. Competition for admission to most law schools is intense. Math and Physics majors outscore all other majors on the LSAT (Law School Admission Test). (Michael Nieswiadomy, "LSAT Scores of Economics Majors: The 2003-2004 Class Update", Journal of Economic Education, pp. 244-247) Do you love mathematics, but want to pursue a career as a lawyer? "Professional graduate schools in business, law, and medicine think mathematics is a great major because it develops analytical skills and the ability to work in a problem solving environment. And results on admission tests for graduate and professional schools show that students majoring in mathematics receive substantially higher scores than most other majors." William Allard & Clark Bray Duke University, Mathematics Department

Math Required:

College Algebra, Trigonometry, Geometry, Calculus I and II, Finite Mathematics, Statistics

When Math is Used:

Attorneys use mathematical skills such as problem solving and logic in their everyday business activities. Much like a math problem, attorneys in court need to illustrate step-by-step their knowledge of the case.

Potential Employers:

Approximately 27 percent of attorneys are self-employed, practicing either as partners in law firms or in solo practices. They may also hold positions in government, in law firms or other corporations, or in nonprofit organizations. Most government-employed attorneys worked at the local level.

Facts:

There are many different types of attorneys, such as private attorneys, trial attorneys, corporate attorneys, intellectual property attorneys, patents attorneys, insurance attorneys, environmental attorneys, and government attorneys.

Citations:

  • http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos053.htm
  • http://www.math.ucdavis.edu/~kouba/MathJobs.html
  • http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes231011.htm
  • http://www.siena.edu/level2col.aspx?menu_id=530&id=23684
  • http://mathforum.org/library/drmath/view/52353.html

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