The Economics Major
“The law and economics movement was and continues to be an enormous enlivening force in American legal thought and, I would say, today continues and remains the single most influential jurisprudential school in this country.”
– Anthony T. Kronman, Dean of the Yale Law School1
Over the last several decades the application of economic analysis to legal topics has altered the shape of the law. As one scholar has written, “Law and economics represents the one example of a social science that has successfully found a place at the core of legal arguments made in courts, administrative agencies, and other legal settings.”2 As a result, the study of economics has become a valuable way to prepare for both the study and the practice of law. The Department of Economics at Baylor University offers students interested in law school an outstanding course of study designed to prepare them to excel in law school and beyond.
Economics is a good choice for pre-law students for several reasons:
According to law school admissions staff, students majoring in economics and other quantitative disciplines perform better in law school than other majors.
Economics majors performed better on the Law School Admission Test than students majoring in political science, history, psychology, finance, and accounting.3
The law school curriculum is full of topics rooted in economic analysis – from first-year courses like contracts, torts, and property, to upper-level courses like antitrust, business organizations, and regulation.
Training in economics develops a student’s analytical skills in ways that will be helpful in law school and throughout life, and it provides a unique lens through which all aspects of human behavior may be viewed.
For students who ultimately decide against law school, an economics major provides numerous other options for employment or graduate study.
Three Degree Plans
Students majoring in economics may choose from among three degree plans: a Bachelor of Arts, a Bachelor of Science, or a Bachelor of Business Administration. Generally speaking, the differences among these three degree plans are:
- The Bachelor of Arts places greater emphasis on the humanities, the arts, and the social sciences in its core degree requirements. Students must take a total of 124 semester hours, including 27 hours of economics.
- The Bachelor of Science includes more courses in science and/or mathematics and fewer courses in the liberal arts. Students must take a total of 124 semester hours, including 27 hours of economics.
- The Bachelor of Business Administration is offered through Baylor's Hankamer School of Business and includes the entire business core curriculum. The B.B.A. in economics also offers a greater opportunity to double-major in other business disciplines. Students must take a total of 124 semester hours, including 21 hours of economics.
Each of these degree plans offers a sound approach to pre-law study, and students should take their own interests into account in determining which degrees best meet their needs.
The "Pre-Law Track"
There is no single course of study that is required to gain admission to law school. However, some courses, both in and out of the Department of Economics, are more related to the field of law than others. To major in economics, all students must take the following courses:
ECO 2306: Principles of Microeconomics
ECO 2307: Principles of Macroeconomics
ECO 3306: Intermediate Microeconomic Analysis
ECO 3307: Intermediate Macroeconomic Analysis
In addition, the following upper-level economics electives present topics more closely related to the field of law:
ECO 4316: Industrial Organization
ECO 4317: The Economics of Regulation
ECO 4318: Law and Economics
ECO 4319: Game Theory
ECO 4320: The Economics of Government
ECO 4322: Forensic Economics
To fulfill their degree requirements, all pre-law students may take any or all of the above courses, or they may take any other course offered by the Department of Economics.
For additional information, contact:
Department of Economics
One Bear Place #98003
Waco, Texas 76798-8003
Phone: (254) 710-6229
1 Remarks of Anthony T. Kronman, “The Second Driker Forum for Excellence in the Law,” Wayne Law Review, Vol. 42, p. 160 (1995).
2 Bryant G. Garth, “Strategic Research in Law and Society,” Florida State University Law Review, Vol. 18, p. 59 (1990).
3 Michael Nieswiadomy, “LSAT Scores of Economics Majors,” Journal of Economic Education, Vol. 29, No. 4, pp. 377-79 (Fall 1998).
Michael Nieswiadomy, "LSAT Scores of Economics Majors: The 2003-2004 Class Update," Journal of Economic Education, Vol. 37, No. 2, pp. 244-247 (Spring 2006)