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Mathematics is required for entry into most law schools. Math and the law have something in common: laws. In both mathematics and the legal arena, there are laws that are unbendable and ones that are. A good background in math will give you the problem solving strategies and logic you need to succeed as a lawyer.
How Lawyers Use Math
Lawyers use math all the time to win cases. Expert testimonials often revolve around statistics, math, or a combination of both. If you have a good working knowledge of statistics, you'll be able to figure out whether the data being presented is true or junk math.
Symbolic logic, logic and critical thinking are specific classes that can help you to prepare to become a lawyer. However, in order to take logic classes, you must already have a good background in mathematics, including algebra, trigonometry and calculus. College algebra is a continuation of high school algebra where you will typically explore functions and graphs. Calculus is the study of rates of change, or how graphs behave over time, and trigonometry is the study of triangles.
The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is a half-day test administered by the Law School Admissions Council. The exam is required for admission to any American Bar Association law school. The test is comprised of five 35-minute multiple choice sections and measures reading comprehension, analytical reasoning and logical reasoning. These questions test a candidate's ability to analyze, evaluate and complete arguments; understand the structure of arguments, reason deductively and draw conclusions for given data. While the LSAT has no math portion, many questions involve logic and analytical reasoning.
Lawyers may spend a large amount of time poring over data. Whether you become a corporate lawyer or a trial lawyer, you'll have to look at and analyze reports that may contain regression analysis, standard deviations or means, modes and medians. A course in statistics prepares you for data analysis. Law schools do look for breadth of study; other, non-math classes, including philosophy and ethics, can help you think logically and prepare for law school.
Stephanie Ellen teaches mathematics and statistics at the university and college level. She coauthored a statistics textbook published by Houghton-Mifflin. She has been writing professionally since 2008. Ellen holds a Bachelor of Science in health science from State University New York, a master's degree in math education from Jacksonville University and a Master of Arts in creative writing from National University.