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Legal System Careers

Why Major in Psychology?

The legal system interacts with people during some of the most stressful and difficult times in their lives.  An understanding of why people behave the way they do and ways to produce behavior change is necessary.  Studying psychology provides students with an understanding of the many factors that influence behavior—from brain mechanisms, to family and friends, personality, and mental health issues.  Coursework required for the psychology major also allows students to develop strong analytical skills. .

Attorneys use these skills to  evaluate legal issues and determine the best course of action for their clients.Counselors help individuals understand and deal with issues that lead them to criminal behavior.  Clinical Psychologists might be involved in assessing competency to stand trial or doing custody evaluations. 

Sample job titles with a bachelor’s degree

Police Office 
Probation Office
Parole Office
Customs Inspector
Loss Prevention Specialist

Sample job titles with a master’s degree

Social Worker
Counselor

Sample job titles with a doctoral degree

Psychologist
Attorney

Special considerations

Students who plan to pursue law enforcement professions should take relevant courses (and maybe earn a minor) from Sociology, Criminology and Human Relations. Students planning to attend law school should take classes in Philosophy and Political Science as electives.