As lawyers, one of the most
important things that we do is add up numbers. We need to know how much money
damages are going to cost, how much our hourly bill is going to be, and all
kinds of other stuff. But what kind of math do you need to know if you want to
be a lawyer? I’ve put together this article detailing the core math skills that
are needed for a successful entry-level career in law which includes the
The kinds of math you need to know
to be a lawyer:
Algebra: Algebra is the foundation of quantitative reasoning, and
it’s a good idea to learn the basics of algebra. You’ll need to know basic
algebra in order to fully understand legal documents, but you’ll also be able
to use algebraic equations to solve problems. Calculus
Calculus: Calculus is an applied mathematics that has many
applications in law. Calculus helps you understand how changes in one variable
lead to other changes in that variable or another. For example, if you have a
problem where an increase in one variable leads to an increase or decrease in
another variable, then calculus can help you determine whether that change will
be positive or negative.
Statistics: Statistics is the study of the collection, organization,
and interpretation of data. Statistics is a useful tool for lawyers because it
helps them to understand the probability of an event occurring. For example, if
you have found that a certain type of crime occurs more frequently at night
than during the day, then statistics will show you if there is any difference
between daytime and nighttime crime.
Probability: Probability is another important part of statistics.
Probabilities help people determine whether or not an event will occur. For
example, if you are trying to predict what kind of weather will happen on a
particular date, probabilities can help you determine which days are most
likely to be sunny or rainy.
As you can see, math can be useful
to lawyers in multiple capacities. Whether you realize it or not, math is
everywhere, and it is easier to understand than you might think. To be a
successful lawyer, you need to master the laws surrounding your particular
field, and that will take a lot of studying. You’ll also have to develop
persuasive arguments on behalf of your clients. But knowing a little bit about
math can give you an edge in both cases, allowing you to more clearly identify
logical fallacies and pitfalls in the law, plus gain a better understanding of
statistics and probability.
In most cases, you won’t need to
know a lot of math to be a good lawyer. It’s one of the benefits of attending
law school after getting your bachelor’s degree (as opposed to going straight
to law school). And if you find yourself drowning in math as an attorney, it
will probably be a type of math that you’re already familiar with.