Law School Intentions Of Undergraduate Business Students

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Thomas Edmonds
David J. Flanagan
Timothy B. Palmer


Student Intentions, Law School, Business Law


The purpose of this paper is to examine factors that influence business students intentions to enroll in law school. Scant research has focused on factors that influence business students decisions to enroll in law school. This paper attempts to fill that gap. Hypotheses about student intentions are based on Ajzen & Fishbeins (1977) Theory of Planned Behavior. A sample of students enrolled in a business law class at a large Midwestern university is used to examine the hypotheses. Results indicate that law school intentions are driven by whether students feel they would enjoy the work of a lawyer, whether they feel having a law degree would provide them with job opportunities, and whether they feel they have the skills and abilities to get a law degree. Surprisingly, perceptions about future wealth are not associated with law school intentions. The sample may generalize to business student populations at other large state universities; however, it is important for future researchers to similarly investigate student law school intentions at other types of universities and colleges. The paper encourages undergraduate teachers of business law, as well as administrators of law schools, to consider the determinants of student intentions to study law. We particularly encourage law schools to work with undergraduate law faculty and periodically survey their target undergraduate populations to better understand student perceptions about attending law school.


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