Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy
Attorney at Law
As an undergraduate student, Crystal Wright decided that philosophy would give her the solid foundation she needed to study law. Majoring in philosophy taught her to think outside the box, pay attention to detail, and sharpen her analytical skills. In 2005, Wright earned a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Southern Methodist University, before continuing her education and earning her Juris Doctor from Texas Southern UniversityóThurgood Marshall School of Law. Today, she is an attorney at law practicing in criminal defense, traffic violations, and family law.
Why did you choose to major in philosophy?
I chose philosophy because I wanted a major that was different and challenging. I knew that I wanted to go to law school later on, so I needed a major that would be both reading and writing intensive, which is a big part of the course work. There aren’t many multiple-choice tests given in philosophy classes. Additionally, philosophy has deep roots in legal and political thinking, which makes the course work very interesting and enlightening.
What did you like/ dislike about majoring in philosophy?
I liked the fact that it forced me to think outside the box and challenge my way of thinking. I became very analytical and detail-oriented, which plays a big role in practicing law. Philosophy has a lot to do with the way people perceive their surroundings and studying it makes you look at the world differently.
I disliked how time-consuming the work could be at times, as there is a ton of reading and writing.
How has your major impacted your career or influenced your career path?
Majoring in philosophy has actually helped me understand some of the reasoning behind some of the laws that are implemented today. Politics, law, and philosophy are quite intertwined, and I get to see all three at work on a regular basis.
What knowledge/skills did you obtain from majoring in philosophy that you put to use in your current position?
As an attorney, majoring in philosophy made me more than adequately prepared for the long and intensive reading that is required in my job. Philosophy helped me become more comfortable writing and organizing my thoughts to produce a persuasive argument no matter what the facts present.
What advice would you give to students thinking about majoring in philosophy?
If you are thinking of choosing a major in philosophy, make sure that you are ready for the long reading assignments and numerous papers that are assigned. Philosophy requires critical thinking and the ability to present your thoughts in an organized and persuasive manner, and it can be time-consuming. I also advise that if you choose this major, make sure you space your classes out and try not to take too many in one semester. I took three philosophy classes in one semester and wrote about 10 papers! It was a little overwhelming.