If you’re a fan of the hit TV series Breaking Bad and its spinoff Better Call Saul, you’re surely familiar with the delightfully shady lawyer Saul Goodman. With his flashy suits, over-the-top TV commercials and questionable legal tactics, Saul is one of the most memorable characters from the shows.

But one question viewers are often left wondering is – where did Saul Goodman go to law school? In this comprehensive article, we’ll trace Saul’s educational background and professional journey to become the unconventional attorney he is today.

Saul’s Undergraduate Education

Attended the University of American Samoa

Saul Goodman, the charismatic lawyer known for his flamboyant personality and unconventional practices, attended the prestigious University of American Samoa for his undergraduate education. While the university may not be widely recognized in mainstream academic circles, it played a significant role in shaping Saul’s legal career.

Despite its name, the University of American Samoa is not located in the United States, but rather in the Pacific island territory of American Samoa. The university is known for its unique approach to legal education, emphasizing practical skills and real-world experience.

This aligns perfectly with Saul’s hands-on approach to law.

Although the university’s reputation may be a subject of debate among legal scholars, it is important to note that many successful lawyers have emerged from institutions that are not traditionally regarded as Ivy League or top-tier schools.

What matters most is the individual’s dedication, work ethic, and ability to apply their knowledge effectively.

Earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration

During his time at the University of American Samoa, Saul Goodman pursued a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. This choice of major may come as a surprise to those who only know him as a lawyer, but it actually makes a lot of sense.

Saul’s background in business administration gave him a solid foundation in understanding the intricacies of running a law firm as a business. He learned valuable skills such as financial management, marketing, and client relations, which undoubtedly contributed to his success in the legal profession.

By combining his legal knowledge with his business acumen, Saul was able to build a thriving practice that catered to the unique needs of his clients. This multidimensional approach set him apart from other lawyers and allowed him to achieve great success.

It is important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all path to success in the legal field. While some lawyers may follow a more traditional educational route, others, like Saul Goodman, take a different path and find success through their unique combination of skills and experiences.

Law School at the University of American Samoa

When it comes to the question of where Saul Goodman, the infamous lawyer from Breaking Bad, went to law school, the answer might surprise you. Saul Goodman, whose real name is Jimmy McGill, attended law school at the University of American Samoa.

While this may not be a widely recognized or prestigious law school, it played a significant role in shaping Saul’s career as a lawyer.

Why He Chose This Law School

Although the University of American Samoa may not be on par with Ivy League institutions, Saul had his reasons for choosing this law school. One of the main factors was the flexibility it offered in terms of admission requirements and course offerings.

This allowed Saul, who had a less than conventional background, to pursue his dream of becoming a lawyer.

Additionally, the low tuition fees at the University of American Samoa made it a practical choice for Saul, who was not financially well-off. This affordability factor played a significant role in his decision, allowing him to obtain a legal education without accumulating excessive student loan debt.

Details on the Program and Academics

The law program at the University of American Samoa focused on providing students with a solid foundation in legal principles and practical skills. While the school may not have the same resources as larger institutions, it still managed to offer a comprehensive curriculum.

Students at the University of American Samoa were exposed to a wide range of legal subjects, including criminal law, contract law, and civil procedure. The faculty, although small in number, consisted of experienced legal professionals who were dedicated to providing a quality education.

Extracurriculars and Campus Life

While the University of American Samoa may not have had the same vibrant campus life as other law schools, it still offered students opportunities to get involved in extracurricular activities. The law school had several student organizations and clubs that allowed students to network and explore different areas of law.

Despite its modest campus facilities, the University of American Samoa provided students with a supportive and close-knit community. Students often formed study groups and worked collaboratively to navigate the challenges of law school.

Passing the Bar Exam

Preparing for the Exam

Passing the bar exam is a crucial step for anyone aspiring to become a lawyer. It is a challenging test that requires extensive preparation and a deep understanding of the law. Saul Goodman, the renowned fictional lawyer from the hit television series “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul,” was no exception.

Before attending law school, Saul Goodman, whose real name is James McGill, worked as a con artist and a small-time criminal. However, his ambition to become a lawyer led him to enroll in law school, where he dedicated himself to mastering the intricacies of the legal profession.

Like most law students, Saul spent countless hours studying case law, legal principles, and statutes. He immersed himself in legal textbooks, attended lectures, and participated in study groups to enhance his understanding of the law.

Saul knew that passing the bar exam would require not just knowledge, but also a disciplined study routine.

During his preparation, Saul made use of various resources to enhance his chances of success. He relied on practice exams and sample questions to familiarize himself with the format and types of questions he would encounter on the actual exam.

Additionally, he sought guidance from experienced attorneys and professors who provided valuable insights and advice on how to approach the exam effectively.

Earning a Passing Score on His Second Try

Despite his dedication and preparation, Saul did not pass the bar exam on his first attempt. However, this setback did not deter him. He realized that he needed to refine his approach and strengthen his understanding of certain areas of the law.

Saul’s determination and resilience paid off when he successfully passed the bar exam on his second try. This achievement showcased his ability to learn from his mistakes and adapt his study strategies. It also demonstrated his commitment to becoming a competent and successful lawyer.

Passing the bar exam is a significant milestone for any aspiring lawyer, and Saul Goodman’s journey serves as an inspiration to those who face similar challenges. It highlights the importance of perseverance, hard work, and continuous learning in achieving one’s goals.

For more information on the bar exam and its requirements, you can visit the official website of the National Conference of Bar Examiners at www.ncbex.org.

Early Legal Career and Eventual Transition to Saul Goodman

Before becoming the flamboyant and somewhat controversial lawyer known as Saul Goodman, he was actually James M. McGill. Saul Goodman’s journey into the legal profession began with his studies at a prestigious law school.

Although the exact law school Saul attended has never been explicitly mentioned in the television series “Breaking Bad” or its spin-off “Better Call Saul,” it is clear that he received a solid legal education.

Working as James M. McGill

Prior to adopting the persona of Saul Goodman, James M. McGill started his legal career by working at a small law firm in Albuquerque. Despite his exceptional legal skills, McGill faced challenges in gaining recognition and attracting high-profile clients.

However, his dedication and determination to succeed in the legal world became evident even during these early stages of his career.

Struggles Finding Work at Legitimate Firms

As James M. McGill, Saul encountered difficulties finding work at established and reputable law firms. This was likely due to his unconventional approach to practicing law and his reputation for representing clients involved in criminal activities.

Many law firms were hesitant to associate themselves with someone who seemed to operate on the fringes of legality.

However, Saul’s unique abilities and creative problem-solving strategies eventually led him to find employment with smaller, lesser-known law firms. During this time, he honed his skills and developed a reputation for being able to navigate the legal system in unconventional ways.

Embracing His Inner Saul Goodman

As Saul Goodman, James M. McGill fully embraced his alter ego and adopted a more flamboyant and unorthodox persona. This transformation allowed him to attract a niche clientele, primarily individuals involved in the criminal underworld.

Saul’s ability to provide legal assistance to those who couldn’t afford traditional legal representation quickly gained him a reputation as a lawyer who could get the job done, no matter the circumstances.

Saul Goodman’s transition from James M. McGill to his infamous alter ego was not an overnight process. It was a gradual evolution, shaped by his experiences and the challenges he faced throughout his early legal career.

Saul’s journey serves as a reminder that success in the legal profession is not always defined by traditional measures, but rather by one’s ability to adapt, innovate, and find their own unique path to success.


Saul Goodman’s educational background and career trajectory leading up to Breaking Bad help provide fascinating insight into how he became the flashy, ethically questionable attorney we know and love today.

From his business degree at the University of American Samoa to passing the bar exam on his second attempt, Saul’s road to becoming an attorney was unique and filled with challenges. However, he ultimately leaned into his natural showmanship and marketing savvy to create the outlandish Saul Goodman persona.

While his legal tactics are controversial, there’s no denying Saul Goodman is one of the most memorable lawyers in TV history.

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