Choosing a Law School

Choosing a law school is an important start to law careers. Here are some areas to consider.

  1. What degree are you seeking? Do you plan to go for the Juris Doctor (J.D.) or the Masters of Law (LL.M.)?
  2. Is the school accredited? The American Bar Association (ABA) publishes a list of accredited schools each year.
  3. Your undergraduate GPA and LSAT test scores must line up with what your school of choice will accept. Don’t limit your search if you think those scores are not high enough. Other factors in your admissions paperwork, such as work experience, volunteering, and letters of recommendation, can also persuade the school to accept you.
  4. Financial considerations can be a big factor in the choice. The highest priced school may not be the best fit for you, but you should consider all financial parts, including how much financial aid would be available and what the costs of living are in the area.
  5. Do you like the location of the school and are the living costs in your budget range?
  6. Look at faculty numbers when making your choice. What is the teacher/student ratio? How big are the class sizes? Is there a clinic for real life experience with the law?
  7. What courses are offered for each year of study? Are there other activities such as Law Review or Moot Court?
  8. What is the bar exam pass rate?

Campus visits are valuable in learning about the feel of the school and to allow you to talk to students and faculty. Another way to learn about a school is through the referral of a former student. Narrow your list of possibilities down before starting the admissions process because each admission can cost $70-$85.

Once you have narrowed your choices down to a short list of three to five, investigate those schools more closely to see if they fit with your plans. Follow the list above and any other considerations that you think of to see which school is the best place for you.

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Last Updated: 09/18/2014

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