Which Law Schools should I apply to?
Many students decide which law schools to apply to based on regional proximity and national ranking. However, it is important for students to research law schools further and to consider their career plans when making the important decision about where to apply.
The first step to deciding where to apply is to do your research.
- Attend the career fair each semester and meet with representatives from regional law schools.
- Read through the view books and applicant information in the Office of Academic Advising (Walker 124) for regional and national law programs.
- Review the law school links on the Law School Admissions Council’s (LSAC) website to view information about all accredited law schools in the US. www.lsac.org
- Review The Official Guide to ABA-approved Law Schools, which contains descriptions of all accredited law schools. This resource is available in the Office of Academic Advising (Walker 104). It is also available online at: http://officialguide.lsac.org
- Conduct informational interviews with current law students, practicing attorneys, and faculty to gather more information about the schools you are considering.
- If possible, plan to visit law schools you are interested in. Make sure to meet current students and observe classes. Watch student news for information about visits to regional law schools co-sponsored by the Office of Academic Advising (Walker 124) and Career Development (Walker 124).
Consider the following factors when making your application decisions.
- Admissions profile. Review the entering class profiles for each law school you are considering. Consider how your GPA and LSAT score compare. You want to apply to a couple “dream schools,” that you are not directly competitive for in addition to several schools that you will be competitive, and a couple of “safety schools” in which you are likely to be admitted. Most students apply to 4 or more law schools.
- You can search law schools based on GPA and LSAT score online at: http://officialguide.lsac.org/UGPASearch/Search3.aspx?SidString=
- Student body and faculty diversity. This information is available in The Official Guide to ABA-Approved Law Schools.
- Finances. Can you afford tuition, fees, books, and room and board? Are there scholarships available? Are you eligible for them?
- Location. You will be living near the law school for three years – do you like it there?
- Classes in your areas of interest. Law school provides general legal training and a broad exposure to the law that makes one eligible to sit for most state bar exams. Most students do not enter law school with a specific area of interest/practice in mind, however, if you really want to practice in a specific area, like, for example, animal rights law, make sure you apply to programs with strong animal rights law programs.
- Career Development and placement rates.
- Campus facilities. Take a look at the housing options, law libraries, and classrooms.
- Faculty. Review faculty legal training, areas of interest, diversity, background, and availability to students.
- Extracurricular Activities. Does the school have an active Law Review journal, moot court program, and/or student clubs you are interested in?
- Academic Programs. Can you participate in clinical opportunities, study abroad programs and/or complete certificate programs?