What to Look For in a Law School

Choosing a law school is about more than submitting your application everywhere and hoping for a yes. The most strategic lawyers considered all these important criteria and more before deciding on the schools where they wanted to attend the most. Looking at the JD programs end-to-end can help any future lawyer choose the best schools for them. One San Francisco Law School is known for offering hands-on learning. A law school in NYC is known for being close to the financial districts. There is a lot to break down, but here are the top things to look for in a law school.

Choose the Right Location

When it comes to selecting a law school, location is critical. It impacts everything from the connections you can make to the types of internships and job opportunities available to you while you’re in law school. While getting into one of the top 10 most prestigious schools is ideal for your legal career, if you can’t get into one, try and get into a law school in the same cities where these schools are located.

Additionally, it helps to know what kind of law you are considering to help you choose the location. If you’re wanting to focus on corporate law and work inside a tech company, going to school near Silicon Valley may be to your benefit. If you want to be a judge eventually, finding a school with those connections can be helpful. If you’d prefer doing more non-profit work, then working in cities with the right organizations nearby can be beneficial as well. You’ll have more access to better opportunities if you consider the location carefully.  

What Kind of Students Get Admitted?

Law schools will look at various factors when deciding who gets into their programs. Everything from LSAT scores to GPA are scrutinized. You’ll need to know if your scores are anywhere near the caliber of student that normally gets admitted. Knowing if you’re a good candidate means more than just looking at scores.

You may even want to evaluate the other factors they consider to determine if you are likely a good match or not. When looking at the kinds of students who get admitted, remember that many students will have a variety of factors that get them in, so don’t let previous years’ numbers scare you away if it’s a school you really want to get into and your scores don’t look as good as the previous applicant pools.

Keep the Costs in Mind

Law School isn’t a cheap endeavor, but schools vary widely in their costs. You’ll also need to consider the cost of living in the city where the schools are located in addition to any other fees that the school requires. While you may qualify for financial aid, it’s important to determine if this aid is enough to cover all of your costs or not.

This is where it’s especially important to know where you stand in the potential applicant pool. If you are a good contender with very good scores compared to their average, you may qualify for a higher aid package which could translate into less student loans to pay off when you finish your law degree.

Academic Options

When you’re studying up on law schools, you may want to be sure they offer a variety of academic options. While you might have your heart set on family law, you could discover through your education that you are more interested in pursuing a career in another legal field. It’s critical to look at all the academic opportunities available at the schools you’re considering to ensure there is a wide enough variety for you to settle on a career path down the road.

Who are the Teachers?

It’s important to learn about the various professors who will be teaching you. What kind of work did they do prior to teaching law school? Who are their connections? What kind of law did they focus on? The teachers help to shape the next generation of legal professionals, and getting an idea of their expertise can help you decide if that school is a good fit for you or not.

Do They Offer Career Coaching?

Once you get your law degree, you might feel like a fish out of water. How do you use your education to help you get your foot in the door at law firms and in other legal careers? Schools with career coaching help walk students through the steps needed to help them create a robust resume, connect with legal firms, and more. Additionally, they can help you connect with good internships that can help you secure a job down the road. 

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