Choosing an appropriate law school for your unique goals and views in imperative to the ultimate success of your career. The learning environment that you build our knowledge in is going to influence the way that you advance and continue to learn throughout the duration of your career in law. Many impressions will be made on you in law school that you will build from in order to become the lawyer that you desire to be. Special criteria exist when selecting a law school, different criteria than for any other specialty. Below is a list of these criteria that should help you along in your decision.
1. Statistics. What is the job placement rate from this particular school? Check into career placement services that the law school offers. What about average bar exam scores?
2. Specialties. If you have a specialty already in mind, check it your school has a high rate of graduates that practice this particularly.
3. Location, location, location. Just because you go to school in a certain city does not mean that you have to live there forever. But you do need to consider the possibilities of networking, interning and possibly finding a permanent career in that city. Do you plan to live close to home now then move on later? Do you prefer a larger city with a big social scene?
4. Financials. Everything comes down to cost in the end. Can you afford this particular law school? Are you willing to take out a student loan? Do you plan to work through school or leave all of your spare time to focus on your studies?
5. Acceptance. Compare your test scores against the requirements of the law schools you are considering. It is a good idea to make three separate lists of law schools that you will apply to. The first should be idealistic, schools that you likely will not be admitted to. The second should be realistic but still have decent expectations. The third should be a safe list, schools that you know you will be admitted to in the off chance that you don’t get any of your picks from the first two lists.
6. Admissions. How extensive is the application process? How many essays do you have to write? How many letters of recommendation do you need? This is where our law school personal statement experts can help!
7. Demographics. Are the class sizes about what you were hoping for? What about diversity and average age of graduates?
8. Life on campus. What does the campus have to offer that interests you? Where will you be spending most of your time?
9. Faculty. Compare the ratio of adjunct to tenured faculty. It is good to have a combination of the two in order to get a well-rounded educational experience.
10. Publications. Are there any well known journals being published by the law school? What about ground-breaking cases or research being done by it’s faculty?
After reading through these criteria, decide what factors are important to you. Ask questions based on your unique goals and what you want our of law school. Choosing a law school is as individual as you are.