Whether you are currently applying for law school or have already applied and are receiving your admission letters, you need to make the important decision on which law school is right for you. The first step to choosing that law school is to know what you are looking for and what personal and professional needs the law school needs to meet for you.
The main factors you should consider about every law school includes:
1) Reputation: The information provided on the school’s website is going to be biased, so try looking at other sites that come up when you type the school’s name into Google.
2) Bar passage rates: The bar passages rates should be high (in the 80-90% range at least).
3) Cost: Law schools can range from only $15,000 a year to $50,000 a year. Know what your price range is before you even apply.
4) Size: Law school class sizes range from 100 to 300 students.
5) Curriculum and programs of study: You may not have an idea of what type of law you want to focus on, so research what each law schools offers. Also make sure you have the freedom to take a variety of different classes to find what your law interest is.
6) Schedule for classes: Most law schools offer part-time, full-time and day or evening classes. You need to decide which schedule fits you the best and apply to schools that offer that option.
7) Location: Are you a city person or enjoy living in a more suburban area? Decide what your preference is and research the addresses of the schools. Also research the housing options in the area as well as the cost of living.
8) Competitiveness level: Do you like extremely competitive environments? Sometimes fellow classmates are highly competitive over grades, etc., but this is not always the case.
9) Organizations and activities: Law school isn’t just about going to your classes. If you are one of those people who enjoys keeping busy and being involved in various organizations, look for schools that offer lots of options that interest you. A well-rounded law student attends a school that has several options for work and other social and professional organizations you can join.
10) Professor-student relationships: A reasonable professor-to-student ratio is crucial in law school. Having professors that have the time to provide you extra help is extremely valuable. You also want to make sure the professors and students have close, personable relationships.
11) Career planning facilities: Every law school should have a career planning office that helps you find your summer jobs and future career after you graduate. It’s important that they can provide you with all the assistance you need.
When researching law schools, the information needed to make your decisions can be found through various websites and books. US News and The Princeton Review are the most credible providers of such information. You can search their websites or purchase one of their law school ranking books from any local bookstore.