Choosing the Right Law School

With more than 130 law schools to choose from, how will law school hopefuls successfully determine which law schools fit their needs and their interests?

Determining Reasons to Attend Specific Law Schools

While first year law school curriculum remains generally the same across law schools, the atmosphere, the specialties, and the opportunities differ across law campuses. Choosing the appropriate law school depends upon many individual factors, not just the law school’s ranking in US News & World Report. It means choosing the right law school program for your interests and goals.

As you are choosing law schools to apply to and then selecting the specific law school you want to attend, you should consider and weigh the following factors:

  • Geographical Considerations
  • Your Job Search
  • Areas of Specialization, Clinical Programs, and Externships
  • School’s Reputation
  • Part-Time vs. Full-Time Programs
  • Joint Degree Programs
  • School’s Size & the Student Body
  • Placement Statistics, Bar Passage Rates, and Career Services Office Resources
  • Cost of Tuition, Finances, & Financial Aid
  • Library and Facilities
  • Student Organizations & Extracurricular Activities
  • Faculty
  • Your Impression of the School

Identifying Your Role as a Lawyer

photo of villanova law school

If you are interested in a particular area of law, then you can assess if the law schools you are considering offer courses, have dedicated faculty, have a journal, or run a clinic in that area of law.

For each law program you are considering, answer the following questions:

What are the strengths of the law school and the law program?

How will the particular law program give you a competitive advantage in the legal profession?

Will it give you enough of a competitive advantage in your intended profession to outweigh its costs?

How important is the law school’s reputation for you to fulfill your career goals?

If you are like most prospective law students and have an interest in many areas of law that you intend to explore in law school, then you must consider many additional factors during the application and selection process.