You should consider a number of factors when deciding where to apply to law school. If at all possible, attend a LSAC Law School Fair of Forum near you to meet multiple admission representatives at once.
We also strongly recommended that you visit and attend admissions tours at your top choice schools. You want to get a sense that you can live and study in this place for three years, just as you may have done when you decided which undergraduate schools to apply to.
What to Consider When Reviewing Law Schools
Law schools are very clear about the numbers that are likely to make for a successful applicant at their school. The LSAC web site has a feature where you plug in your GPA and LSAT score and it will generate lists of schools at different levels of likelihood of acceptance. (Note that a few schools do not participate.)
Overall Cost & Financial Aid
Law school can be expensive and doing your research in advance can make a big difference in the long run. State schools tend to be less expensive than private schools, and some law schools offer scholarships and grants depending on merit, financial need, or both. Spend some time looking into this on the front side if it this will be an important factor for you.
Location, Location, Location
If you would like to work in a specific state after graduation, attending a school in that state can help your build employment connections for post-graduation opportunities. Also, keep in mind that you will need to take the bar exam in the state in which you want to practice this can be easier if you went to law school in that state.
While most top law schools are full-time programs, there also are part-time programs and programs that include online coursework. What types of programs are most appealing to you? Can you take three years out of the workforce to complete your law degree?
Program Specifics and Culture
Understanding the specific types of programs offered and culture of the school is very important. Do the law schools you are looking at offer a range of programs or only a few? Do they have the particular combination (e.g. JD/MPP, JD/LLM) programs you may be considering? What extracurriculars and student life opportunities are available? What does the school prioritize in its mission and values statement?
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion
Take time to review LSAC's LGBTQ+ Guide to Law Schools andresources for racially/ethnically diverse candidates. Diverse candidates have been underrepresented in the legal profession, additional data is available on the LSAC website.
Look at the statistics for the schools you are considering help you gather a more complete picture of each different school. What is student employment like after graduation? What is the average salary after graduation? What is the retention/graduation rate? How many students receive financial support? Law School Transparency ;is a good site to view much of this information.
There are many other factors to consider when choosing which laws schools to apply to, such as the faculty, class size, alumni population, student interest groups, clerkship opportunities, ‘‘feel’’ of the school, and more. Explore law schools’ individual websites to learn more about the culture of that school.
- Law School Transparency Detailed Reports
- Access Group Peer Comparison and Trend Reports
- Boston College Law School Locator
- Noodle Law School Search
- LSAC Law School Score Search
- Cornell University Prelaw Program in New York City
- LGBTQ+ Guide to Law Schools
- Resources for racially/ethnically diverse candidates