Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Visit these websites before choosing a law school
So you're interested in law school? Fantastic. But first, visit these websites and do your due diligence.
By Ben Feuer
Most prospective lawyers are cautious by nature, and eager to do their homework before taking on the huge commitment of time and money that is law school. But just in case you're one of those 'fly by the seat of your pants' people, take this blog post as a wake-up call -- you need to do some serious thinking about your application.
Naturally, any good lawyer-to-be wants to know the prestige factor of his perspective school. Is it top fourteen, second tier, etc? At the moment, the two key sources of law school rankings are Above the Law and US News and World Report. Their methodologies differ somewhat, but their results are fairly similar, especially in the top ten. ATL focuses more on the employment side of things. US News also has some intriguing alternative rankings, including ranking part-time law programs and ranking by diversity.
But rankings are just the beginning of the story when it comes to choosing the right school. Although they are not rankings per se, LST (Law School Transparency) carries very important and interesting information about the true outcomes of students at particular schools and has a lot of important stats -- this page is definitely worth a visit.
Top Law Schools has a fascinating chart where students self-report their stats and announce which schools they got into -- over time, this gives a surprisingly accurate picture of your odds of acceptance or rejection based on numbers alone. Here, for example, is HLS. They also have tons of resources for pre-law students, including advice about where (and whether) to attend. Law School Numbers offers a similar service.
Although I'm not going to name names, most law schools have a lot of very useful resources on their own websites -- you can find out the best timing for campus visits, learn more about profs and news from the campus community, and see what students are up to at the school. Of course, this is no substitute for visiting in person, but it is a good supplement.
And last but not least, no list of this kind would be complete without mentioning LSAC, the dreaded body that administers the LSAT. But the truth is, smart pre-laws flock to LSAC -- they are a well-organized hub of information and opportunities, offering personal advising, hosting local forums in your city of choice, diversity grants and prep tools.
Don't be shy! Schedule a consultation to find out how we can help you.