Law School Admissions: Researching Law Schools Part I

Posted by Jimmy B. on 11/1/19, 11:00 AM

Screen Shot 2019-10-28 at 10.54.18 AMThe first step for any successful law school list is to go to this website. This tool is incredibly helpful and managed by LSAC – you input your LSAT score and GPA, and it shows you the 25/75 percentile range for various schools, and basically how you stack up. Private companies have their own tools – do not trust them! The LSAC collects all of their data directly from the law schools – it is by far the most accurate prediction tool. Don’t listen to “chance me” blogs or forums, or any tool but the LSAC one. It is the best starting point for your search.

See where you stack up. Applying to roughly 10 law schools is pretty typical, although there is wide variation. The application process is cumbersome and expensive, so it is totally fine to apply to fewer. I rarely suggest applying to more, barring unique circumstances (such as trying to align with a partner’s medical residency match). Go through the LSAC list and try to identify 5 schools where you are in the bottom score quartile (reach), 6 – 8 where you are in the middle quartiles (realistic), and 5 where you are in the top score quartile (safety). There are just over a hundred law schools in the United States, so you are going to need to do your homework for each category.

Then, do your preliminary work. Some first round things to think about:

Geography

  • Are you willing to move? What’s the weather like?
  • Is the school in a city or suburb? Urban or rural? Often law schools are in a different part of town than their greater institutions (Georgetown, Northwestern)

Reputation

  • Do you have any connection to a certain school (family or otherwise)? Anywhere your heart has long been after?
  • Does your undergraduate institution have a law school? Might you like to return?

Class size

  • Are you someone who really thrives in a small environment, or do you feel claustrophobic only having eighty peers?

Alumni

  • Where do people tend to go from this school, both geographically and professionally?

The key statistics

  • Employment rate post-graduation
  • Bar passage rate
  • Average debt for graduates

From these, put together a list of 15 or so that you want to research more deeply.

We encourage our clients to reach out to us when they are first considering law school, so that we can help you strategize your admissions process, allocating time and resources efficiently to both LSAT preparation and admissions coaching. However, we are happy to help you at any stage of the process.

While each law school has its own “index formula” (that is, how it weighs GPA and LSAT), this number is by no means the only thing that matters - even with a good score, you’re far from finished!  Admissions committees want to understand how law school fits into your story - and what your story will bring to their programs. Your ability to tell them who you are, and what you want to be, is essential.  Even if you are not yet sure exactly what sort of law you want to practice, communicating the importance of law school in achieving your goals is more important than ever.  That’s why it’s crucial to work with a company whose tutors can not only help you master the LSAT, but also guide you through the crafting of a polished, well-written, and impactful application.

Learn more about law school admissions coaching

Applying to law school in 2019/20? Check out some other helpful blog posts by Jimmy below!

Law School Admissions: Drafting the personal statement

Law School Admissions: Deciding whether to retake the LSAT

Law School Admissions: Deciding on the diversity statement

Tags: law school admissions, law school