Choosing a Law School
Selecting a law school, much like selecting an undergraduate college, requires thoughtfulness and a clear goal of selecting the best institution that meets your needs and interests. Some items to consider as part of your law school search include:
- Likelihood of admission
- Geographic location
- Size of the student body
- Areas of specialization offered
- Reputation and character of the school
- Strength and interests of the law school’s faculty
- Facilities such as library, classrooms, study spaces, and availability of student housing
- Extracurricular programs (i.e., law review, moot court, other student organizations)
- Cost of a legal education (i.e., tuition, fees, room and board, insurance, etc.)
- Opinions of legal professionals about the school
- Level of assistance with job placement after graduation
Deciding which law school to attend should go beyond observing school rankings. Choosing the best law school for you is critically important for your short-term and long-term success in the legal profession. In addition to the points above, a large number of law school Deans have endorsed a joint statement on the selection process in their "Deans Speak Out" letter to law school applicants.
The Law School Admission Council in conjunction with the American Bar Association (ABA) maintains a searchable database of ABA approved law schools. Click here to access The LSAC-ABA Official Guide to ABA-Approved Law Schools. The Internet Legal Resource Guide and The Princeton Review also offer useful tips on selecting a law school that could be right for you.
Another resource for learning about law schools is attending a Law School Recruitment Forum. LSAC hosts Forum around the country each year, with the closest being in Chicago during the late fall. Refer to the Pre-Law program’s special events calendar for more information about attending the Forum.
Several sites below offer useful free information as well as offer commercial products and services. Use of commercial services can be a good investment or a total waste of your time and money depending on your circumstances. A pre-law advisor may be able to assist you in determining whether a prep service is right for you. Listing of services below does not imply endorsement.
- American Bar Association
- BarBri (Prep Service)
- Internet Legal Research Group's Pre-Law Student Services
A comprehensive list of links for pre-law students
- Internet Legal Resource Guide Law School Rankings
- Law School Admissions Council
The closest thing to one-stop shopping for pre-law students. The interactive site has information on the LSAT, Law School Recruitment Forum, LSDAS and more!
- Law School Recruitment Forum
The annual Law School Recruitment Forum is your best chance to talk to all the nation's law schools in one place. The nearest forum in Chicago generally takes place in late September or early October.
- Official Guide to ABA Approved Law Schools
- Preparation for Legal Education
Prepared by the Pre-Law Committee of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admission to the Bar
- Princeton Review Law Page
- U.S. News and World Report Rankings
- Statistical Critique of U.S. News Law School Rankings
Commissioned by the Association of American Law Schools