When choosing a law school, you should think about a number of important factors (excerpted from The Princeton Review)

  • Location: If you are not applying to a top ten school, you may want to start your search by thinking about where you would like to practice law one day
  • Specialty: What kind of law do you think you’d like to practice? Law schools do have specialties, just as practicing lawyers do. By applying to schools that are focused on your preferred field of study, you will be able to better prepare for a career down the road.
  • Compatibility: Matching your interests and resume to a school’s strengths and opportunities will help you find school that are good fits for you.
  • Future Career: Contact the career placement offices of the schools you are interested in attending. Ask how many graduates get jobs right out of school and what kind of recruiting they have on campus. Find out what the bar exam pass rate for the school is (since you have to pass the bar to be able to practice law)
"Reach Schools" and "Safety Schools"

While it is a good strategy to have one or two “reach schools” and one or two “safety schools,” focus on the range of schools where your GPA and LSAT gives you at least a fifty-fifty chance of admission. These are the schools where your personal statement, resume, and recommendations will make the difference. You can use the LSAC UGPA and LSAT Score Search to gain a sense of your likelihood of admission to a particular school. Please note that these data may or may not reflect current admission probabilities at a given law school.


The size of the school and the number of alumni actively involved with the school matter. Class size, campus environment, and location also matter. Attend the LSAC Law Forums and visit the schools that you’re considering, if possible. You will be living and studying at that school for three years. Use ABA data to research bar passage outcomes and employment outcomes.

Special Programs, Summer Clerkships and Law Clinics

Research special programs, summer clerkships and law clinics offered through the school. Look at the requirements to write for a law review. Consider schools where you can take electives in other graduate programs. Use the Book of Law School Lists to check for joint degree programs and specific academic programs.

How Law Schools Choose You

While a higher GPA and LSAT score increase your chances of admission to any specific law school, admission committees will not select individuals based on the numbers alone. For every school, the admissions process comes down to a choice among applicants with similar LSAT scores and GPAs.

Law schools will select individuals in a given range that have presented compelling personal statements, resumes that project active leadership and positive results, and recommendations that are strong and specific. The more focused each of your applications are on your reasons for attending a specific school, the more effective they become.

The admissions process is designed to create the most academically accomplished, diverse and promising class the law school can assemble. Self-advocacy is part of that process. Admissions committees want to know your potential and what you can add to the incoming class. They also want to know about any mitigating circumstances such as illness or family issues that explain lower grades. Let each school know the reasons they should accept you.

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