The legal field puts a high premium on prestige, and a big part of that is the school that you go to. Some law schools offer nearly automatic access to the most desirable jobs in the country (the Ivy League in particular, but there are others as well), and those schools are at the top of most students’ wish lists. Of course, the most highly regarded law schools are extremely selective, and are out of reach for most students. This is why applicants generally try to apply at “safety” schools as well as “reach” schools.
It’s easy to feel like the law school application process is about nothing but numbers—your GPA, your LSAT score, U.S. News and World Report rankings… and it’s that last one that causes the most long-term trouble for some people. If your law school choice strategy comes down to accepting an offer from the highest-ranked school that accepts you, you may be doing yourself a grave disservice, especially if you’ve applied indiscriminately.
As you begin the process of choosing the schools to which you will apply, it’s important to remember that law school is meant to be a springboard to the career you’ll have for the rest of your life. Taking that into consideration means that you’ll need to assess more than just a school’s ranking; here are a few things that can play a part in your decision:
It would be a lie to tell you that numbers don’t matter when you choose a law school; they obviously do. But as you evaluate schools, make an effort to consider more than just a school’s ranking; considerations about geography, specializations, and alumni networks can help you focus on finding the perfect school for you, and set you on the way to the career you’re dreaming of!
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