So, you have decided to enroll at a law school. That is a great decision. However, with so many law schools scattered around the country, how should you go about picking the right school? When making this decision, you should be very careful, as it will be one of the most important decisions you will make in your life, one that will shape your professional career and life in general.
The process of choosing the right school is different for every student. While some students are limited by their budgets, others are limited by the schools’ prerequisites and location. However, there are some factors every future law student should take into consideration when making their choice. If you don’t know what these factors are, keep reading this article, as we will cover some important factors to consider when choosing a law school.
1. The reputation
For starters, check out a school’s reputation. A highly reputable law school can easily be the difference between a high-powered, high-paying job and something much less desirable. But, you should also be realistic about your chances of successfully enrolling at the school and finishing its courses. Therefore, try to find a perfect balance between a school you are likely to earn your degree from and the one that has a good reputation.
2. The location
Unless you want to enroll at one of the top law schools in the country, consider the location of your future school. When doing so, try to find a school that is in the same geographic area of your place of living. This will provide you with access to a larger number of employment opportunities. Since law firms usually recruit at a local level.
Additionally, if you remain in the same geographic area, you will have a considerably larger alumni network available, as well.
3. The school’s campus
Keep in mind that you can only learn so much from various websites, books, or brochures. To see the real community and culture of a certain school, you should visit its campus. Once there, make sure to speak with some students, so as to learn more about the environment, its social scene, the level of competitiveness, as well as housing facilities and off-campus options. You should also check out some extracurricular activities. Even though you can find student organizations via law schools’ websites, it would be much better to personally attend a meeting of an organization you are interested in.
4. Special programs and courses
If you already know the field of law you want to practice, try looking for a law school that specializes in that field. For example, if you want to pursue a career in IP Law, make sure to look for the schools that offer outstanding IP Law programs.
Even though some of these schools may be ranked lower than others, they will, nevertheless, still be a much better option for you. Your dedication and commitment to a certain law field and education will certainly impress potential employers and open many opportunities for you.
5. The class size
Last, but not least, pay attention to the class size. If you prefer big lecture courses and classes, you should look for the schools that have larger 1L classes. On the other hand, if you prefer a high level of interaction and communication with the professors, you should choose a school that features a smaller class size.