Picking a law school is a significant decision in any future lawyers life. You want to be sure to select a school that will give you the best education and set you up for finding a great job upon graduation, but also a school you’ll enjoy attending and won’t put you in an unreasonable amount of student debt. Here are three of the biggest things to consider when deciding which law school is right for you.
It’s no secret that attending law school comes with a hefty price. While cost isn’t the main thing you should use to determine which school to attend, it is a crucial factor to keep in mind. Many people have the assumption that lawyers make tons of money each year, so student debt isn’t a concern. However, lawyers fresh out of law school will not be bringing in a large salary, so it’s essential to be mindful of how much debt you’re putting yourself in. This doesn’t mean you should only apply to the least expensive law schools, but you should set a budget for yourself and stick to that. Be sure to look at what scholarships and grants are available to you and take full advantage of those.
The law school you choose can have the best academics in the world, but if the culture isn’t one that you fit in with, you’ll be miserable. Before deciding to attend any school, you should be sure to take a campus visit to get a feel for the school yourself. Learn about what living arrangements the campus offers, what kind of students make up the student body (full-time, part-time, online), how competitive students are with each other, how available mentorship opportunities are, and how involved the school’s alumni are. The people you attend law school will become like your family. You want to make sure that it’s a family you want to be around and feel proud associating yourself with.
Potential practice interests
Some students go into law school with an exact idea of what type of law they want to practice, while others aren’t sure. If you know what field you want to be in after graduation, look for a school that has a good program for that field. However, keep in mind that’s very possible that what you go into law school thinking you want to do won’t always be the same as what you think you want to do coming out of law school. Be sure not to pick a school that you hate but has a great program in your desired field, just in case you do change your mind.