How do you pick a law school? Silly me, thinking that my one minute video below would be enough to dig into this topic. Watch the video and then read on for a bit more information below.
As I mentioned, LSAT scores are huge in the law school admissions world. (Don’t take the exam cold! Please at least spend some time with a prep book). If you don’t get a certain score, many schools will be out of reach. So, let your score be a guide. If you don’t like your score, you can take the exam again, but it is expensive so make sure you commit to doing some work to prepare.
Applying to law schools is expensive. You must pay application fees to the school and then there are the LSAC fees for compiling the paperwork. One tip to help with these costs is to go to the LSAC information sessions. Many schools offer a waiver of their application fee if you sign up for their information. Other schools offer waivers to those who have signed up for information through the LSAC site. Barring that, it never hurts to ask the admissions office of a school for a waiver.
Check out lots of schools. Michigan State’s College of Law first came to my attention because they had pointers online detailing how to go through the application process, write the essay, prep for the year, etc. They also offered webinars that were quite helpful. I’ll be honest, I had no intention of going away to school, but those resources were very helpful. When I learned more about the school, I saw programs that weren’t offered by other schools.
That leads to my next point: look at the programs the school offers. Do they specialize in the type of law that you want to practice? Are there student groups that meet your interests? Is the school able to meet any accommodations that you may need? MSU has a trial practice institute that I was very interested in pursuing. Since I have been in school, I realized that the Center for Law, Technology and Innovation was more suited to me and my interests. Additionally, the specialty certificate from the Indigenous Law and Policy Center has become important to me.
Finally, visit the schools if at all possible. Many schools offer some travel expense reimbursement that may allow you to visit-don’t be afraid to ask. Many schools have special events for admitted students. Although these events were good, they often fall on weekends when attending class is not possible. I learned more about the school and the students when I went by myself and attended a class or two. Trust your gut instinct! If a school feels uncomfortable, do you really want to spend three years in that environment?
Good luck and feel free to reach out if you have questions!
See more on the Video Per Day Experiment in my introductory post.