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In your junior year and fall of your senior year, start researching law schools on the Web and explore the Official Guide to U.S. Law Schools. When you are deciding which law schools to apply to, consider some of the following:
Keep in mind that these are only some of the different factors that you can consider when choosing schools. Regardless, you will want to develop a list of about 10 law schools. When developing this list, you should be realistic about which schools you select and include some “safety schools,” but also be sure to include some reach schools too. Depending on the application year, you never know whether you might be a good candidate.
Unless you attend a nationally recognized law school, where you attend school may ultimately decide where you end up practicing. Law firms generally like to hire students from local law schools and law schools, in turn, due to relationships fostered over many years, find it much easier to place students at local firms. Even students who graduate toward the top of the class may find it difficult to secure a position in a different area of the country from where they went to law school, so choose wisely.
If at all possible, try to visit at least a few of the schools to which you are applying. Since you will be spending 3 years of your life there as well as a considerable amount of money, you want to ensure that you'll be content with your decision. Consider if you want to live in a city or a small town, as well as if the law school is part of a university campus or simply a building located in a city's downtown core.
Unless you are 100% certain of an area of law you want to practice in or you have experience in a particular field that you want to combine with a law degree, you should not choose a law school solely on the fact that it has a strong specialization in an area of law that interests you. Remember, just as in your undergraduate studies, you may change your mind about an area of practice after you begin taking classes or after summer work experience. Keep in mind that most attorneys feel that they become experts in an area of law by practicing in that area and not through taking classes in law school.
It's very easy to find information on a law school's LSAT/GPA median. The ABA Official Guide to U.S. Law Schools is probably your best source. It is published annually and provides accurate information on each ABA accredited law school. Law schools list the 25th and 75th percentile in LSAT and GPA for all incoming students. If you are above the 75th percentile for both LSAT and GPA then you have a very good chance of getting into that school. It will be difficult to gain admission to a school if your LSAT and GPA are below the 25th percentile. That said, you may still want to apply to your dream school since other factors are considered in the admissions process besides LSAT and GPA.
Set up an appointment with a pre-law advisor by calling 206.296.2840 or stopping by Casey 1 West.