Today I am so excited to continue my law school experiences series with my second contributor. I reached out to Camille, the lady behind the LaweryinginLilly tumblr account, to write a post focusing on choosing the right school and her tips for taking the options available for school and narrowing it down to schools to apply to and visit. Camille’s tumblr is one that I stumbled upon, and was immediately inspired by! She shares tons of advice for law students, whether current or prospective, and lots of studying inspiration.
So, without further ado, here is what Camille had to say about choosing the best school:
“The law school application process can be intimidating, especially when there are around 200 law schools in the United States that are accredited by the American Bar Association. So how do you find the right school for you? The Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) is a great place to start if you’re just beginning to look for law schools. The LSAC Official Guide to ABA-Approved Law Schools™ allows you to search for schools based on your GPA and your LSAT score, as well as by geographic region. An important question to ask yourself is where you want to practice law after you have completed law school. I did some searching through the LSAC Official Guide and made a list of 8-10 schools that I thought might be a good fit based on location and my GPA and LSAT scores. Then, I researched further into those schools individually.
Once I had my list of 8-10 schools, I made a list of characteristics that were important to me. Things like tuition cost, availability of scholarships/financial aid, curricular tracks and academic programs, internship/externship/clinic opportunities, and class size were of the most important to me. Housing, location, proximity to amenities, employment rate, bar passage rate, etc. might also be important characteristics to look at. Once I had this list put together, I rated the characteristics in order of importance. This will come in handy in the event that you feel equally passionate about two schools.
For the final stages of my preliminary research, I browsed around on the school’s personal websites and used the “Request More Information” link, or equivalent, for each of the schools. They mailed me all of their promotional information which I sorted through and found most of the answers to my important list of questions. If you sift through the website and the materials they’ve mailed to you and still cannot find an answer to one of your questions, make sure you give the admissions office a call! You want to make sure that you are fully versed in the school and that you know exactly what to expect. After all of this, I narrowed my list down to 5 schools. I scheduled a visit for each of those and spoke with the admissions office at each. If you are concerned about finding time or having the money to visit that many schools, choose your top 3 and try to visit those. Visiting is a really key part of choosing the right school. For me, it was the visit that made my decision!
My top tips for choosing the right school are to stay organized, make lots of lists comparing the different schools, and make sure you visit – if you can, sit in on a class and take a tour with a current law student. Current law students will give you honest feedback about the school, and sitting in on a class will give you an idea of how it feels to be a law student at that school. No matter where decide to go to school, you will do great!”
Thank you, Camille for your thoughts and experience! I like her strategy of finding schools based on GPA and LSAT scores, then narrowing it down from there. I stubbornly kept a few reach schools on my list, even though I knew they were far reaches, but it’s also great to really look at what schools are realistically attainable for you. I also agree that touring a school is super super important. Getting a vibe from a school can sometimes make or break your decision.
Camille’s tumblr is so bright, academic, and preppy. You should definitely go check it out!