When considering the study of law, there are key skills that you should excel in and enjoy using. Analytical reasoning, research, communication and critical analysis of written works are just a few examples. Also begin researching what lawyers really do and the variety of practice areas within the field.
Explore the Field
As you conduct your research, make it a point to understand what practicing in the field actually involves.
- Explore practice areas. The day-to-day work of each can be markedly different.
- Assess your interests. Consider how your skills and interests align with the various practice areas.
- Seek real-world insight. Use the Alumni Careers Network to contact alumni in the profession and find out how they enjoyed their law school experience and what it's like to actually practice law.
Examine Law Schools and Programs
There are a number of factors to consider when researching schools and deciding where to apply.
Common Law School Selection Criteria
- Realistic appraisal of your chances of admission
- Prestige and reputation
- Location, size and access to faculty
- Specialty programs or centers
- Diversity of the student body and faculty
Law School Information Sources
- LSAC: Visit the Law School Admission Council website for the Official Guide to ABA-approved Law Schools. A print copy is available in the Career Services office for reference.
- Law schools: Research individual law school websites.
- Campus visitors: Speak with the law school admissions deans and representatives who visit campus each fall, or meet them at the Graduate and Professional School Fair.
- Alumni conversations: Contact alumni who have volunteered to provide career advising through the Alumni Careers Network. Also watch for alumni panel presentations on campus.
- School visits: As you narrow your options, visit schools, speak to students or sit in on classes, if possible.
What Law Schools Want
In determining who will be admitted, law school admissions committees try to predict how successful a candidate will be academically. Your GPA and Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) scores are of primary importance, but numbers aren’t everything. Admissions committees look at the application as a whole, including recommendations, personal statements, extracurricular and leadership activities and community service.