5 Tips for Choosing a Law School

Deciding what you want to do with your life after graduation seems hard enough. However, that fear and uncertainty are compounded for those looking to go to law school. You will be choosing not only a school but also a career path.

If you are trying to figure out which law school is right for you, Rachel Lader, a law school graduate and legal intern at a prestigious New York City law firm, has these five tips.

Attend Open House Events

While it's true that schools invest energy into making their institutions look best during open house events, it doesn't mean they're a waste of time. You can get a general idea of what the facilities are like and how other students conduct themselves to understand the academic opportunities and campus culture. It's also a way to get a great deal of information from many departments and make contacts all in one day, including in the admissions department.

Find Mentors

One of the best ways to know if you want to attend a particular law school is to find people already practicing the kind of law you wish to study and working at the kind of firms you aspiring to join. Certain schools are known for being the best in particular concentrations, so it makes sense to follow in others' footsteps to get to where you want to be in your own career. You can also make contacts that will help you get into the school of your choice and maybe even the firm you desire most.

Consider Location

Location is important for many reasons. Of course, convenience and nightlife are factors to consider, but also think about how a school's location might influence your career opportunities and educational goals. For instance, a law school in Washington, D.C. will immerse you in government and legislative culture whereas a school in a major financial district may have leanings toward corporate law.

Interview Current Students

One of the best ways to know if a school is right for you is to ask some of the students already going there for input. Social media is a great way to connect with other students or you can find alumni from the school where you're pursuing your undergraduate education and ask where they have gone afterward. You'll be able to ask frank questions to people that are your peers.

Ask About Career Placement

When you are looking into specific schools, ask the career placement office about the law firms that have hired their graduates. They may also be able to tell you whether certain law firms recruit straight from the school, giving you a better idea of your own prospects after graduation. It may sound like jumping the gun, but if the school isn't attractive to the kind of law firms you want to work for, it might be better for you to find a different institution.

Practicing law is a noble vocational choice that also provides you with an exciting career. The place where it all begins is law school, so it's important to find the one that is right for you.

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