Oregon State University

How to Choose a Law School?

Many students rely on national rankings and or regional proximity when choosing a law school.  However, it is also important for students to research all appropriate law schools and consider their own career aspirations when making this important decision.

Gather information  -  

  • Attend the quarterly Career Fair and speak face-to-face with representatives from regional law schools.
  • Use the law school links on the Law School Admission Council's (LSAC) website to view detailed information about all accredited law schools within the United States.  This website includes information on courses, cost, financial aid, and applications form.  Contact information for each school is provided.  http://www.lsac.org/
  • Review The Official Guide to ABA-Approved Law Schools, which contains descriptions of all accredited legal programs. This resource is available from the OSU Pre-Law Advisor, in Valley Library reference section, and online at: http://officialguide.lsac.org/
  • Conduct informational interviews with current law students, practicing attorneys, and faculty members to obtain information about the programs you are considering.
  • If possible, visit law schools you are interested in, meet current students, and observe classes.

Decide where to apply -
Consider the following factors when making your application decisions.

  • Admission considerations: Evaluate the entering class profiles for law schools you are interested in, noting their student's average grade point average and LSAT scores. How do you compare? Consider applying to your "dream schools", other schools where you will most likely be competitive, and "safety schools" where you know you will be admitted. Most students apply to more than 4 schools.
  • Diversity of student body and faculty
  • Financial Considerations (tuition, fees, books, room and board, scholarship opportunities)
  • Location (you will be living there for three years. Like will be better if you like it)
  • Availability of classes in your areas of interest
  • Career services and placement rates
  • Campus facilities (housing, library, classrooms)
  • Faculty (legal training, areas of interest, accessibility, diversity)
  • Extracurricular activities (Law Review, moot court, student clubs)
  • Academic programs (clinical opportunities, joint degree offerings, study abroad options)

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