Choosing a Law School

Pillars outside courthouse

Law schools today go well beyond the traditional post-graduate program to encompass the growing fields of paralegal, criminal justice, and legal assistant. Educational programs range from certificates to PhDs.

Consider a school's reputation and how important that is personally. Law schools are nationally ranked and many are well-known for being highly competitive. Schools that offer paralegal training and other legal-related career training programs are typically known on a local level. Any school selected should be known for its reputability.

Career services are very important, as well. Look at a school's successful placement rate, on-campus recruitment possibilities, and other job searching services. The location of a school is also a factor, as most graduates end up working nearby. Larger cities tend to have more options, but it is a smart idea to research a city's employment prospects before making a decision.

Other critical factors include scheduling options (full- versus part-time), financial aid, size of school, student/faculty ratio, student services, organizations/activities, and academic rigor. A student should examine each criterion carefully and determine on a personal level which factors are most important.

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