Considering Law School?
Attending law school and becoming a lawyer can be a very fulfilling and rewarding
experience. Obviously, your decision about law school goes hand
in hand with whether you actually want to be a lawyer. So, if
you are still on the fence on that one, jump down to “Should I
Become a Lawyer?
” otherwise, read on.
Considering law school can be an overwhelming process. There are
many options and potential questions. For instance:
- What undergraduate path should I take if I know I want to go to
- Other than undergraduate class selection, what else should I do
- How should I choose a law school?
- Can I get accepted?
- What law schools should I apply to?
- When do I need to start the law school application process?
- What is the LSAT, and when should I take it?
The law school decision is not one you should take lightly. The
average law student will owe more than $100,000 when she
graduates. Although starting salaries for lawyers are
among the highest of any profession, a significant amount of
first year attorneys earn less than $65,000. There are more law
school graduates each year than jobs. The largest determining
factors in starting salary and employment prospects are your
class rank, and the prestige of your
The Law School Curve
Most law students were achievers in both high school and
college. For many, scoring high on tests and making good grades
has always come easy. But, what happens when the below-average
student is a high achiever? Competition. This competition is
ensured by the mandatory grading curve that most law schools
use. This curve affects your law school class rank, your
academic honors, and your chances for getting the job of your
dreams. The majority of law schools have curves that fall
between 2.8 and 3.2. Because of variability in the curves, law
school class rank is often considered more important than GPA.
The recent trend among top law schools is to be at the top of
the law school grading curve range or to even drop GPA and class
rank all together. In fact, the only top 10 law school that
still reports GPA and class rank is University of Virginia Law
(3.3). The law school curve employed by your prospective
school is a factor you should consider when choosing a law
Preparing for Law School
Once you decide that you want to go to law school, you should do
everything in your power to set yourself up to be accepted to
the best school possible. That will include selecting the right
undergraduate classes, having an appropriate amount of community
and school involvement, and being academically successful. Visit
our Law School Prep
section for even more information on getting
ready to attend the law school.
Law School Admissions Process
In general, law schools will consider applications until a
specific deadline—usually around February or March. Prior to
applying, however, all applicants must take the Law School
Admissions Test (LSAT). This test is given four times a year:
February, June, October, and December. In addition to the test,
law school applications will usually require a resume, letters
of recommendation, and a personal statement. These requirements
mean that you won’t be able to apply for law school without a
little planning. Visit our
Law School Admissions
page for more
information on this process and to download your Law School
Free Guide to Law School Admissions
which will take you
step-by-step through the process.