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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 law school?

  • Other than undergraduate class selection, what else should I do to prepare?

  • 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 law school.

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 School (3.3). The law school curve employed by your prospective school is a factor you should consider when choosing a law school.

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 Coach Free Guide to Law School Admissions which will take you step-by-step through the process.