Choosing a law school

Students should apply to multiple law schools, and this means that many students will have more than one school to choose from once accepted. There are many important factors that students should consider before making a decision. Here are just a few factors to consider.

1. Location – Many students will want to attend a school that is relatively close to home, the plurality of Western Oregon students go to Willamette. Keep in mind, you are likely to get a job in the area of the law school you attend. This means you need to consider where you would prefer to work for at least the first few years after graduation. Also consider that a good scholarship at a distant school should seriously be considered. Many Western Oregon students who go out of state, return here practice. Doing summer or third year internships in Oregon can help you return.

2. Cost – This will be the most important factor considered for many students. Law school is very expensive, but costs can vary greatly from school to school. This does not mean that you should take a law schools tuition at face value, as the scholarships the schools may offer will also vary greatly. When considering cost, students should weigh the quality of the school as well as the other factors, with the overall cost of attending. Don’t forget to include the cost of living for the city the school is located in!

3. Class Size – This may or may not be an important factor for any individual student. Some law schools have small class sizes allowing you to make strong connections with your whole class. This may or may not be an important factor, depending on individual preference.

4. Campus Environment – If at all possible, students should visit the schools they are considering attending. The environment on campus can be a very important factor to success. Law school can be a very stressful experience, especially for those moving far away from home, and the environment on campus can be a major factor in your success. To truly get a feel for campus, it is necessary to visit the campus.

5. Specialization – Some students know what type of law they would like to practice, before attending law school. If you are one of these, then consider schools that specialize or have exceptional programs in this field. Look at schools clinics, special programs and certificates, and associated graduate programs.

 

There are many other factors to consider! Before deciding which law school to go to, or which law schools to apply to, do as much research as possible and think carefully about the factors involved. If you have any questions, concerns, or comments contact Dr, Henkels at henkelsm@wou.edu.