The Official Guide to ABA-Approved Law Schools
The single most important source of information for a law school applicant, and certainly the one to consult first, is The Official Guide to ABA-Approved Law Schools, prepared by the American Bar Association and the Law School Admission Council. The guide contains a key-facts chart about the law schools that are members of the Law School Admission Council. Each school has provided its own description to the guide. The majority of schools have submitted admissions profiles that indicate the ratio of applicants to acceptances for the most recent entering class, LSAT scores, and undergraduate GPAs. In addition, there are valuable sections giving an overview of the legal profession and preparation for law schools.
Although your credentials, a particular school’s admissions standards, and certain geographical considerations will be the main ingredients in your selection of law schools, other factors should be considered. Keep in mind the following criteria while compiling your list of schools:
- The type(s) of law interests you (i.e., tax, labor, international, etc.) and where the strength of the school lies. When evaluating the qualities of the law schools, keep an open mind to your options. Most students do not have a specific law specialization in mind when applying to law schools. Law school programs with strengths in multiple specialties and which offer diverse clinical programs may be your best option.
- The number of students enrolled at the law school.
- Faculty/student ratio.
- Expenses and housing.
- Adequacy of its law library, physical facilities, and area resources.
- Extracurricular opportunities: student-edited journals, student associations, etc.
Your final list should comprise those schools that can provide you with the best legal education for your range of needs. Your list should include your reach, competitive and safety law schools.
Some law schools offer joint-degree programs leading to a Juris Doctor degree in law and a concurrent degree in another field such as business, public policy, etc. The standard J.D. program requires three years of study; a joint-degree program will require more time. Law school catalogs provide information about such programs.
Law School Representatives
Each fall, law schools send representatives to Williams; Law school representatives will be able to answer any questions you have about a school, its programs, and the lifestyle to be found there. Some law schools may schedule individual informational interviews.
A schedule for these visits is posted on Handshake. Students interested in receiving e-mail messages about these upcoming events should register on Handshake. When editing your profile on Handshake, select “Legal & Law Enforcement” under the Government, Law & Politics section as one of your career interests.
If you are interested in speaking with the representative of a particular law school, check the schedule and sign up on Handshake early. Please be considerate and commit yourself to keep any appointments that you schedule.