Finding the right law school for you can be a tedious task. Many people get caught up in the "prestige" of a given program or the opportunities for financial aid. Others still are limited due to location issues, such as a spouse, family, or a job. No matter if your school is new or old, large, small, public or private, it should provide the curriculum that provides you with the basic skill sets required to become a lawyer
Many prospective law students need to consider a wide array of factors that arise when choosing the right law school. Depending on your personal and academic goals, you will need to make choices based on the quality and overall feel of the law school in question. Once you have applied and been offered enrollment to several schools, think carefully about where you want to go. Base your decision on what you want, not what colleagues and family say.
There are several factors that you should consider when selecting the right law school for you. How big is it? What is the student composition? Where do these students come from, and where is the school located? What is the area like? If you are going to be living at this place for the next few years, you definitely want to be sure that this is the right fit for you.
Adjusting to the culture of law school is hard enough by itself - perhaps one of the hardest steps to becoming a lawyer. Be sure to find a school where you think you will feel comfortable enough that you will be able to focus on adjusting to the new environment of law school, without having to drain yourself by adjusting to a new culture. Things to consider include whether or not the school is located in a big city or small town, whether it's on the east or west coast, and a myriad of other factors. If you have the opportunity, visit the school before you accept their offer. Though it may be difficult, and you may find yourself asking yourself the reason why you wanted to become a lawyer, but stay true to yourself. It is always important to stay focused on your goals, and remember that this is a process.
It is also a really good idea to consider the strengths, weaknesses, and specific focus of the faculty. Look at where emphasis on learning is placed; is it within a clinical or academic setting? Are there any exciting programs offered, or perhaps some stimulating student-run organizations? If you practice a certain religion, you might be interested in schools that are directly affiliated or run by members of your religious background. Be sure to examine your financial ability to attend the school, as well. It makes little sense to attend a school when you won't be able to focus on your education because you have to work two jobs just to cover payments.
Because there are so many factors to consider, and because you may not find one school that meets all of your expectations, play it safe and apply to several schools. In the past couple years, many applicants have only submitted applications to five schools or less. Apply to several - even six to ten - and once those acceptance letters start rolling in, take your pick. Once you've found the right law school for you, you are well on your way to becoming a great lawyer!