If you are planning to become an attorney/lawyer then you will need to attend a law school after your law degree. The law school you choose is one of the most important decisions you will ever make because it could well determine the level of success in your careers as a lawyer.
Start researching prospective law schools
Choosing a law school is very tricky because the admission procedure is quite rigid and more complicated than most other subjects. You need to start preparing to choose a law school long before application deadline. You could start by going online and researching the law schools you are interested in and requesting brochure and other relevant information for prospective students.
Admission to law school
Prior to attending a law school, you will need to do a test set by the Law School Admission Council called the LSAT (Law School Admission Test). How well you do in this test will go a long way in determining which law school you will be able or not able to go. Top law schools will require very high scores in your LSAT.
- You can go to a law school that's accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA). This would provide you with highly recognised law education. However, ABA accredited laws schools tend to charge fees that are substantially greater than non-accredited law schools.
- If you do your education at a non-accredited school, you will then need to pass you will need to an examination prior to starting your course.
There are several factors that will determine what law school you can go to:
- Your law degree. The classification of your grade of your degree will go a long way to determine which law school is still available as an option. To be able to enter the best law schools, you will need to have attained a good degree from one of the more prestigious universities.
- Remember, unless you plan on working for some of the most prestigious law firms, you do not necessarily need to go to the best law schools. Many lawyers have worked their way up through small law firms to eventually work for some of the biggest law firms in the country without going to a fancy law school.
Area of law you want to study
One determining factor in choosing a law school will be the area of law you want to focus on. Some law schools are renowned for specialising more in certain areas than others. Typically, though, the best law schools offer programs that are of the highest calibre in most area of law.
- Unfortunately, a course at a law school is very expensive. The fees are often quite exorbitant and often result in huge student loans for financing the law school.
- The fees at American Bar Association (ABA) accredited law schools are significantly higher than non-accredited law schools. However, over the long term, the return on investment - in terms of a salary a lawyer can command – in going to an ABA accredited law school is often worth the higher fees.
Law school rankings
You can find law schools ranked by some authoritative publications that give a good or fair reflection of the best law schools, or at least, that's how the potential employers, the firms, perceive them. You will be able to get hold of the publications online or at a good bookstore.
Online law schools
There may be some online law schools that provide courses to provide a way for people to study law while at work, however, thus far, at least, the online law schools are not accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA).