How do I Choose the Best Law School?

G. Wiesen

There are a number of different guidelines you can use when trying to choose the best law school, though in general you should focus on choosing the best school for you and your needs. If you are attending a school in the US, then you should look for a school accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA) and that is approved by the state you wish to practice law in. You should also look for a law school that will offer you any particular program or classes you are interested in attending.

Law reports.
Law reports.

A law school is a school that provides graduate education, typically after the completion of a bachelor’s degree, that culminates in a degree that will allow you to practice law, usually a juris doctorate (JD). To legally practice law in the US, you must meet a number of requirements typically set by individual states, unless you wish to practice law at a federal level. This means you should consider what state you wish to practice law in, as this can help you choose the law school that will be best for you.

Each state has different requirements for those interested in taking the state bar exam, which must be passed before you can begin to legally practice law in a state. Most states require that you complete your education at a law school that is approved and accredited by the ABA, which means you should consider these schools first. While there are a few exceptions to this rule, it is typically easiest to ensure you attend an ABA-approved school so you can take the bar exam in the state in which you wish to practice. You should also consider attending a school located in the state you want to practice in, since this will usually help you prepare for the state test you will need to take once you finish your JD.

Using ABA accreditation as a guideline, you can then look for a law school that will provide you with a program that meets your needs and interests. If you want to practice family law, for example, then you should look for a school that offers a focused program in family law. While your first year or so at any law school will typically involve general legal education, you will likely have time to focus on a specialization prior to completing your JD. By choosing a law school with a program that meets your interests, you may find it more rewarding to attend that school and easier to begin practicing in your chosen field once you complete your degree.

You might also Like

Readers Also Love

Discuss this Article

Post your comments
Login:
Forgot password?
Register: