Nail Your Law School Visit

So you've figured out where you want to apply, you've taken the LSAT, and you've prepped as much as you possibly can at this moment in time--what now?

Visiting law schools is an important part of the admissions process. Any university can put their best face forward on their website, but nothing can beat how you feel when you're actually on campus. Making sure to spend some time exploring where you could potentially spend three years (and a whole lot of money!) will help you feel more confident in your decision.

What should you do during a visit?

A school visit may seem intimidating--you have to learn as much as you can about where you're going to spend the next three years of your life in such a short amount of time.

You can get a general feel for a law school through your visit that will help you make an educated choice in the long run.

You should visit financial aid, the law library (and other popular study spots on campus), the law building, admissions, the neighborhoods around campus, and the town itself. These are important because they give you a well-rounded idea of the school itself.

If possible, take a tour with someone from law admissions and sit in on a 1L class. Make sure to dress and behave appropriately if you visit a class--you want to give a good impression to anybody and everybody on campus. You never know who knows who within a law school!

Exploring the town, of course, adds another layer of understanding to your perception of this law school. If you get some great vibes from the area surrounding the law school, it'll add to your comfort level if you choose to go there. For me, I'd be looking for cute cafes and lots of open space--I love to study while drinking coffee in a cafe and spending time outside.

What questions should you ask?

Getting all of your questions asked is important--you don't want to leave without hearing the answers you need to. Don't be afraid that you're asking a stupid questions; after all, if you're thinking about it, there's a good chance that someone else is wondering it, too.

Here are some great questions to ask while visiting:

  • What's the professor-student ratio?
  • What are the costs outside of tuition and fees?
  • What student organizations are there?
  • What are the graduation requirements?
  • What is the first-year retention rate, the bar passage rate, and the employment rate?
  • What do students have to say about the law school?
  • What networking opportunities are available on campus?
  • How do student rankings work at this law school?
  • How well do professors and students interact with each other?

Other tips

In general, you should focus on your tour and speaking with students and admissions officials to ask questions, but there are some general things to do that will up your visit game.

Make sure to dress appropriately. Although you will be walking around, try to look presentable, as your presence will make an impact on everyone you speak with.

Being observant is important, too. Notice how students who aren't presenting the school to you are acting, as well as how they interact with the campus and each other. Do you feel a pull to this school? Could you see yourself spending three years here? Pay attention to your gut feelings.

Ask for an application fee waiver, too. More often than not, you'll get one. There's definitely no harm in asking!

Good luck with your law school visits!




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