How to Get Into Law School: Advice from an Expert

Looking for the right law school can be daunting, but don't give up! This article provides a helpful perspective to help you find the perfect law school for your goals and aspirations.

Indrani S.

By Indrani S.

Posted January 10, 2024

There are about 200 U.S. law schools accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA), but if you are like most prospective law students, you are focused on the coveted T-14: Harvard, Yale, Stanford, and the like. Although admissions processes are evolving into a more holistic approach, the bottom line is that the numbers (GPA and LSAT scores) still count. Why else would the LSAC organization have a calculator based solely on them?

Having realistic expectations is imperative throughout the application process. Although admission to Stanford may not be in the cards with a 3.5 GPA and a 163 LSAT score, there are other law schools that will happily and eagerly admit you, maybe even with a significant financial award. You can find a school that will help you attain your short and long-term goals without going to a T-14.

I would like you to walk away from the rankings and look at law schools through a different lens. As I said, there are about 200 ABA-accredited law schools, most of which you may not have considered. I encourage you to investigate local schools where you plan to live after law school. Schools with a strong reputation are feeders for employers, and local law firms and organizations will recruit heavily from those schools.

Important data is found in annual public disclosures, or 509 reports, that the ABA requires from every school. These reports are easily found with a simple Google search (just search for the school name and “509 report”) and provide information about the last cohort of law students each school admitted. They include demographics, LSAT scores, GPAs, and application numbers, as well as what percentage of graduating students passed the bar after the first attempt! In addition, you can find career data (with another search) such as the percentage of students who were employed upon graduation and nine months afterward.

To get the real scoop on what your experience may be like at one of these lesser-known schools, talk to people. Dip into your LinkedIn alumni network and search for people who have attended these schools. You can also find people doing interesting work and have attended a law school you may not have considered. Reach out and ask lots of questions. The answers may surprise you, and crafting your school list with this added data will be very productive.

Local schools may not be as glossy as the top 14, but what is more important – the rank, or getting a great education and landing a fulfilling job that helps you gain traction toward your future success? I implore you to move away from the attitude that it’s not worth going to law school if you cannot get into _____ (insert top-ranked law school here). Ranks aren’t everything, and you may be losing out on some wonderful opportunities if you are too focused on them.

If you’d like to work with me on anything related to the law school admissions process, head to my profile to book a free intro call. I’d love to help you reach your goals!

Browse hundreds of expert coaches

Leland coaches have helped thousands of people achieve their goals. A dedicated mentor can make all the difference.

Browse Related Articles