Making your final choice

The process of choosing law schools is something that most applicants will have to do twice: first when you're applying to law schools, and later when you're deciding among the schools that have chosen you. Unless you selected yourself out of some decision-influencing factor (by applying to schools in only one city, for instance), you'll want to reconsider all the factors that were of concern to you when you first chose where to apply.

Fortunately, most of you will have several acceptances from which to choose, and will be back to the first question I posed: which law school is right for you? Try not to let reputation carry too much weight in your decision; it will make no difference in the long run whether the law school is ranked ninth or seventeenth. Look at locale, facilities, and programs. Visit the schools to see whether the student body feels right to you, whether the faculty seems friendly, whether the city feels navigable. Consider cost, size, anything that is important to you. Talk to other people who have lived in that location or attended that school. Then toss a coin.

It might help at this point to realize that all of the factors you have considered will be secondary to the experience of learning the law. Law school is rarely a pleasant experience; it is often a trial by fire. Nothing will make it fun. Your goal is make it a fairly rewarding experience in a tolerably pleasant environment. This requires knowing what you want, making a determined effort to find it, and some degree of luck. If you've considered the many factors addressed here, and face law school with the determination that you will do your best to study, learn, and survive, you've maximized your chance of achieving that goal.

The only thing left to say is, good luck!


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