Why Is It So Hard To Get Into A Top Law School?
Getting into a top law school is no easy feat.
At prestigious schools, such as Yale and Stanford, acceptance rates can be in the single digit numbers.
Ilana Kowarski, a reporter at US News, recently discussed why it is notoriously difficult to get accepted into a top law school.
Supply & Demand
Reason number one? Simple supply and demand, according to experts.
“There’s a limited number of spots at the best law schools and so they can choose the best students,” Joseph Hoelscher, a managing attorney of a San Antonio law firm who earned his J.D. degree from Baylor University in Texas, tells US News. “At the same time, the best law schools often have the best endowments and can outcompete lower-ranked schools to attract the best students. My LSAT score was around 170 and I had a ton of law schools send me recruitment letters and scholarship offers. I picked the school that I thought would give me the best deal in terms of cost, networking, hirability and skills.”
On top of that, there’s added demand from applicants who seek a law degree from a prestigious institution in order to open up more opportunities down the road.
“Graduation from a top law school virtually guarantees employment, and frequently comparatively well paid employment,” Nora V. Demleitner, a law professor and former law school dean who teaches at Washington and Lee University School of Law in Virginia, tells US News. “That, combined with the prestige of the degree which makes entry into highly prestigious parts of the legal profession possible, explains the demand.”
Choosing A Law School That’s Right For You
While attending a top law school can open up opportunities, experts say applicants shouldn’t limit themselves to only prestigious institutions.
“Don’t mistake a narrow band of schools for what’s right for you,” Kellye Testy, president and CEO of the Law School Admission Council, tells US News. “American legal education is very fortunate in that there’s very strong quality among many schools, and that’s different than you will see in some nations where there are only a handful of schools that are really top-quality, but (in the) United States, that’s not true. They’re much closer together in quality than people understand.”