What To Do Before Putting Down A Deposit
As law school decisions roll in, many applicants may be wondering how they should approach putting down a deposit.
Anna Ivey, of Anna Ivey Consulting, recently discussed what applicants should and shouldn’t do before putting down a deposit to secure their seat.
You’re Not Tied Down
Ivey says applicants should remember that just because they got an acceptance, that doesn’t mean they are limited to one school.
“It’s OK to walk away from law school, even after you’ve gotten a great LSAT score, and even after you’ve gotten in,” she writes. “Before you sign on any dotted lines and send in your deposit to go to law school, remind yourself that you DO NOT HAVE TO GO.”
Rather, Ivey says, applicants should remember to see what other options are on the table.
“You’re looking at the offers in front of you, and you’re feeling really good,” she writes. “As you should. And now is the time to reassess those options and decide whether they still make sense for you. Keep your head screwed on straight.”
Choosing the Right School
When it comes to choosing a law school, there are many factors at play.
And while finances are a big factor, experts say, it shouldn’t be the biggest deciding point.
“Finances are the largest part of the decision of where you go to law school, but perhaps not in the way you may be thinking,” Aditi Juneja, a lawyer, writer, and activist, writes for ABA For Law Students. “It is my opinion that students should be less concerned about how much you take out in loans, and more worried about your ability to pay back those loans.”
Location, according to Juneja, is one factor that could make a difference.
“The one thing I wish I had been more thoughtful about when considering law schools was the location of the law school,” she writes. “I was fortunate that I ended up in NYC. It made a big difference in regards to the speakers who came to the school and the opportunities to network with them.”
Being in New York City, Juneja says, opened up many opportunities for her during law school.
“Furthermore, I had opportunities to take part in term-time externships that are significantly more competitive during the summer,” she writes. “Particularly if you are interested in a career path outside of big law, both the ability to network and to partake in term time opportunities should factor into your decision-making.”
Do Your Homework
Ivey says applicants should do a good amount of research prior to putting down a deposit.
“Educate yourself about what graduates from School X typically earn and what their typical career paths are,” she writes. “Go sit in on law school classes to see if they are your idea of heaven or hell. Educate yourself about borrowing costs. Go find lawyers who do the kinds of things professionally that you think you want to do, and look under the hood.”
No matter what, she says, remember why you want to go to law school.
“Because so many of the forces and voices you come into contact with will push you toward law school — supposedly easy money, prestige, your proud parents, magical thinking, glossy law school brochures and dodgy statistics, sexy TV shows, historical levels of affluence among lawyers, you name it,” she writes. “Those are the wrong influences to be listening to, for a bunch of reasons: the present is not like the past, some of those schools are lying to you, you have to pay the money back (and it’s a lot), the practice of law is rarely sexy, and your mom will still love you even if you don’t go.”
Sources: Anna Ivey Consulting, ABA for Law Students