What To Look For On Law School Websites
As law school applicants research prospective law schools, many may turn to law school websites to learn more about programs.
What exactly should you look for on law school websites? Gabriel Kuris, the founder of Top Law Coach and a contributor at US News, recently revealed three areas of law school websites where applicants should focus.
“Law school websites are a gold mine of information for applicants. Of course, nobody ever called mining gold easy. It takes a lot of digging, sifting, and careful appraisal,” Kuris writes.
Kuris says applicants should focus on the “About the School” page on websites to better understand the story portrayed by a law school.
“The psychological principle of mirroring, used by good salespeople and hostage negotiators, shows that we instinctively like and trust people who subtly reflect our own words and gestures back at us,” Kuris writes. “So if you want a law school to like you, make sure your personal statement mentions why you want to go there by using language that parallels – without directly copying – a law school’s promotional materials. Not only does this show you’re on the same page, it also shows you did your research.”
FACULTY & COURSES
To better understand what a law school has to offer, Kuris recommends applicants to browse course offerings, programs, and faculty listings on law school websites.
“For example, imagine you want to study international law because you are fluent in Spanish and dream of working with Latin American clients,” Kuris writes. “You look at a law school website and see that it boasts about its global offerings. But when you dig deeper, the courses offered and the professors who teach them focus more on Asia. You could still get a good grounding in international law there, but another school with a more like-minded faculty may present you with more mentors, connections, and resources.”
Experts say it’s important to seek out professors who have a complimentary teaching style to how you learn.
“Did you enjoy having a particular professor for a previous course? Attempt to take another class from them. Do all of your classmates rave about one specific instructor for reasons parallel to your own interests? Search for those classes being taught by them too. Finally, try scoping them out on Rate My Professors,” Jaclyn Wishnia of Law School Toolbox writes.
NEWS & ACTIVITIES
Kuris says the news, activities, and events pages of a law school website can reveal a lot about what’s happening on campus.
“For example, imagine that you are interested in technology and the law and considering a law school without a settled reputation in this area,” Kuris writes. “You scroll through the campus news and find a new dean is coming in who is a leading expert on digital privacy and has secured funding for a new research center on cyberlaw. Maybe you’re a better fit for the school than you expected!”