Location matters. And when it comes to law school, experts say, it should be one the most important deciding factors.
Major cities, such as New York City and Los Angeles, offer a wide variety of career opportunities for lawyers due to the depth of industries around. For law grads, these major cities can offer the benefits of a large legal market with high starting salaries. Yet, Kuris says, major cities have their cons as well.
“Attending law school in these major cities can give you an entry point, but unless the school is top-ranked you will have to outcompete your peers while managing costly tuition and living expenses,’ she writes.
Kuris recommends that prospective law students also consider legal markets outside of major metropolitan cities.
“There are many other desirable cities with large legal markets, even if they are not the setting for glamorous legal dramas on TV,” Kuris writes. “Consider fast-growing cities like Phoenix; Denver; Orlando, Florida; and El Paso, Texas.”
FIT FOR SUCCESS
Location, for many, comes down to how well they connect with a community. Choosing a law school based on community fit can help set you up for opportunities down the road.
“Aim to go to law school in an area where you already know where you want to practice, if possible,” writes Alison Monahan of the balance careers. “This will give you an opportunity to participate in the legal community there for three years while you’re still in school.”
At the end of the day, you want to find a place where you can truly see yourself succeeding –today and tomorrow.
“Whether you are in your 20s or an older applicant, there is no point in spending years in a place you resent,” Kuris writes. “Some of the happiest lawyers have built careers in livable, affordable markets that fit their interests. Whether you love the beach or the slopes, bagel shops or taquerias, city life or open space, you can find a wide range of law schools in any environment.”