The ‘Most Considered’ Factor in Law School Decisions
Location is one of the biggest factors for most law school applicants.
A new Bloomberg Law survey found that 71% of respondents ranked location as the most-considered factor in the law school decision process, topping factors such as ranking, tuition, financial aid, university prestige, and campus culture. Respondents included more than 1,000 practicing attorneys, law students, law school faculty, and law librarians.
“My immediate thought was that law school applicants are choosing schools located in the cities they want to work in and reside in long term,” Rachael Pikulski, a Legal Analyst for Bloomberg Law, writes. “In my own experience, only a small number of my classmates stayed in the same city after graduation. (I didn’t.) But if this truly is the reason, then maybe my experience is not the norm.”
WHY LOCATION MATTERS
Experts say location matters when it comes to law school—especially if you plan on staying in a specific city and practicing law there.
“Studying law near where you plan to build a career makes sense,” Gabriel Kuris, founder of Top Law Coach and contributor at US News, writes. “Your law school's clinics, internships and local alumni networks may give you a foot in the door. And law school classes may be geared to the rules and subjects tested on the state bar exam.”
Additionally, Kuris says, choosing a law school that’s located in a large legal market can help open the door to a potential career at big law firms.
“In addition to local demand for everyday legal issues like traffic violations and property transactions, these cities feature global law firms, legal departments at major corporations and boutique practices,” Kuris writes. “Some of these positions offer enviable starting salaries, plus the chance to work on cutting-edge issues and billion-dollar deals.”
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