What To Look For On Law School Visits

A classroom in Thomas M. Cooley Law School’s Lansing, Michigan campus.

 

What To Look For On Law School Visits

There’s no better way to learn more about a law school than to visit. Seeing a campus and connecting with law students and faculty can help applicants determine whether or not a law school is the right fit for them.

Gabriel Kuris, founder of Top Law Coach and contributor at US News, recently discussed why visiting a law school is beneficial and how applicants can make the most of their visit.

BENEFITS OF VISITING

Visiting a law school can help applicants narrow down their decision and potentially even move up a waitlist. In admissions officers’ eyes, applicants who visit their law school demonstrate more interest than applicants who do not visit.

“Admissions offices track visits and attendance at events,” Kuris writes. “While they obviously understand that not everyone is able to visit in person, particularly during the pandemic, travel shows motivation. It’s also a great topic for an update email or a letter of continued interest.”

For applicants, a law school visit can also offer opportunities to meet with current students or connect with admissions officers.

“Making a positive and professional impression on admissions officers can help you build relationships that distinguish you from other applicants,” Kuris writes. “Use these meetings as a chance to demonstrate your interest by referencing some of the unique opportunities at the law school relevant to your interests and goals.”

WHAT TO FOCUS ON

If you do visit a law school in-person, there are a number of things to keep an eye out for. Kuris recommends getting a feel for the campus, the surrounding community, and even the climate and local culture.

“Campus tours and information sessions can be one-sided, so pay attention to other signs,” Kuris writes. “Check out the libraries and facilities. Stroll around the neighborhood. Browse bulletin boards and posted activities. If school is in session, observe how students interact.”

Additionally, applicants can familiarize themselves with a law school’s clinics, centers, and journals.

“It can be helpful to see what the different schools specialize in as you’re trying to decide,” Hillary Mantis Esq., of National Jurist, writes. “Law schools offer a variety of great clinics that offer you, a law student, real-life experience where you can represent clients (while supervised by an attorney). See what specialty clinics each school offers. Many law schools also offer centers which specialize in practice areas, such as real estate law.”

Most importantly, Kuris says, you’ll need to be able to picture yourself at the school.

“The three years it takes to earn a J.D. degree is a long time,” Kuris writes. “If you don’t feel like you fit in, you are more likely to drop out of law school under stress. It’s worth investing the time to find a law school community that makes you feel comfortable.”

Sources: US News, National Jurist

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