What to Consider When Selecting a Law
In Degrees of Difference: A How-To Guide to Choosing
A Law School, Amy Briggs offers the following suggestions to
pre-law students seeking to identify law schools to which they might
"The best piece of advice about determining where to apply
is to be honest with yourself regarding your credentials. It can be difficult,
even unpleasant, to realize that your UGPA (undergraduate grade point average)
or LSAT isn't what you'd hoped it would be or what it would have been if you'd
spent more time in the library! But failing to be realistic can set you up for
rejection. If you truly want to go to law school, you'll have to objectively evaluate
what you have to offer and how that compares to other applicants."
(Briggs, Degrees of Difference: A How-To Guide to Chosing a Law School ,
National Association for Law Placement, 1998, p. 55).
To examine law school admissions patterns for students in your
LSAT score and UPGA range, you may consult the Official
Guide to ABA-Approved Law Schools.
It is important to remember, however, that factors other than
your LSAT score and GPA will be considered by law schools.
In addition to assessing your own credentials, you
should know the following details regarding any of the law schools
you are considering:
size (with information on first-year sections and upper-division
courses and seminars).
on faculty members (number of full-time regular tenured/tenure-track
faculty members teaching and directing clinics/special programs).
of upper-division courses offered.
of facilities (library, computer resources).
for students (mentoring, writing labs, special summer programs).
of other UNM graduates at the law school.
of students involved in law journals, moot court, faculty-supervised
(how many, number of openings, whether supervised by regular faculty
of law student associations consistent with your interests.
programs (specializations, dual degrees, placement patterns for
students in specializations/dual degrees).
(number of full-time tenured faculty teaching/doing reseach in
areas of specialization; number of journals published and faculty-directed
clinics offered in the areas of specialization).
degrees (range of flexibility in scheduling classes, completing
The diversity of the student body and faculty.
passage rates (including a comparison with state averages, with
information on first-time takers and whether passage rate is going
placement support and placement patterns for students.
between placement office and local/regional/national recruiters.
[see article on cost]
While no single list of sources can offer you definitive
guidance for sorting through these many questions, you should consult
the following publications:
Of course, you may also find it helpful to discuss these issues
with your pre-law advisor .