Deciding to pursue law studies is a big decision. If you are serious about being a lawyer, it is wise to get into the best law school in the United States. The best law schools produce the best lawyers.
If you are preparing to apply to law schools, the first thing you need to do is do some research and find out which are the best colleges and universities to earn a Juris Doctor degree.
The rankings of law schools in the U.S. are stable and have not changed for the past 20 years. Once a college or university has been included in the list of the Top Law Schools in the U.S., it usually remains on that list.
More often, the only difference is in the order of the top 5 positions. If you get accepted to one of the Top Law Schools in the U.S, the ranking of the law school usually does not matter. What matters is that you got into a top law school.
Why Enroll at the Best Law Schools
The best law schools in the U.S take pride in their exceptional academic programs, law clinics and simulations, student resources, and faculty. The best law schools also have consistently high passing rates in the bar examinations. Many of the large law firms typically also hire lawyers from the best law schools.
Admission to the best law schools is extremely selective and requires a high Bachelor’s Degree GPA and LSAT (Law School Admission Test) score.
There are over 200 American Bar Association (ABA) – accredited law schools in the U.S. While it is important to take into consideration the ranking of these law colleges and universities, one thing is certain: American law schools have a long tradition in excellent academic teaching.
How to Find the Best Law School
Before discussing how to get into the best law school, it is only proper to discuss the definition of the best law school in the U.S. The ABA says that there are 205 ABA-approved law schools in the U.S.
A school is considered to be the best law school if it continuously makes it one of the Top 10 Law Schools in the country. While there are multiple lists of the best law schools around the world, in the U.S. the most accurate list is the one found in the QS US Law School search, the US News Best Law Schools page, and Forbes.
According to the U.S. News Best Law Schools page, the best 10 law schools in 2019 are:
1. Yale University
2. Stanford University
3. Harvard University
4. University of Chicago
5. Columbia University
6. New York University
7. University of Pennsylvania
8. University of Virginia
9. University of Michigan – Ann Arbor
10. Duke University
So, how do you get to one of these law schools?
Law schools in the U.S. have different admission requirements. These are the steps you need to follow when applying for law school admission:
1. Complete a 4-year Bachelor’s degree.
It can be in any field of study and it can also be a course related to law studies. The best law schools look for applicants that have training in a wide range of important academic skills. Developing your skills in the areas of critical thinking, library research and structuring arguments are a must. You also need to be fluent, concise and clear in written and spoken English. These will be best seen in your academic grades (GPA) and LSAT scores.
While you can choose any undergraduate course as your Pre-Law, choose established courses such as Political Science, Philosophy, History, and English or Literature.
You must get outstanding grades in your undergraduate course. The best law schools in the U.S. always require top grades. The Law School Admission Council (LSAC) says that the Top 10 Best Schools require a 3.75 GPA to be considered for admission. Academic excellence is of course not enough but it could mean acceptance or rejection.
2. Take the LSAT.
This is the official examination that will test your analytical and critical abilities which is important in pursuing your law studies. A 169 LSAT score will allow you to be considered for admission.
3. Write a personal statement.
Getting your Juris Doctor degree from one of the best law schools will boost your career as a lawyer. Many lawyers in the top tier law firms are graduates of the best law schools.
Tips to Getting to the Best Law Schools
• Use your statement to discuss your career goals. Make sure to write a coherent and clear essay.
• Show the admissions department that you are seriously considering their law program because you believe it will prepare you for your future law career.
• Prepare well for the interview. Most of the best law schools require an interview as part of their application process. When you are invited for the interview make sure you are well prepared.
This is a step forward to your acceptance. Look at the interview as an opportunity to share your passion and experiences that will make your ideal for a law. Never use scripted responses. Lastly, think of possible questions and think about how you would answer them.
• Get expert help. It is extremely competitive to get to the best law schools. However, the best lawyers often come from the best law schools. The admission department screens hundreds of applicants every year. They know what works and what does not work.
Think of talking to an admission consultant (a friend, relative, or colleague who graduated from one of the best law schools). It will not guarantee that you will be accepted, but your chances of admission will significantly increase.
• Apply early. Submit your application to your chosen best law school/s well in advance. This will increase your chances of getting admitted. Most law schools, to a certain extent, have a first-come, first-serve type of operation.
There have been instances wherein qualified applicants are waitlisted for the coming academic year because the slots have already been filled. This sort of delay can impact your professional advancement.
Why Become a Lawyer in the US?
Many people say that being a Lawyer in the U.S. is a fascinating and intense career. The legal system in the U.S. is challenging, transparent, straightforward, and interesting and you would like to be a part of all these. Besides, the U.S. is a big country with humongous career possibilities for good lawyers.
More importantly, being a Lawyer in the U.S. is rewarding financially and morally. A new lawyer can have a starting income of about $160,000. It also always feels good to help people with their legal concerns and have a positive impact on their lives.
Being a Lawyer is challenging, too. Starting with the best law school is fundamental to ensure your future success. Getting into the best law school in the U.S. for your Juris Doctor and perhaps also your Master in Law degree is one way of doing it.
Remember the steps you need to follow and the tips presented here to make you well-prepared for your application to the best law school in the U.S.