How to Navigate Law School Offers
- Feb 18, 2011
- Admissions, Law School, Law School Advice
You already took the LSAT, and you already know your score. You’ve also gotten all your applications in. They’re signed, sealed and (electronically) delivered. All worrying might do at this point is give you an excuse to go buy more deodorant.
Further, I can virtually guarantee that if you care enough about the LSAT or law school to read this blog, you’re going to get in somewhere. But you’re going to need a strategy to wade through your offers once they start rolling in. Today we’ll examine how to evaluate offers and how to employ some dastardly strategy to (possibly) improve them.
If You Get into a Top Law School, This Might Be an Easy Decision.
For a select few this will be an easy process. They will just pick the best law school at which they are accepted. If you get into a top-20 school your decision has essentially been made for you. Regardless of cost, the amount of opportunity that attending such a school will afford you demands that you attend. Period. However, if you get accepted to a couple top-tier schools that you really didn’t plan attending for some reason (too far away, bad boy/girl ratio, etc) you can use those acceptances to your advantage.
What If Multiple Law Schools Accept You? Maybe You Can Negotiate.
In addition to those couple top-tier schools, you will likely be accepted at some other schools that are still plenty respectable, albeit lower on the vaunted U.S. News Rankings. Now is your chance to play Snidely Whiplash and get a little evil. Those lower-ranked schools want you. You make them look good. You make their rankings go up and justify the prices they charge for a legal education. You can use their desire against them.
Let them know you got into “Higher-Ranked School A” but you’re not sure you want to go because of the cost. Notice the implication? Well, just in case you didn’t, you are basically telling “Lower-Ranked School B” the following: “GIVE ME MONEY AND I’LL COME TO YOUR SCHOOL!!!” If this type of negotiation gives you the willies, just think of it as practice for future lawyering. You’re not being a jerk, you’re just being smart. You earned that extra money by getting into School A so you might as well cash that check in! Until next time, may you get into the best school you applied to, and if you don’t, don’t shy away from getting down to brass tacks with a lower-ranked one.
Article by Blueprint LSAT instructor and UCLA Law School graduate Alex Davis.
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