Return to Blog Homepage

How to Choose a Law School and 10 Questions to Ask Law School Admissions


The law school admissions process can be extremely stressful, trust me! You need to compile what schools you want to apply to and write up an application with everything the law school admissions council wants. Everyone makes the mistake of not taking time to ask the following questions of admissions officers. Don’t make the same mistake! 

What Not to Ask

Resist the urge to ask questions that are easily answered by a quick Google search, journey to the school’s website, or a school’s ABA 509 disclosure form. For those of you who don’t know what that is, a 509 disclosure provides numbers for how a school’s graduates fare in the job market, what percentage of graduates pass the bar, how many scholarships are given out, and so much more. Please seek these sources out here, as asking how many of a school’s students pass the bar would take away time with an admissions officer for more meaningful questions. If a question has a simple quantifiable answer, its answer is probably somewhere online. 

What You Should Ask

Whether you are in the middle of the cycle or a year from applying, the questions below are 10 that everyone could benefit from asking. If asked a year or so out from your application cycle at a law fair, these questions can help determine internships, what classes you should choose, and extracurriculars to be pursued. If you are about to send out applications or already have, these can shape your application addenda, personal statement, and school-specific essays. 

  1. What is the housing situation like for most students?
  2. In what way would you describe the relationship between the law students and faculty?
  3. What kind of learning environment does your school seek to create?
  4. Is there an advantage in applying early at your school?
  5. How important are job experience and internships to your admissions committee?
  6. What do you look for in an ideal applicant?
  7. What is your favorite aspect of your school?
  8. How does your school choose students for law review and/or law journals? 
  9. What do all successful students at your school share in common?
  10. What is something that most law school applicants don’t know that you really wish they did?

Choosing a Law School Based on Rankings: Some Caveats

As you may already be aware, law schools are ranked by U.S. News & World Report. This ranking is some indication of the status of a given school. But these rankings are not perfect and recently some prestigious schools have opted out of the ranking system. That aside, a school’s rank can provide a decent picture of the likelihood, everything else being equal, of a new graduate being hired by a law firm. You’ll want to go to a school that gives you the best chance of being gainfully employed even before sitting for the bar exam.

Also, if you have a particular specialization in mind already, you may want to look at the specialization rankings. These often differ from the main rankings, and can provide some hidden value in the admissions process. A law student doesn’t usually choose their specialization until their summer internship after their second year and are hoping for a job offer, so these rankings only apply to most students in retrospect. However, if you already have a specialization in mind, you might be surprised to find you’re a competitive applicant at some law schools that are highly ranked in the field you’d like to practice.

Choosing a Law School Based on Location

Another major concern, especially for older law students, is geography. If you need and/or want to be in or near a specific city, your choices will be naturally narrowed down. This will also likely be the city in which you do most of your internship work and networking, which are crucial efforts to getting a job offer out of law school if you’re not graduating from one of the T-14 schools. Try and visit as many potential schools as possible, and make sure that you’re only applying to ones you’d be happy to be at for at least the next three years, if not the rest of your career.

Choosing a Law School Based on Cost

Last, but certainly not least, is cost. The most highly ranked schools tend to have high tuition, although some with large endowments also offer quite a bit of financial aid. The simple truth is that all law schools are quite expensive, and almost every new lawyer graduates with debt. There are only two ways to effectively deal with this problem: pay less upfront, or make more on the back end (i.e., the job market). So know the current tuition fees at the schools you’re applying to, and also any financial aid or scholarships they may be able to offer you. 

In the long run, your best chance at making enough money to pay off your debt is to enroll in the best possible law program and then get the best possible starting salary afterward, or apply for a public interest loan repayment assistance program. So apply to the best possible schools you have a reasonable shot at getting into, and take advantage of any and all possible financial aid.

Do You Have a Chance of Getting into Your Dream School?

So how to know if you have a chance at Harvard or Yale? Go by the numbers. The same logic that goes into choosing undergraduate schools applies to law school. If your LSAT and GPA are somewhere between the 25th and 75th quartiles, you’ve at least got a decent shot. Below the 25th percentile is a reach, but if it’s a school with a law degree program that interests you it may be worth taking a chance on it and seeing what happens. Just know the odds are against you in that situation. And if you’re a splitter (high GPA, low LSAT) or reverse splitter (high LSAT, low GPA), you still may have a shot, depending on the school. You can input your numbers into our law school predictor (well, we call it a Law School Compass) to see your chances of admission to any law school in the United States when you make a Blueprint account.

Last, if you’re determined to go to law school next year, then have at least one or two safety schools where your scores are comfortably at the 75th percentile or better for their admissions. There are other factors that go into admissions (life story/experience, race/ethnicity, veteran status, undergrad major, etc.), so any specific individual’s chances are highly variable, but LSAT score followed by GPA are by far the two biggest contributors, on average.


Law school admissions is never an easy process. These questions should at least help you make informed decisions. However, these are not the only questions some of you might need or want to ask. When crafting a question for a school’s admissions committee, take the same approach I did above. Ask open ended questions that have personal answers. This way you can see an admissions officer’s own point of view on their school and at the same time raise the likelihood an admissions officer remembers you when they see your law school application. Using this information, you should be able to both make a lasting impression on an admissions officer and determine if a school is the right fit for you. If you want more information, check out our complete guide to the top law schools in 2023

Additional Resources

  1. Standard 509 Disclosure (
  2. The Most Expensive Public Law Schools – US News
  3. Law School Rankings by Tuition (
  4. Public Law Schools with Best Financial Aid Programs Ranked in 2023 – US News
  5. Best Clinical Training Programs – Top Law Schools – US News Rankings