Questions To Ask Law school Representatives

(Compiled with the assistance of Chicago State University prelaw students)

Notes on law forum decorum:

  • Dress professionally or at least neatly.  Be polite.  Be friendly.  Act like the kind of person you would want in your law school.
  • Don't limit yourself only to the schools you KNOW you're interested in.  Keep an open mind.  You never know who might be interested in your credentials.  Frequently, you can get a better "deal" from an out-of-state school.
  • Just ask the representatives the questions that are most important to you--you can look up some of this information later if necessary.

Financing

  • What is the annual tuition?  About how much do students usually spend on books?  On living expenses?
  • How much debt do law students from your school usually incur?
  • Are there any scholarships available?  Are they based on merit or need?  What are the qualifications? Are applicants automatically considered for all scholarships or is a separate application required?
  • What percentage of your students receive scholarship assistance?

Admission

  • Do you waive application fees for low income and/or minority applicants?
  • How soon should I apply?
  • What is the average GPA/LSAT of students you admit?
  • What other factors do you consider important in the admissions process?
  • How does your school make admission decisions? How do you weight the LSAT, GPA and personal statement?
  • What do you look for in a prospective law student?
  • If a student takes the LSAT more than once, do you average them or take the highest (or lowest).  What do you look for in a personal statementa?
  • What should applicants avoid when writing their personal statements?
  • Should I enclose a resume?
  • Who should I ask for letters of recommendation?  How many letters do you require.
  • Will it help/hurt my application if I use the new LSAC Recommendation Referral System?
  • When will you be having an open house?  Can I make arrangements to sit in on a class?

Curriculum/law School Environment

  • Do you have part-time or evening programs?
  • Are students allowed to work while attending law school?
  • Do many of your students obtain law-related jobs in the summers?
  • How does your externship program work?
  • Do you accept transfer students? Approximately how many per year?
  • What types of special programs does your school have? Do you have dual degree programs?
  • What kinds of honor societies you have? How do students get on the law review?
  • Do you have an accelerated program so students can graduate in less than three years?
  • Do you have any programs abroad or exchange programs with other law schools?
  • How large are your classes?
  • How strong is your writing curriculum?
  • What kind of orientation do you have for first year students?
  • Do you have tutors who work with students to improve their legal writing skills?
  • What is your bar passage rate? Do you sponsor programs to help study for the bar exam?
  • Are there any students I can contact about the social/intellectual climate at your school?
  • How "cut-throat" or competitive is your student body? How accessible are the professors?
  • What kind of computer facilities do you have? Are there hook-ups in the classrooms for laptops?

Placement

  • What is your placement rate? About how long does it take your students to get a job?
  • What percentage of your students have full time legal jobs within a year of graduation?
  • What is their average income the first year after graduation?
  • Where do most of them work? (e.g., what states? public or private sector?) What kinds of jobs do they get?

Affirmative Action

  • What percentage of your students are African Americans (and/or Latinos, Asians, Native American)
  • Do you have any special programs to support minority students?
  • What percentage of full-time minority faculty members work at your institution?
  • What is the attrition rate for minority students at your school?
  • What minority student organizations are active at your school?
  • What kinds of activities do they support?
  • Do you have any mentoring programs for incoming students?

Prelaw Preparation

  • Are there any majors you consider more (or less) impressive?
  • What kinds of courses should I take to prepare me for law school?
  • Do you have a list of recommended readings for entering law students?