Preparation for law school begins in college and perhaps even before that.
Here are a few factors to consider in evaluating a prospective law school.
1. Consider whether the law school's career development office is well rounded in its placement efforts. Does
it only promote private sector jobs and large law firms or does it also include public interest and small/medium firms in its job placement efforts?
2. Evaluate the percentage of students employed 6 months after graduating law school. It is important to note what percentage of the graduating class that figure is based on. The percentages boasted by law schools are often artificial. For example, it's somewhat deceptive for a law school to suggest that 85% of its graduates are employed within 6 months of graduating if the school only has data from 25% of its graduating class.
3. Examine whether the law school participates in any job fairs and/or holds on site recruitment events.
4. Consider whether the law school permits students to work full or part-time during their first year of school. Some schools absolutely forbid employment during the first year of law school. While it is good to be completely focused on law school during the first year, the inability to work usually means that more loans will be required.
5. Find out if the law school weights GPS's. Some schools grade on a curve and others do not. So, if you are at a school that does not weight grades, your GPA may appear lower than the next student at a school where grades are weighted.
6. Investigate the strength of the law school's alumni network.
If you are still in high school or college, here are a few things that you should be doing now to prepare for the road ahead:
1. Practice Being the Professional You Want to Become
2. Be Kind to Your Teachers and Stay in Touch With Them So that You Can Get Good Recommendations
3. Intern or Volunteer Your Time to Get Good Experience
4. Create Your Own Business Card and Collect Business Cards from Others
5. Improve Your Resume
6. Start Your Professional Network by Joining LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com) or some other Social Networking Site (with parent's permission if necessary)
7. Discipline Yourself and Maintain Good Study Habits
8. Challenge Yourself to Write Clearly and Concisely
9. Maintain a Professional Email Address (something simple like first initial last name – reserve use of nicknames for friends)
10. Find Someone Who Will Mentor You
Lawtactics does not promote any specific vendors. However, a few websites that may be useful as you begin the journey towards law school include:
LSAC - This is the first website any law school applicant should visit. This website is an invaluable resource offering law school applicants official practice LSAT exams. This website will also guide you through the law school admissions process.
Kaplan and The Princeton Review - They both offer LSAT courses.
US News - This is the website that publishes U.S. News and World Report's official guide to law school rankings. For a fee, you can gain access to a detailed analysis of each school. More importantly, they offer insight as to best law schools for specific areas of study.