Question #8: Do I need to go visit a law school I'm interested in?

Absolutely. You wouldn't consider a car purchase, an apartment rental, house purchase, marriage or other significant decision without careful evaluation. The same applies to law school. Show up, walk around, and talk to students. Begin to get a feel for how happy they are, and whether they would choose to attend if they had the decision to make all over again. Then visit the Admissions Office. Tell them of your interest. Be polite and respectful. Take the official tour. Arrange to sit in a number of classes.

Ask and get answers to your questions, including the following tough ones that law schools aren't eager to discuss. Remember, be polite and friendly.
  1. Tell me the type of student your law school is seeking from the current marketplace of students.
  2. At what point in terms of GPA and LSAT is a graduate of my school likely to be offered admission to your law school?
  3. What is the grading philosophy of your law school, particularly during the first year? A "B" mean? "C" mean? Something else?
  4. How do students earn an invitation to your law school's most respected law review?
  5. What is the current drop-out rate at your law school during the first year? Second and third years?
  6. Are financial aid awards "front-loaded" for 1L's? In other words, are 2Ls and 3Ls likely to receive less in financial aid? And is financial aid increased each year for inflation and higher costs generally?
  7. What is your law school's bar exam passage rate record?
  8. Does your law school offer purely merit-based scholarships? If so, how many? For what percentage of total costs? At what GPA/LSAT level are they offered?
  9. What percentage of the most recent graduating class is employed currently in law-related positions?
  10. What are the most prestigious clerkships offered to your recent graduates?
  11. Which schools does your law school regard as its direct competitors?
  12. What is the geographic distribution pattern of your law school's alumni?
  13. What is the loan default rate of graduates from your law school?
Answers to these questions will greatly assist you in making the decision of whether to invest your time, money and reputation with a particular law school.

Go to Question #9: What should I look for in law school libraries and law school bookstores?