Pre-Law Students Still Cite Law School Rankings as Most Important

By Andrew Lu on October 19, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

These young bucks still care about rankings. Turns out pre-law students value a law school's ranking as most important when deciding where to attend. According to a Kaplan survey, prospective law students who just completed the LSAT often stated that a law school's reputation was the most critical factor when choosing among different schools.

In an interesting twist, Kaplan also surveyed recent law school graduates to get their sense of what the most important factor should be when choosing law schools.

The survey revealed that law grads cited job placement and affordability of the schools as the two most important factors, reports The Badger Herald.

The reality is that you can go to the best ranked law school, but the ranking may be absolutely useless in helping you put food on the table upon graduation. However, with reputation rankings being the most accessible and most widely-cited criteria for judging schools, who can blame prospective law students for turning to these rankings when choosing schools?

The good thing for students relying on reputation rankings is that the rankings generally tend to coincide (or include) other factors like job placement, average salary, and tuition. For example, Yale, Harvard, and Stanford are typically among the highest rated schools. And if you are fortunate enough to get into one of these schools, you’ll likely have no problem getting a high-paying job.

However, when you start getting out of the top 15, relying on the rankings alone may not be good enough. So choosing the 30th school over the 45th based solely on ranking may not be the best smartest way to choose schools.

Instead, pre-law students should consider other factors like job placement, tuition, geography, practical training offered at the school, and other individual factors.

A law school’s reputation factor is definitely an important factor to consider. However, unless you’re going to a top-tier school, it should not be the exclusive factor you rely upon. Take a look at why you are going to law school, your prospects for employment after, and make a decision based on criteria beyond flipping through a US News and World Report.

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