Monday, July 2, 2007

Picking a Law School? Location, Location, Location

Thinking about where to apply to law school? Put the rankings aside. It's all about location. Where do you want to live your life and practice law? If it's Los Angeles, then pick Loyola over BU any day of the week. If it's New York, why go to Indiana-Bloomington instead of Cardozo just because U.S. News says so?
There are so many flaws with ranking logic, that's a topic for a different day. Of course, you don't want to go to a 4th tier school when you could go to a top 20, but there are exceptions to this too (like scholarship money!). But, in general, trust local lawyers and law firms over U.S. News every time. You'll want to work during your 2L and 3L years, and these are the jobs that will lead to your entry-level attorney job.
Don't be a snob; think about where you want a job.


  1. Hello Mrs. Levine, as a 0L, I like this blog a lot. I know this is an old post, but this seems the most topical for my question.

    Would a Tier 4 school be a bad investment if I were able to get some financial aid? I don't have a stellar GPA (3.11) and no addendum worthy "excuses". I live and want to practice in Washington DC, but I've heard the legal market is tough in DC.

    I'm interested in UDC-Law because I prefer smaller environments to learn in, so I'm not too interested in all the mega schools like GULC for example. Would I be totally shooting myself in the foot if I went to UDC as opposed to GULC or U of MD? Thank you for your informative blog.

  2. If you can get into GULC, then it would be silly to go to a 4th Tier school. If you can get into GULC, you should be offered scholarships to other DC area schools. It might be reasonable to accept a full ride (full scholarship) to GW or GMU or American or Catholic versus taking out loans to go to GT, but I can't imagine anyone picking UDC over GT. I think, after you apply and see where you get in, your choices will present a fairly obvious solution.
    Thanks for the comments on the blog. Keep reading and let me know if I can help you in any way.

  3. Wow, your response time was very quick. I haven't applied yet because I just took the LSAT this past Saturday. I was planning on applying to UDC because they have free apps if a person applies through LSAC before February.

    I'm going to wait for my LSAT score because my GPA is abysmal and apps are too expensive to simply give $80 to a T14 or Tier 1 school with my GPA and a mediocre LSAT score. At 3.11, I would need a 173+ LSAT score and either have a LoR from The Pope or cure cancer to get in.

    I plan on visiting schools that I'm accepted to before I choose where to study, but would it be insane of me to go to a Tier 3 or 4 school with a full scholarship as opposed to a Top 100 all out my pocket or with partial aid? Thanks Mrs. Levine.

  4. Dar Anonymous, (by the way, please always use a name to leave a comment because it is confusing to readers when I'm always replying to "Anonymous")
    I believe in keeping your options open so you have this decision to make once you hear back from schools.....

  5. Hey anonymous, I'm a first-year student at UDC Law, and really like it. There's also a lot of impending changes coming to the school, the biggest one of which is that we will most likely be moving to this building:

    by fall 2010. The current facilities leave much to be desired, but the new building will hopefully be a big improvement. Email me at if you want to know more about the school and my experience there so far.


  6. Alex - the new blog is:

    Your comments are helpful to my readers. Please do repost on the active blog. Thanks so much.