You may have noticed that at schools with part-time programs, the 25th-75th percentile LSAT numbers are a bit lower than that for the same school’s full time program. In some instances, applying part-time may increase your chances of being admitted if your numbers are more in line with those of the part-time admitted students.
Here are some things to think about in using this strategy for law school admission:
1. Is it a fully operating part time program? If it’s not a full section of students in the part time program (around 100-130) then then part-time option is probably intended for people who have significant work and/or family obligations. They may even attend part time during the day or in a similarly customized program for their situation. You may want to call the law school and find out more about the formality of the program.
2. How easy is it to transfer from part time to full time after the first year and still graduate in 3 years? If it’s pretty much just a formality to transfer to full time after taking 2 classes over the summer (whether on campus or as part of a study abroad program), then this might be an attractive option.
3. Are you planning on trying to transfer to another law school as a 2L? If so, you may be restricted to transferring only to schools that offer part time programs (and you’d probably remain a part time student throughout law school).
4. Consider your social and professional networking goals. Do you want to be surrounded by other people who may be older, married, with families, and with professional careers under their belts? Or, do you want to be meeting other single folk and having a good time after a long day of classes? Socially, there can be a big difference between the demographics in part time and full time programs and 1L year tends to be when people create lasting friendships.