How NOT to pick a law school

Law School Expert Blog

If you’ve been reading my blog and/or participating in my recent webinars, you know how I feel about U.S. News and World Report’s ranking system and the extent to which it should be taken into account when picking a law school. You also know that the most important thing in choosing a law school is geographic location.
So what is not important to consider in picking a law school? Study Abroad Programs. These programs are marketed to you as potential students – “Come to X Law School and spend your summer in __(Country)___.” The little known secret is this: As long as you attend an ABA law school, you can pretty much participate in any other school’s summer abroad program. You don’t have to go to U. of Miami to go to London – anyone can go.
This is also good to remember when you’re making your personal statement relevant for each law school and trying to convince the admission committee how much you want to attend that particular school; a study abroad program is an unconvincing argument.

3 Responses

  1. Thank you so much for your blog. I’ve learned a lot of information. I’m interested in public interest and activism. Is there a way for me to find the best law schools based on my potential career interests?

  2. Mat, thanks so much for your comment. I’m glad it’s useful to you. Depending on the type of public interest (human rights versus consitutional rights, for example) I can steer you toward programs that might be a good fit with your interests and credentials. If you want to try to research this on your own, I highly recommend the ABA LSAC Official Guide to ABA-Approved Law Schools (link to the book is on the right hand side of my blog). You can about each school’s programs. It’s time consuming, but the best way to go if you’re doing it on your own without a law school admission consultant. Please keep reading, and do let me know if you’d like me to help you through this process. For more information, check out my web site at

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