The Best Time to Visit Law Schools

Law School Expert Blog

The best times to visit law schools are when you’ve been waitlisted, and when you’re deciding where to attend.

Visiting a Law School Where You’ve Been Waitlisted

Today, a client asked me for help writing letters of continuing interest to three schools – all three schools were located in the city where she lived. So my first question to her was whether she’d visited the law schools. She said she was waiting to see where she got in before visiting so she wouldn’t get excited about anywhere in particular. However, this – to me- was backward thinking. Her best chance of getting into one of these schools is to visit, to be able to say why she’d attend if admitted. The best way to craft that argument convincingly is by talking about things you observed while visiting.

Also, let’s be clear – why would a law school believe you really wanted to attend if you weren’t even willing to cross the city to check them out? When waiting lists move, they move for people who are good bets for the law school. This isn’t the time they want to mess up their acceptance rates by admitting a bunch of people who probably won’t attend (which explains the GULC Priority Waitlist). Law school adcoms want to call the people who they know will accept their place in the class.

So, visit a law school if you’re on the waiting list and within driving distance. Travel if you have the resources to do so. You want to be able to tell a school you’d attend if admitted, and it’s hard to do that credibly if you’ve never been to the state where the school is located.

Make the Most of your Law School Visit

When deciding between schools where you’ve been admitted, visiting can make all the difference. You think a certain school is your first choice, then you see the surrounding neighborhood is sketchy. You think another school isn’t where you’d like to go because it’s not as highly ranked, but people seem really valued there and happy and like the school is invested in your success. You’ll never know this without a visit.

Try to visit schools when classes are in session, rather than during a break. Even if a school doesn’t offer formal tours and class visits, talk to students and get a sense of what they are like, how willing they are to talk to you, what they like and what they’d improve. Ask what they think of career services, of their peers, their job opportunities.

Are Admitted Students Days worth it?

There are pros and cons to attending Admitted Students Days events. Yes, you’ll meet more people, but many of the people you meet won’t end up attending that law school. You’ll attend formal events and panels learn about the best the school has to offer, but you also won’t be seeing the school as it will normally be, and you’ll be interacting with current students who have been hand selected for the purpose. Consider arriving a day early and observing the school and it’s culture under more normal conditions.

You’re making a big investment in law school – even if you have a big scholarship. Don’t buy a law school without kicking the tires a bit.

 

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