You are starting to get acceptances. Yay!! But how do you decide which law school to attend? There is no better way to figure out if a law school if a good fit for you than visiting.
As much as Covid SUCKED, one thing it did was get law schools to be really good at providing extensive virtual visit experiences. Take advantage of whatever they have online, and then if you can visit in person, do that too.
Whether you are visiting virtually or in person, talk to people and ask questions. Lots and lots of questions.
Admissions Offices Want You To Come to Campus.
Law schools have different approaches to campus visits whether they are virtual or in-person, but they really want you to visit. In fact, if they do not “roll out the red carpet” for you, then something is up. Some law schools have open houses (sometimes on Saturdays, sometimes online). Some have specific weekends as visit days when they invite everyone who has been accepted, and these are the only days you can visit. Some law schools will arrange individualized personal tours on a day of your choosing. Check out the law school’s website to figure out how they handle visits.
Your visit will typically include things like meeting with Admissions Staff, classroom visits, meeting with faculty and current law students, and a tour of the building. Be sure to check out the library: this will be your second home.
Make the Most of Your Visit By Doing Research Ahead of Time.
Before your visit, do research and put together a list of questions. If you arrive with questions, you will impress people: it shows that you respect their time, you did your homework, and that you are sincerely interested. Campus visits are a way for you to make connections, and there is no better way to do this than with questions and show them how professional you are.
Make sure that you will have the opportunity to talk to current law students as part of your visit. You can ask the Admissions Staff if there are any alums from your undergraduate university currently attending their law school or who have recently graduated. Alums are a great connection.
Law schools are going to want to show you what they want you to see. But this is also your chance to ask things that you want to know. Don’t be afraid to ask the same questions to different people.
For a list of questions to get you going, see our post, “How Do You Decide Where To Apply?”
The “Bathroom Test.”
One of my students created “the bathroom test.” This works great if you are feeling like the law school is “putting on a show” for you, but you want the “real scoop.” Regardless of whether you are visiting a law school on an official visit day or having an individual tour, at some point, when the hallways are busy and people are around (between classes or during a lunch break), use a restroom. When you are at the sink, if there is a person also using a sink, odds are they are a current law student. Tell them you are a perspective student and want to know if they would recommend going to that law school or just ask if they like it there.
Keep in mind this is only one person’s opinion, but because this is completely impromptu, you will most likely get a very honest answer. Also keep in mind that you are in the bathroom, so keep it short and don’t make it creepy.
Ask questions. Lots of questions. Pick a law school that is a good fit for you.