Why Law School Location Matters | Information on law admissions
Avocados are as ubiquitous in America as yellow school buses and large take-out cafes. From small offices near rural courthouses to skyscrapers in large cities, lawyers practice everywhere. Law schools, however, are less evenly distributed. Most states have three or less.
Although law graduates are not required to stay in the state, it can be difficult to obtain internships and out-of-state employment opportunities unless you are a graduate of the state. highest ranked law school.
Studying law near where you plan to have a career makes sense. Clinics, internships, and local alumni networks at your law school can get you in the door. And law school courses can focus on the rules and subjects tested in the state bar exam.
When choosing a law school based on location, consider four things:
- Large legal markets.
- Industrial clusters nearby.
- Underserved legal markets.
- Culture and form.
Large legal markets
Global hubs like New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, DC can be a double-edged sword for aspiring lawyers.
On the one hand, they have some of the world’s largest markets for legal services. In addition to the local demand for day-to-day legal issues such as traffic violations and real estate transactions, these cities have global law firms, legal departments in major cities and towns. companies and practical in store. Some of these positions offer enviable starting salaries, as well as the opportunity to work on cutting edge issues and billion dollar transactions.
On the other hand, these are highly competitive legal markets with unique cultural facilities and career opportunities. Attending a law school in these big cities can give you an entry point, but unless the school is ranked the highest, you will need to outperform your peers while managing expensive tuition and living costs. .
There are many other desirable cities with large legal markets, although they are not the scene of glamorous legal dramas on television. Consider fast growing cities like Phoenix; Denver; Orlando Florida; and El Paso, Texas. Lawyers are also in demand in state capitals like Sacramento, California, and Columbia, South Carolina.
Nearby industrial clusters
Many legal markets are dominated by specific industries. For example, Houston and Dallas are obvious draws for energy law, while San Francisco and Seattle are technology hubs.
However, these booming cities tend to have few local law schools. Even if you feel you have a chance against them, it is wise to apply for a wide range of law schools.
To gain a foothold in one of these industries, think of a neglected secondary town. For example, Charlotte, North Carolina is a financial hub, Pittsburgh has a vibrant tech industry, and Oklahoma City is a powerhouse. A good start in one of these cities can offer more experience in the industry than a freelance law job in a more competitive market.
Underserved legal markets
Some cities are particularly difficult markets for law graduates without local connections. For example, herds of law graduates are rushing across the country to centers like the San Francisco Bay Area and the Washington, DC metro area. States like Ohio, Illinois and Massachusetts are oversaturated with law schools.
Other states have few law schools relative to their population. Nevada, with a rapidly growing population of around 3 million people, has only one law school. New Jersey, with nearly 9 million inhabitants, has only two, one of which has two campuses. Overshadowed by their larger neighbors, these states have their own attractive legal markets.
Culture and form
Law school is a difficult three-year period. Starting a job in law can seem even more difficult. Whether you are in your twenties or older applicant, there’s no point spending years in a place you don’t like.
Some of the happiest lawyers have built careers in viable, affordable markets that match their interests. Whether you like the beach or the slopes, bagel shops or taquerias, city life or the great outdoors, you can find a wide range of law schools in any environment.
Don’t be afraid to choose a law school with a setting that makes you happy over one with a higher rank or a more prestigious name. In the long run, morale will be better for your career.