Advice from Law School Grads to Law School Applicants: Instead of Rankings, Focus on Law Schools’ Job Placement Rates and Affordability
Kaplan Surveys Show Bar Review Students Prioritize Outcome-Focused
Data While Pre-Law Students Prioritize Comparative Standings
Note to editors: Kaplan is a subsidiary of The Washington Post Company (NYSE: WPO)
New York, NY (September 12, 2012) – Law school applicants, take note: your future selves recommend putting less emphasis on law school rankings.
In response to the question “What is most important to you when picking a law school to apply to?” nearly a third of respondents (32%) to a Kaplan survey of LSAT students* cited law school rankings as the most important evaluation factor, outdistancing all other factors. In fact, 86% said law school rankings are “very important” or “somewhat important” in deciding where to apply.
Apparently, though, three years of law school may cause aspiring lawyers to reprioritize. Among new law school graduates, only 17% of respondents to a recent Kaplan Bar Review survey** selected law school rankings as their top answer to “Which of the following factors would you tell prospective law students should be the most important when picking where to apply?” Instead, nearly half recommend prioritizing either a law school’s job placement rate or its affordability/tuition (each factor garnered 24%). Other factors, including geographic location and academic programming, trailed further back.
In stark contrast, only 13% of pre-law students cited affordability/tuition as their most important evaluation factor in deciding where to apply to law school, and even fewer, just 8%, considered schools’ job placement rates to be their top priority.
“Going to law school is a significant investment of both time and money, and those who have gone through the process are affirming a rational conclusion that at the end of three years of hard work, it’s important to leave law school with a job and as little debt as possible,” said Jeff Thomas, director of pre-law programs, Kaplan Test Prep. “Our advice to LSAT students has always been that while rankings can play a useful role in helping them decide where to apply, they should look closely at other statistics, including how many of a school’s graduates have found a job in the legal field and how much debt their graduates accumulate.”
Pre-law students can be a part of the conversation by following @KaplanLSATPrep on Twitter and visiting www.the180.com, Kaplan Test Prep’s blog that provides LSAT and law school admissions strategies.
*The survey was administered by email in June 2012 and includes responses from 645 Kaplan LSAT students.
**The survey was administered by email in July and August 2012 and includes responses from 705 Kaplan Bar Review students.
About Kaplan Test Prep
Kaplan Test Prep (www.kaptest.com) is a premier provider of educational and career services for individuals, schools and businesses. Established in 1938, Kaplan is the world leader in the test prep industry. With a comprehensive menu of online offerings as well as a complete array of print books and digital products, Kaplan offers preparation for more than 90 standardized tests, including entrance exams for secondary school, college and graduate school, as well as professional licensing exams for attorneys, physicians and nurses. Kaplan also provides private tutoring and graduate admissions consulting services.
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