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9 Tips for Visiting Law Schools Like You Mean It

You’ve heard it before. Visiting law schools lets you:

  • Get a feel for the campus environment
  • Learn what kind of activities are available on and around campus
  • Meet with people who can give inside info or influence admission
  • Experience the school offline - you may be surprised by how much you love/hate a particular school once you’re there!

Pretty much every law student resource ever will tell you to visit your prospective schools. While visiting isn’t strictly necessary for acceptance, it can definitely help you make your final choice, and maybe even give you a little boost for admission.

So, here’s how to make these visits worth your while.

Published February 1, 2018

1. Attire

Generally, it’s recommended to go business casual. It’s not an incredibly formal event, but don’t go in your pajamas. (Although, if you have interviews scheduled, you may want to err on the side of “business.”)

2. Interrogate current students

Faculty and staff are a given, but you’ll DEFINITELY want to ask current students about the school! They’ll be able to give an honest, authentic opinion on things that will impact you day to day that faculty simply won’t know or be aware of.

Ask about:

  • Best (and worst!) classes & professors
  • Resources for students - academic, financial, health
  • How accommodating the school & student body tend to be - dietary, disability, etc.
  • Food - is there a dining hall, school cafe, restaurants?

You’ll be spending 3 years there, after all.

3. Manage your time wisely

If you’re just touring, plan at least 2-3 hours per visit. If you’re scheduling interviews, sitting in on classes, or speaking with professors, block out more time on your calendar!

Try to make your visits while you’re already in the area, or stack your visit with another event for maximum efficiency!

4. See what’s pinned on the walls and bulletin boards

Bulletin boards are a goldmine of information! Generally, flyers can be posted by school organizations, clubs, students, faculty and staff, and community members. See if there are any events or meetings that interest you!

5. Schedule an interview (or more) if you can

You can meet with faculty from admissions, financial aid, and other departments as long as you schedule an appointment ahead of time. This can help answer specific questions, but it also helps you build rapport with faculty.

6. Collect business cards

Business cards are a type of professional currency. Asking for someone’s card shows interest, makes the other person feel valued, and displays professionalism - something many L1s still need to brush up on.

If you have your own cards to trade, even better!

7. Take the free stuff

Pamphlets, forms, stickers, souvenirs - take whatever free stuff you can get your hands on. It shows you’re engaged with what the school has to offer (plus, it’s free!).

8. When to go?

Generally, it’s easiest for most prospective students to visit after admission, before making a final decision. At that point, your list of schools should be narrowed down so you only have to make a few visits.

P.S. There’s no harm in visiting a school multiple times during the admissions process, as long as it is within reason!

Self-explanatory. Just do it.

That said, many students are unable to visit their top law schools, whether due to time, distance, funds, or all of the above.

Here are some other resources on picking your law school without making a physical visit:

How to Choose a Law School: Calculating Value

Should International Law Students Choose an LL.M. or 2-Year J.D.?

Guest blogger Ashley Wilson-Rew is Content Strategist & SEM at protocol 80, Inc.

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