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Law School Visits

1LBound1LBound Legacy Member
edited April 2016 in Law School Admissions 149 karma
I'm plan to take the LSAT later this year (September/December-worst case), would it be too soon to visit some schools I plan on applying to? Or is best to wait until I've taken the LSAT? Some of the schools I plan on applying are local, so it wouldn't be a problem to schedule a visit and drive to them. Thoughts?


  • 349 karma
    Realistically this is a completely personal choice. My opinion on visits is that you shouldn't visit a school until you have been admitted.(unless you are visiting to try to get off a waitlist or interview etc). The reason for me is two-fold. First, you dont want to go visit a school and end up loving it only to not get admitted. Second, once admitted, they give you the royal treatment when you But to be honest, if you haven't even taken the LSAT yet I think you are way ahead of yourself by trying to visit possible schools already. Sure, walking around and viewing the campus of a local school or whatever is one thing. But trying to actually visit schools before having even taken the LSAT and therefore having a realistic perspective on your likelihood of getting in/going to that school is definitely not recommended by me. Focus on nailing the LSAT and then let the process carry on from there.
  • Cant Get RightCant Get Right Alum Member Sage 🍌
    26320 karma
    Yeah, it sounds to me like you're getting ahead of yourself. It's hard not to, but try and resist looking too far ahead. I think it would be fine to go walk around, but I'd feel weird about contacting the school for any kind of official visit. They have no idea if you even remotely meet their standards, and therefore if you're wasting their time or not. And more importantly, you have no idea either. Maybe your numbers simply won't be high enough. Maybe you'll exceed your own expectations and wind up looking at much better schools. Point is, get your stats established first. Then use those to determine where you want to go, tempting as it is to approach it from the other way around. For now, I'd recommend focusing your efforts on preparing for the LSAT.
  • pritisharmapritisharma Alum Member
    edited March 2016 477 karma
    My opinion differs from the above 2 .. I am doing it just to psych myself up for the prep if nothing else. I do not see a downside.
  • Nicole HopkinsNicole Hopkins Alum Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    4344 karma
    You need to get yourself in front of admissions staff so that you have a personal contact at the school. This can happen at a LSAC forum or at recruitment events on campus (or campus visits if they'll let you meet with admissions--always call the school beforehand). Don't do this until the cycle during which you actually apply. It helps admissions to put a face to an application.
  • MrSamIamMrSamIam Legacy Inactive ⭐
    2086 karma
    I tend to side with those who say "go ahead and visit." I've heard it both ways. "Don't get your hopes up" v. "You may as well check out the school." Part of what motivates me to keep studying is that after visiting one of my top-picks, I realized that I REALLY want to get into that school. If I get in, great...I can attribute it partly to the motivation I got from visiting the school. If not it certainly wasn't visiting the school that caused them to reject my application.
  • 1LBound1LBound Legacy Member
    149 karma
    Thanks everyone for your thoughts, you all made some valid points, some I figured would be the case. My only reason to start visiting now is to motivate myself and keep trucking along in studying the LSAT, but I do need to be realistic about the whole process. No sense in wasting admissions officer's time, if I'm not applying in the upcoming cycle.
  • Micaela_OVOMicaela_OVO Alum Member
    edited March 2016 1018 karma
    If motivation is what you're looking for, I've had some friends buy t-shirts or water bottles with the logo of the law school they want to attend. No hurt in that. It served as a constant reminder to stick to the study grind.

    I have a UT Law water bottle that keeps me motivated. I went to UT for undergrad, and the law school was giving out water bottles one day. I'd say it helps :)
  • Cant Get RightCant Get Right Alum Member Sage 🍌
    26320 karma
    I love that idea @Micaela_OVO. I'm going to go pick some stuff up.
  • 1LBound1LBound Legacy Member
    149 karma
    That is a great idea @Micaela_OVO, thanks!
  • allison.gill.sanfordallison.gill.sanford Legacy Inactive Sage
    1128 karma
    I started visiting early (especially my local school options), and my reflections after visiting were actually a factor in my broader decision to apply for law school. I sat in on classes, chatted with students when they would let me pepper them with questions, and generally got a feel for different campuses. There is no substitute for doing your own research, and I encourage visiting for that reason. Just keep in mind you're far from knowing where you can go yet, so don't get set on a particular option.
  • stepharizonastepharizona Alum Member
    3197 karma
    @allison.gill.sanford said:
    There is no substitute for doing your own research, and I encourage visiting for that reason. Just keep in mind you're far from knowing where you can go yet, so don't get set on a particular option.
    ^this is perfect. I also think visiting a few "dream" schools can really put things in perspective. When I was visiting the East coast I did a visit and one school that would be a reach for me and discovered I wouldn't want to go there, and because I happened to be in the area, I stopped by another school that I didn't think would interest me and I loved it!

    Sometimes we can have perceptions about a particular school, but until you actually visit, and spend some time talking to students and your professors, you dont really have a good feel for it. Visit schools, buy the shirts to get you pumped and start building those bridges.
  • 1LBound1LBound Legacy Member
    149 karma
    @allison.gill.sanford and @stepharizona - There are 2 dream schools, one local and one in another city- which after US News 2017 rankings, they're both in the Top 50, yay! The other local schools are back-ups, in case I can't get into either 2 choices. My options are limited since my significant other will be supporting me while I'm in school, so location of these schools are job base for him too.
  • allison.gill.sanfordallison.gill.sanford Legacy Inactive Sage
    1128 karma
    @1LBound! I'm actually in a somewhat similar situation, my husband is job hunting right now but ultimately we'll have to decide where I go to school based at least partly on where he can find work. I would encourage you - if at all possible - to visit those dream schools together. We visited NYU last week (he came with me to talk to admissions and walk around the area near campus), and it was a great experience to go together. I definitely feel it helped him visualize us moving and helped bring him further into the process.
  • Carlos BurgosCarlos Burgos Member
    3 karma
    I visit school events that are open to the public -- usually because I am really interested in the event but those are great ways to begin to assess fit, motivate/inspire the self, etc.
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