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Center for Professional Development
63 South Main Street, 2nd Floor
Dartmouth College
Hanover, NH 03755
(603) 646-2215
Fax: (603) 646-1360
E-mail: Center for Professional Development
Recruiting Program E-mail:

Researching Law Schools

If you decide to apply to law school, you should begin the application process at least 18-24 months prior to desired matriculation. Dartmouth’s Pre-Law Advisor can help you find the best fit between your interests, credentials, and the range of feasible alternatives.

Take the following factors into consideration:

Numerical Indicators

Undergraduate grade point average (GPA) and your score(s) on the LSAT are two important factors in the admissions process. Each of these numbers should be compared to the median at individual schools and to the grids in The Official Guide to U.S. Law Schools and the Boston College Law School Locator.   Additionally, the law section in the Center for Professional Development Resource Center contains Dartmouth College admissions statistics from previous years.

The Law School Environment

Every fall admissions representatives visit Dartmouth to discuss their programs with students. These events are advertised on the Dartmouth Center for Professional Development homepage. The number of excellent law schools is far greater than most people realize. If you are planning an academic career or a judicial clerkship, it is important to select schools which most commonly graduate students who become professors and judicial clerks. Most schools’ websites and catalogs contain profiles detailing percentages of graduates entering major law firms, corporations, law-related positions, the judiciary, federal and state government, and private practice. When you speak with current law students, ask about placement opportunities, including summer jobs available to first-year students. Consider carefully the following:

  • Likelihood of admission
  • Quality and accessibility of faculty
  • Enrollment and class size
  • Overall cost and the availability of financial aid
  • Special programs and clinical opportunities
  • Size and diversity of the student body
  • Location, housing, and kinds of recreation available
  • Facilities, especially the library
  • Career placement
  • Bar passage rate (percentage of graduates who pass the bar)

The competitiveness of the admissions process varies among schools. Rankings of schools are controversial, especially if the criteria are not defined. There is no optimum number of applications one should file. The application process is not only lengthy and time-consuming it is also costly. Please apply to a range of schools.

Last Updated: 1/19/17