Is law school right for you?

Relevant interests and skills

There are many factors you should consider before making the big decision to go to law school. If you are interested in justice, legal, social and economic issues, and enjoy learning from and communicating with others, law school may be a good fit for you!

However, there are many more factors that determine whether you should attend law school. A career in the legal field is fitting for students with a very strong mental discipline and who also enjoy solving complex problems. If you’re an enthusiastic debater that enjoys participating in arguments without being easily offended by different viewpoints, you may be a great candidate as well.

It’s also good to keep in mind that lawyers on TV are not representative of all lawyers. There is a whole world of opportunities for those that want to specialize and explore the range of practice settings. Researching your top law schools for their programs and specialties will be your best bet towards answering the question of, “Is this law school right for me?”

Is law school worth the cost?

This is a very important aspect to consider when thinking about going to law school. One shouldn’t attend because they think it pays a high salary, or simply because they know they can get in. In order to know if law school is worth it, one must compare the total amount of debt necessary to pay for a specific law school, alongside the average starting salary of that school’s recent graduates. Other statistics, such as recent graduate employment rates and bar passage rates, are important to consider as well.

 

Cost:

To give you a better idea of how much law school will cost you, here are the costs of a few law schools in Oregon.

  • University of Oregon (2021-2022)
    • Resident Tuition and Fees: $42,024
    • Nonresident Tuition and Fees: $52,284
    • Total Costs (Resident): $58,446
    • Total Costs (Nonresident): $69,642
  • Lewis and Clark (2021-2022)
    • Tuition and Fees Full Time: $51,852
    • Tuition and Fees Part Time: $38,886
    • Yearly Health Insurance: $3,544
    • Loan Repayment Assistance Program Fee: $50 (Yearly)
  • Willamette University (2021-2022)
    • Tuition: $47,130
    • Total Costs: $70,672

Keep in mind that scholarships are available, but will differ from school to school. One can also apply to outside scholarships. The internet will be your best friend in finding private scholarships.

LSAT score and GPA

While law school admissions will take an applicants entire resume into account, the most important part of the law school admissions process is the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT). Your score will determine what schools you may be able to get into, with your GPA coming at a close second. Here are some Oregon law school stats, and if you’re shooting for the stars, stats on some of the top law schools in the nation.

Oregon Law Schools:

 

  • Willamette University (2020)
    • Acceptance rate: 75.4%
    • Enrolled: 130
    • Median GPA: 3.32
    • Median LSAT: 154
  • University of Oregon (2020)
    • Acceptance rate: 50.4%
    • Enrolled: 175
    • Median GPA: 3.40
    • Median LSAT 157
  • Lewis and Clark (2020)
    • Acceptance rate: 55%
    • Enrolled: 197
    • Median GPA: 3.37
    • Median LSAT: 158

Top west coast law schools:

  • Stanford University (2021)
    • Acceptance rate: 6.28%
    • Enrolled: 161
    • Median GPA: 3.91
    • Median LSAT: 172
  • UC Berkeley (2021)
    • Acceptance rate: 17.5%
    • Enrolled: 385
    • Median GPA: 3.83
    • Median LSAT: 169
  • UCLA (2021)
    • Acceptance rate: 14.3%
    • Enrolled: 367
    • Median GPA: 3.82
    • Median LSAT: 170

 

Top east coast law schools:

 

  • Harvard University: (2021)
    • Acceptance rate: 7%
    • Enrolled: 560
    • Median GPA: 3.92
    • Median LSAT: 174
  • Yale University (2021)
    • Acceptance rate: 6.5%
    • Enrolled: 201
    • Median GPA: 3.94
    • Median LSAT: 174
  • Columbia University (2021)
    • Acceptance rate: 15.86%
    • Enrolled: 329
    • Median GPA: 3.8
    • Median LSAT: 172

Whatever your goal may be, the ultimate deciding factor on what law schools you’re accepted to is hard work and dedication. Don’t let the numbers scare you. You got this!

A great resource for scholarships and guidance on how to pay for law school is the LSAC website. This link provides several great sources of financial aid information.

For more information about median GPA and LSAT required for acceptance to various schools, you can use this GPA/LSAT calculator that can give you a better idea of the requirements from individual law schools across the country.

If you have any questions, concerns, or comments contact Dr. Henkels at henkelm@wou.edu.

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