There is no better job than to be able to help people for a living. However, becoming an attorney is a long and arduous road. There are many who fail along this difficult path. Some don’t make it through undergrad. Some make it through undergrad, law school, and are never able to pass the bar. Because of how expensive law school costs, you need to be certain you want to be an attorney before starting this great expedition.
APPLYING FOR SCHOOLS
To apply for law school you must first take the Law School Admissions Test or LSAT. According to lsac.org, the LSAT “is an integral part of law school admission in the United States, Canada, and a growing number of other countries. The test is designed specifically to assess key skills needed for success in law school, including reading comprehension, analytical reasoning, and logical reasoning. The LSAT is the only test accepted for admission purposes by all ABA-accredited law schools and Canadian common-law law schools. Some law schools will accept tests other than the LSAT for admission. However, students who want to maximize their chances for admission are advised to take the LSAT. It is the only test accepted by all ABA-accredited law schools, and it is the only test that helps the test taker to determine if law school is right for them.” (lsac.org)
Once you have completed the LSAT and you have a sufficient score to get into a law school, you must do your research. “Earning a JD degree from an ABA-approved law school is the most straightforward path to becoming a lawyer in the United States. Search for schools by location, keyword, and UGPA/LSAT combination to find the best law school for you. We also provide links to each school’s most up-to-date information on admission requirements, tuition, special programs, physical facilities, and more.”(lsac.org)
AFTER GETTING ACCEPTED
Once accepted, you officially start your passage through the long winding road of law school. “The first year of classes is the same at all law schools. Every school offers a core curriculum of civil procedure, criminal law, contracts, legal research and writing, legal methods, torts, constitutional law, and property. You’ll branch out into different types of law after the first year. Don’t assume a school has a program to suit your particular interests; individual school websites can tell you more about that. Many beginning students don’t have a specific direction in mind, so just make sure the school offers a wide range of electives or the type of electives that interest you.”(lsac.org)
Some will tell you that the first year is the roughest. Many people will either drop out or be dismissed from the law school due to poor grades. Law school is not for the faint of heart. In our next chapter will we divulge into different types of law schools and what classes are like for freshman law students.
FIRST YEAR CLASSES
There are four main courses that are required in your first year. These four courses are not electives but rather mandatory for the first year student to take. They are listed below:
According to Stanford’s Law School Catalog, this course is part of the required first-year JD curriculum. It considers issues involved in determining whether the law should require a person to compensate for harm intentionally or unintentionally caused. These problems arise in situations as diverse as automobile collisions, operations of nuclear facilities, and consumption of defective food products. Among other considerations, the course explores various resolutions in terms of their social, economic, and political implications. (law.stanford.edu)
This course is also part of the first year curriculum. It provides exposure to basic contract law. The course will identify the scope and purpose of the legal protection accorded to interests predicated on contract and will focus on problems of contract formation, interpretation, performance, and remedies for breach. (law.stanford.edu)
This course is a study of the process of civil litigation from the commencement of a lawsuit through final judgment under modern statutes and rules of court, with emphasis on the federal rules of civil procedure. May include class participation, written assignments, or other elements. Your instructor will advise you of the basis for grading.(law.stanford.edu)
This course deals with possession and ownership of land and with the incidents thereof, including private and public restrictions on its use and development, nuisance, trespass, concurrent interests, landlord and tenant, and eminent domain. Attendance and the final exam. Your instructor will advise you of other bases of grading. This course is open to first-year Law School students only. (law.stanford.edu)
While it is common that other schools have a different curriculum for 1L year, these 4 courses are the staples of most ABA-approved law schools. ABA stands for American Bar Association and schools that are ABA approved have certain requirements to maintain approval. There are 203 ABA approved institutions that offer a Juris Doctor degree. In our next chapter on Becoming an Attorney, we will go over which institutions are ABA approved and what the requirements are to keep that prestigious honor.
AVERAGE COST OF LAW SCHOOL
Now, we will look at the number one ranked law school that someone in the United States can attend. This law school is Yale.
Yale is located in New Haven, Connecticut. This premier institution offers unmatched legal education for legal training. According to their website, “Yale Law School is unique among law schools in that it produces leaders in all walks of life: distinguished deans and faculty members at law schools across the country and the world; industry CEOs and corporate counsels; founders of nongovernmental organizations and other nonprofit entities; entrepreneurs; government servants in federal, state, and local offices and the judiciary — just a few areas in which our alumni’s talent and passion and dedication have made a difference.”(law.yale.edu)
Yale is located just one block from downtown New Haven. Around the campus, you will be close to shops, clubs, restaurants and all other kinds of shops that may interest you. The neighborhood is nearby known as “Little Italy” is world known for their pizza. The majority of students who attend Yale seem genuinely happy with their student life balance. Despite rigorous testing and pressure, those who attend have mostly good things to say about the overall experience.
While Yale is the number one law school in the country, it is not easy to become an accepted applicant. According to their website, the vast majority of students applying do not get accepted. The numbers of the 2021 class are below:
- 3,546 applicants
- 238 new offers
- 197 new offers accepted
- 83% yield on new offers
- 246 net admits1
- 203 matriculated
- 83% yield on net admits
The numbers that seem to make the biggest difference of if an applicant is accepted or not, is, of course, the student’s grade point average and Law School Admissions Test scores. Those are listed below:
However, if you are lucky enough to get accepted, you must consider the cost of law school at Yale. The 2018-2019 Basic Budget for law school according to Yale’s website is:
Remember, law school is for THREE years. So the total for law school(assuming prices do not increase) is $256,092.00