A career as an attorney can be rewarding both professionally and financially. The road that takes you there, however, is paved with many questions that must be answered. Choosing a law school is a major decision and should be pondered carefully. Your choice of law school can directly impact your career trajectory. In fact, a school’s reputation alone can open doors. So weigh your decisions thoughtfully. And relationships forged in law school can lead to lifelong, beneficial friendships.

To help you make the right decision, listed below are four considerations to employ when choosing the school that is just right for you.

Factors to consider

What Area of Law Do You Plan to Study?

If you know what area of law you wish to practice, you may want to focus on schools with a strong program for that particular practice. Also, think about what local options you will have when doing a summer internship, clinic, or other such opportunities.

Should You Stay Local or Move to Another State?

It depends on what you want. Given that there are many law schools out there, you have a wide array of options. Therefore, you should take stock of your needs to be successful in your law school pursuit. Where would you like to take the bar and eventually work as an attorney? Do you want a large or small school? Will it be in an urban area or small town? You want to choose an area where you will be most content for the next three years.

Financing Your Education

The financial costs of a law school consideration can be staggering and can impact your future for years to come. Even if you get accepted to a good school, you should think hard about it if you must borrow many thousands of dollars to fund your education. Should you live at home if that option is available so you can save money? Be realistic about how much you should borrow. Apply early to get a better financial aid package that hopefully includes scholarships and other awards that you don’t have to repay.

How Does a School Compare to Others?

There are several ways that your potential school will compare to others that can directly impact your future. Many larger, prestigious law firms tend to hire from top-tier schools. Law firms want the best candidates. Therefore, you should pay attention to your school’s ranking, reputation for producing great attorneys, and how many students pass the bar annually. When you receive your acceptance notifications, compare the packages and choose the one that fits into the priorities that you have outlined.

A potentially great career as an attorney awaits you. All of the hard work, long hours, and sacrifices will have paid off. Then, you can look back with contentment, knowing that you made the right decisions, all of which made your dream legal career a reality.