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How Many Schools Should You Apply To?

"I'm often asked how many applications someone should submit to law schools," says Senior Consultant Laura Dauchy. "Last year, the number of schools my clients applied to ranged from 1 to 27. For most applicants, I think the ideal number falls somewhere in the middle of that range.

"Many law school applicants' choices are limited by location. For example, many non-traditional applicants are already established within their community and are unable to move to attend law school. In that case, I typically recommend they apply to the schools in their area where they would be competitive, plus a reach and a safety, if possible. In many locations, that might only mean applying to one or two schools – but, fortunately, it only takes one admit letter to attend law school.

"For applicants who are willing to move, I recommend they think about where they want to live upon graduation. Since most law school graduates stay and work within the region of their law school, I think it is important to consider your career prospects and goals when considering a law school.

"Applicants who apply to a variety of geographic regions end up applying to the most law schools. I recommend these applicants target each of the regions separately. For example, if you are considering Ohio, Chicago and Texas, you should identify, research and consider a wide range of schools in each one of those areas. I recommend applying to a spectrum of schools – from reach schools to safeties – in each region. That way you will have some options in the spring.

"One mistake that a lot of people make is to apply to every law school in a given city or area, hoping that they will get into one of them. I can't tell you how many times that leads to applicants applying to schools that they would never consider attending. Rather than applying to every school in a city, I recommend researching all of the schools you are considering. A campus visit is a great way to determine if you would like to attend a particular school. Visiting and researching schools online are also great ways to eliminate possible schools from your application list."

– Laura Dauchy, JD is the former Associate Director of Admissions at Seton Hall Law School.

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