By Matthew Gavin
For those of you planning to attend law school this fall, this is decision time. Hopefully, you have your admittance letters and are receiving invitations to admitted student day events at the law schools where you were accepted. What can you expect of these events? And, how can you make the most them? Since I plan the admitted student days at our law school, I have a few tips:
Should I go?
Yes. This is your chance to talk with students, talk with professors, talk with alumni, and talk with administrators – all in one place for one afternoon. While you are able to do a lot of that during a solo visit to a school, you will be able to do it in mass quantity at admitted student day. The opportunity for you, as a newly admitted student, to engage with all of these individuals during one event is something you should not miss.
What can I expect?
You can expect to learn everything from life as a 1L to life after graduation. If you’ve heard that a school has a great trial advocacy program, you can expect to learn how and why. If the school is known to train its students to be practice-ready, you can expect to learn the clinics available and chat with students who have done internships. If you’ve read statistics on job placement, you can expect to chat with career services and alumni about actual opportunities.
At this point, the admissions committee has made a decision on you. Now, it’s your turn to make a decision on the right law school.
What should I ask?
Ask the questions that will help you make a decision on what law school is the right fit for you. Ask current students what day-to-day life is like. Ask alumni about their jobs. Ask professors how they prepare students for law practice after graduation. Ask students about the classes. Ask career counselors how they help students find jobs during and after law school. Ask students if they were in a clinic or an internship. Ask alumni if they interned with a judge during school.
Ask everyone, why this law school?
What do I do with the information?
Make a decision. Admitted student day is jam-packed with information. Consider all of the conversations you have – with students, faculty, administrators and alumni – and ask yourself, can I see myself there?
After you consider all of this, it’s time to decide and deposit! Good luck!
Matthew Gavin is the Associate Dean of Law Admission at Suffolk Law School. Prior to joining law admission, he practiced civil litgation in Boston. Learn more about Suffolk Law at suffolk.edu/applytolaw.