There are a number of factors you need to consider when deciding where to apply. You need to establish a list of target schools to which you intend to apply.
This list should be carefully chosen, based on your preferences in location, the type and size of the law school, and your chances for admission.
You should compile a list of schools that satisfy your personal preferences, based upon considerations such as geographical location, size, rural or urban setting, cost, reputation, and special programs the school may offer. Don’t bother to apply to a school you don’t want to attend. It is a waste of your valuable time and money. Also, your acceptance at such a school may prevent someone else from being accepted.
Once you have determined your personal preferences for law schools, you should then begin to consider the schools more carefully in terms of your admission possibilities. When targeting law schools, you should investigate the median GPA and LSAT score of the recently admitted students at these law schools. This will enable you to establish whether you will be competitive for admission.
It is important that you apply to a cross-section of schools. A cross-section of schools means a few “reach schools” whose average statistics make admission a long shot, but not impossible; a few schools to which you stand a 50-50 chance of being admitted; and one or two “safety” schools where admission seems assured. The prelaw adviser can provide you with information that helps to easily determine which schools make sense based on your scores. Also, refer to the Official Guide to U.S. Law Schools for individual law school data.
As mentioned in the introduction to this book, nothing is certain when dealing with law school applications. You need to cover all the bases when you are dealing with legal admissions. All in all, it is not unusual to apply to anywhere from 8 to 12 law schools; it is an investment in your future, so plan accordingly.