AccessLex Institute introduces a new way for students to find the right law school

Choosing a law school is tough. Too bad there's not an app for it. (Our thorough research — meaning we Googled it - didn't turn up one.)  Well, here's something that sounds a bit more resourceful.

Right now, when it comes to selecting a law school, many prospective students focus on rankings and whether their scores merit applying. AccessLex Institute has set out to change the game.

With its launch of XploreJD by AccessLex, the largest nonprofit organization dedicated to legal education is telling students you’re more than a score by offering them a data-based approach to finding the institutions that best meet what they want and need in their law school experience.

XploreJD is a free, online search tool by which students answer a series of questions for six primary factors in the law school decision-making process — Location, Cost, Enrollment, Diversity, Curriculum and Outcomes — and then prioritize the attributes that will most impact their final selection.

XploreJD’s proprietary algorithm utilizes general and school-specific data to present a list of law schools that fit the student’s individual criteria.

“XploreJD isn’t just about getting a list of law schools, however,” says Cynthia Cassity, senior vice president for Education and Strategic Engagement at AccessLex. “As users make their way through the tool, they’ll find additional information included with many of the questions that provides context around why those questions are being asked, and why they are important. We’ve created XploreJD as a learning experience – a first step in a student’s journey to informed decisions and law school success.”

The overarching goal is to encourage students who are considering law school to conduct a dynamic, multi-variable analysis that takes into account their own individual goals, needs and preferences.

Says Tiffane Cochran, managing director of Research at AccessLex and lead methodologist and data curator on the XploreJD tool, “At AccessLex, we want aspiring law students to think about the entire law school experience when considering where to apply. They should think about where their academic credentials will place them in a school’s incoming class, but they should also consider other aspects of fit, such as location, size and diversity, as well as graduation outcomes, such as bar passage, clerkship opportunities, and job placement rates. Navigating all of this information can be difficult for some pre-law students. XploreJD is designed to change that.”

An initial run through the tool takes approximately 15 minutes, although AccessLex encourages students to take their time. On the results page, users will see where each school met their criteria, get full school profiles with links to each school’s website, and be able to compare school results side-by-side.

XploreJD also allows users to adjust their priorities to get other results, re-weight their selections to narrow their focus, and save their results for quick and easy access and comparison in the future.

“XploreJD allows aspiring law students to personalize their law school journey from the outset by encouraging them to identify and focus on the factors that are the most important to them,” said AccessLex President and Chief Executive Officer, Christopher P. Chapman.

“There are plenty of services that rank law schools or project likelihood of admission to a particular law school, and while such information may have value, we believe students should have a free and easy way to consider and prioritize all the factors that will impact their law school decision in a holistic and well-informed way. Enter XploreJD.”