Rankings, not job placement deciding factor for pre-law students

According to a Kaplan survey of 1,383 pre-law students, a law school's rankings is the most important factor in their attendance decision. When asked “how important a factor is a law school's ranking in determine where you apply,” 86 percent say ranking is “very important.”

“Our survey shows that pre-law students are heavily influenced about where to apply to law school based on rankings, likely because of the perceived benefits that come with graduating from a top-ranked program,” Howard Bell, executive director of pre-law programs at Kaplan Test Prep said. 

While 30 percent of students said a schools ranking is the most important, 24 percent chose geographic location, 19 percent said academic programming 12 percent mentioned affordability and only 8 percent looked at job placement statistics.

Given the current employment numbers in the United States, these results are particularly shocking. Some people, including Bell, believe that students shouldn't dwell on the rankings. 

“Many law schools themselves don't think the rankings process is generally fair,” he said. “Ultimately, pre-law students should enroll in the JD program that best fits their personal needs and professional goals.:

In a previous Kaplan survey conducted earlier this year, 52 percent of students were “very confident” in finding a job in the legal field after graduating law school and passing the bar, but only 16 percent said they were “very confident” that their peers would be as successful. 

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