Pre-Law at Virginia Tech

I've Been Accepted! Now What?

First of all, congratulations on your acceptance(s)! But you may still have some important choices to make about when and where to go.

I Have Multiple Offers. Where Should I Go?

If you receive more than one offer, then you have some options - hopefully some good ones, if you made good choices when applying. You can choose among the schools that accepted you, based on a variety of factors. They might include how prestigious the schools are, where they are located, the programs they offer, and cost - including scholarships and financial aid packages offered. These and other relevant factors might compete with each other, and you will have to decide which factors are more important to you. For example, you might decide to attend a less prestigious school that is less expensive than a more prestigious school that is more expensive. Instead of relying too heavily on rankings or any other single factor, try to find a school that is a good fit for you, all things considered.


I Was Waitlisted. What Now?

What if you were accepted by one or more schools but waitlisted by a school that you would prefer to attend? It may be advisable to pay a deposit to hold a position, even if you might later be accepted by your preferred school.


I Was Only Accepted to My "Safety School." Do I Go?

What if you were accepted only by your "safety" school? Do you accept that offer and begin law school in the fall? Or do you reject the offer and possibly apply to law schools again next year? A good statistic to check when deciding where to go (and something to consider when choosing where to apply) is a school's bar passage rate. What percentage of their graduates have passed the state bar exams as needed to practice law? If this percentage is low, then you may want to think about whether that school can adequately prepare you for a career in the law. On the other hand, you do not have to attend a top-ranked law school in order to have a successful legal career, and law school reputations can be very subjective.

Talking with a pre-law advisor about these sorts of issues may be helpful, especially if you are not sure how to proceed.


How Do I Pay for Law School?

The financial aid offices of the law schools that offered you admission can provide the most helpful answers to this question. Make sure you have submitted your financial aid applications (FAFSAs) by the deadline in order to qualify for institutional aid. A majority of law students rely on student loans to pay for law school. They may supplement loans with other sources of income. Keep in mind that if you are a full-time law student, many schools will not allow you to work more than a certain number of hours each week. They want your focus and the bulk of your time and attention to be on school. More information about financing law school can be found here.

The average law school debt exceeds $100,000. Before you go, you should have a plan or strategy for paying for school and keeping that debt as low as possible. While you are in school, you should stick to a budget and try to live as frugally as possible. Make sure that you include cost of living when you calculate the total cost of attending law school. Cost of living will vary by geographic location. Accordingly, a law school with a lower tuition but in a more expensive area may be as costly or more costly than a school with higher tuition but in a less expensive area. Many students also need to take out loans to cover the cost of taking and preparing for the bar exam. Thus, you should include an estimate of those expenses in your estimate of total costs.

Once you graduate from law school, there will be some valuable loan repayment options, especially for those pursuing careers in public interest law. You can find more information about those options here.