Pre-law students, law school students and other members of the legal education community will want to tune in on Tuesday, April 29, at 8 PM ET for a special edition of Kaplan’s live, online talk show about legal issues, The 180, when a panel of experts announces and discusses Above The Law’s 2014 law school rankings. Above The Law – the preeminent legal blog regularly visited by pre-law students, law school students, and law school administrators nationwide – emerged on the rankings scene in 2013, focusing on the outcomes law students care about most like jobs that are actually in the legal industry, school costs and alumni satisfaction, and less on inputs like LSAT scores and GPA.
The live broadcast comes as Kaplan Test Prep rolls out the results of a survey taken of pre-law students in February 2014*, which found the following:
- 84% of pre-law students say that where a law school places in the rankings is important in determining where they will enroll. Studies by PayScale.com show that in general, the higher a law school ranks, the higher its graduates’ starting salaries are.
- A majority (55%) say they expect to incur at least $50,000 in debt to finance their law school education. Of that group, 17% think they will incur over $100,000 in debt.
- Pre-law students surveyed were nearly unanimous in saying a law school’s academic quality (99%), bar exam passage rate (95%), and job placement statistics (94%) should have a lot of weight in determining where a law school places in the rankings.
According to previous Kaplan research of graduating law school students** though, the single biggest factor graduating law school students said pre-law students should focus on was a school’s job placement rate followed by affordability/tuition.