Prospective Law Students Want A Law School That Matches Their Politics – Above the Law

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Most law students want to go to a law school with the same political bent as themselves. This is the basis A new survey by international education services provider KaplanIn this, 58 percent of respondents said it is important to attend a law school where their classmates generally share similar political/social views – 36 percent said it is not important, and 6 percent said they were unsure. That number is a jump from the last time Kaplan conducted this study (in 2020), when only 46 percent said politics played a role in their choice of law school.

Those who supported choosing a law school regardless of ideology made that decision somewhat different from the interviewer’s statement, “I’d rather go to a law school where there are different political ideologies. I think it’s important to discuss different beliefs and learn to respect everyone’s opinion. The reasons for considering politics as part of your law school decision are more varied:

  • “I want to express my thoughts freely without fear of lashing out.”
  • Although it’s important to respectfully disagree and grow up with people who hold opposing views, I guess living in hostile environments is tough these days.
  • “Before the end of affirmative action, this was not such a concern. Now, I fear a lack of community and support to attend a school that doesn’t value diversity and inclusion.

While it’s certainly surprising that politics is playing such a large role in law school decisions, it’s not the only factor. Amit Schlesinger, executive director of government and legal programs at Kaplan, put this new survey into perspective:

“Politics in the United States continues to be a big challenge and the law school experience is certainly not exempt from it, so it’s no surprise that most pre-law students say it’s important to be surrounded by other people who think about and choose their law school.” The way they do it. This choice may stem from a desire to create a supportive academic environment among people who share your values. But is it worth it? When your academic experience turns into an echo chamber instead of a marketplace of diverse ideas, it can hurt personal growth. We think that most lawyers consider the political culture of a law school, ultimately combining that with cultural factors such as academic quality, location, cost, and ranking. We believe that all of this will ultimately lead them to choose the law school that will help them achieve their long-term goals.

And that makes a lot of sense, given that choosing a law school is a major educational — and financial — decision that will shape your entire legal career. All of this means there are many reasons to choose the right law school for you.

Kathryn Rubino is a senior editor at Beyond the Law, the The Jabot Podcastand co-host Think like a lawyer. AtL’s tips are the best, so please contact her. Feel free to send an email her with any tips, questions or comments and follow her on Twitter. @Catherine1 or mastodon

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