Academics & Research

Pre-law students say ranking is most important

Nearly one-third of pre-law students cited law school rankings as the most important evaluation factor when selecting law schools to apply to, according to a survey conducted by Kaplan.

Comparatively, 17 percent of new law school graduates recommend pre-law students select law schools based on their rankings. 13 percent of surveyed pre-law students cited affordability as their most important evaluation factor when deciding where to apply to law school while, 48 percent of new law school graduates suggest prioritizing either a law school’s job placement rate or its affordability.

“The University of Houston Law Center tuition fares below average when compared to the tuition and fees charged at other Texas law schools and when compared to other law schools nationally,” said Allison Hickey Regan, assistant dean for Career Development at UHLC.

Law school tuition may vary but its investment is large, no matter where students attend.

“UHLC students graduate with less-than-average debt as compared to graduates of other public law schools and when compared to all law schools,” Regan said.

The average price for a full-time first-year student at UHLC is $29,748, according to Regan.

“Cost is a major determinant in where I apply,” said accounting senior Firas Abulawi. “The ranking of the school is undoubtedly another major factor because it ultimately determines the opportunities one has after law school.”

Rankings and costs are not the influences. Employment after graduation is also a factor when picking a law school.

“In the UHLC Spring 2011 class, 91.5 percent were employed within nine months after graduation,” Regan said in an email.

It is important to note, however, that 56 percent were placed at law firms.

“Houston is home to one of the largest legal markets in the country and offers students the opportunity to meet leaders in the legal industry,” Regan said.

At 56 out of 195 law schools ranked by U.S. News & World Report, UHLC is one of the top law schools in Texas. National rankings are important because students must pass the bar exam in the state in they plan to practice law and should plan accordingly.

“The legal market is not as strong as it once was, so there is no denying that opportunities are becoming increasingly competitive.” Abulawi said. “However, choosing the right law school and doing well can open up countless doors for law students.”

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