While this can vary widely, Carleton students and alumni typically apply to between 4 and 10 law schools. This should include a mix of reach, mid, and safety schools – as long as they are all interesting options.

There are a number of factors to consider when choosing where to apply to law school. A few of them include (in no particular order):

Overall Cost & Financial Aid

Law school can be expensive and doing your research in advance can make a big difference in the long run. View our ‘Financing your Education’ section to learn more about your options. Some law schools offer scholarships and grants depending on merit, financial need, or both. Note that it is acceptable to try to negotiate your financial aid prior to confirming admittance to the school of your choice.

Interest Focus

Many schools offer dual programs and/or joint degrees, along with faculty and student groups with specific interest areas. Research school websites to learn more.


If you would like to work in a specific state after graduation, pursuing a school in that state can help employment connections for post-graduation opportunities. Also, applicants should keep in mind that they need to take the bar exam in the state in which they want to practice, which can be easier if you went to school in that state.


Resources such as Law School Transparency help you easily compare schools based on an employment score percentage, as well as the path of their graduates (law firms, public interest, clerkships, JD advantage).

Other Factors to Consider

There are many other factors that students should consider when choosing which law school they want to attend, such as the faculty, class size, alumni population, student interest groups, clerkship opportunities, ‘feel’ of the school, and more. Explore law schools’ individual websites and try to contact current students or recent alumni to learn more about the culture of that school.

Recommended Resources