Now that your admissions decisions are rolling in, it is time to get down to the business of selecting your law school. One of the most important things that you can do to make this important choice is to spend time and visit law schools you are seriously considering. At most law schools, the opportunities for visitation come in a variety of formats. The most common types of visits at this time of year are “individual visits" and attendance at “admitted student events”. Both have advantages and disadvantages in terms of learning about the environment and ethos of a law school and I will work through the different elements for your consideration.
The primary advantage to this type of visit is that it will often allow you to tailor your experience to the things that are most important to you. For example, if you are most interested in sitting down and chatting with a faculty member about a particular area of law – this is probably best achieved by scheduling outside of group events. Visits of this nature can also be more self-paced, allowing you extra time on the tour, extra time with Admissions professionals and/or extra time to explore on your own.
This type of experience can be especially helpful if you have unique concerns and questions. The downside of this type of visit is that you will likely only get to meet a small group of people – maybe one current student (if they take you on the tour) and maybe one or two faculty members and/or administrators if you have established appointments. Some admitted students suggest that they perceive this type of law school visit as more authentic than planned events. Although I disagree with that sentiment, I can see how this less formal environment is preferable for some.
Be sure to think carefully about what you want to achieve while you are at each school and ask your Admissions Representative to assist you in planning a productive visit. Do you want to meet a faculty member? Do you want to chat with someone in the Office of Career Services? Do you need to discuss housing options or other personal concerns with an appropriate professional? At Seton Hall we will work with you to insure that you get the most out of your time spent with us.
Admitted Student Events
This is my preferred type of visit for admitted students. Faculty, current students and appropriate administrators normally participate in these events, allowing the attendees the opportunity to meet and talk to many different people. Additionally, these experiences often include alumni – a group it can sometimes be difficult to access on your own. Even though the event itself is planned and scheduled – the individuals involved are not scripted.
The actual experience at the event can tell you a lot about the law school environment. Are people open and available for questions? Are the administrators responsive to questions and concerns? Are the physical spaces comfortable and conducive to your best work? An additional advantage to this type of visit is the opportunity to meet your potential future classmates. On the whole, do you see yourself working well with the other admitted students?
At Seton Hall Law School we offer unique Admitted Student events to maximize your ability to get to know us. We keep our events relatively small (capping attendance around 50 for most events) and offer events on a monthly basis from January to June. This allows students a lot of individualized attention while allowing you to draw the advantages of a group visit. All of our events include our Dean, a variety of faculty, key administrators, alumni and current students. We also encourage students to participate in multiple events – allowing you to become a part of the Seton Hall community even before the first day of class.