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Mission Admission: Look Beyond Academic Specialization Stereotypes

Mission Admission is a series of JD admission tips; a new one is posted each Tuesday.

For the past two weeks, we have been talking about considering different metrics to determine which law schools are “right” for you. This week we address the issue of academic specializations. According to current stereotypes, schools such as the New York University School of Law and the Yale University Law School only want candidates who are interested in public interest, and other schools, such as the Columbia University School of Law and the Chicago University School of Law, want candidates who are interested in corporate law.  You should really look beyond these common perceptions and examine what these schools really do offer and look for in an applicant.

A wonderful quote from Kenneth Kleinrock, the assistant dean of admissions at New York University, puts all this into perspective: “Students should select a law school where they feel they will get the best general legal education.  It is not necessarily a good strategy to select a school solely based on one specialization which the school may be marketing.  Your interests may very well change in law school.”  jdMission co-founder Sunitha Ramaiah attended Columbia Law School because it had a program in critical race theory. She actually ended up choosing to practice a completely different type of law for eight years after graduating, and was happy she chose a school that offered a broad-based legal education.

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