MALIBU, CA--(Marketwire - October 20, 2010) -  Amid a flood of suggestions that law school rankings and reported career placement data are misleading applicants, Veritas Prep, a leading law school admissions consulting firm, conducted research to uncover how applicants view the application process and the utility of the degree in the professional landscape. Are law school hopefuls aware of the bleak job market, disappearing six-figure jobs, and the heavy student loan debt associated with leading law schools? More importantly, do they care? Today, Veritas Prep released select findings from their proprietary "Inside the Minds of Law School Applicants" survey.

The survey sought to capture the intentions, motivations and concerns of today's cohort of law school applicants. Veritas Prep conducted the research in June and July of 2010 in conjunction with Law School Podcaster and Pre-Law Magazine. Respondents included a combination of both college graduates and current undergraduates and both current and prospective law school applicants. Compelling research findings include:

Professional Aspirations and Concerns

  • 81% of respondents said they would still apply to law school now even if a significant number of law school graduates were unable to find jobs in their desired fields, while 12% said they would postpone applying until placement rates improved. Only 4% said they would not apply to law school.
  • Respondents are equally concerned with finding an appealing long-term career path and maintaining a healthy work/life balance once they start working (79%). Other key concerns include finding a job that allows them to pay off their student loan debt (72%) and using their law degree to make a positive impact on their community (69%). 
  • 44% of respondents indicated a reasonable desired base salary upon law school graduation to be $75,000-$100,000, while 29% expect $100,000-$145,000. 11% of respondents anticipate base salaries over $145,000.

Motivations behind Pursuing a JD

  • The majority of respondents want to go to law school because they are interested in the law and the way it shapes society and business (75%). 65% want to go to law school to affect positive change in the world, while 62% believe their skills align well with legal jobs. 35% of respondents believe they will always be able to find some kind of job if they have a JD. 33% of respondents said they are going to law school because they have wanted to be a lawyer since they were a kid, while 13% of respondents are going to law school because their parents want them to attend.
  • 34% of respondents decided to apply to law school in high school, while 29% decided to apply to law school in their freshman or sophomore year of college. 20% didn't decide to apply to law school until after finishing their undergraduate degree.

Law School Selection and Financing

  • Location was the most important factor in selecting a law school (69%) and 62% of respondents indicated that career placement rate was also important. Interestingly, 37% of respondents indicated that prestige and ranking was not important.
  • Affordability of a legal education was only important to 54% of respondents in the law school selection process. Only 37% of respondents anticipate over $100,000 of law school debt. Student loans (38%) and grants/scholarships (21%) were the two most common financing strategies for law school. 14% of respondents indicated parental support will help them finance the degree.

For a full executive summary of the "Inside the Minds of Law School Applicants" results, or to inquire about Veritas Prep's law school admissions consulting services, visit or call 1 (800) 925-7737.

About Veritas Prep Veritas Prep is the world's largest privately-owned GMAT preparation and admissions consulting provider, offering industry-leading programs to help applicants improve their test scores and gain admission to the world's best graduate schools. Founded in 2002 by graduates of the Yale School of Management, Veritas Prep now offers live GMAT prep instruction in more than 90 cities worldwide, as well as interactive online courses available everywhere. Additionally, Veritas Prep offers industry-leading admissions consulting services for applicants seeking admission to the most competitive business schools, law schools, and medical schools in the world.

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Lisa Weiner