Today, LST launched two websites with an array of tools for prelaw students and their advisors. The new LST Reports is the 5th generation version of the site and the PreLaw Platform is a brand new site designed to help move students successfully through the process of becoming a lawyer.
U.S. News & World Report is a terrible influence on law schools (and how they allocate resources) and prelaw students (and how they make decisions). The LST Reports is built to address the flaws in an ordinal ranking system like U.S. News. It is also the most comprehensive data source for law school data—and it isn’t even close. We organize over 1 million datapoints from the ABA, NALP, U.S. government, law schools, and more into actionable, personalized information.
While the vast majority of the information we provide on the LST Reports has been free since first launching in 2010, we are pleased to announce today that the entire website is now free, including the LST Wizard. We've done this to make progress towards our 2025 Vision.
The LST Wizard provides a customized experience to help prelaw students narrow their list of schools and decide between them based on what they care about most. Our process can be completed in less than five minutes and does not produce an ordinal ranking, i.e. a list where school #1 is better than school #2. Instead, our proprietary algorithm compares schools to each student's preferences and produces an index score. This helps students judge the differences between schools' job outcomes and weigh the costs of marginal differences. In other words, it helps students discover schools that they might have otherwise overlooked and evaluate whether one school is really worth the extra cost.
In addition to the LST Wizard reports, we provide school reports, state reports, and national reports. These reports cover critical data on graduate employment, salaries, admissions, diversity, costs, debt, and bar exam performance for every ABA-approved law school. A lot of this information is the product of years of LST's advocacy.
For those of you who are already familiar with the LST Reports, you will notice changes to how the site is organized and what we emphasize. We did so after observing traffic patterns, conducting focus groups, and additional qualitative analysis. Importantly, students will manage school budgets from the new site, the PreLaw Platform. Additionally, the Legal Career Compass now lives on that platform as well.
Over the years LST has come to realize that we do not reach enough prelaw students early enough in the process, even though we reach 10s of thousands of students every year. Applicants often first use our resources to choose among schools after they submit their applications. The PreLaw Platform (PLP) aggregates several helpful tools from LST—the I Am The Law podcast, Legal Career Compass, and financial planning tools—and introduces new ones to help bring students into the process earlier so that they may have access to high-quality information from the very beginning of their prelaw journey. PLP provides tools and information to both prelaw students and their advisors, and facilitates their interaction.
The site will help prelaw students at all experience levels and from diverse backgrounds to navigate the law school application process. Prelaw students who use the platform, along with LST’s other tools, will make more informed and intentional choices about whether to go to law school, where to attend, how much to pay, and how to find a satisfying career in or around the law.
Simultaneously, the site will help advisors at all experience levels track, assess, and advise their students through the law school application process. Advisors who use the platform will also enhance their advising knowledge and skills through prelaw-specific professional development from the nation’s leading experts, weekly digests about legal education, and our pinned resources.
The PreLaw Platform has three types of advising groups:
Undergraduate Institutions: These groups are run by prelaw advisors employed by colleges and universities.
Private Consultants: These companies charge prelaw students for admissions consulting, LSAT prep, and more.
Pipeline Programs: These programs help prelaw students through the admissions process and generally focus on students of color and low-income students.
A student may join one or more groups, but both the student and the advising group must consent. Think of it like a friend request instead of a follow. At this time, private consultants and pipeline groups must invite students to join their group. Students may request access to groups affiliated with undergraduate institutions, but only if that institution has an advisor on PLP.
Our new application tracker makes keeping tabs on the schools that interest you, submission timelines, and results a breeze. You can also track scholarships, get negotiation tips, and manage the application components you need for each application. The application tracker is fully integrated into our budget tools and the LST Reports, giving you a better command of your admissions cycle. If you're affiliated with an advising group, your advisor can help you stay on top of your applications and their various components.
We think that when prospective lawyers have more self-knowledge, they will make more informed (and often better) decisions about the kinds of jobs they pursue, including how they get there and how much they pay. The Legal Career Compass can help that process. The 30-minute psychometric assessment compares students to thousands of practicing lawyers across many fields of law. It's been validated against career satisfaction matrices across practice area and work setting and can help students discover jobs that are likely to be a good personality fit. We recommend pairing the results with our podcasts, informational interviews, and targeted internship searches before and during law school.
The basic report is available to any student who joins their college's prelaw advising group on PLP. The premium reports are available to students in certain advising groups, including private consultants, pipeline programs, and college prelaw groups that subscribe. Students may also elect to upgrade on their own here
Keep an eye on PLP for new features and content related to scholarship negotiations, law school admissions, the job market, lawyer salaries, and more. In the meantime, our sites are always a work-in-progress and we appreciate your feedback and letting us know about any problems. Please don't hesitate to email us at [email protected].