How To Choose A Law School?
- Marvin Harvey
Everything You Need to Consider in a Law School
- Location. Location is arguably the single most important factor in choosing a law school.
- Admitted Student Profile.
- Cost and Financial Aid.
- Academic Programs.
- Student Culture.
- Career Support and Job Placements.
Does GPA or LSAT matter more?
How important is the LSAT for law school admissions? The LSAT is a crucial factor in determining your strength as a law school applicant. Your LSAT score is the single most important component of your application. Just how important the LSAT relative to other elements of your overall application package varies a little from school to school.
Does it matter where you go to law school?
Don’t be afraid to choose a law school in a setting that makes you happy over one with a better rank or more prestigious name. (Getty Images) Lawyers are as ubiquitous in America as yellow school buses and large coffees to go. From small offices near rural courthouses to skyscrapers in major cities, lawyers practice everywhere.
- Law schools, however, are less evenly distributed.
- Most states have three or fewer.
- While law graduates are not bound to stay in state, it can be hard to get clerkships and job openings out of state unless you graduate from a top-ranked law school,
- Studying law near where you plan to build a career makes sense.
Your law school’s clinics, internships and local alumni networks may give you a foot in the door. And law school classes may be geared to the rules and subjects tested on the state bar exam. When choosing a law school based on location, consider four things:
Large legal markets. Nearby industry clusters. Underserved legal markets. Culture and fit.
What is a respectable LSAT score?
What do 150, 160 and 170 scores mean? – According to U.S. News, law school admissions experts recommend striving for at least a 150; however, for a top-ranking law school, you should aim for a 160 or better. For a Top 10 law school, a 170 or more is desired. Of course, this all depends on which schools you are applying to. Here are some general things to consider when scoring a 150, 160 or 170.
150 score : As a score of 150 is right around the average score for the LSAT, scoring a 150 may make it more challenging to be admitted to a law school. However, there are plenty of law schools with LSAT scores of 150 or lower within their median range, so don’t be discouraged. 160 score : A score of 160 or above is typically considered a good LSAT score. Although it may not be high enough to get into the highest tier of law school, there are many very reputable law schools with median LSAT scores in this area. However, at these schools, you also may have to score higher than a 160 to qualify for scholarships. 170 score : Scoring a 170 on the LSAT is almost always considered a good score — that means you are in the 2-3% of test-takers. Still, it won’t guarantee you admission at a top law school. Other parts of your application are still a factor.
What is 70% on the LSAT?
General LSAT Score Conversion Table –
|Raw Score||Scaled Score||Percentile Rank %|
Is it harder to get into law school or med school?
Which is harder to get into law school or medical school? i saw law. atleast you have a chance to charm them at your interview. you don’t even got a shot at that trying to get into law school. then again, the class size is much bigger but more applicants. I am sure there are those crazy eager beavers who have both JD and MD. or may be you should try? actually I dont think the forum is biased, partly due to the fact that there are so many more variables involved with medical school.i.e. Courses taken, GPA in those SPECIFIC courses, competitive test scores, letters of rec EC’s that are often more in depth. For law school, as long as you have a high GPA- even in the coloring book major and a solid 163/180 LSAT, higher is definitely much more attainable than a near perfect score on the mcat. Youre pretty much in a top 15 school. I know some may argue sayin that no interview makes it harder, but are you sure. I mean I could be utterly incapable of stringing together a sentence and still get into law school, however, med school that would negatively affect my chances at admission. ok i guess i am biased, and just for good measure I’ll still be takin the LSAT law school screens during your post-grad years – med school screens before you even get in. The end result isn’t too far apart (becoming a rich, successful lawyer is quite difficult), but the initial bar isn’t set as high for law school. Med school admission is harder, and I’m sure I’m rehashing previous threads, but here goes: (1) Sheer numbers: There are more law schools by a long shot (not sure on exact numbers, but pretty sure > 400 vs. ~120 medical schools). Thus more students are admitted, and most schools have higher admission rates.50% of medical school applicants do not get admitted *anywhere*. (2) Interviews: Law schools only have “paper” apps. You don’t have to interview, and so the cost is less and law applicants can pepper their applications to more places because it is less expensive. (3) The LSAT is an intelligence test while the MCAT is a knowledge test. Thus, studying for the MCAT is probably a more difficult endeavor. There are other reasons I didn’t think of off the bat. I’m sure admission to Harvard Law is as difficult as Harvard Med in that both admit the top N students in the US in their respective field, but I’m not sure that in that case “difficulty” is quantifiable. If difficulty is the number of applicants admitted divided by the total number of applicants nationwide, then medical school is more difficult. For law school, as long as you have a high GPA- even in the coloring book major and a solid 163/180 LSAT, higher is definitely much more attainable than a near perfect score on the mcat. Youre pretty much in a top 15 school. I could have majored in coloring books? Bummer, I missed that one. Actually top 15 is hard in either field – there is no “pretty much in”. But as prior posters have indicated, there are more law schools and they have bigger classes, so a much larger percentage of people get in “somewhere”. And as another prior poster aptly indicated, while med schools have a role in limiting the number of people getting into the profession and thereby only can have a set number of seats, law schools don’t have these limitations – that job is left for the states which limit the number of lawyers by setting bar exam pass rates. Thus while most people who finish med school will get to practice medicine immediately upon completion of school, as much as a third of a state’s JD’s will not pass the bar and cannot then practice until they retake and pass (at best, half a year later, sometimes never). When you graduate from med school, you are pretty much a doctor no matter where you fall in the class or which institution you attended (with few exceptions) and have a pretty decent chance of practicing clinical medicine one day in one of the top three specialties of your choice (again, with a few exceptions; derm, path, rads, radonc, etc, if you barely pass). I am fairly sure that law school is not set up the same way. If you want to do something even remotely competitive, you have to go to a decent school, get decent grades, get on “law review” or some such (the honor roll for law students, or some such thing), and jockey for interesting internships and summer opportunities (none of which are guaranteed). Then when you get out, you have to pass the bar, find a firm in the area you want to be, and work 80+ hrs a week for like 3 years to work towards junior partner/partner status at the firm (kinda like a residency in the actual commercial practice or trial division of law). So, on paper, it is probably not any easier to be a successful lawyer than it is to be a good physician. Being a physician requires the emotional maturity and dedication to deal with people who are sick and dying, and to shoulder the responsibility of making decisions that impact people’s life/death on a daily basis. Some lawyers never touch that level of responsibility. Some do (prosecutors and defense attorneys in serious criminal and/or family/domestic abuse cases, or lawyers responsible for setting important legal precedent that may impact the state/federal laws). On the question of getting into the graduate schools themselves, obviously it takes better grades and more focused pursuit of science (which by its nature is more difficult to do well in at college than most other majors/study tracks for most intelligent people). Additionally, you can have any major and any study focus at college and up and decide to go study law. One kid I know majored in psychology with a music minor, and got mediocre grades and is in law school now. I don’t even think he did very well on the LSAT, either. I think the issue is that it is cheap to admit students to a certain law school, put them in large lecture style classes on “contracts” and stuff, tell them to study in large libraries where they have lots of huge, old books, steal their tuition money, and dump them into a field where there are too many graduates and not enough quality opportunities for all of them. What’s next? large animal vet school vs. PhD in horses and cows! My wife is a lawyer, and she will tell you that it is much more difficult to get into med school, and the process itself is much tougher. There are many people on this board who will not get into top med schools, but could definitely go to a top 5 law school.
It depends on the person though, and how well they can handle the LSAT. But with the premed science backround, getting into law school would be no problem for many med school applicants. The thing with law school is that there is a broader range in quality and competitivness. Most medical schools are tough to get into and are of pretty high quality, whereas if you want to get into law school- there are a good number of them that do not have that high of standards.
Just look at the average GPAs of students admitted into both fields. I am fairly sure that law school is not set up the same way. If you want to do something even remotely competitive, you have to go to a decent school, get decent grades, get on “law review” or some such (the honor roll for law students, or some such thing), and jockey for interesting internships and summer opportunities (none of which are guaranteed).
Then when you get out, you have to pass the bar, find a firm in the area you want to be, and work 80+ hrs a week for like 3 years to work towards junior partner/partner status at the firm (kinda like a residency in the actual commercial practice or trial division of law). I pretty much agree with the above post.
However just to correct one inaccuracy, no one in law is making partner (junior or otherwise) in three years (unless they start up their own business). In the bigger firms/cities it is currently closer to ten years before partnership consideration. Law school is definitely easier to get into.
Basically if you want to become a lawyer, there is a law school in the U.S. that will accept you. As we all know, the same is not true for medical school. I think there’s a law school, (Cooley?) that essentially has open admission so for the first two years, they have an insanely huge class but they usually do try to actively fail people to reduce the class size, or so I’ve heard.
But law school in general is very numbers based which I feel makes it easier. Everything is in your hands basically and if you get great grades/LSAT scores, you’ll more then likely get into a good school. In medical school admissions, there are a lot of variables all the way upto the interview.
- I mean, your chances at getting into a school could be nothing just because you didn’t click with your interviewer or something.
- I mean, looking at mdapplicants, how many people with 35+ scores get rejected from certain top ranked schools for probably arbitrary reasons even though they have excellent credentials.
My wife went to Law School and she would tell you that it is a totally different world getting into law school. She can’t believe the crap I’ve had to go through with primary and secondary applications, interviews, follow ups, etc. Is this thread really serious? While there might be a comparison with some of the good law schools, it is a fact that ANYBODY can go to law school.
There are a plethera of lower tier law schools with VERY lax admission criteria. That is why there is such an overpopulation of lawyers. I looked into law before medicine, and I even took the LSAT. Right here in Lansing there is a law school that basically anyone with a college degree can get into. They have an LSAT average of 139(that would be like a 17-19 MCAT) and a GPA average of like 2.8.
The same is not true even for the lowest tier U.S medical schools. I voted med schools using my vast experience with applying to law schools and even more so with Medical schools. Wait, I’ve never applied to any law schools, nevermind. I did find that most traditional pre-law classes were a breeze compared to premed classes.
I’m just glad the MCAT doesn’t have a whole section devoted to tricky little mind games like the LSAT does. Still, some might argue that the whole MCAT is a tricky little mind game, but I don’t think its really the same kind of tricks. Having been business/pre-law and then deciding to go back to school for dentistry I can tell you right now there is no comparison and this is a stupid question to even ask.
First off, the 4 credit science pre-reqs (throw in the upper level sciences as well for chem or bio majors) are incredibly more demanding courses than anything else you would be taking in college before law school. I breezed through undergrad with a 3.6 and didn’t have many nights that ended without some form of partying.
Try doing that while taking 3-4 sciences a semester with labs. Additionally, I can affirm the previous comments that there are more law schools compared to medical schools and no interviews to worry about. Finally, I know there are some brilliant lawyers out there- some of my high school friends who are much smarter than I decided to go into law school (lord knows why, but that is another discussion).
However, I have also met some people who are head-scratching incompetent boobs who graduated law and passed the bar. It is not that difficult to get into a law school in this country, period. And this is the reason the bubble is about to burst. We have more lawyers graduating than we have jobs for them.
- Medicine/Dentistry/Vet you need a strong college resume with at least a 3.5 in science GPA, tons of shadowing hours, a longer and more rigorous entry exam, and a much more competitive applicant pool.
- And I can say with certainty that law school on the whole is easier than medical school based on my observations alone.
My law school friends had time to party on the weekends to “blow off stress”. I knew one that would make trips from Rochester to Buffalo every couple days to see her boyfriend. Ain’t nobody got time for dat! Medical and Dental students have to literally study every waking hour as the course load is preposterous! Law school admissions are nearly 100% dependent on the LSAT, which is not a particularly hard test.
Having been business/pre-law and then deciding to go back to school for dentistry I can tell you right now there is no comparison and this is a stupid question to even ask. the only thing stupider than this question is bring back a thread that is roughly a decade old no offense Law school admissions are nearly 100% dependent on the LSAT, which is not a particularly hard test.
I took the LSAT and couldn’t breach 160 (80th percentile). I got a 37 on the MCAT though (98-99 percentile). I suppose it depends on the person. I heard the LSAT is much more of an IQ test, so I guess I’m just dumb. I took the LSAT and couldn’t breach 160 (80th percentile). I got a 37 on the MCAT though (98-99 percentile). I suppose it depends on the person. I heard the LSAT is much more of an IQ test, so I guess I’m just dumb. I don’t really meet many pre-laws who spent or plan to spend 500+ hours studying for the LSAT, though. =P There really is no comparison. It’s much easier to attain a JD than a MD/DO. As long as your brain is in tact, you can get in somewhere. The same can’t be said for medical schools.
- And Im referring to just US medical schools.
- A monkey could get into law school.
- Doesn’t even have to be a smart monkey.
- Not to disparage out pre-law and law student counterparts, but I went to a big university laden with pre-law and pre-med students.
- Most of my friends who were pre-law went directly to law school (in fact, I can think of only one friend that was pre-law who did not get accepted on the first try) but less than half of my friends that were pre-med were accepted directly from undergrad.
Sent from my iPhone using SDN Mobile Not sure why this thread was brought back to life. The top law schools are tough to get into. Harder than some med schools, for sure. But there are tons of law schools and tons of seats per law school class, so if you want to go to “a” law school you can.
Heck, inmates can do law school as a correspondence course in some jurisdictions. The difference is that med school is the gate keeper of the profession – once you get in, its rare to fail out. in law, the bar is the gatekeeper – lots of people go to law school but never get to practice law. In some states a third will fail the bar.
So you aren’t comparing the same thing. Yes anyone with a C averag can probably find a law school, but that doesn’t mean they will ever end up a practicing lawyer. What is the point of comparing both? I said medical school, but I can’t prove it.anyone? In terms of schools generally, it is far more difficult to get into the average U.S.
medical school than it is the average law school based on GPA/LSAT (the latter is the standardized test for admission to law school). If you look at the top 10 law schools, then the GPAs are closer to what one would expect for a U.S. medical school, and at the very top (Harvard, Stanford, Yale, etc.), the GPAs would be competitive at top U.S.
medical schools. just a hunch, but i think this forum is biased. I seriously contemplated going to law school with an interest in general policy (to include health policy), so I don’t think there is any bias on my part. I decided against this. The legal job market is in a state of disarray and even the top firms are laying off lawyers in large numbers (sometimes including partners). I don’t think law school is a viable option for most in this job market. It makes little sense to me to go into $120+k in debt, when some lawyers only make $70k or less. The averages that you see reported for salaries are inflated because they include the large salaries at corporate law firms, but those positions are drying up and as I said, there were large layoffs in recent years. actually I dont think the forum is biased, partly due to the fact that there are so many more variables involved with medical school.i.e. Courses taken, GPA in those SPECIFIC courses, competitive test scores, letters of rec EC’s that are often more in depth. For law school, as long as you have a high GPA- even in the coloring book major and a solid 163/180 LSAT, higher is definitely much more attainable than a near perfect score on the mcat. Youre pretty much in a top 15 school. I know some may argue sayin that no interview makes it harder, but are you sure. I mean I could be utterly incapable of stringing together a sentence and still get into law school, however, med school that would negatively affect my chances at admission. ok i guess i am biased, and just for good measure I’ll still be takin the LSAT A 163 score on the LSAT is medicare and while some may get into a top 15 school (like some medicare premeds will get into a top 15 medical school – it happens statistically every year), I think you are distorting the numbers. Also, there are law schools that include interview components. Harvard comes to mind. A 163 score on the LSAT is medicare and while some may get into a top 15 school (like some medicare premeds will get into a top 15 medical school – it happens statistically every year), I think you are distorting the numbers. Also, there are law schools that include interview components. Harvard comes to mind. He distorted those numbers almost nine years ago. I think we can let it slide in 2014. I’ve heard it said before (perhaps on SDN) that the bottlenecks for becoming doctors and lawyers are just in different places. It’s much easier to get into law school but difficult to get a job. Conversely, it’s much harder to get into med school but once you’re in, the amount of med students that don’t finish med school or match to a residency is very small. Having a top gpa and top mcat doesnt guarantee crap let alone a top med school Having a top gpa and top lsat guarantees a top law school easy A 163 score on the LSAT is medicare and while some may get into a top 15 school (like some medicare premeds will get into a top 15 medical school – it happens statistically every year), I think you are distorting the numbers. Also, there are law schools that include interview components. Harvard comes to mind. What’s a MediCare premed? A 163 score on the LSAT is medicare and while some may get into a top 15 school (like some medicare premeds will get into a top 15 medical school – it happens statistically every year), I think you are distorting the numbers. Also, there are law schools that include interview components. Harvard comes to mind. Wait. I think I got it now. nevermind. A 163 score on the LSAT is medicare 87th percentile, according to year 2013. Is that number mediocre ? /rhetorical Use your brain and see what your replying to next time. If you have good scores / grades, med school. if you have weak scores / grades, a good law school is probably almost impossibe Med school admission is harder, and I’m sure I’m rehashing previous threads, but here goes: (1) Sheer numbers: There are more law schools by a long shot (not sure on exact numbers, but pretty sure > 400 vs. ~120 medical schools). Thus more students are admitted, and most schools have higher admission rates.50% of medical school applicants do not get admitted *anywhere*. (2) Interviews: Law schools only have “paper” apps. You don’t have to interview, and so the cost is less and law applicants can pepper their applications to more places because it is less expensive. (3) The LSAT is an intelligence test while the MCAT is a knowledge test. Thus, studying for the MCAT is probably a more difficult endeavor. There are other reasons I didn’t think of off the bat. I’m sure admission to Harvard Law is as difficult as Harvard Med in that both admit the top N students in the US in their respective field, but I’m not sure that in that case “difficulty” is quantifiable. If difficulty is the number of applicants admitted divided by the total number of applicants nationwide, then medical school is more difficult. Actually i believe Harvard Med is more difficult than Harvard Law since Harvard Med accepts 1/3rd the number of people that Harvard Law accepts.87th percentile, according to year 2013. Is that number mediocre ? /rhetorical Use your brain and see what your replying to next time. Yes, a 163 is mediocre, even below average at decent law schools. It’s the same way the 50th percentile MCAT score is like a 25 but the 50th percentile matriculant MCAT score is like a 31. Is this even a serious question? Getting into law school is 10x easier to get into than med school. Lower tier medical schools have much lower acceptance rates than all top 10 law schools. There are no pre-reqs for law school so you can take all easy courses, and there are no interviews (no point because you don’t have to be ethical to be a lawyer). Getting into a top law school is even easier than getting into a top undergraduate school. Furthermore, law schools accept more than double than medical schools what do even though they both receive the same # of apps. Getting into law school is very easy, but finding a decent job once you graduate is really, really tough. The quality of life for attorneys is terrible because you are 100% expendible and replaceable. Going into medicine at this point may be a gamble, due to the ominous structural changes and long lead time before you’ll be a practicing, but going to law school at this point is an unmitigated disaster. A must-read for anyone thinking about law school: Any US med school is tough to get into, the same can’t be said for law school. But, the top 10 law schools are equally as difficult to get into as the top 10 med schools. However, after this law schools drop off in competition.I.e. if you wanna be a lawyer and have a 3.0 GPA and garbage lsat you can get into SOME law school, but the same can’t be said for the same person getting into med school-they wouldn’t get in anywhere. The floor for law schools is much lower than med schools.
How long should I study for the LSAT?
Tip #2: Aim for 250 to 300 hours of LSAT preparation – For most students, a three-month period of preparation (of approximately 20 hours per week) is a great goal. This is, of course, an estimate; most students are not all students. To find out how much LSAT prep time you’re likely to need, we recommend taking a to get a baseline score.
Students scoring close to their goal scores may need less than that three-month period. Those scoring more than ten points from their goals are likely to need additional prep time. Practical considerations, such as work and personal commitments, will come into play here, as will your own unique needs and learning style.
Nonetheless, 250 to 300 hours of LSAT preparation over a period of a few months is a good benchmark. Most students who dedicate significantly less time won’t maximize their LSAT scores. While you may ultimately need more than three months to prepare if you don’t get the score increases you need within that time frame, it’s best not to start too long before your planned test date.
How do I know if law school is right for me?
What are your academics strengths and interests? – First, you should take a hard look at your academic strengths and desires. As a lawyer, you’ll be doing a lot of research, writing, and reading. If these aren’t your strengths now, that’s okay, but you want to make sure these are academic areas you’re willing to strengthen and pursue.
If you don’t like to write, you hate research, and reading isn’t fun, law school is going to be really difficult for you. In law school, you fully invest yourself in legal questions until you come up with a suitable answer. Whether you’re a litigation attorney, a corporate attorney, or trying to advocate and find a loophole for a client, you’ll read a lot of case law.
You’ll need to understand and research what the precedents are and what the legal jurisprudence is on a topic and come to your own conclusion, being able to back it up with other cases you’re researching. Research is so important that one of the first classes you’ll take in your first year is legal research and writing.
Many law schools also have advanced legal research and advanced legal writing available in your second and third years if you feel like you need more practice. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be interested in public speaking to be a lawyer. On television, we see a lot of trial lawyers and courtroom dramas.
This can lead to the misconception that a bulk of what a lawyer does is make impassioned speeches. But even trial lawyers and debaters need to conduct heavy research and have strong reading and writing skills. There are also so many different types of lawyers, many of whom spend their time writing motions or briefs or drafting documents or contracts rather than engaging in public speaking and arguing cases out loud.
Is law school hard or just a lot of work?
Studying. Law school typically has a heftier work load than undergrad. You should treat it like a full-time job, dedicating at least 40 hours (or more) to reading and studying each week. And you should make sure your study and time management skills are up to snuff too.
What grade is failing in law school?
The normal grading range is from 55 to 100. The number grades correspond to letter grades as reflected in the chart below. The minimum passing grade is 70 (C). Any grades between 55 and 69 (D and F) are considered failing grades for which unit credit is not earned.
|Grading Range Chart|
|Numerical Score||Letter Grade||GPA Value|
Can you fail an LSAT?
The LSAT scores range from 120-180, with 120 being the lowest possible score. If you are wondering what a good LSAT Score is, there is no failing or passing score on the LSAT. But your score is more than simply the number of questions you got right or wrong—it’s slightly more complicated than that.
Is 153 a good LSAT score?
LSAT SCORE RANGES – LSAT Highest Score: 180 LSAT Lowest Score: 120 Scoring high on the LSAT can get you into law school. However, how do you know what score is good? The LSAT is scored between 120 and 180, with 153 being the average score. A good score depends upon the school.
There are many factors involved in getting accepted to law school, including GPA, extracurricular activities, letters of recommendation, work experience, and personal statement. The highest possible score on the LSAT is a 180 and the lowest possible score is a 120. The average is about 153. These are ‘scaled scores’ that are determined from your ‘raw score’, which is the number of correct responses you give.153 would mean you got about half of the questions right.
A 170 or better usually requires getting all but 10-12 questions right. Contrary to popular belief, the test isn’t curved, A 160 or better is a good score that will get you into a lot of law schools. Anything over a 168 or so, paired with a decent GPA, might give you a shot at going to the countries most elite schools, those that carry a strong national reputation such as Cornell, University of Chicago, Harvard, and the like.
- A 175 or better will be a very strong LSAT at any school, even at Yale (the most difficult law school to get into).
- Whether an LSAT score is good enough for the top law schools also depends on your GPA.
- Your GPA matters because the lower it is, the higher your LSAT may need to be to have a strong chance of getting into your desired school.
Ideally, you want both your LSAT and GPA to fall within the 25th-75th percentile ranges for a school to be considered a competitive applicant. Being above both LSAT and GPA medians makes you a very competitive applicant. You measure this by looking at the school’s numbers for whatever class enrolled most recently.
- However, the LSAT is incredibly important to the law school admissions process.
- Though estimates vary a little, the consensus is that about 75% of whether you get into X law school is determined by your LSAT score alone.
- Thus, to a large extent anyway, a high LSAT can often override a somewhat sub-par GPA.
For more details on that, see our post on getting accepted with a low GPA, This article covers the LSAT scores you need to get into the top 14 law schools. The top 14 is an informal category of schools that have always sat atop the US News and World Report rankings since they began in the nineties.
How much does the LSAT cost?
If I’ve already taken the LSAT and want to take it again, what would it cost? – The cost of the LSAT is the same for both first-time and repeat test takers. For the August 2022-June 2023 testing years, LSAT registration costs $215.
Is a 3.5 GPA good for law school?
Looking for the easiest law schools to get into? Getting into law school is tough, but not insurmountable. As long as you have the minimum requirements to get in, your dream of getting your Juris Doctor degree and becoming a lawyer is achievable. Law schools generally require that you have specified minimum collegiate GPA and LSAT scores to qualify for admission.
- Harvard, Yale, and the other top five-ranked law schools require that you have a GPA of at least 3.50 and an LSAT score of 170.
- These are very stiff requirements that many law school applicants can’t meet.
- Fortunately, there are a host of other law schools that you can apply to with a lower GPA and LSAT score.
Many of these law schools have high acceptance rates, and most of their graduates go on to pass the bar exam and get well-paying jobs.
Is a 3.75 GPA good enough for law school?
A Good GPA for Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Columbia, Chicago, and NYU- The Top 6 – Getting into a top 6 law school will require a solid GPA if you want a good chance of getting accepted. Harvard, Yale, and Stanford have clearly separated themselves from the pack a bit.
|Law School||GPA 25 th /75 th||LSAT 25 th /75 th|
Yale is clearly a standout. A 3.83 is a hard GPA to maintain anywhere, especially at the high-quality schools that Yale Law School pulls many students from. The other thing that catches the eye on this graph is that Chicago seems to be going somewhat more for a good 25th percentile GPA instead of a high 25th percentile LSAT.
- The general picture that emerges, though, is that you want a 3.7 GPA or better for confidence at Harvard, Yale, Stanford & UChicago.
- For NYU, you should be aiming in the 3.6+ GPA range, and for Columbia, you should hope to have a 3.5 GPA or better.
- The sharp drop-off here shows that there aren’t very many students with GPAs this high.
Interestingly, Columbia appears to value LSAT scores more than GPA. Having a GPA over 3.8 will make you highly sought after and raises the potential to get scholarship money offers from these schools. If you are reading this before your GPA is set in stone, I highly recommend you shoot for a 3.8 or better (easier said than done, I know).
Is a 3.6 GPA OK for law school?
How Important Is the LSAT vs. GPA? How Important Is the LSAT vs. GPA? We at Clayborne have built relationships with several excellent professionals in law schools admissions and admissions consulting. These colleagues have helped us gain a nuanced sense of the crucial role the LSAT plays in law school admissions.
- The first thing any law school candidate must understand is that law school admission is, as a rule, a holistic process.
- Although law schools used to have hard and fast formulas by which they interpreted candidates’ LSAT scores and undergraduate GPA (UGPA), this is generally no longer the case.
- Law school admissions officers really do take the time to consider each candidate as a person and not simply as a composite of make-or-break numbers.
With that said, put yourself in the law school’s shoes. Maintaining standing is an important consideration, and the reality is that US News’ yearly rankings go a long way toward determining that standing. Those rankings unquestionably value median LSAT score more highly than they do UGPA; in fact, a peek at the full details of the rankings (only available to those willing to pony up $29.95 for inside access) shows the LSAT score placed front and center, whereas it takes several clicks and some scrolling to discover the average UGPA.
- So we’ve established that a law school cannot afford to downplay the LSAT score.
- But let’s go deeper: we’re talking about median LSAT, not average (arithmetic mean).
- If you’ve been well instructed in statistics, you will recognize that median, unlike mean, only tells us about the score that is exactly in the middle of all the data.
This means that if a law school’s matriculants have LSAT scores anywhere from 150 to 170, their median LSAT score will not necessarily be 160 in fact, it could diverge widely from that figure. To take an example from Clayborne’s backyard, the middle 50% at our beloved UVA Law School (currently tied for 9th place in US News’ rankings) is an LSAT score of 163 to 170.
But the actual median (50th percentile) nestles way at the high end of that range: 169. UVA has a great deal of incentive to make sure that roughly half of its next entering class possesses LSAT scores at or above 169, as well as the following class, and the one after that, etc. None of this is to suggest that UGPA doesn’t matter.
After all, law schools have standards to maintain with regard to GPA as well; the median UGPA for UVA law schools is a sterling 3.87, and the school no doubt wants to maintain that standard. But here’s the difference: for most schools, a candidate with a high GPA is easier to find than a candidate with a high LSAT score,
- Tens of thousands of law school aspirants do well at their undergraduate institutions, but only a fraction of those students will navigate the gauntlet the LSAT throws down and come out with impressive results.
- The reverse outcome—applicants with high LSAT scores but low UGPA—is simply less common.
- These realities lead to what may be an unsettling conclusion: since applicants with above average GPA and below average LSAT are somewhat common, this is not the profile you want to have.
Sure, it’s far better to be above the median GPA than below it, but you must remind yourself that law schools need to nurture their medians in both GPA and LSAT. If high LSAT scores are harder to come by, that makes them all the more valuable as economics teaches, scarcity makes a commodity precious! What does all this mean for you? We see several important “dos” and “don’ts”:
DO raise that GPA, if it’s not too late, You’ll need a 3.8 or better to be above the median for a top 14 law school, and a 3.6 or better to be above the median for the top 50.
DO your homework, and determine exactly what you need, If your GPA is (or is going to be) below the median for any of the schools you’re applying to, you need to pull out all the stops to make sure your LSAT score is above the median for those schools. Know your goals, do the math, and cultivate a good relationship with admissions at all your schools of interest.
DO cultivate the virtue of the few, A high LSAT score is like gold, and you want that gold in your pocket. At the risk of beating a dead horse, consider: if you are targeting a school with a median LSAT of 165 and a median UGPA of 3.75, and your GPA is 3.9 and your LSAT 163, you are not in good shape just because your GPA is well above the median and your LSAT is only a little bit below it. Medians are everything, and you need to pull up that LSAT score in order to feel secure in your position.
DON’T give up if your GPA is low. Remember the median principle here. Even if your desired school has a median of 3.6 and you’re at 2.9, all is not necessarily lost. If you can get above the median LSAT score for that school, you have at least some hope in the outcome, because that law school (as often happens) may have all the high UGPA’s it needs but not enough LSAT scores above its median putting you right in the mix!
DON’T leave money on the table. Tuition for the top 14 schools averages over $180,000 over three years. For the top 50, the average is still well over $120,000. Most schools have substantial scholarship funds available (many Clayborne students have gotten free rides or substantial tuition reductions). Doing what it takes to maximize your LSAT score is extremely likely to pay off in big ways for those who expend the time, money, and sweat in pursuit of a better future.
Contact Clayborne today to find out more about how to hurdle the medians in your life! : How Important Is the LSAT vs. GPA?
Which GPA do law schools look at?
Deciding to back out of a binding early decision admissions agreement could result in your other admissions offers being revoked. iStockphoto Welcome to the latest installment of Law Admissions Q-and-A, a monthly feature of Law Admissions Lowdown that provides advice to readers who send in questions and law school admissions profiles.
If you have a question, email me for a chance to be featured next month. This month, I answer questions from applicants who wonder how GPA and early decision applications factor into their admissions chances. Dear Shawn: I am currently a college junior, and I spent my first three semesters in an undergraduate engineering program that unfortunately deflated my GPA.
Now, as a double major in economics and politics, I am maintaining around a 3.9 major GPA but have a cumulative GPA of 3.3 because of the engineering classes. My hope is to bring my cumulative GPA up to a 3.5 by the time I apply. However, after reviewing statistics and charts on admission criteria, I see that my cumulative GPA doesn’t keep me in the running at many of the top schools to which I wish to apply.
- Do top law schools consider major GPAs and courses taken? Will they factor in that I have switched majors? Would they look at an addendum explaining a lower cumulative GPA? Thanks a lot for your help.
- Grade Point Analysis Dear Grade Point Analysis: Initial evaluation of your application will be based on your cumulative GPA and LSAT score.
Thus, your 3.3 GPA – or 3.5 if you improve it – will be what admissions committees consider. If you are concerned about your GPA, you can offset it by putting significant effort into your LSAT studies to demonstrate your true abilities. In addition, it is indeed a good idea to write an addendum to your application explaining the circumstances that resulted in your lower GPA, and highlight your steady improvement.
They will factor that into their decision. For example, my team and I worked with a student who was quite ill on and off during a semester and her grades suffered. I helped her draft an addendum showcasing her otherwise pristine GPA and demonstrating why her transcript was not necessarily an accurate representation of her abilities.
Also, by crafting unique, authentic essays, you can further demonstrate your fit for the school and increase your chances of admission. -Shawn Dear Mr. O’Connor: I am a senior at an Ivy League school. After reading your article about applying early decision to law school, I thought I would reach out to get your take on my situation.
NYU is without a doubt my favorite choice. However, I’m wary of shutting the door on Harvard. My stats put me in a good position for either, although my LSAT is on the lower end of Harvard’s range. I am not sure if I should apply ED to NYU or not. -Undecided about Early Decision Dear Undecided about Early Decision: If New York University is your top choice hands down, then certainly apply early decision,
Doing so will increase your chances of admission because law schools want to accept students who are going to accept their invitation, and by applying early decision you commit to attend if admitted. If NYU is your top choice out of your target schools, but you would prefer to attend Harvard if given the opportunity, then you should apply in the regular cycle to both, since Harvard does not offer an early decision option.
The reason I say that is if you apply early decision to NYU and are subsequently admitted to Harvard and you decide that’s where you want to go to school, you could get yourself into a sticky situation. Law schools take early decision very seriously, and it is considered a binding contract to attend that school if admitted.
You could end up getting your offers revoked from both schools if you try to get out of your commitment to NYU. Even though applying early decision will improve your odds, it does not guarantee admission and can only make a marginal difference. Applying in the regular cycle should not drastically affect your admissions chances.