Law School Admission Criteria from the LSAT

Law School Admission Based on LSAT Scores

The American Bar Association (ABA) is the largest 'voluntary professional service' in the world. One of their functions is to accredit law schools. In this way, the ABA and law schools have a close relationship. The American Bar Association looks at the scores that law schools accept as part of their ranking, and the ABA is who the U.S News and World Report looks to when ranking the law schools as well. At the bottom of this equation is a student's score. Whether it's an average score, or simply the highest score, it is the score, which is more in a school's favor that the school is more likely to use. Rankings have a reputation of being very competitive, with the same five schools holding their positions because they take the students with top scores. Recently, the ABA has considered taking the admission test for law schools out of the equation as a requirement. This is as yet, just a rumor, and students check with their current school, and the schools they plan to attend in order to take into account how much  preparation must be done to achieve that particular score. Though there are those who believe a standardized test cannot possibly measure all the qualities needed to succeed in law school, or in practice for that matter, the LSAT has nonetheless become a kind of gold standard that law schools use to measure students and in turn themselves.

LSAT and GPA for Law Schools

Law schools look at many elements when they consider your application. Your undergraduate GPA and your LSAT score are the two most important things, being numbers that can be quantitatively measured and compared directly to other students. Sometimes a letter of recommendation isn't the whole truth, and it would be unfair to pin admission on one letter. Though the admission process to a law school is a lengthy process, and should be done with thorough research, and if possible with the aid of a pre-law admissions counselor, it often comes down to two numbers, the GPA, and the LSAT score. Law schools use the test as a predictor of how well a student will do in law school. The Law School Admissions Council has conducted research showing the relationship between these grades in law school. The combination of the result of LSAT and a student's undergraduate GPA gives an even better prediction than either number does by itself. The actual equation is given a coefficient of 1, which means there is a positive relationship between a student’s scores and their subsequent performance in the first year of law school.

School Rankings and the LSAT

As of June 2006, the American Bar Association requires that law schools report a student's highest score instead of a student's average score. This does not mean that they don't consider an average at all, but since the schools are ranked according to LSAT scores, there is more incentive to look at a student's highest score rather than the average score. US News and World Report ranks law schools and this ranking is taken from information given by American Bar Association, which in turn is gathered from the law schools themselves. According to US News and World Report rankings,scores range from 176 down to166. Lower tier schools have lower reported scores down to 153. First and second tier schools obviously don't consider scores lower than about 153, so a high score is important. However, with help from admissions counselors and test prep services the rest of your law school application deserves the same care and attention as your study for LSAT. To see the full law school rank list, visit