LSAT Scores Drop Among Students at Top Law Schools

Do you have a low LSAT score? Here are some stats from a recent Businessweek article on the declining LSAT scores at U.S. law schools:

  • Since 2010, 95% of the 196 U.S. law schools (those at least partially accredited by the ABA) lowered their standards for students in the bottom quartile of students (at the 25th percentile).
  • Emory University saw the largest drop in LSAT scores for 25th percentile students with a 5% drop (nine fewer points) from 2010 to 2013.
  • Across all schools examined by the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE), LSAT scores for this bottom quartile dropped an average of three points.
  • The median LSAT score across all schools declined 1.7 points since 2010.
  • First-year enrollment in ABA law schools is down 28% since 2010. (At Emory, enrollment declined 21% in this time period.)

According to the BW article, “LSAT scores matter because they tend to correlate closely with scores on one section of the bar exam, so when schools admit lower-scoring students on the former test, they risk producing more graduates who have a hard time passing the bar.”

ABA-Accredited Law Schools that Saw the Greatest Drop in Scores among the 25th Percentile:

LSAT scores at the top law school


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Daniel Webster Program Prepares Lawyers with Real Skills

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In a highly competitive market, law schools need to prepare their students to be ready to practice law upon graduation. According to the Wall Street Journal article, “Law-School Program Emphasizes Practical Skills” clients are simply no longer interested in paying new lawyers to “learn on the job.” Real, practical litigation experience is necessary (including taking depositions, interviewing clients, dispute resolution, pretrial/trial advocacy, and drafting motions and interrogations) if young lawyers want to compete for fewer job openings.

One school has taken concrete steps to better prepare their lawyers. At the University of New Hampshire School of Law’s Daniel Webster Scholar Honors Program, students are taught practical skills that prepare them for immediate entry into the world of law. The program steers away from traditional lectures and doctrinal education; frequent feedback, courtroom and client simulations, and personal reflections are all important elements to the Daniel Webster program. Students take part in a capstone project on client interviews and complete the program with a standardized assessment – all clients in these simulations are played by actors.

The program, launched in 2005, admits students during their second year of law school. Since 2008, 120 students have graduated from the program.

According to the Wall Street Journal article, “Participation in the program – not scores on the Law School Placement Exam or class rank – was the only predictor of student performance on the standardized client interview.”

A study conducted by the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System (IAALS) found that non-Daniel Webster lawyers scored on average 3.11 out of 5 on standardized client interview assessments, compared to an average of 3.76 out of 5 for Daniel Webster scholars.

8 Tips for Law School Admissions - Download your free guide today!

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Admissions Tip: BE YOURSELF!

Be Yourself: Everyone Else is Already TakenAdmissions committee members across the board (college, grad school, med school, b-school and law school) want you to do ONE thing in your applications, and one thing only: Introduce yourself. This does NOT include:

• Talking about who you WISH you were.
• Exaggerating your volunteer achievements.
• Making up job titles to boost your employment profile.
Cracking jokes when you’re really not such a funny person.
• Using big words that you found in a thesaurus when you have no idea what they mean.

Instead, when introducing yourself to the adcom, follow these simple tips:

• Use your own, authentic voice in your writing.
• Talk about what’s important to YOU instead of what you think the adcom want to hear.
• Tell things as they are – you don’t want to get the boot because a fact checker shows that you were really an “Office Assistant” instead of an “Office Manager.”
• Use a dictionary/thesaurus to ensure you use words correctly, not to engage in communicative creativity…

In short, if you want to stand out among the throngs of applicants in your field, your goal shouldn’t be to introduce yourself as a superhuman, god-like overachiever; instead introduce yourself as you actually are, with your unique interests, passions, accomplishments, and voice. This will be the most extraordinary, stand-out, note-worthy introduction. Not the introduction that makes the adcom members roll their eyes and say “yeah right.”


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Got Dinged? You Can Handle It!

Rejected from your top-choice school?It may or may not be fair, but many of you are going to get at least a few rejections. What are you going to do about them?

First and foremost—if you’ve gotten dinged at your top choice school, that doesn’t mean that you’re never going to get in. It doesn’t even mean that you won’t be going to school next year.

And so my first point is: DON’T GIVE UP.

However, you do need to respond constructively. For the Four Reasons for Rejection and tips on how to do exactly that, please see this video.

For more admissions-specific reapplication advice, check-out:

For all of you, if you don’t know why you were rejected or would you like expert advice on improving your next application, please consider an application review:

Subscribe to the Accepted Admissions Blog!

Linda AbrahamBy Linda Abraham, president and founder of Accepted.com and co-author of the definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.

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Oh No! A Typo!!

Worried about writing your application essays? We've got you covered!

If the readers see a lot of mistakes they will assume you are careless and sloppy.

Will it doom your otherwise perfect application to the great round file in cyberspace, putting the kabosh on years of effort and nixing your attempt to walk through the hallowed halls of your favored institution?

No.

A single, minor typo will do absolutely nothing. So don’t sweat one minor spelling mistake, a missed comma, or a couple of transposed letters.

You have cause for worry if you find any of the following after you have hit SUBMIT or put the envelope in the mailbox:

  1. You find several typos or mistakes. If the readers see a lot of mistakes they will assume you are careless and sloppy. Not exactly the impression you are aiming for, and one that will definitely hurt you.
  2. Your typo changes the meaning. For example, a client years ago submitted a draft to me in which he wrote, “Through research I exorcised my mind… ” I have never forgotten this one because I almost fell off my chair laughing. He meant “exercised.” If this only happens once, I don’t think it would necessarily be fatal, but you don’t want to be remembered for rib-splitting typos either. In his case, I just had a good laugh and it was never submitted.
  3.  You forget to change the school’s name somewhere in the essay. Ouch. Adcoms universally hate that. It isn’t really a typo either, and it usually results in rejection.

What should you do if you find any of 1-3 in your application after submitting. It’s a tough spot. If you find the error(s)–especially if you find 1 or 3 — soon after hitting SUBMIT, you can contact the school and say that you accidentally submitted the wrong draft of your essay(s). Maybe, just maybe, someone will have mercy on  you and let you submit the corrected draft.

Download 5 Fatal Flaw to Avoid in Your Application

Linda AbrahamBy Linda Abraham, president and founder of Accepted.com and co-author of the new, definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.

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