Applications to law schools are down – which should be good news for applicants, right? Maybe not. A new article in Business Week points out that LSATs still matter. People who have higher LSAT scores – and, consequently, stronger applications – pay less for law school than less qualified applicants.
The article points that out people who scored over 165 on the LSAT have the option to either pay up to $120,000 for three years at a top ten school or pay less to attend a school slightly lower ranked. These students are most likely to get jobs in a contracting market, so their investment is worthwhile.
Those who score below 150 on the LSAT, however, still pay around $40,000 a year to go to low- or unranked schools. These people are the ones least likely to find employment upon graduation even though they paid the same as the high-LSAT scorers. Such a “high-cost, low-value” situation is affecting twice as many people as in prior years.
So, what’s the take-away for applicants? Rank matters, especially when you are paying for a law degree. Be sure that you make your application as strong as you can both by studying for the LSAT and submitting an excellent personal statement.
Jessica Pishko graduated with a J.D. from Harvard Law School and received an M.F.A. from Columbia University. She spent two years guiding students through the medical school application process at Columbia’s PostBacc Program and teaches writing at all levels.