Your LSAT score is in, and if you did not do as well as you had anticipated, you might be reevaluating your law school choices or plans. Let’s talk through a few considerations that might help you decide how to approach your law school applications now.
The LSAT matters.
An applicant’s are tools – with statistical significance – that law schools use to predict whether the candidate will be successful in their first year of law school and is likely to pass the bar exam. You shouldn’t underestimate the importance of the LSAT score; law school admissions committees count on it.
How low a score is too low?
Quite frankly, if your LSAT score is below 145, it will be difficult for you to be admitted to an accredited law school – not impossible, but very difficult. And if your LSAT score is low, your GPA will need to be higher to compensate for it. If your LSAT score is 150 or higher, if you choose prospective law schools wisely. If you have a score over 160 combined with a solid GPA, you will have more opportunities.
Should I retake the LSAT?
Some schools will accept future LSAT scores but will hold your application until the new score can be added to it. Retaking the LSAT could be worth it if you think you will score more than 3 points higher. However, if you don’t think you will score higher, delaying your application by retaking the exam could hurt your chances of admission. Ultimately, you want to apply when you have your strongest application. If that means improving your LSAT score, applying a bit later might be beneficial.
Don’t repeat your mistakes.
If you decide to retake the LSAT because you didn’t do well, make sure you change your test strategy. If you studied on your own from a book the first time, consider hiring a tutor or taking a class this time around. Timed practice tests are a good tool to give you an idea of how well (or not) your strategy is working. The LSAT requires preparation, and it’s your job to make sure you’re using the approach that will get you your best score. Practice, practice, practice.
Make the rest of your application strong.
Law school admissions is a competitive process, and many candidates will have LSAT scores and GPAs that fall within range of a school’s median. As an applicant, you want to give a law school reasons to admit you (beyond just mitigating or removing any possible reasons not to). The best way to distinguish yourself from other applicants is with a . Law is a writing profession, so the personal statement carries a lot of weight. It is your opportunity to explain to the admissions committee via a clear and concise narrative why you are applying to law school and will be a great member of their community.
Most importantly, don’t despair! If your LSAT score is holding your application back, you can study harder for the exam, retake it, and improve your score. You can also check to see whether the schools you plan to apply to accept the GRE. If they do, consider taking a practice GRE to see whether you score better on that test. Beyond these options, you can ensure that your written materials reflect the best story of yourself as an applicant.
For a list of LSAT scores by school, check out our Law School Selectivity Index.
What are the median scores of candidates accepted to law school?
As mentioned earlier in this post, 145 is generally the LSAT score below which it will be hard (though not necessarily impossible) to be admitted to law school. Here are some additional data points for you to consider from the 2023-2024 U.S. News & World Report law school rankings:
|Law School||U.S. News & World Report|
|Boston College||29 (tied)||166|
|Florida State University||56 (tied)||165|
|George Mason University||32 (tied)||166|
|Indiana University – Bloomington (Maurer)||45 (tied)||164|
|Ohio State University (Moritz)||22 (tied)||164|
|Texas A&M University||29 (tied)||164|
|University of Alabama||35 (tied)||166|
|University of Arizona (Rogers)||54||163|
|University of Colorado – Boulder||56 (tied)||164|
|University of Iowa||35 (tied)||163|
|University of Kansas||40 (tied)||158|
|University of Maryland (Carey)||51 (tied)||163|
|University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill||22 (tied)||166|
|University of Oklahoma||51 (tied)||159|
|University of Utah (Quinney)||32 (tied)||163|
|University of Washington||49||164|
|University of Wisconsin – Madison||40 (tied)||165|
|Villanova University (Widger)||43||163|
|Wake Forest University||22 (tied)||165|
|Washington and Lee University||40 (tied)||164|
|William & Mary Law School||45 (tied)||165|
Sadie Polen has more than ten years of experience in higher education. She reviewed statements of purpose, personal statements, and resumes for political and public service opportunities and made candidate selections for elite programs at Harvard University. She also has experience advising individuals on their career and post-graduation plans. Sadie holds a BS from UC Davis, an EdM from Harvard, and a DEI certificate from Cornell. Want Sadie to help you get Accepted? Click here to get in touch!