The December LSAT scores are now in, and some of you may be reevaluating your law school choices or plans. What should you do if your LSAT is low? Below are 5 important things you should consider before making any decisions:
1. The LSAT matters. Law schools look to the LSAT and GPA to see whether a potential student is likely to pass the bar exam. Don’t discount the importance of the LSAT score.
2. How low is too low? Quite frankly, if your LSAT score is below 147, you probably will not get into an accredited law school. If your LSAT score is 150 or above, you can get into law school if you choose wisely. Anything over 159 and you are a good candidate.
3. Should I take the LSAT again? Some schools will accept the February LSAT but will hold your application until it’s complete. It can be well worth retaking the LSAT if you think that you will score significantly (more than 3 points) higher. On the other hand, if you don’t think you will score higher, delaying the processing of your application can hurt your chances.
4. Don’t repeat your mistakes. If you didn’t do well on this LSAT, you need to change your strategy. Don’t study on your own from a book, if that’s what you did before. Get a tutor or take a different class. The LSAT simply requires preparation, and you need to discover the study approach that’s going to get you your best score.
5. Make the rest of the application strong. Many candidates will fall within the median LSAT and GPA range. Give a law school positive reasons to admit you; don’t just mitigate or remove possible negatives. The best way to distinguish yourself is through the personal statement. Law is a writing profession, so the personal statement counts for quite a lot.
Most important of all – keep heart! If your LSAT is the thing holding your application back, you can study for it and improve your score. Even further, you can ensure that your written materials reflect the best story of yourself as an applicant.
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 PostBac Program and teaches writing at all levels.
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