General Question

loveurmindnsoul's avatar

What matters more for law school?

Asked by loveurmindnsoul (380 points ) April 28th, 2009

GPA or LSAT score?
At first I thought it was the LSAT score, but some classmate told me the GPA matters the most and that is what law schools look at.

What do you think?

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11 Answers

tigran's avatar

with a decent GPA, LSAT matters more.

mirifique's avatar

@tigran What generally is considered a decent GPA?

RedPowerLady's avatar

According to the research i’ve done they are equally important. In fact most schools combine your LSAT and your GPA into one score. You want them both to be high.

http://www.testsherpa.com/lsat/lsat-score/

Darwin's avatar

Bear in mind that not all law schools insist on high GPA and high LSAT both. The trick is to have a reasonable explanation why one is low, such as you have a low GPA because you were younger and not yet fully committed to learning. However, due to a summer internship at a law firm you have seen the light and really want to study law. Or whatever reason applies to your circumstance.

If that doesn’t work, you can apply to little-known or smaller law schools. This gives you an idea of what various schools accept in terms of GPA and LSAT, and how well their students do at passing the bar and at getting a job.

Of course, the best situation is to have both scores be high, and to have had a summer job or two in a law firm or a courthouse so you can discuss your commitment to a career in law.

rss's avatar

I am currently in law school. I know lots of people at lots of law schools. The LSAT is the most important part of your application. Of course, you want everything else to look good too. If you are coming straight from college, then grades and LSAT are even more important because you don’t have work experience to recommend yourself. I don’t think it’s all that important to have work experience in a legal setting as long as you are clear about WHY you want to go in your personal statement.

As Darwin mentioned, be open to a variety of schools. Different law schools have strengths in different areas. So depending on what kind of law you are interested, you might find that a “lower” ranked school is better suited to your [future] career.

tigran's avatar

@mirifique: decent GPA would be the average that those who get into your desired school have.

hug_of_war's avatar

A low gpa can be explained. A low LSAT…well that’s a lot tougher.

peedub's avatar

LSAT. Decent grades with an amazing LSAT score will open many more doors than an excellent GPA with a mediocre LSAT score. There are other factors to consider as well, such as: work experience, ‘obstacles,’ service to the community, etc. I have also heard that it can depend on the school.

tonedef's avatar

To add to the excellent info already given above, in my admissions experiences, it seems that LSAT scores are much more important in deciding who gets the scholarships. It makes me wish I’d prepared a little bit more.

Dominic's avatar

Another law student chiming in. LSAT scores are more important than GPA. Law schools also weight your GPA depending on where you went to college. A 3.5 at Harvard is better than a 4.0 at Local Community College.

loveurmindnsoul's avatar

Well, I’m just about done applying for law school. I only need to fine tune a few more apps for some schools and then I am completely done. My only regret is that I wish I had prepared myself more psychologically for the LSAT, my practice scores were great, but when it came time I choked a little

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