People just getting started on the LSAT ask this more than perhaps any other question. The short answer is, it depends. The longer answer is that it depends on what your goals are for law school.
Good LSAT Scores for Top 14 Law Schools
The vaunted top 14 schools definitely require top scores. Cornell, ranked 14th in this years’ US News report (yes, a flawed ranking), has a 25th percentile LSAT of 166 — that means that 25% of their class had under a 166. But, of course, that means to have a realistic chance of admission, you want to be over that mark. And, if your GPA is only average, you’ll have a tough time competing against students with higher GPAs and similar LSAT scores for law schools.
Good LSAT Scores for Top Tier Law Schools
Schools around the 50th mark have 25the percentile LSATs around 160 — meaning you’ll want to be over that mark to have a good chance of admission to the top 50 schools.
If you want to find out how you can access all these numbers and plug your LSAT/GPA in to see your chances at every school, watch our short video on LSAT/GPA calculation here.
I just want to go to school!
To have a realistic chance of admission at any ABA-approved law school, you will likely need at least a 145, and even that is not a slam dunk. Further, you really have to evaluate whether it would be worth your time to go to one of the lowest-ranked schools, likely paying full price as lower scores tend to disqualify students for scholarships.
As always, I’ll note that it is possible to get in with a much higher GPA if your LSAT is a little low. It’s also possible to get in with lower numbers if you’re really outstanding in some incredibly rare and wonderful way — but please, please don’t bank on beating the numbers. It’s rare.
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