Getting Into Law school With A Low GPA


chatI wish someone would tell students when they first get to college how important it is to get a a good GPA if they are considering law school as a future option. Alas, they do not. So how important is GPA? Very. GPA taken alone probably accounts for about a third of whether you get into a specific school. However, for any number of reasons– laziness, difficulty of the program, illness, and so on– many people graduate with a low GPA. This post is for the people with lower GPAs who are determined to get into a good law school.

The Law School Admissions GameThe Law School Admission Game: Play Like an Expert has more great tips on getting into law school! Check out our interview with author Ann Levine, and CLICK HERE to pick up a copy of her best-selling book.

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What Is Considered A Low GPA?

This depends on where you are applying to school. If you are seeking admission to a T14 school (the fourteen schools that have historically placed in the top fourteen in the influential USNWR rankings) anything below a 3.5 is generally going to place you below the 25th percentile for that school, meaning that about 75% percent of the students attending that school will have a better GPA than you. Generally, your GPA is considered low for a specific school if you are below the 25th percentile GPA of students entering that school.

The Importance Of Crushing The LSAT For Low GPAers – Making Yourself A Wildcard

Except for the very top schools, mainly just Yale and Stanford, the general rule of law school admissions is that you can predict where you will get in with a high degree of accuracy just by looking at two numbers: your GPA and your LSAT. For most schools, your chances of admission are close to 90% if you are over the median numbers for both LSAT and GPA. Check out the student profile page for schools you are interested in to see what median, 25th, and 75th percentile numbers incoming students have at a school.

What if you have a lower GPA you may be below the 25th percentile numbers at the schools you wish to get into. What’s to be done? Here is the rule-of-thumb: if you are below the 25th percentile GPA at a school, you want to have an LSAT at or above the 75th percentile to have a strong chance of admission. Having this combination makes you what’s called in law school admissions a splitter. It’s not the worst place to be: schools want students who boost their numbers or at least help keep them where they are. If you can’t provide in one area (GPA), at least help out in the other (LSAT). For a longer discussion of this, including an explanation on why law schools care so much about numbers, check out these posts:

How Important Is the LSAT?

What Is A Good LSAT For The Top Law Schools?

What Is A Good LSAT Score?

Returning to the subject at hand, the point is that with that high LSAT you all of a sudden become someone that the school might need to admit to get the student profile they desire. Your chances of admission are perhaps not as great as someone whose numbers are both above the medians, but they are nonetheless fairly high. From looking at self-reported data of law schools students applying with a GPA below the 25th but an LSAT above the 75th, it appears that your chances of success run pretty close to 75% or better. Again, the exception is the very top schools such as Yale and Stanford, where any given applicants chances of success are not very high because competition is so strong. Look at the What Is A Good LSAT For The Top Law Schools? post for more details on this.

Because a school would obviously prefer to get someone with a high GPA as well, you are a bit of a wildcard, but that’s fine! It’s good to be a wild-card. If they do decide they need you, you are actually in a pretty good position to draw scholarship money. Depending on the school’s needs, you may be better off than someone who is simply hovering right around the median numbers. This is because the school is going to have a lot of applicants to choose from who have about median numbers, however, they have trouble attracting students with higher LSATs, who often go to better ranked schools if they have a high GPA as well.

If you have a low GPA, you really need to put your absolute all in to the LSAT. Devote 3 months to studying intensely for it. If you can’t do that one thing, then I promise you that you are better off doing something else besides law school. Follow this LSAT prep schedule. Prep with the best LSAT books.

Now that you know a bit about how to study for the LSAT, it’s time to learn the other rule of being a good wildcard: low GPA/high LSAT splitters need to apply to a wider number of schools to have success.

The Importance Of Playing The Odds- Apply To A lot of Schools

Any fisherman or pick-up artist knows that you have to make a lot of casts before you get a bite. The same thing goes for applying to law schools with a low GPA. Whether you are a splitter or whether you are just throwing out Hail Marys to schools where you don’t have very competitive numbers, you will always benefit from casting the widest possible net with your law school search. It’s just good common sense.

Consider applying to 25 or even 30 or more schools and you might get a nice surprise. Schools do not auto-reject students just because they don’t have the best numbers. If they really like you, you may get in despite being below the normal range for the school, which brings us to our next point…

The Importance Of Being Perfect- Making Your Application Air Tight

Though it’s not recommended, students with great numbers can often get away with being lazy on their applications. This is never true when you have a GPA below the range of your target school. As a low GPAer you should make sure that your resume is flawless and that your personal statement glows with subtle perfection. The best way to do this is to ensure you get advice from the best sources. The following books are generally regarded as the two best resources out there to help with your law school application:

The Law School Admissions Game – By Ann Levine

The Ivey Guide To Law School Admissions – By Anna Ivey

These two books are required reading for anyone applying to law school, but I particularly recommend The Law School Admissions Game, as Ann Levine recently published a second edition of the book. The additional info takes account of recent trends in law school admission that might affect your strategy. We had the good fortune to interview Ann about her book recently so check that out too.

Putting a lot of effort into an application will help you shine by comparison with stronger applicants who might be lazy on their applications. Particularly focus on coming across as likable in your personal statement and you will boost your chances of getting into reach schools.

Need advice on your specific situation? Tell us your GPA and where you want to go and we are happy to assess your chances for you. Don’t worry, comments are completely anonymous. Feel free to use an assumed name! Best of luck and stay in touch.

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  1. I am hoping to be in law school in fall of 2017 and have a 3.22 institutional gpa but lsac calculated my cumulative as 2.1! I’m looking at Colorado to attend law school. I have been studying for about a month and a half and looking at upper 140s after eight full tests and looking to take the Dec 2016 LSAT. Accuracy is slowly getting better (was at 131). Studying several hours a day but what else can I do to explain my gpa? Started college in 1992 and left in 97. Restarted classes with much better grades but I’m at a complete loss over my 2.1! Is there enough time to get into the 170s before Dec 3?

  2. Hi! I am going to graduate this spring with a 2.9/3.0 and a degree in Environmental Science/Communication studies. I have been studying for the LSAT and have been scoring around a 155. My top choices for law schools are as follows:
    1. Mitchell Hamline School of Law (Minneapolis, MN)
    2. St. Thomas Law School (Minneapolis)
    3. Drake University (Des Moines, IA)
    I am just wondering what my chances are of getting into those schools, and what needs to be done on my application to make it the strongest it can possibly be.

  3. Hi there. I am considering law school after my undergrad. I am studying Criminal Justice with a minor in Business Management. My current GPA is 3.72 and hope to maintain or increase my GPA. I still have a year or so left of undergrad and want to start making plans to apply for scholarships and internships before I graduate. I live in NY and I do not want to relocate so my main choice is Columbia University Law School. What should I look for to be accepted to Columbia? I would only consider relocating if I can get into an Ivy League School.
    Here is the list of where I would like to attend:
    1-Columbia University
    2-New York University
    4-Fordham University

  4. Hello all, I have a 2.75 undergrad GPA (long story short, I had to work full-time through college and my studies suffered). I live in Missouri, and my top schools are , in this order: 1. Mizzou, 2. SLU, 3. WUSTL (WUSTL is third because I’m trying to be realistic about my chances). My main goal, like I said, though, is Mizzou. What sort of LSAT score should I be shooting for in order to not just get in, but stand the chance to get any sort of scholarship?

  5. Hello,
    I graduated with a 2.59 gpa from a cal state. I gave it my all my last two years, but it didn’t matter getting 3.0s my two last years. I am going to start intensively studying for the LSAT for December.
    I just want to get into a good law school. Maybe Champan Law or UCLA law maybe somewhere in the east.
    What are my options? What do you recommend?

  6. I graduated with a low GPA, 2.95, due to some one time health issues in my senior year of college. I have now been working as a paralegal at a good firm in Washington D.C. for the past two years with an ABA accredited certificate from Tulane University on all of my practice tests I have scored at the top of the “High” marker for the LSAT. What is my chance of getting into a decent/good law school?

  7. Hi Joshua —

    Thank you, first off, for this great article. If yiu have the time to respond, here’s my situation:

    I just graduated last year with a 2.8 after dropping out of and leaving college for about a decade (I was only three credits shy). I ended my freshman year with a 3.87 and have a (hopefully) compelling reason as to why my grades dropped and why I dropped out (I won’t share it here but plan to address it in an addendum). Since graduation, I have entered a graduate program and am pursuing a master’s in PoliSci as well as a post bac in French. My grades there are currently 3.73/3.92 grad/postbac. Based on proctored practice tests, I think I can score around 170-174 on the LSAT. With an LSAT number such as that, is there any chance of saving my application from the auto-reject pile at a T-14 school, or is that GPA just too low? Thanks for all the info, even if you don’t have the chance to respond.

  8. Hi,

    I just graduated from SMU with a 3.39 GPA in Accounting and Film (Double Major). I plan to take (and hopefully, pass) the CPA exam in January and February of 2017. I haven’t taken the LSAT, yet and I’m wondering what score I would need to get on the LSAT to get into UCLA School of Law for the fall of 2017.

  9. Hello,

    I am about to graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in English and a minor in Women’s Studies from Georgia College and State University, Georgia’s only public liberal arts college. Due to some health issues, my GPA is unfortunately low (3.1). I have always dreamt of being a Texas Longhorn, as I am a Texas native and absolutely love what UT stands for and does. What LSAT score would I need to achieve to even maje this a vague possibility? Should I include a letter explaining my circumstances? My grades improved drastically throughout my college career.

  10. Hello,
    I am a student at UT Austin with a 2.8 gpa in Government/Chinese (Major/Minor), worked throughout college, including at a law firm, and a Texas resident. What are my chances of getting into SMU Law? What LSAT score should I expect to get?

  11. Hello,

    My numbers are 170/3.3 and I am hoping for low T-14, it would be great if you could give me some advice!


  12. Hi,

    My LSAT score is 169 (97%), but my GPA is a 3.55. I went to Boston College for undergrad with a double major in Classics and Philosophy. I have been teaching in high school for 2 years (September starts my 3rd year). Do I have a realistic chance at NYU, Columbia, or UPenn?

    Thank you for your response and for your awesome articles!

  13. Hello,

    I would like some advice myself, I am a 26 year old been applying to law school since 2014. I have taken my LSAT four times and scored in the same range 130-140 low of course. I am good friends with the dean of my choice of law school but they have requested in a sense reapplying to try getting in the conditional law school program and submitting an additional piece of writing addendum indicating why I am having a hard time with the exam. I have prepped with extensively with Kaplan Test prep online and it did not help my score and prior to using Kaplan I did powerscore test prep, I have invested over $2000.00+ in prep. I know I am law school material but on paper it appears differently because no one will give me a chance per say. I was thinking of getting my Masters to improve my GPA to display I am successful in higher education. But I do not want to waste my time age wise either because my ultimate goal is a lawyer as I’m already in charge of a law firm. Please help any suggestions?

  14. Hello,

    I am going to into my 5th year at Michigan State University with a GPA of a 2.1. Due to unknowingly having ADHD most of my college career I struggled, but I am being treated for my condition and have seen major improvements in my academic performance. I plan to take the upcoming LSAT and score in the 170s. I have done a lot of reading about splitter applicants and URM applicants (I am an African American male) and I know with my extremely low GPA any law school is a long shot, but my dream has always been to go to a t14 school (dream schools being Michigan, UCLA or USC). Am I wasting my time or should I pursue my dream? Is there anything I can do besides knocking the LSAT out of the park to boost my chances?

  15. Hello Joshua!

    I have a very particular and somewhat unique situation and would greatly appreciate your thoughts.
    I am graduating from a Law School overseas (Brazil), which does not have a GPA. I studied for the LSAT using your 12 week study scheduled and took the June 2016 LSAT and scored a 150. My choice school is Chapman University Law. Would I have any chances at Chapman with this score or do you recommend I retake the late Sept LSAT? Thank you in advance for your help and advice.

    • Moses,

      1) Did you attend an undergraduate program prior to attending law school in Brazil? LSAC uses your undergraduate grades only when calculating your GPA (graduate school is not included in LSAC UGPA calculation).

      2) Even if your school doesn’t publish GPA, LSAC will use the grades on your transcript to compute an “LSAC GPA” which will be included in your transcript summarization. More info here:

      3) In any case, I’d recommend retaking the LSAT in September. An LSAT score of 150 is probably not going to get you in at Chapman, but if you can bump that up even 2 or 3 points, you’re going to give yourself a realistic shot… and if you can bump it up 4 or 5 points, you’re in much better shape.

      We’ve helped many, many retakers bump their LSAT score up 5+ points in the LSAT Mastermind Group. If you decide to retake, I’d love to see you join the group so that we work with you directly to help you achieve your LSAT & law school admission goals. We have many international students in the group, and would love to help you out!

      If you’re interested, you can learn more & sign up here:

      Joshua Craven
      Founder, Lawschooli

  16. Hello,

    I graduated from a good university with a 3.47 GPA and recently scored a 173 on the June LSAT. I completed a very rigorous course of study during undergrad, which contributed to my lower GPA. By the time I apply to law school in the fall, I will have worked at a midsize full-service law firm for two years. I also had a political internship while I was an undergrad. I understand that my GPA and LSAT scores make me a wildcard in the Admissions process. With a great personal statement and recommendations, what do you think my shot would be at Georgetown and Berkeley?

    PS, I used your 12-week study guide and the LSAT trainer during my studying process. I’ve recommended both to several people since!


  17. Hello,

    I graduated from a good University with a 3.47 GPA and recently scored a 173 on the LSAT. I completed a very rigorous course of study undergrad, which contributed to my lower GPA. I will have worked for two years at a law firm by the time I apply to law school and I also had an internship in politics while I was an undergrad. I understand that my GPA and LSAT make me a wildcard in the Admissions process. With a great personal statement and recommendations, what do you think my shot would be at Georgetown and Berkeley?


    PS, I used your 12 week study guide and the LSAT trainer during my studying process. Both were great!

  18. Hello,

    I am coming up on my senior year with a 3.2 GPA as a biology major at Bradley University. I took the June LSAT and did not score great. I ended up with a 152 as my score. My top choice for law school is going to be University of Denver but will be open to where ever I get accepted to.

    My question is what are my chances with my current score and GPA of getting into a decent school? I am considering retaking the test in September to take another shot at a higher score. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

  19. Josh,

    I am applying to law school with about a 3.13 GPA. I plan on taking the LSAT in September and will be using your 12 week plan and studying vigorously to get the highest score I can get.

    On top of that, I am the president of my fraternity, an executive board member of a large 501(c)(3) non profit, student-athlete, and I have been working at a law firm for the past two years.

    With all that being considered, if I manage to get a 170 (which I am hoping to do), what are my chances of getting in somewhere top tier?

    Thank you!

  20. Hi,

    GPA. roughly around 2.5. Could be lower. It been years i looked at it. For few reasons my GPA was low. But if i were to score 170+ on my lsat. Which school do you believe i have a good chance at. Do i have any hope with a t14 school?

  21. Hello Joshua,

    I am a puertorrican female who did a double Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and Industrial Microbiology at the University of Puerto Rico and graduated with a 3.3. My last two years I averaged a 3.6 per semester. I actually work as an operator at a pharmaceutical company and wish to pursue a JD at a T14 institution. Do you think I have any chance to be considered at all coming from an unranked undergraduate institution and having a low GPA with a science background? And if I have a fair chance, do I have a shot at scholarships? I plan to take the LSAT this fall and hopefully score somewhat close to 170.

  22. Hi Joshua! Thank you for this very informative posting.

    My situation is a bit unique and I’d greatly appreciate your thoughts. I have a 3.3 from a brand-name, top 20 undergraduate program. Starting sophomore year, my transcript shows a drastic positive trend (I pulled my gpa up from a 2.1 first semester freshman year by averaging over a 3.7 junior and senior years.)

    There are a few other variables that make my transcript different. First, I have always been a bit masochistic and my curriculum throughout college was exceptionally difficult (upper level math and physics courses, a double major in finance and accounting, and 18+ credits per semester). There’s no fluff. Also, my college began curving most finance, accounting, and econ courses around a 3.0 shortly before I started there. My transcript is made even weirder by the fact that I withdrew one semester to pursue a unique opportunity at a startup. That semester, my transcript shows all withdrawals (“W”) but these did not effect my GPA.

    Do law schools care about undergraduate institution rank, curriculum rigor, positive trends, withdrawals, etc., or do they just care about the number? Do you think any of these factors might shift the weighting my GPA or make my GPA equivalent to something higher (or lower) from a different school and/or different curriculum?

    Aside from GPA, I have not yet taken the LSAT, but based on my SAT percentile and LSAT practice tests, believe I’ll likely score over 170 with an okay chance of scoring over 175. I’m far from applying, but was eyeing Duke, Penn, or Columbia early decision in the fall. Is my head in the clouds?

    Thank you!

  23. 3.45 GPA 176 LSAT. Native American male who worked his way through college full time as a manager in banking and retail. I’m shooting for Harvard. You think I have a chance?

  24. Hi there. I’m a soon-to-be college senior who has just recently decided to apply to law school with hopes of attending in the fall of 2017, ideally with some scholarship money in place. My LSAT prep thus far has not been a very extensive undertaking (about a week and half at this point) but on my first practice test I scored in the 160s and hope to, with time and practice, bump my score up into the 170s.

    Unfortunately my GPA isn’t exactly where I’d like it to be at this point in the game (around a 3.4) which has left me struggling to decide whether I should apply schools before the end of 2016 or defer a year and wait for my senior year grades to raise my GPA, as I’d like to attend a T-14 school. I struggled with depression and anxiety my freshman year of college, which turned into subpar grades affecting my overall GPA and though I’ve bounced back tremendously in the past two years, the damage is still done.

    I’m in my university’s honors program and my field of study’s honors fraternity, I’m a DI athlete, I’ve earned internships and fellowships, received research-based awards, and have strong relationships with a number of my professors which would yield hopefully excellent letters of rec, but I’m still very uncertain as to whether or not these positives, plus a high LSAT score, will be enough to counteract my GPA. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


  25. Hi. I really want to apply to study a JD for 2017/18 year. My situation is quite special: I am a US citizen but I have always lived abroad. That means my undergraduate Diploma comes from a non US institution. The great news are that I have a law diploma and I’m registered in my other country’s BAR association. Since my GPA is low for top law schools: 3.05, I need to have quite a great LSAT score: I would like to obtain a 170, to ensure my possibilities to study there. I also would like to be accepted at University of Virginia since both my grandfather and my uncle studied there. What are my possibilities? Could I enter with a 3.05 GPA, 170 LSAT and being an attorney in other country? Thank you in advance for your help. This is really important for me.

    • Gabriela,

      Given that you do have a relatively low GPA for your target school, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind:

      1) A high LSAT can certainly make up for a low GPA. UVA has a 25th%ile GPA of 3.59 & a 75th%ile LSAT of a 170. Given that your GPA is below the 25th %ile, your best shot for admission would be an LSAT score above the 75th %ile (170+). Obviously, the higher you can get that LSAT score, the better your chances are going to be.

      2) Given your unique situation, perhaps you may have faced certain obstacles that prevented you from achieving a higher GPA. For example, perhaps you aren’t a native speaker of the language in the country from which you earned your undergrad degree? Or perhaps you had to work full time or had other significant responsibilities while in school. If you encountered specific, unique circumstances that prevented you from reaching your academic potential, you might consider writing an addendum to your application to explain what happened. You don’t want to make excuses or not take responsibility, but the key is to show that you faced certain circumstances that adversely impacted your academic performance, but have overcome those circumstances & gone on to earn your law diploma and admission to the bar in your country of residence.

      3) Splitters (particularly those with a high LSAT & low GPA) tend to fare much better these days than they did in the past. I’ve seen students with 170 LSAT & ~3.0 GPA earn scholarship offers at t14 law schools. However, you should anticipate a bit more variance to occur in your admissions decisions than a non-splitter. Accordingly, you’d be well advised to adopt a broader application strategy. I understand that UVA is your top choice, and while you do have a shot there with a 3.05/170+, it is nevertheless very important for anyone in your situation to get plenty of other applications in at peer schools as well. Your chances of getting into any given T14 may be somewhere in the 10% to 20% range… so if you only apply to a couple of them you might not have any luck, but if you apply to 10 schools in your LSAT range, you’re going to have a fairly strong shot of getting a couple offers. So unless you’re willing to walk away from law school if you don’t get into UVA, be sure to apply to a number of peer schools & a handful of safety schools.

      4) Have you looked into LLM programs? I don’t know too much about them, but I do know that UChicago’s LLM program has about 70 international students each year (… so there may be a reason why international students opt for an LLM vs JD. Wish I could offer more advice here, but I don’t know enough about LLM programs, so you’ll have to do some research & see if that is a viable option for someone in your situation.


      Joshua Craven

  26. I am struggling with my gpa and it not pretty. I transferred into the university at buffalo with a 2.5 and got my gpa to a 3.0 after the first semester. Due to emotional and financial issues I started getting bad grades. Many of the D’s. Now I graduated with a gpa of 2.2 and a LSAT score of 165. It is very obvious to me that with that kind of gpa I will not get in anywhere. My gpa is just way to low. I have hit a wall basically. I don’t know what my next move should be. I love law and want to pursue a future in law as a lawyer but because of my grades I believe that can never happen. I’m not nieve, I know that numbers talk for you especially when it comes to the next level. I guess what I’m asking is what would you suggest I do in my situation? Should I pursue law? Is there a way to still become successful through those channels? Or should I do something else? And if so what? All I ever wanted to be is a lawyer.

    • Chris,

      I’m sorry to hear about your struggles & the impact it has had on your academic performance as an undergrad. It can certainly be difficult to maintain a strong GPA in the midst of personal turmoil & distractions.

      “It is very obvious to me that with that kind of gpa I will not get in anywhere.”

      That simply isn’t the case, my friend. Sure… you’re not going to get into Harvard, but I think you already knew that. Still, there are plenty of schools that will accept you.

      You’ve got a very solid LSAT score, and that is certainly a good start. Your GPA certainly doesn’t prevent you from getting into law school. So don’t despair! If you’re truly passionate about the law and your dream is to become an attorney, you most certainly can make that dream a reality.

      The language that you use to describe your situation is pretty revealing: “I will not get in anywhere”, “I believe that can never happen”, “I have hit a wall”, etc.

      It seems like you’re carrying a great deal of anxiety & emotional weight right now & I think you’d benefit a great deal if you could take a step back from this situation. You alluded to “emotional and financial issues” that adversely impacted your undergraduate experience. How long ago was that? Have the financial and emotional issues been sufficiently resolved?

      Is your GPA the only lingering vestige of the tough times you went through, or are you still battling those demons?

      I only ask because jumping right into law school may serve to exacerbate any lingering unresolved “emotional and financial issues”… I’ve got a list of dozens of articles like these, if you’re interested… but read these articles if you’d like some food for thought:

      “Lawyer Distress: Alcohol-Related Problems and Other Psychological Concerns among a Sample of Practicing Lawyers” (

      “Does Legal Education have Undermining Effects on Law Students? Evaluating Changes in Motivation, Values, and Well-Being” (

      “Depression and Affect Among Law Students During Law School” (,%20McIntosh,%20Ellsworth,%20Depression%20in%20Law%20School,%20JEA,%20%202000.pdf)

      “Stemming the Tide of Law Student Depression” (

      “Law Student Stress” (

      Law school can be psychologically difficult, even on the most well-adjusted students… The last thing you want to do is put yourself in a situation where the emotional and financial stress of law school leads to bad grades again, which leads to more emotional and financial stress, which leads to more bad grades, which leads to poor job prospects, which leads to more emotional and financial stress… so please be careful to avoid that spiral.

      When did you graduate? If you’re just getting out of undergrad, I’d encourage you to consider taking a couple of years off. Go explore. Take care of yourself. Pursue your passion. Get out in the world and stomp around a bit. Get some distance between you and the issues you faced in undergrad… then you might find they’ll be less likely to reappear during law school.

      Don’t go to law school just because it seems like the logical next step after undergrad.
      Don’t go to law school to make your parents happy.
      Don’t go to law school because you’re at a crossroads and you’re not sure what else to do.
      Don’t go to law school out of a feeling of desperation or overwhelm.

      REMEMBER: law school isn’t going anywhere. It’ll be here in a couple of years when you’re ready. Or maybe you’ll find something even better? You’ll never know if you rush into it.

      Okay… I’ll get off my soapbox now.

      So assuming that you really DO want to go to law school… What is the next step?

      As a preliminary matter, I want you to do your best to shake all of the negative feelings that you currently have associated with the application process & take a fresh look at things from a more pragmatic and goal-oriented perspective by following these three steps:

      STEP 1) Your next move: plug your LSAT/GPA numbers in here and start researching schools—>

      STEP 2) Use that tool to get a list of realistic schools for your LSAT/GPA. Once you’ve got some schools in mind, a great place to do further research on those schools is law school transparency:

      STEP 3) Send out a bunch of apps and see what kind of offers you get. Evaluate your choices and make a well-researched and thoroughly informed decision after weighing the costs and benefits of the options available to you.

      Don’t let feelings of insecurity or fear of rejection prevent you from going for it! Self-doubt can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. You CAN get into law school. The only question is where will you be able to get in?

      Take a calm, research-driven, rational approach to the application process. Apply to the best schools that you think you may have a shot at. Don’t be afraid to get rejected. No one is keeping score but you.

      You’ll never know what your options might be unless you take the steps necessary to open those doors.

      Hope this helps!

      Best of Luck,

      Joshua Craven

      • Thank you so much. Your advise really resegnated with me. You are right I need to get rid of the negative connotations I have in relations to law school. I’m not really scared of rejection but just about not even being a contender. I will take your advice and see how things go.

        Thank You again,
        Christopher Fernandez

  27. Hey Joshua,
    This fall I’m going to be a senior studying chemical engineering with a biomedical focus. I have a 3.3 gpa. I went into college thinking I wanted to be a doctor, so I have a lot of pre-medical extra-curriculars. I have found I am much more passionate about helping people by advocating for them as opposed to a hospital setting. I am thinking of working as a chemical engineer after I graduate for about a year, then applying to law school. I don’t know if this situation qualifies me as a “non-traditional” student, but I wanted to know what you thought my chances were to get into law school, assuming I do very well on the LSAT.

    Thank you in advance.

  28. I think my GPA will come out low due to a death in the family during my first degree where I did not complete the degree and left school. I got most of the grades expunged but they still show up on transcripts and a few of the grades they would not take off. I left for a semester, then came back and tried to enroll in a few classes to see if I could return- I couldn’t, and ultimately those poor grades stuck on my GPA. I calculated it to be a 2.8 from a 3.4. I took a lot of classes after that time period. Including finishing two separate degrees one with 3.4 gpa and a masters with a 3.8- not from good schools but accredited. I was a student athlete my first time through college, so the grades I did get sucked. I entered the military and served for 6 years in Special Operations. I earned that BA through deployments, and life events like divorce. By the time I apply, I will have completed my Masters and most likely get 3.8ish. I have been scoring easily in the 160’s and hope to score in the low 170’s test day. If I don’t get it this time I will soon.

    so 2.8 gpa. 165-170 ish lsat. military special operations- decorated disabled combat vet, I’m an identical twin 😀 does that help? looking to get into GULC and that is it. chances?

  29. 2.84 and 162 LSAT. Looking at Maurer, Wayne State, Michigan State, Chicago-Kent, Loyola-Chicago, Maryland Carey,

  30. To make this short and sweet with no excuses, I have a 2.3 gpa. I have not taken my lsat but would like to set a nice goal. I would love to attend University of Alabama law but, I am aware I don’t have great chances. Can you give me a goal for a lsat score or advice on what to expect.

  31. Ho Josh,

    I am writing as I await my last decision to come through for this admissions cycle. My GPA is a 3.2 with a 172 LSAT. So I am definitely a splitter pretty much everywhere. It is probably also important to note that I took the LSAT only once this December, so some of my applications didn’t go out until mid-February due to financial constraints. I began the admissions process with the t14 or bust mindset, but began to question that mindset when I saw the scholarship offers of some lower ranked schools. At present I have a strong 80% tuition offer from a top 20 school, however, the best I did in the t14 was a couple of wait list offers. I am essentiallly writing this to ask your opinion on my scholarship chances at t14 schools if I were to reapply in the Fall. Knowing my chances in the top 6-7 schools will always be extremely low I’m not certain that waiting another year for the chance of a t14 offer is worth it.

    Thanks in advance,

  32. Hi,

    I have a 3.2 GPA and a B.B.A in Computer Information Systems. My current practice test scores are around 160-162 (with the intention of increasing those scores as much as possible). I want to go to University of Texas School of Law. What are my chances? I’m writing a killer personal statement, and plan on writing an addendum.


  33. Junior at Haverford College, small liberal arts school in PA, you might not have heard of it but I hope you have haha. Current GPA is a 3.6 (LSDAS). GPA is weighed down by poor grades my first semester of freshman year and GPA has been climbing since. Hope to graduate somewhere slightly above a 3.65, 3.7 at best given the bad grades from freshman year. Would like to go to a T-14 and it would be great to have a chance of getting a scholarship. Any advice?

  34. Heidi Gonzalez on

    Hi, I am a 3rd year at California State University, Los Angeles. My current GPA is a 3.2. I understand that it is quite low. However, it does not accurately reflect my ability to do well and would like to know what advice I can get to create a strong application. What are my chances of getting into a top school? I am interested in pursuing a joint degree in Public Policy, with a concentration of immigration law.

    P.S. After doing research, Stanford Law School is the school that convinces me the most.
    Any advice would be helpful. Thanks!

  35. I’ll be as brief as I can. My initial undergrad goal was dental school, so I was a biology major at San Diego State. Organic chemistry derailed me multiple times with multiple F’s, causing a ripple effect if my other grades as well. All said I graduated with a 2.32 GPA. Years later, I became hugely interested in law and politics. I decided I wanted to go to law school but I felt that I needed to become more competitive in the GPA arena. In five terms I got a second degree in political science from the University of Utah with a 3.556 GPA, all while working full-time, raising twins, and with a working wife. My LSAT from October is a 153. I know that the second degree’s GPA isn’t what they use, but does demonstrating a bounce back like that have a significantly positive impact? Frankly, it’s what I am counting on. Also, I’m in the middle of applications with 22 out so far with only two rejections, so I was wondering what my chances are for schools in the top 75 or so range.
    I just discovered this sight today (wish I knew about it sooner); everything I’ve read has been very valuable.

  36. Hi I have a bit of a different situation, my grades have always fluctuated. I went away to college my first semester got all A’s and B+, came home went to community college where i failed out basically the next 2 semesters, turned it around graduated with a 3.2 went to a private university with a major of Criminal Justice, where I succeeded until the last semester when I got “senior-idis” graduated with a 3.0. I took one semester off and went to another private university for social work, received 30 credits, did great again all A and B+ until the last 2 semesters where I received a F in one class and then a C and D ending my GPA of a 2.5 which at this point decided to not continue as it was not what I wanted to do. Hence the grade decline. I know I should have dropped out but I just didn’t. All throughout school I held a full-time job and interned 20 hours per week on top. As well which took mostly in part to my grade declination became an amateur fighter and hold 2 state titles. I took 1 year off and now am applying to Law School. I have not received my LSAT score yet for February’s test but am concerned what to do for applications to explain the grades. I have all outstanding recommendations.

  37. Please someone give me advice.
    GPA- 2.8
    Major – political science
    Studying really hard for the LSAT
    I have a really good personal statement.
    I got distracted because as I was doing my bachelor degree I was also gettin my law degree in Mexico.
    I have little working experience and mostly on political campaigns.
    I have been offered a really high paying job with the family law firm in Mexico but they need a lawyer in Texas also and I am the only one that speaks English and it would pay even more to have my law degree in the us.
    I don’t care to what law school I go but it just needs to be in Texas.
    Is it possible with my GPA and a good LSAT score. Can someone email me an opinion to

  38. Hello! I haven’t yet taken the LSAT but I’ll be studying starting in March or April. Right now I have a 3.4 but I’m hoping to graduate with a 3.6. I have a really big upward trend since my freshman year. I’m currently a junior. What LSAT do I need to get into UNC (I’m a NC resident) or William & Mary? Is a top 20 school attainable? Thank you so much!

  39. I have a 162 LSAT, but a 2.6 GPA. My first choice for law school is American University, which puts me quite a bit above their LSAT median, but below the GPA median. My low GPA is a result of my lack of motivation and effort, as well as just general stupidity during my undergrad years. This was essentially the focus of my personal statement. Should I also write an addendum?

  40. Hi Josh,

    I graduated from UC Berkeley with 3.45 UGPA. I majored in science and graduated with two degrees. I then went on to Stanford for a Masters degree in engineering and and I’m doing quite well (3.85 GPA so far ).

    I have a 175 in LSAT, but I’ll be taking it again this February and June. Hopefully I’ll end up somewhere between 177 and 179 when I apply. Do you think I have a good chance getting into T6 law schools? I’m still trying to decide between JD and PhD.

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  43. 2.2 first UG degree in Business Admin. while working for a prominent college football team for 5 seasons while in school- 30-40 hours a week.
    then, 2 years work experience /14 months in Real Estate Investment then went back to get another UG degree in Political Science/Law Studies concentration.
    4.o institutional GPA but 3.62 when importing a few hours from first degree
    strong recs, pretty sure good personal statement , 157 and 160 on 2 LSATs, mock trial, internship at local firm
    any hope for me at 30-75 ranked schools?

  44. Could never find this article again to say thank you. Always wanted to go to law school but graduated with a 2.6 and then two years later had a baby so i didnt think it was in the cards for me. It was always in the back of my head so I started googling law school with a low GPA and found this post from you and realized there was hope! immediately started studying for the LSAT. took it once last year and got a 167. Got into every school I applied to with scholarship including schools as high as top 20s. I was in shock ! now im enrolled at the school I always wanted to go to and KILLIN IT! I cant believe I almost gave up on it because of a bad GPA but thank you for this post because it made me follow through and Ive never been happier. I love everything about law school even the hard work that comes with it! on track for the top grades in all my classes!

    • Melissa, thanks for your info I’m in the same situation as you at first I thought of going back to school and work on my GPA but know I’m focus on taking the LSAT and passing it with a high score. What would you recomend for me doing in order to score high on my LSAT? And thanks ounce again.

  45. Hi there,

    I am submitting in the next couple of days (I wanted to get a jump on it but am applying right around thanksgiving) and I just wanted to know your thoughts on my odds. I am applying to 14 different schools all across the rankings and I’m worried I don’t have enough schools that are feasible, I’m not really an ideal splitter/wildcard. U of MN or Michigan would be awesome but I think that ship has sailed.

    2.96 GPA at top 15 private liberal arts college (subtle but consistent upward trend and recent ADHD diagnosis)
    168 on June LSAT
    Multiracial Woman
    2 years full time work experience

  46. Hi lawschooli Team,

    Please find below my high-level credentials:

    NUMBERS: 3.35 GPA, Econ and Poly Sci at Michigan, 166 LSAT
    -2 years work experience as Business Analyst at Fortune 500 company
    -3.7 GPA in Junior and Senior year
    -Treasurer of fraternity
    -Multiple internships
    -2 rec letters, waiting on one more
    -Submitting apps by Dec 1

    What are the odds of a T14 school or Texas/Vandy/UCLA?


  47. Hi Guys,

    I’m not sure if you’re still providing evaluations, but was wondering if you’d have any insight for me. I finished college 10 years ago with a 3.23 GPA from a fairly tough school (William & Mary). Since then, I’ve worked at an immigration law firm as a paralegal, in international admissions at a public university, and as an immigration specialist at a non-profit (as you might have guessed, I love immigration law). I also completed a Master’s degree with a 3.98 GPA (although I understand grad GPA isn’t calculated for law school admissions) and am fairly active in professional organizations. I just took the LSAT for the first time in October 2015 and scored 169 (my most recent practice tests were ranging 168-172). I have a good job now with good salary, so am not desperate to start law school any time soon (and am not even 100% committed to the idea yet), but based on my last 10 years of experience, I believe law (immigration law, public interest, or civil rights) would be something I’d enjoy and be good at. I have absolutely NO interest in “big law” or being a litigator, but am thinking something like in-house counsel would be right for me. I would be perfectly satisfied with a Top50 or even Top100 law school, and am more concerned about cost and getting a good financial aid package. I am a single working mother, so money is my biggest concern about going back to school full-time.

    So my question is more concerning scholarships than admissions themselves. With my credentials, how big a difference do you think it would make to retake the LSAT and raise my score into the low 170s? I am not planning to apply to law schools for at least a year or two (if ever), so I have plenty of time to study and retake at my leisure. Also, would it be a waste to settle for a Top100 school? Should I am higher? What do you think?

  48. Hi,

    I was just wondering if the undergrad school matters when considering GPA? And if major matters to. I’m a sophomore with a 2.4 for my freshman year. I had a really tough first semester. I go a school that is on par with IVYs, and am majoring in econ stats. Of course, I plan to bring up my GPA and I have no idea how my LSAT scores will turn out… but if I did REALLY well on the LSAT (not perfect but definitely above average), then would I still have a chance to get into some of the more competitive law schools? I’m a member of my school’s student government and meet with administrators across many fields to improve the community, vote and effectively change school policies and regulations, have an on-campus job, etc. etc. I also am part of a group that is responsible for allocating 70K to student organizations and take part in meeting with organizations, going over budgets, and making those final decisions. If I do get a really high LSAT and improve my GPA (though getting above a 3.0 isn’t likely) will all of what I mentioned make it possible to get into a competitive law school?
    Also, does ethnicity/race/etc. matter?

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