I 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 Game

The 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.

View The Law School Admission Game on Amazon

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:

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:

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.



  1. Hi I have a 2.98 gpa and average around 160-164 on practice tests. What are the chances I get into the University of Tennessee law?

    • Hi I have a 3.51 undergrad GPA in Electrical Engineering from a respected engineering college and a 177 LSAT score. I am planning to apply to Top 14 schools for fall 2022, specifically I am hopeful to attend one of the two top 14 schools in NYC (Columbia, NYU). I didn’t plan on going to law school until after graduation, so the lower GPA is not due to any particular hardship, just taking some particular difficult classes like advanced math. I am hoping to get more perspective on my chances at entry in Top 14 schools, and how to best address the lower undergrad GPA in my application. Any help would be greatly appreciated!


  2. Hi guys,

    I had a very poor undergrad GPA that had multiple factors that played in. No need for making excuses here as, let’s say, I have matured quite a bit since graduating. I finished with a 2.475 with a BS in Aerospace Engineering from ERAU. This is a top aerospace school which can hopefully play in my favor. I’m planning on taking the LSAT’s about two years into my working career, and currently work for the Largest Aerospace company in the US. Only reason I say this is I am hoping it can increase my odds when applying if I can reach the 170+ score range. I would like to be in Corporate Law which I’m no stranger to knowing requires quite a good school. With that poor of a GPA, will my school and degree have any value compared to someone who’s bachelors was in another field?

  3. If I have a 3.2 GPA and am studying to hopefully get an LSAT score within the 172-174 range, do I have a good chance at any of the T-14 schools? And will COVID-19 factor in for Fall 2021 admissions?

  4. Hi! I’m dreaming of going to law school. I’m a 31 year old single mom of 3. I have primarily stayed home with my children over the last 8 years, but have some work experience from college and a little here and there over the last 10 years. My undergrad GPA is a 2.9, unfortunately. I plan to start studying for the LSAT this summer and hope to be able to score high enough to be considered a low GPA/high LSAT splitter. I am also taking a mediation certification course this summer and will volunteer with the mediation clinic in my small town. I will be limited in my school choices (only two options) because of geographical restrictions regarding child custody in my court order with my ex-husband. With all of these mitigating factors, what do you think my chances are of getting into law school? Feel free to email me. Thanks!

  5. Hello! I have a 2.69 cumulative/degree GPA in Finance, but I graduated over 10 years ago. Since graduation, I have been working in an industry (Finance/Trading related) that is pretty highly coveted and rewarding. However after realizing that law has always been my passion, I have become determined to go back to school to earn a J.D. I feel like my self-awareness of my low GPA from over 10-12 years ago haunts me multiple times everyday. I even think about it while I’m studying for my LSAT, such as right now! 🙂

    I understand that a high LSAT score will separate you from the rest if you have a lower GPA. However, I feel like those applicants such as myself, who have grown professionally and matured considerably since undergrad, call for some special and unique circumstances. The first question that comes to mind is “How low is too low?” Do the websites that list the school’s low GPA truly signify or imply that if you have a GPA lower than that school’s “low GPA” that you are very unlikely to get accepted? The next question is, “would my undergrad university possibly forgive or expunge a couple significant grades, if I send a letter of appeal to the dean, explaining my situation with my genuine intent to enter law school?” Based on my GPA of 2.69, I look at the top 200 law schools, and it appears to me that I would break the “low GPA” record for 190 of the programs. This makes me feel deterred from even applying. For example, given that Mercer University in GA has a median GPA of 3.31 and a low GPA of 2.98 (on 2020 Raw Data Law School Rankings Report), does that mean my 2.69 GPA will be impossible? 2.69 is so far off from the low of 2.98. The LSAT high is 154, so then what happens if I score a 160?

    I hope you see my point. I am torn because in the beginning I simply read that for “late bloomer” law school applicants such as myself, your LSAT score can tremendously impact or overrule your GPA from over 10 years ago. However, I did not realize that my low GPA was so far off still and I began getting this huge sense of doubt or hopelessness. Anyways I look forward to your feedback!

  6. Hi Josh Craven and Evan Jones,

    I know this thread is several years old now, but it nonetheless came up in my research while looking into law school admissions, and I figured I’d give it a shot. I just got back an LSAT score of 172 (first-time test taker, if that matters) and I have a 3.70 GPA from a large university (within top 30 in the nation). I am hoping to ED either NYU or Columbia, seeing as I seem to be within the 25-50th GPA percentile for both schools, and 50th LSAT percentile for Columbia and 75th for NYU. I also have some work experience (<1 year) in a law firm as well as some other work experience as a journalist, writer, etc. What do you think my chances at either of those schools are? And I'm wondering if there is a strategically better choice in terms of choosing which school to ED (since I know Columbia is a bit more of a reach for me, should I ED to that instead of NYU)? Both schools are dream schools for me, so I am trying to think very strategically about this. Thank you so much in advance for any response that may come.

  7. courtney.schomaker on

    Hi, My cumulative GPA for my undergrad in Art History was a 2.8. I’ve been working as a teacher for two years now and I had a 3.8 GPA in the program I enrolled in to get my teaching certification (if that even matters). I live in Arizona and would love to stay here (shocking, I know) – I’m wondering if it would even be possible to get into Arizona State University with my GPA and, if so, what LSAT score you would recommend I shoot for. If that goal is a little too lofty, would University of Arizona be a more realistic goal? Thanks!

  8. I graduated with a 2.98 GPA and got a 145 the first time I took the LSAT. I was accepted into Appalachian School of Law, however decided to defer a year and work in a law office and retake my LSAT. I’m hoping to get into Texas A&M commerce law school. Any advice? Or goal score for my LSAT??

  9. Hi, I’m wondering if you can provide me with an estimate LSAT score I would need to get into a law school with a cumulative GPA of 2.5? I’m, of course, not looking into getting into the top 10 law schools, but I’m just hoping for an estimate. Thanks!

  10. I will have finished my Undergrad with a 2.9 GPA and am looking at getting a 165-170 on the LSAT based on my practice test. I don’t have any specific Law schools in mind but wanted to know if I even stood a chance of getting in with that GPA.

  11. Hello Josh,
    Well my gpa is low it’s at about a 3.2 I think, however my major gpa is about 3.6. I graduated with honors within the major. I’m looking into getting into UCLA. This is my dream Law school. I haven’t taken any LSAT exams yet. However I would like to know what score I’m I looking at to get into this school? I’m also willing to go to the east cost.

  12. Olivia Rose on

    Hi there. Thanks so much for this article! I’m a student at Brown University, and I’ll likely be graduating next year somewhere in the 3.4-3.6 GPA range, double-concentrating in English with Honors as well as Visual Arts. I know my GPA is on the lower side, but I was wondering if attending an Ivy League undergrad, getting Honors, double-concentrating and a good LSAT score could get me into Columbia Law School.

    Thanks so much for your help!

  13. 3.1 UGPA (2.8 LSAC GPA) in a double major at a top 10 public. Grade trend is positive. Practice LSAT 160 +/- 2.

    I have a lot of Ws from community college prior to transferring that lowered my LSAC GPA and my initial GPA after transferring was also quite low (2.4 for my first year) however term GPAs have consistently been 3.0-3.5 since

    My goal simply is to attend the best-ranked institution I can, however, if I were to receive any scholarship offers I would strongly consider selecting a lower ranked school. If I continued to improve my LSAT how far could I climb the rankings (if at all)? My dream schools are UCLA and UCI, but really I’d go anywhere in the top 50.

  14. -Ended Sophomore year
    -Had an awful first three semesters resulting in a 2.2 gpa, but increased last semester by 1.4 points
    -Engineering/Psychology major
    -Have had to work an average of two jobs throughout school
    -Leadership roles in an a capella group and a service fraternity
    -Full time engineering internship this upcoming summer
    -Have had offers for letters of recommendation from professors and employers
    -Last LSAT practice was 170+
    -I am a good writer(get paid to review papers), and have written personal essays about overcoming diversity for scholarships before
    I would like to get into a top 50 law school, and I have time to take classes to continue getting 3.5+ semester gpa’s, but still would be below the median, is it realistic to hope to get into those law schools? Law school at all?

  15. Fashion2Law on

    Hi, I am deff one of those low with low GPA. I went to FIT ( Fashion Institute of Technology) in NYC and got a 3.25. I graduated in 2015 and having been working in Marketing since. Last year I quit my job and traveled the world, volunteered, started a blog and decided I wanted to finally make the push for law school. I am 3 weeks into studying with your guides so I am unsure of where I am right now in terms of LSAT score yet. I took a diagnostic test before I started studying and was at 151, with never having learned logic games or any sort of reasoning. I completely bombed the LG and only got 7/24. For the rest of the test I did fairly well. ANYWAYS I digress, I am aiming for a 165. I am taking the LSAT in July and Sept. My question is, if I did get a 165 on the LSAT with a 3.25 GPA and apply early, do you think I have a good shot at getting into Fordham Law – my top choice. I feel like I am a major wild card because I haven’t heard of anyone who went to FIT or studied fashion getting into law school, so I am unsure how I measure up to others.

    • Fashion2Law on

      Forgot to mention I was recently diagnosed with ADHD, and am now finally getting treatment, which kind of explains my low GPA years ago.

  16. Martin Varona on

    3.46 overall undergrad, 3.23 graduate, both in civil engineering. Haven’t taken the LSAT yet but I want to study hard and hope to at least get 168+. Want to get into UCI or preferably UCLA. These are the local UC schools in my vicinity and I would like to stay in SoCal. What are my chances?

  17. Hey Josh,

    I know this was posted forever ago but hoping this still comes through. I’ve always wanted to be a lawyer and I’m at the point where it feels like now or never. I’m much like you and scored a 153 on my cold diagnostic (like, really cold – didn’t even know what sections comprised the LSAT) and hoping by following your plan I can boost to 170+.

    Wondering my chances for T14 given —
    GPA: 3.46 – I know this is slightly below the median. This is dragged down by my freshman year of college. In the last two years, I was nearly a 4.0 student and was offered a full-ride for my Masters as well as a teaching position in communications (both public speaking and debate). Our department head said the decision was “very easy” and I was the top scorer in the class he taught (rhetoric of Plato and Aristotle). Major was comms theory with many business classes.

    Upon graduating, I’ve had a very successful marketing career working at 2 of the top ad agencies on some of the most famous campaigns out there and now one of the top 5 tech companies. I’ve won numerous professional awards, been nominated for global marketing awards, been selected by our VP (again, top 5 tech company) to host her offsite, and nominated by a panel of VPs to speak to the entire global marketing org about trends. I have no doubt my recommendation letters would be quite good.

    If I get a high enough LSAT, what do you think my chances are at T14?

  18. Graduated 10 years ago… with a 2.52 gpa… fast forward to now and I have a husband and 3 kiddos a full time successful job as a medical sales representative… haven’t taken lsat but I’m confident my study habits have indeed changed from my younger college days. Your thoughts on even considering taking lsat and applying

  19. Brian K Mckoy on

    Hello, I have a 3.6 GPA. I am a Series 7, Series 63, Series 24, Series 65 Licensed Financial advisor and have been working as such for 19 years. My GPA is a little lower than I would like because I have been trying to finish undergrad for years now. I dealt with a few tragedies on my path to finishing undergrad. Along the way I had a daughter who passed away when she was 19 months old and a son who was killed about 2 and a half years later. So I have had to start and stop and start and stop.

    I’m confident in my ability to do extremely well on the LSAT which I will be taking next year. I am extremely focused on getting into Yale Law. I wanted to know what your thoughts ideas or recommendations are for my achieving my goal of admission to Yale Law. Thanks

  20. hello,
    I am in my senior year as an undergrad with a pretty low gpa (2.61 roughly). I personally didn’t take school seriously in my earlier years along with being in a fraternity and wrestling for the school, getting a couple injuries in the way. I am getting my actions and attitude in line so I can follow through with my goal to get into law school. Is it still possible?

  21. I can either graduate next spring with a BA 3.00/4.00 gpa and a minor or stay an extra semester and add a BS and another minor as well as improve my GPA.. should I go for it? If I have a 3.00 and mid to high 160s on my lsat what are my chances at a t40? T50?

  22. I will graduate with around a 3.00/4.00 cumulative and 3.85/4.00 I’m also at 160-165 for practice lsats. I was sexually assaulted while in college and plan on talking about that in my personal statement as it’s why I want to go to law school and why my gpa is poor. I’m looking to apply to University of Pittsburg, University of Louisville, University of Kentucky, and University of Georgia. What are my chances??

  23. Hi! My GPA is a 3.5, but my LSAT score is a 178. My freshman year gpa was below a 2.5, due to family trouble – I also became homeless that semester. It’s always been my dream to go to UChicago’s law school and also study public policy. I have work experience as an undergrad legal fellow at a law clinic (for the past 3 years). I was wondering if UChicago or other top law schools – like UT Austin accept students with a GPA below a 3.7… Thanks!!

  24. Hi! My GPA is a 3.5, but my LSAT score is a 178. My freshman year gpa was below a 2.5, due to family trouble – I also became homeless that semester. It’s always been my dream to go to UChicago’s law school and also study public policy. I have work experience as an undergrad legal fellow at a law clinic (for the past 3 years). I was wondering if UChicago or other top law schools – like UT Austin accept students with a GPA below a 3.7… Thanks!!

  25. hi,
    I just finished the first semester of my sophomore year, and my gpa is around a 3.0. I was diagnosed with ADD right before finals this year (a little late, I know) and the meds improved my final exam grades dramatically. I reallly want to get into an Ivy, but I’m worried that my grades from the first two years will prevent me from being admitted. Should I stay an extra year in college to bring up my gpa? If I start studying for the LSAT now, will that help me get an incredible score? Will a double major make my application more impressive?

  26. Hello,

    I have a 2.2 undergrad cumulative GPA and a 3.3 graduate GPA. My undergraduate degree is in Physical Education and my graduate degree is in Criminal Justice. I also have some completed hours in a graduate program for Legal Studies. Do I have any chance of getting into a top 20 school? What about top 50? What do I need to score on the LSAT?

  27. Hi, I’m starting LSAT prep given my GPA isn’t exactly where I’d consider “competitive,” but nonetheless I thought I’d get a feel for my chances. I’d like to regionally be located in the north east, so any top law schools in that area you think I’d have a shot in would be nice. Ideally I’d like to be in NY, MA, or CT but obviously open to anything.

    GPA: 3.4 at UTexas at Austin
    LSAT: aiming for at least 170

  28. 2.9 gpa environmental science major. Want to practice environmental law. PREFER FSU, any schools in Florida or northeast. I had rough periods of time throughout college that I could talk about interfering with my academics.

  29. ivanaguida329 on

    I am currently sitting on a 2.6 GPA with 3 classes left at UCSB. I plan on taking a year or two off to work and study for the LSAT. What do I need to do in order to get into a top 50 school? Is it possible? Does my GPA become less relevant if I take time off to work?

  30. Hello! I hope you’re still active here. I went to San Francisco state university and had a 3.07 GPA. I messed up because I thought I wanted to be a nurse, so took some classes before finishing up my degree in financial services. I realized it wasn’t for me. Even before that, I struggled with some finance courses because I had to work full time and didn’t have as much time to focus on school during my Junior year. During Senior finals, I also got really sick. My luck is terrible. Anyway, I am a CFP and am now considering law school. I received a 3.71 from the Berkeley extension program where I took courses needed to meet my CFP education requirements. I don’t know if that helps boost my GPA? I spent my post college career working at financial firms and have been promoted each year since I graduated college. I haven’t started studying for the LSAT yet, but I’m aiming for 165-170+. Do you think NYU or Columbia will accept me? I was even considering Georgetown, Duke, or Berkeley. Thanks!

  31. Airline Pilot 2 on

    3.73 cumulative gpa. I currently have a full time job as an airline pilot with good income and I run a real estate investment business. I plan to quit my job as a pilot if necessary once accepted to law school or drop my airline schedule to one weekend trip per month if that will be allowed by the ABA guidelines and the school’s requirements. My life goal is to go to HLS and get a biglaw job handling mergers and acquisitions. I have a virtually unlimited amount of time to study for the LSAT since I am not trying to start law school straight out of undergrad. Over the last 6 months I have been studying for the LSAT several hours a day and I enjoy learning this test. I plan to continue studying for at least the next year before taking the actual test. For me, it doesn’t seem worthwhile to go to a low ranked school given that you only get one law degree in a lifetime and what school you go to seems to pretty much set your course. My question is, what goal LSAT score do I need to set in order to have a good shot at getting into Harvard with my GPA? Also, I graduated from undergrad more than 10 years ago so getting recommendations from professors might be a little tricky. I have volunteered for numerous events in the past but most recently I have volunteered as a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) and this has been rewarding as well as educational about the field of law. What else can I do to increase my odds? Thank you in advance for your help!

  32. Hey Evan & Josh,

    I’ve got a GPA of 3.2 from Princeton. Presuming 170+ LSAT, 3-4 years consistent work experience, and diversity status, what are my chances at a T14 and a T6 school? What should I focus on, moving forward?

    Thanks in advance. I’m impressed by your helpful individual replies on this comment thread!

  33. I have a GPA of 3.6 if we don’t include retakes, but if you factor in all my F’s i have around a 2.6… I was a biochem major premed at a prestigious and arduous school, but after doing some shadowing realized it was no longer my passion and am now considering a law degree. What ways could I make my application remotely competitive? I’m just now looking into all of this and know very little and am still considering other options as well. Took a practice LSAT and scored a 172, if I could manage this on the real LSAT would that be competitive enough?

  34. Confidence-lacking on

    Hi Josh and Evan,

    I am a great fan of your site and have recently purchased one of your schedules in the past. I am feeling very discouraged with my numbers as well and would greatly appreciate your feedback. My ugpa is 2.73. I am an URM and a veteran. My most damning period was in the first year of college, straight out of high school- 24 years ago-just immaturity, really. After that first year of college, I went into the military for almost 12 years. Upon separating (honorably), I completed my A.S. (2.9), my B.S. (3.3) and my MPA (3.3). Most of the A.S. was completed during active duty, while being a single parent (part of which time I was going through a stressful divorce)- not an excuse, just my story. Clearly, none of my GPAs are great. I had a tendency in later years to put more effort toward graduating by a specific date (loading up on classes each semester) than I did toward achieving a great GPA. My one complete LSAT PT score was 158, and in hopes of drastically improving that score, I’m studying at this time.

    My preferred list of schools:
    -Columbia (LSAC calculator actually shows 46-71% chance increase (up from I think 170) with a 180 so I’m thinking higher LSAT may make a difference here, even with such a low GPA)
    -NYU (no calculator anywhere shows I have more than a 0-10% chance here, whether I get an LSAT 140- 180. But, why not try.
    -William& Mary
    -George Mason
    -University of Richmond
    -Brooklyn Law
    -St. John’s

    Can you advise on the likelihood of getting into any of these schools? How would you recommend approaching the application/ personal statement for these schools? Also, do you think there is anything outside of the ‘norm’ I can do to beef up my chances of admission- i.e. volunteerism, particular work, etc? Thanks so muych for any feedback you are able to provide.

  35. Hi!

    So I just recently began considering going to law school. I have a degree in Political Science and graduated with a 2.75 GPA. The 9/11 GI-Bill paid for my undergrad due to my four years on Active Duty in Navy. NIU is the closest state law school to where I live in Chicago. That’s important becuae underneath the Illinois Veterars Grant I have $120,000 dollars of tuition benefits at my disposal for grad school. Their median GPA was a 3.05 with a 148 LSAT score. I would take the LSAT in June if I choose to pursue it. I love public policy and desire to become a law maker in the future. I’m currently working as a campaign organizer in this year Governor’s Race. Thank you for creating this community it’s been very helpful so far!

  36. Hi Josh & Evan,

    I’m currently a senior studying Business and am looking to graduate with a 3.45 GPA. My plan directly out of undergrad is to work for a financial management firm for two to three years and focus on the LSAT. Given my lower GPA, what would I need (ballpark) on the LSAT to get into a T25 school? My practice tests indicate me in the 167-169 range with minimal studying.

    I’d really appreciate a response. Thank you!

  37. So, my GPA right now is 2.60 and took the LSAT once, got a 129. Right now studying and in the process of taking it again. I want to go to Inter American University of Puerto Rico School of Law.

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  39. Confused and Stressed on

    Hi Josh,
    I wanted to run my situation by you. I graduated from Cornell in 2010 with a 3.2 GPA in Public Policy. Since graduation, I’ve been working in finance (at JP Morgan’s investment bank and at a smaller debt shop). I recently left my job to pursue Law School, and I just took the LSAT for the first time, receiving a lowly score of 158. My goal was originally to go to Georgetown, GW or Boston College, but after the LSAT, those schools don’t seem realistic. I’m a really skilled writer, so I know my personal statement will be great, and I’m sure I’ll get three great recommendation letters (one from a professor at Cornell, one from my manager of five years, and one from the Head of Legal at my old company, with whom I’ve done projects with over the years). I will take the LSAT again in February, but in the event that I cannot bring my score up, are there any schools in New England or DC that you think are realistic? Please let me know when you get the chance.


  40. Hey guys!

    At this point in time, I have a cumulative GPA of approximately 3.68, with majors in International Studies and Philosophy. I have not yet taken the LSAT, but am scoring anywhere from 167 to 175 (it was a fluke) on practice tests. My softs, however, I feel are my strong suit. I run a federally recognized nonprofit with state/national/international partners, am on an executive board for another nonprofit, have spoken three languages, spent three semesters abroad, am currently getting a paralegal certificate to work in a local office, interned for an NGO at the UN, interned for the State Women’s Department, am a member of 2 national honors societies, am a national award holder for Model Arab League, interned in federal law for six months, and am a varsity athlete. On top of this, my sophomore year I was being treated for a serious disease. My GPA is low for the schools I would like to get into, but do you think my extracurriculars and outside experiences are going to be in any way beneficial in tipping my chances for top 5 schools?

  41. Hey, I’m a veteran with a Physics degree and a 3.0 GPA, and scored a 165 on my LSAT. I’d really like to get into GW and UPenn, do I have a shot in hell? I figured my technical degree would help my case with my lower GPA.

  42. Hey guys, thanks for all the information.

    Any thoughts on a 167 LSAT and 3.52 GPA from a Top 25 undergrad? I am going to apply to Georgetown Early Decision although I am aware that is probably a reach. Also planning on applying to GW, Notre Dame, BC, and BU. Will probably attend best school I get in to.

    Economics and Political Science double major as well if that makes a difference.

  43. Hi!

    Looking for some advice on my current situation…I have a gpa from my BA of 3.3 and an MA gpa of 3.6. I just got my score of 145 on the LSAT and will be taking it again either December 2017 or February 2018, so that I can apply for law school Fall 2018. My first choice is Georgetown Law, but will applying many more places. Any advice on how to strengthen my applications since my numbers are low? I am not the best test taker (should I mention this in my applications?) but, I also have 2 years professional experience at Google and have lived abroad for 3 years and interned at law firms and other government organizations.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

  44. I graduated from West Texas A&M with a 2.85 GPA from their online program. My dream school is the University of Miami. I think they are ranked 60 in the nation. Do I have a shot if I score a 160 in December?

  45. Hi! I currently have an overall GPA of 2.78 at KU. My professional GPA as a finance major, however, is a 3.7. I know that it’s my overall GPA that will be used on my lsat applications, but I was wondering if my professional GPA could also be seen/impact my admission process. My LSAT score is a 163, with the option to take the December 2017 LSAT if I want. I also have the opportunity to increase my GPA to a 2.89 before I start applying in early-mid January. I’m looking at KU, UCONN, UMKC- basically schools in the “KU/UCONN” range. The only stipulation being, I need scholarship no matter what. That will be the factor that dictates my decision. My question being, what is the likelihood I get into those schools, but more importantly, what is the likelihood of receiving scholarship to those schools? And what are some other options I should look at? I would greatly appreciate your two sense, along with any added input from others! Thanks!

  46. Hi! My overall GPA at KU is a 2.78, while my professional GPA as a Finance major is a 3.7. I have 9 credit hours left before I apply to law school, so I have the potential to increase my overall GPA to an 2.89. I received a 163 on the LSAT. Off the bat, I am looking at KU, UCONN, and UMKC; essentially schools in the “KU/UCONN” range. The reason why I’ve stayed in the range of those schools is because I need scholarship wherever I go. But I would love your two sense on my options (including other recommended schools) and/or likelihood. Thanks!

  47. Hi. Wish I would have come across this gem of an article when I was a freshman. I’m wondering if you can help me out here.

    Really interested in going to a T14 (T6 even more)

    1st year dual degree senior taking a 5th year
    3.0 GPA aiming to graduated next year in the 3.3-3.4 range
    strong soft factors (Student Body President of 25,000, 2 jobs throughout college, first gen student, campus involvement, community service, bilingual)
    (also think I could have a strong personal statement because of life experiences that I’ve had that are leading me to want to become an attorney)
    Possibly looking a taking a break in between undergrad and law school to do Teach For America

    dream schools
    1. Harvard
    2. Georgetown
    3. NYU
    4. UPenn
    5. UVA
    6. Duke

  48. GPA 3.72 (LSAC GPA 3.62 because of one course I took and got no-credit :-/)
    My major was in engineering though so I am hoping that this would be considered as my program was very difficult in my opinion.

    I’d love to go to one of the Top 7 law schools.

    Other factors that I think that would strengthen my application:
    – under-represented minority (black male, international student)
    – already have a graduate degree (masters in civil and environmental engineering)
    – strong resume (one year work experience out of college, a lot of summer research internships, and leadership experience)
    – solid personal statement and diversity statement (have had an advisor and friends look them over)

  49. GPA: 3.4 from Columbia University
    M.A. in Teaching: 3.8 from Duke University (not certain that this is relevant)
    LSAT: 174

    Soft Factors:

    Work Experience: 3 years full-time teaching experience. I taught high school ESL in China.
    Trilingual: English, Spanish, and Mandarin Chinese.
    Letters of Recommendation will be coming from my former employers and possibly undergraduate professors, though I left undergrad 4 years ago.

    Ideal Law Schools:
    -Columbia (1st)
    -NYU (2nd)

    -University of Chicago
    -University of Pennsylvania
    -Duke University

  50. Hi, I have a 3.47 LSAC GPA, though my grades increased every year I was in undergrad. I scored 174 on the LSAT, and I’m thinking about taking it again in September since my range on practice tests was 170-178. I have over 2 years of significant work experience. The type of work I want to do after law school (government and public policy) can be relatively competitive and low paying, so I’m reaching for the best law school I can get into with a good scholarship. I’m thinking about applying ED to Northwestern, since I would be very happy to go there, and they have an ED scholarship. Do you think this is a good strategy?

  51. Hi,

    I am an NYU Rising Senior planning to take the September 2017 LSAT. I am using your 4 month schedule and have not yet gotten to the timed practice test portion so I cannot give you an approximate score. Although, I will say, I am a little worried about taking it due to my currently being behind in your LSAT schedule.
    My current GPA is around 3.3 (I think it’s just a smidge above that). I am majoring in Economics(Law school admissions game book said the major would make schools look at my GPA more favorably since it is a hard major) and minoring in Computer Science.
    My work experience is pretty basic: interned at a law firm in San Francisco the summer after my freshman year and now I work for a Sports Management Company in New York City which I plan to continue to work for until I graduate (May 2018). I did a lot of philanthropic work in high school, including going to Uganda 3 times with a Non-Profit I volunteered for (although I doubt that does anything for me at this point).
    The ultimate goal is to enter in a joint program for Business and Law school, however, I decided it would be best to focus on one admissions test/application process at a time, so I am applying to Law school now and going to apply for Business starting in the summer of 2018. The dream is to complete the joint program at NYU. However this article leaves me feeling somewhat defeated about the likelihood of the dream becoming a reality. Do you have any advice on what I can do at this point? If not, you can just give it to me straight and say its not going to happen. But any help you can provide is much appreciated! Thank you!

  52. Hello if you are sill offering advice it would be appreciated!

    LSAT score of 161, Undergrad GPA of 3.03 Bachelor of Science in Economics and History from University of Pittsburgh, coming on about 2.5 years of work experience not all of it relevant unfortunately.
    Looking at Ohio State, UMD, Temple, Villanova, University of Pittsburgh and Drexel. Are any of these out of the question? Any advice would help thank you!

  53. I wonder if you can give me an assessment on my situation? I have a 2.99 GPA from West Point, but it was in 1996. Those grades are low now, but I was pretty high in class rank back then. I have a 4.0 on an MBA, but I know graduate grades don’t count for law school. I have 10 years work experience as an intelligence analyst in the Army and a college professor (I am a later in life applicant – 43 when I go if I get in). I plan to take the September LSAT and am shooting for an over 170. My initial blind test score was 159, so I think with four months of concentrated study, I should be able to improve at least 10 points. I want to go to one of the DC schools (Georgetown is my reach, or GW, American, or possibly Catholic University). Do you think I am a reasonable candidate?

  54. Hi!

    Just trying to get an honest look at what my target/reach schools should be in the most realistic sense of things. I’m a current undergrad at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, majoring in Psychology and Science, Technology, & Society, with a cumulative GPA sitting around 3.3. The thing with RPI is that the only law school advisers are in the business school, which is of 0 help to me. Also, I changed my major from Bioinformatics to Psych my sophomore year, accounting for my lower-than-your-average-applicant GPA. Another thing with RPI is that it is known for being a hard grading school compared to other Tech focused schools. I plan on taking the LSAT in September and I’ve been studying for the past month; my last prep test was a 159.

    So, my question is, are UVA and Georgetown too much of a reach? How does UG Institution weigh into the GPA consideration on an application? I’m hoping to also get an MPH, which narrows my school choices quite a bit.

    Thanks for the help! Like I said, the advisers at RPI are less than helpful, so any advice is greatly appreciated!

  55. Hello!
    I live in Texas and I will be graduating with my undergrad next spring 2018. I’m majoring in Government with a minor in Psychology and I am determined to get into law school. I am a scholarship recipient athlete with a GPA of 3.25. It’s not exactly where I want to be but I’ve undergone a tough year having a broken foot and trying to manage dr. appointments and my grades, also I had a very difficult time figuring out what I wanted to major in. My three top goal schools are Texas Tech, U of H, or LSU. I have yet to take my LSAT (I’m signed up to take it in September). My goal is to make a 160-165. Is it possible for me to get in?

    Thank you!!

  56. Trying to get an honest take here –
    I am 28 years old and looking to shift from research into the Law. I have a BS in Marine Biology from Duke where I scored a 3.2 GPA. Several years of productive work experience in NGO and tech, followed by a MS degree in Marine Science at the U Washington where I earned a 3.85 GPA. I am looking to take the LSAT this summer and am hoping for a strong score (170+). Is there any way to predict my chances at admission to T14 given my unconventional background? How much does my undergrad record matter here? Thanks!

  57. Hi Josh,

    I have a 3.25 as a double major from an Ivy League school. I haven’t taken the LSAT yet but am registered for the June test next week. However, the highest I’ve scored on a practice test to date is 160. I am hoping to be a wildcard applicant by getting a 170 on the LSAT. So two questions:

    1) Should I go ahead and take the June LSAT even though I’m 10 points away from my target score? I would then keep studying and take the September test with a goal of 170+

    2) If I do score a 170 on the LSAT, what are my chances of getting into a T14 school with my GPA?

    Thank you for any and all help!!

  58. Peter D. Manski on

    Aloha Josh,

    I graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo with a Bachelor of Science in Economics and a 3.12 GPA. Part of my issue for my low GPA was my alcohol usage. In any case, I live in Hawai’i now and have experienced Homelessness and been waging a four year war with CPS and Family Courts. I am currently involved with a Parents for Righteousness Group as a Family Advocacy Officer as well as sitting on an Organizing Committee to create Universal Healthcare in Hawai’i. Also spend the last 17 years in the Online Intelligence Community following Government and Foreign Policy. In any case, I am very passionate in becoming a Civil, Human, and Family Rights Lawyer. What LSAT score should I be targeting for, what else can I be doing, and what schools should I be targeting to get into Law School.


  59. Hi Josh,

    3.49 GPA averaging a 168-169 on my practice LSATs (taking it for real June 12!). Out of school for 2 years working at an investment firm, with LORs from two of the General Partners at this investment firm.

    I’m not necessarily looking for a T6 school, but would love a top 15 somewhere like Georgetown. Also would love to be at UNC Chapel Hill as I’m hoping to practice in NC for most of my career. I’m feeling like I look like a pretty mediocre applicant with those numbers. What are my chances looking like, in your opinion? Thanks!!

  60. Hello,

    I am apply to a couple of law schools, no tier 1 schools though. I graduated from CSU with a degree in Histrou, International Studies and a minor in French in 4.5 years but I graduated with. 2.89 GPA. After school I traveled around the world and worked all over now I have been working for an attorneys office for 3 years as a case manager and paralegal. I have been getting around a 162 on the LSAT. I am wondering if I might get in with what I have?

    Thank you for your help,

  61. Due to family/health issues, I have a terrible gpa (2.6) from an elite New England college. I scored 174 on the lsat and I’m also an URM, is it even worth applying to law schools with such a low gpa?

  62. DreamLawSchool on

    Hello Josh,

    I am scouring the web for possibilities and information in regards to law school. I am an FIU graduate, with a 3.02 GPA. I initially began as a philosophy major and decdied to bump that to a minor and pursue a criminal justice major with a certificate in law, ethics and society. Once I switched majors, I began doing very well in my classes. The philosophy major really hurt my GPA.

    All while this major switch and minimal GPA repairing I managed to do was going on, there were and still are economic hardships my family is going through. The latter two years of my undergrad were spent working full time and living out of a motel. We were evicted and homeless so it’s safe to say that my life has its share of stress.

    Currently, I am still working full time at FIU and thankfully at the moment my family and I managed to obtain an apartment after almost 3 years. I am now trying to balance a full time job and studying for the Sept 2017 LSAT; I registered for both Sept and Dec. I know that my low GPA is already killing a lot of options for me but going to law school is something I’ve always wanted to do, being a lawyer, in general, is something I have always wanted to do.

    I know that my LSAT score needs to be top notch and it is something I am working on but I worry that not landing a decent school will be a waste of money because I know law school and its debt is definitely a commitment I do not want to take unless I know I will have good job prospects.

    I ask for some advice , anything, on how I should handle my current situation and whether I should even bother applying to any law school with the GPA I have.

    Thank you

  63. I am a graduating undergrad with a 2.8 gpa and 173 LSAT score with 4 years of real world-professional experience such as working at a financial institution, law firm, retail. Also I helped colonize an international sorority in my school and served in the executive board for 2 years, and had an internship with a national program under AmericCorps for 1 year.

    I am still discouraged because of my GPA even though I have received honor recognition in my last 3 semesters but when I was at my community college I received 3 Fs during a particular semester because of a Title IX issue.

    Any suggestions on how to strengthen my application? I don’t know if I have a chance in getting admitted to a top20 school such as USC.

  64. Thank you for this page. I have been waitlisted at almost all of the top 10 schools I applied to. I have a 172 and a 3.55 GPA from a top level undergrad school. I am rather baffled by the whole thing. What is going on? Is there a school in the top level that will find someone with as splitter numbers as me worth admitted? Even if they haven’t gotten back to me this late (i applied at the deadlines)?

    Should I reapply?

  65. I am a masters student at Washington University studying finance looking to graduate with about a 3.7 gpa and I scored a 720 on the GMAT with a 99th percentile Verbal score. I majored in economics and political science at a the University of Illinois with roughly a 2.9 gpa (I was struggling with the death of a parent and lacked the motivation and direction to do well in school which resulted in my low gpa). I plan to work in finance for 2-3 years after graduation and pursue law school after that. What kind of LSAT do I need to be competitive at a school like Northwestern, and what are my odds of getting in if I achieve that score?

  66. Hi,
    I am a political science and general biology (pre-med) double major at UCSD. My overall GPA is a 3.1 due to my bio degree, but my political science major GPA is a 3.9. I am also graduating with departmental honors in political science through the senior honors seminar, which I had to write a thesis for. I may also be able to publish my thesis data in a political science journal but that is tbd. My dream school is Georgetown, but would like your opinion on my chances at T-14 schools in general, and how they would view my double major GPA predicament.

  67. NYU CS Student on

    I am an NYU Computer Science major with a 2.9 GPA. My LSAT score is a 172. My GPA is low as a function of several factors: firstly, I worked my first semester of college, which definitely took a toll on my grades. Secondly, my major and school are very competitive. I believe the average computer science major GPA at NYU is a 2.9, so I know my GPA isn’t above the median but it also isn’t below. Thirdly, and this is less of an excuse than an explanation, I do not do well in core classes because I have no interest; this also probably explains my high LSAT score.
    How do you think it looks?

  68. Hi,

    I’m a Mechanical Engineering major with a 2.9 GPA, realistically I am striving to raise it to around 3.1-3.2 before I graduate. My top school is Northeastern University.

    During my first two years of college, I endured relationship abuse and was sexually assaulted twice (one of the instances resulted in a concussion), and watched my school completely botch up my report and throw it away. I took time off school, working in the Disney College Program and a Professional Internship at Walt Disney World. I then returned to school and earned fairly good grades in the most difficult classes in my curriculum. I was asked to return to Disney for another Professional Internship.

    I am confident about my abilities to score well on the LSAT. Northeastern’s range is 152-162. I hope to receive my letters of recommendation from my two leaders at Disney, and from a professor at school who has advocated for my skills in light of my past.

  69. Hello!
    I am graduating from the University of Arizona this fall with a double degree in Political Science and Spanish Sociolinguistics but I will be graduating with a pretty low GPA at 2.8. My first 4 semesters I was a biology major and that didn’t go very well (as it rarely does) but I was stubborn and didn’t switch majors until my GPA was down to a 2.3 at the start of my 3rd year. I switched my major and since then my GPA has improved every semester. I have worked a part time job throughout college and for the past two years I have held 2-3 jobs at a time ranging from: retail, university ambassador, law office assistant, manager at a yogurt shop, and academic outreach recruiter in middle schools throughout Tucson. I have also interned for a Congressman, a congressional campaign, Walt Disney World and the International School of Tucson. I am part of a Latina founded sorority and within that I held various executive board positions. After graduating I have accepted a position as a bilingual education teacher through Teach for America and hope to take that time to also study for the LSAT.

    So, as you can see my resume is loaded with a variety of experience but I’m afraid my low GPA will still hold me back. I will have recommendation letters from the congressman I interned for, two attorneys I’ve worked for, the Head of the IST and the director of the Spanish department at UA to also help my application.

    I have about a year and a half before I begin applying for Law school but I am trying to get some honest advice on whether or not I actually have a chance of being accepted or not. If I do not have a shot I would like to instead focus my time on Grad school options if that is my only option.

    Any advice or blunt honesty would be very much appreciated!

  70. Hi graduated from college in 2013. Since then I have been working in management positions. I only graduated with a 2.75. My school was known for grade deflation (had almost a 50% attrition rate). That GPA actually has me at the exact middle of the graduating class. While in school I was also captain of our lacrosse team.

    I scored a 168 on my LSAT. I am also a LT in the Navy Reserves and a Union Rep for my full time job.

    Do I have any chance of breaking the T-14? Should I retake my LSAT (Have only taken it once)?

    Thank you for the help!

    • Hey Sean. I’m AD Air Force planning on attending law school next year. I suggest, if you haven’t already, to go check out Services 2 School. They’re veterans who actually graduated from Top Tier 14’s. They help you every step of the way with your application for free! I’m using them right now. I’m crossing my fingers for Stanford! Good luck to you!

  71. I have a 2.8 GPA and a 168 LSAT
    I went to a competitive school, my class actually had almost a 50% attrition rate; so there was zero grade inflation. While in college I was the Captain of my lacrosse team as well.
    I am LT in the USNR and I am a union rep
    I graduated in 2013

    My goal school is Georgetown, do I have a shot?

  72. Bakvario Curios on

    I have an undergraduate GPA of 2.66 and an average LSAT prep-test of about a 170-171. My top school is the University of Florida. What do you think my chances my be?

    Thanks for the advice!

  73. Danielle Packer on

    I graduated with an undergraduate of 3.34 and received a graduate certificate with GPA of 3.5. My top school is Duke University.

  74. Wishful thinking on

    I am working professional right now in finance, but I am trying to see what my chances over getting in to a T30 law school is with my significantly low GPA (2.9). I have 3 years of IB operations experience with little extra curricular except for starting my own business (mobile application) which took a full year to accomplish starting from the ground up with little computer science background. I am looking to get into corporate strategy, but in the last few years of working I have seen how beneficial a law background could be in business and life. I have not taken the LSAT yet. I am wondering if there is any chance of me getting in to a competitive law school with the right LSAT score, or if my GPA is too low to bother.

  75. Hi there!
    I have a 3.27 undergrad GPA and haven’t yet taken the LSATs. I am about to complete my masters in Latin American studies where I’m pulling close to a 4.0. The program is also interdisciplinary and I’ve actually taken law classes at the law school, getting A’s. Although I haven’t taken the LSATs I recognize that I need to do very well especially to balance out my rather low GPA. My top school at the moment is Berkeley and I’m worried about the premium they place on GPA especially compared to other schools with similar ranking. According to their admissions page though they also like “well-rounded” students and also seem to emphasize “extra” grad school work more so than other schools. I want to focus on human rights law and I speak four languages, and have interned with very well known human rights organizations. Berkeley also has a great Latin American studies program and might value my masters more than other schools. Basically I’m wondering if I still have a chance with Berkeley if I kill it on the LSATs? Thanks!

  76. Hi! So I currently am double majoring in French and biomedical science at Auburn University, and I have a 3.5 GPA. If I were to do extremely well on the LSAT, would I have any chance of getting in to Columbia? Thanks so much!

  77. Hey, I am a senior at Auburn University. I want to get into law school, but I know that my GPA isnt going to be competitive as most. Right now, it is 2.35, so trying to boost my GPA to a 3.0 is a longshot at best, but I am determined. Should I take some GPA-boosting classes. I am scheduled to graduate next fall and at the latest Spring 2018. What options should I pursue under your guidance

    • The Determined Applicant on

      Hello, I am unable to answer your question but am in a similar situation to you. Will you please comment back if you find out from another source?

      The Determined Applicant

    • I go to Auburn too & I’m in a sort of similar situation- 5 semesters of biomedical science classes haven’t been kind to my GPA, so I’m wondering if a 3.0 can get me into UA or Samford’s law schools with the right LSAT? I haven’t done the real deal LSAT yet, but I took my first cold practice test today out of a book and got a 159. Are we doomed?

  78. Hi I am a student at Mississippi State Unvieirsty and I am finishing up my first semester of sophomore year, this was my hardest semester and my GPA will go from a 3.28 to a 2.7-2.8 . I am an Business Economics with a minor in Computer Science. I want to go a decent law school maybe Georgia State , Emory, Howard etc. I took 18 hours and moved in with 3 of my friends as well as dating drama , a lot of things happend this semester that hindered with my focus and discipline. Any advice on how I can get back on track

  79. Hello! I have a 2.7 GPA but have been averaging 172-175 on practice LSATs. I have been preparing for 6 months now and feel confident for the February LSAT.

    I have some strong soft factors, having 4 family members, including my father, pass away with the last 18 months. I dropped to a part-time student during two semesters following these losses to work so I could afford my education. I’m happy to say I am graduating a semester early!

    My home institution GPA is 3.45, however I took many community college courses and did poorly (due to working and grief) which significantly brought down my calculated GPA for applying. I would love to attend a T-30 program, but I would greatly appreciate your honest opinion of my situtaion.

  80. Hi! I am currently in my 3rd year of undergrad at Boston University. My major is human physiology and I’m pre-med so my GPA is pretty low (a 3.0). Lately I’ve been considering law school and was wondering my chances of admittance. I would like to stay in boston, possibly BU for law school. Will law schools understand that my GPA is low because I was pre-med? Or am I in bad luck? Thank you very much for the help!

  81. Hey i got a 142 on my lsat and i have a 2.7 gpa and im looking to go to touro law, ive been working in a law firm for about 6 years now. What are my chances if i apply before december for the fall 2017?

  82. I’m 29 years old now. I have a BS and an MS in Aerospace Engineering from two top Engineering schools, Penn State and USC. My Undergrad GPA was a 3.49 and my MS, completed while working full time, is even lower at 3.22.

    Still waiting to get back my LSAT scores, but let’s say I get a 170. What would be my realistic chances of getting into a T14? Will the difficulty of my degrees and the 7 years of work experience set me apart as a candidate schools would like to have? Would I need to retake to try to get 175+ to really increase my chances?

    • I was just browsing this forum with no intention of posting but your comment stopped me in my tracks. You have a MS in aerospace engineering, good grief, why aren’t you working in Aerospace? Why Law? If you were to ask me, I’d say your amazingly wasting your time.

  83. Hey, my GPA is pretty dang low. I have some reasoning behind it but beyond establishing a high GPA trend my senior year, there is little that I can do to change it. It is currently a 2.6 and I have yet to take the LSAT. I’d like to attend University of Georgia Law or Georgia State. Any chances?

  84. I have a 3.98 undergraduate GPA (curse the plus/minus system) in English. I completed more difficult courses to graduate through the honors college. I have worked as and editor for the past 4 years; not sure if this soft factor will do much to boost my application. I recently scored a 161 on the LSAT.

    I am from the Midwest and wanting to attend St. Louis University since I am very debt adverse and feel strongly that I will be able to get large scholarship. I have saved enough from working I should be able to avoid taking any loans while in school at SLU. Obviously, the better school in the Midwest excluding Chicago is Washington University in St. Louis (ranked #18). What do you think my chances are of getting into WUSTL with an LSAT well below the median? I am wondering if it’s worth it to go to the much better Law School with the possibility of paying sticker price. I am not interested in big law and looking to stay in the midwest.

  85. Hello,

    I’m 8 years out of university and have been working for a non-profit since graduation. I graduated from a UC school with a 3.4, but most of that is due to my two years of science classes before I figured out that wasn’t for me. If you were to only take my non science classes, my GPS is more like a 3.85. Do admissions people at the top schools look at stuff like that? I’m planning to take the LSAT in December, and I’m currently testing around 170 (my initial test was 153, so I’m already so thankful for your prep plan!).

  86. hey guys,

    I am currently studying for the lsat with a little over a month left. I am making 162 consistently with just a month of studying. I am hoping to improve my score to upper 160’s lower 170’s. I graduated from a small Arkansas school where I majored in finance with a 3.2 UGPA. I am a first generation college grad, and was independent throughout school. I also played football the entirety I went to school, and worked the spring semesters too. My last semester I worked and played football while finishing classes. My gpa is low because the first 2.5 years I was taking classes for Bio pre-med. After I changed majors, I consistently improved my GPA each semester. By the time I turn in my applications, I will have a little over a year of work experience in the Finance field. I am wanting to get into a top 20 school. Is there any advice you have for me?


    • Honestly, the best advice I can give you right now is to dominate the LSAT. With an LSAT score below median, your goal is to balance that out with an LSAT score above median.

      If you’re already hitting the low 160 range after 1 month of studying, you’ve got a real shot at pushing that score up into the 169+ range, which would certainly give you some strong options.

      The other thing that I want to stress is this: apply to a BROAD range of law schools. Get apps into as many of the top 20 schools as possible (along with a couple of safety schools). With a low gpa/high LSAT, you’re going to want to cast a wide net to ensure that you end up with some solid offers.

      I’d be 100% focused on hitting 169+ on test day & be prepared to send out a dozen+ apps as soon as my score comes back. Do those 2 things and you’ll be in at a top 20 school.

  87. What are job prospects like for law schools that aren’t in the Top 14? There’s mention in another article of an unranked school pretty much not being worth the cost because the job market is so competitive.
    What about ranked schools that just aren’t at the top? Like random number. The school ranked 50th or 75th? Are those schools worth going to and what are their prospects?
    I would imagine that lawyers in small cities maybe went to those lower ranked/unranked schools? But what about getting a job in a major city in the U.S.? Do those tend to go to those T14 graduates OR are there jobs out there for people from those lower ranked schools?

    I’m in the midst of researching different law schools and the students they accept and trying to get an idea of the types of schools I would get accepted at. I’m trying to figure out if law school is worth it at lower ranked schools, considering the cost. I would assume that those lawyers still get hired somewhere, I’m just wondering if its anywhere worth working?

  88. Hey hey,

    So I go to a very rigorous undergraduate school- they’ve given out around 13 4.0s in the last 15 years.

    However, my undergraduate school is kind of viewed as a feeder school for some of the top law schools and grad programs…

    My GPA is a touch below 3.5, but I plan to raise it a bit before applications start up (I’m a junior).

    Every day, I wish I would have gone to a respected yet easier university as I could have secured a high GPA.

    My practice LSATS are putting me around 170-174 range. If I really study hard over the summer, I plan to boost that score.

    I’m looking to go to Boston U, or a school of similar caliber.

    What do you think my chances are, particularly for BU? Does the rigor of undergraduate program even come into account?

    Also- are there any other ways I can boost my odds? A prestigious internship perhaps??


  89. 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?

  90. 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.

  91. 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

  92. 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?

  93. 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?

  94. 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?

  95. 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.

  96. 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.

  97. 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.

  98. 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?

  99. 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!


  100. 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!

  101. 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?

  102. 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?

  103. 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

  104. 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!


  105. 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!

  106. 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.

  107. 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!

  108. 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?

  109. 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.

  110. 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!

  111. 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?

  112. 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.


  113. 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

  114. 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

  115. 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.

  116. 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?

  117. 2.84 and 162 LSAT. Looking at Maurer, Wayne State, Michigan State, Chicago-Kent, Loyola-Chicago, Maryland Carey,

  118. 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.

  119. 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,

  120. 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.


  121. 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?

  122. 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!

  123. 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.

  124. 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.

  125. 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

  126. 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!

  127. 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?

  128. 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.

  129. 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?

  130. 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.

  131. 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

  132. 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?


  133. 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?

  134. 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?

  135. Hi Josh,

    GPA 3.3 cumulative, 3.5 for last 2/best 2, went to McGill Univ in Canada known to be a harsh marker. Wrote the lsat and got a 158, rewrote it again this October, thinking it will be a 165-168. Strong resume and personal statement, worked at a pro Bono law clinic, President of a student team, worked at a digital agency, and currently working at a legal research institute FT after graduation. I’m mostly applying to Canadian schools but am trying to figure out which US schools would be my best shot.

    Thanks for your help!

  136. Hello, I have just found this website and I wanted to just say thank you! It is so insightful and interesting,I wish I found it earlier!!

    I am in my senior year at Wheaton College (not the one in Chicago, but the one in Massachusetts!) I have been prepping for the LSAT since June. I am taking the October LSAT but have few questions.

    I am aiming in attending a top 50 school, for example BU or BC. My GPA is a 3.0, I have excellent letters of a recommendation from professors and attorneys I had worked for, I have a solid application, an impressive resume with internships at law firms, the State House and businesses. However, I think if I am being realistic..with my low end GPA of a 3.0–I need a high LSAT score, one that is above a 163. I have been prepping for a while via the Kaplan prep course online, but only in the 6 weeks have I been extremely rigorous in my studies and do it for long hours each day. However, my average test score keeps being around a 150. I am just not satisfied with this but feel as thought time is running out.

    I was hoping to use my October score and new GPA from this fall semester to apply by January. However, if my LSAT score is not a 160 or above on the October LSAT, I would have to retake–but given all the articles and statistics I have read, it does not appear that you are able to raise your score significantly unless you are devoting much more time than I even have with school right now. Would you recommend that I just don’t take the LSAT on Saturday October 3rd, and keep studying for the next two months–as rigorously as I have in September and take the December LSAT? Or do you think it wouldn’t hurt to take October? I just feel that if I take October and do poorly, by the time I get my scores, I will not have enough time to adequately prepare for the December LSAT and then February seems to be sort of too late with my credentials. I know Law Schools don’t necessarily average the two scores, but will it make me look bad to have two scores? Should I even bother taking the October LSAT if I am not happy with my 150 right now?

    Thank you so much for your help and I look forward to hearing from you!

  137. Senior at a Top-15 undergraduate institution, current GPA: 3.104. I will be graduating a semester early with a double major. My first two years of college, I typically got B’s with 4 grades in the C range. My grades began to improve first semester junior year, and I finished last semester with a 3.85, which qualified me for Dean’s List. I have yet to take the LSAT, but expect to get in the 150s, potentially 160s with studying. I have a solid resume with 6 internships, mostly with congressional offices. I have also held 2 leadership positions in campus organizations and another in a volunteer organization. I plan on working in politics after graduation in December and starting law school either 2016 or 2017. I want to go to law school in the DC area and am specifically interested in Georgetown, GW, and American. What do you think my chances are for these or similar schools?

  138. Hi there, 3.1 GPA with practice lsat score of 143.. if i study i think i can do 153. Thoughts?
    during undergrad – campus tour guide, worked in admissions office as an intern and manager at coffee shop in library.

  139. I am considering applying to law school, but my GPA I know is quite low (roughly 2.8 something) with one D that is on my transcript and I am unable to retake the class because of already graduating. My low GPA can be contributed to many factors not to be making excuses, but while in my undergrad I suffered from server depression, anxiety, family issues that I had no control over considering I was too far away at school, and while being a 2 sport athlete. I finished off my last semester making deans list with all upper level class 400 and up. So I know I possess the ability to do the level of course work required in law school. Its always been a dream of mine since I was a young kid to attend law school and I would love nothing more. I know I probably do not stand a chance in getting admitted to a T-1 or even T-2, but was wondering if I even stand a chance of getting into any.

    • Of course you can! There are many people with even low grade point averages but study hard and do really on their LSAT exams (160+). Scoring in the 75th percentile with at least a 158 and above will put you in decent standing, even eligible for a scholarship. The higher you score on your exam, along with a strong personal statement, recommendations and even explaining what caused the downfall in your grades, will outweigh your GPA by far. STUDY HARD for this exam and you will get into T-2 schools.

  140. Hey I was hoping to get some advice on what schools you think I could get into. I want to go to the best school possible, but also would love some aid as well. Here are my stats:

    -2.74 LSDAS GPA (2.86 normal)- 3.29 my last four semesters. Have a transcript addendum that describes my situation (caregiver for family member thus my grades suffered- GPA improved after the individual passed and I took time off to regroup)
    -162 LSAT
    -4 years experience working in major law firm.
    -In my opinion, good personal statement/story. (Fatherless home, single mother, overcoming this obstacle etc.)
    -Non URM, Male

    Any point applying to T20 schools? I know my stats are well below their medians, but I have heard from multiple people that they will accept a few of these people every cycle. Right now the top schools I am looking at are IU-Bloomington and Wisconsin. Any other suggestions?

  141. Hi there,

    I have a 2.25 GPA currently and it will, hopefully after next semester, be at least a 2.5. I am consistently scoring in 175-178 range and will be taking the LSAT in October for the first time. My low GPA is the result of surgery, a death in the family, and emotional/psychological issues. I will definitely be adding an addendum. However I am afraid that my low GPA will basically be an auto-rejection for me from most all the top schools…is there any hope considering my circumstances and my rather high expected LSAT?

    Thank you

  142. Non-LSAC GPA of 3.5. Freshman year was a 2.9, followed by a sophomore year of 3.8 and a Junior year of 3.9. I attend a top 55 school overall and a top 30 school for my major, according to U.S. News and World Reports List. My cold diagnostic was a 155 and I am currently doing the 12-week study guide. First of all, what LSAT score is realistic for me? Second, what schools should I realistically apply to? Don’t need any specific schools, just a numerical range.

  143. Top 55 school overall and top 35 school for my major. Currently have a 3.5 GPA. My cold diagnostic was a 155 and I’m currently doing the 12-week schedule. What schools should I realistically apply to and what is a realistic LSAT score given my study schedule and cold diagnostic? You’re obviously not a psychic, so I won’t hold you to your word.

  144. Hi,

    My plan is to apply this fall/winter after taking the Oct or Dec LSAT. I’ve been out of school and working for the last 4.5 years as a contract specialist, writing contracts for the Federal Government. My undergraduate GPA was a 3.42 and I have a Masters in Accounting where my GPA was a 3.76. My dad went to Georgetown Law so that is my top choice, but I wasn’t sure how much my GPA would hurt me. What LSAT score do you think I’ll need to get into GULC or any other T14 or T20 school? Thanks and your site has helped me a ton!!



  145. Hi Josh,

    I will be applying in fall with a 3.47-3.5 GPA at at T15 University. I am expecting a 165-171 LSAT score. What do you think my chances are at a T20 school? I have a stellar resume and my major GPA is a 3.7. I was extremely ill and had multiple surgeries one semester and that tanked my GPA (every other semester I’ve had above a 3.6)

  146. I received a 151 on my cold diagnostic and after 3 weeks of light studying, I received a 158. If I were to adhere exactly to the 12-week schedule, what are my chances of getting a 170? Just want an honest opinion. I have already purchased the study guide and the books.

  147. Applying from a top Ivy senior year with a GPA of just above 3.7 and my first LSAT as 173. I retook and am waiting for scores but I think my retake will likely be 176-177+ (I averaged around 178-179 on 5-section PTs the week before the exam, but I’m correcting for exam conditions). Where should I apply as reach schools, target schools, and “safety” schools? How many schools should I look to apply to (should I just spam-apply the T14, or will I need to also include some other schools)? How can I pitch myself so I have a better chance at Yale/Harvard/Stanford despite GPA? Thank you! – Y

  148. Hello,

    I just graduated from the University of Toronto (my convocation is in a week), with a Rotman Commerce Accounting Specialist. My GPA is not great, 3.44 but I was hoping that UofT will be regarded as a top school and it is known for deflating grades (the average marks for most courses are high 60s).
    I just recently am considering law school to combine it with the possibility of doing my CPA. I just started studying for the LSAT and am on your 16 week schedule. My resume is quite weak because I don’t have much work experience. I was wondering if I get an LSAT score of 170+ is it possible for me to get into Columbia or Penn?

    Thank you

  149. Hi,

    First off thank you so much for the advice- it is greatly appreciated! I just graduated from McGill University with a 3.234.0 GPA. I know it is weak, but it has increased substantially from first year at 2.01, to 3.8 in 3rd year and 3.94 in 4th year.
    I just wrote my LSAT, have not received my score back but I was scoring about a 170 on diagnostic tests.
    I majored in international development with a minor in economics. Member of a few clubs on campus, volunteered as a student ambassador and at the office for students with disabilities, and completed two summer internships.
    I’m wondering what my chances are for a top school. Do you have any ideas which schools are splitter friendly for candidates like me?
    I’m hoping for Georgetown, UCLA, USC, U Washington, and perhaps even better T14 schools if possible.

    Thank you!

  150. Your thoughts…I’m a 51 year old, who is interested in law school. I have a 2.2 GPA undergrad and a 3.3 GPA grad school. My LSAT is mid 150s. I’m interested in The University of DC, and The University of Baltimore.

  151. Hey Guys,
    I have a 3.285 as an econ major at UW-Madison – I spent my first 4 semesters as an engineering student before I decided it wasn’t for me and moved on – and I scored a 173 on the LSAT. I’m interested in sports and entertainment law. What do you think the odds are of getting into the programs at UCLA or USC?
    Thank you!

    • Also, Would it be worth spending $2,600 for an extra round of summer courses to improve my GPA from a 3.285 to 3.31? I guess my question is, does getting over that 3.3 mark have a large enough effect?

  152. I am a African American male and I have a 178 LSAT and a 2.8 gpa from a HBCU. The school is somewhat respected depending on who you talk to (Texas Southern). my gpa is low because I was a student athlete and because of how time consuming my sport was(baseball) which is played year around I wasn’t able to fully immerse myself into my classes. This might explain my low gpa and my limited work experience because of athletics. I had an extremely successful collegiate baseball career. I was injuried and during this time was able to study non stop for about 3 and a half months for lsat while I had free time . what is my odds at a top 6 law school. with a 2.8 gpa and 178 LSAT. if I was would had put full effort in just academics my gpa could have been 3.5 and higher. any thought on what schools I should apply to? also should I highlight my race and gender I don’t know how many schools are getting black males with 175 plus LSAT or is that (affirmative action stuff) a thing of the past?

  153. I am and African American male and I have a 178 LSAT and a 2.8 gpa and from an HBCU which is somewhat respected depending on who you talk to (Texas Southern). my gpa is low because I was a student athlete and because how time consuming my sport was(baseball) which is played year around I wasn’t able to fully immerse myself into my classes. This might explain my low gpa and my limited work experience because of athletics. I had an extremely successful collegiate baseball career. I was injuried and during this time was able to study non stop for about 3 and a half months for lsat while I had free time . what is my odds at a top 6 law school. with a 2.8 gpa and 178 LSAT. if I was would had put full effort in just academics my gpa could have been 3.5 and higher. any thought on what schools I should apply to? also should I highlight my race and gender I don’t know how many schools are getting black males with 175 plus LSAT or is that (affirmative action stuff) a thing of the past?

  154. Hi Josh,
    Does the LSAC or do law schools even look at junior college work? I ended up dropping a bunch of classes at KU which severely damaged by GPA, but i have maintained near a 4.0 at my current school, Butler Community College. I am graduating this December and will be going back to KU to finish my undergrad in Poli Sci which may only take a year due to me having 122 credits already. I am not sure how to figure my lsac gpa due to the community college work.

    I recently took a pt with zero studying and scored a 150. I am registered for the October lsat and just purchased all of your recommended books and likely will also purchase your 16 week study plan. My goal is 175+.

    My first choice of schools by far is KU, where i am hoping to not only be admitted but also land significant scholarship money, with a second choice of Florida State where i would also need significant scholarships.

    What are your thoughts on these goals? I have read I need to get the rest of my application and resume in order so I know i need to work on that. Any other advice you may have for me?

    Thanks in advance,

  155. Hi there! Love your website, it’s been so helpful. I’m planning on purchasing the study guide soon!

    I’m a Canadian student, at a top ranked school with a gpa that went from a 1.9 to a 3.0. I have two more semesters to go and am hoping to pull it up to a 3.5, but still, that won’t be cumulative. I have not started studying for the LSAT yet, which I planned to take in October but am now reconsidering. I’m wondering whether or not to take a year off and focus more attention on the LSAT.

    If I score in the 170’s, do you think I have any chance of getting into a t14 school? My dream schools would be NYU or Columbia but I’m trying to remain realistic.

  156. Hi Josh!

    I am a rising senior and just got my transcript back. My grades have been going down since the end of freshman year and I am concerned that this will hurt my chances of getting into a T14.

    My current GPA is a 3.69. This semester I got roughly a 3.58. Is it still possible to get into a T14 and what in your opinion would I need to get on my LSAT to do this?


  157. Hi josh.
    I am about to graduate with a 2.67 from Indiana University South Bend. I worked as a hotel manager while I was at school. I haven’t’ taken the LSAT yet but I plan on taking it in October. I want to got to Valparaiso law school, or John Marshall school of law in Chicago. I wanted to got to Indiana Tech law school in Fort Wayne, but they aren’t ABA approved. Do you have any advice?
    thank you

  158. Hi Josh
    I will graduate with a GPA around 2.7-2.8 first sem of college had a 1.6 GPA so constant improvement. I Played Div 1 football throughout my college years and was involved in intramural sports. Have not taken or studied for my LSAT yet but im looking to get into any law school in California obviously not aiming for the top schools. what do you think my chances are if I most likely will have an average score on the LSAT but again was in 35+ hours of extra curricular activities every week throughout college.

  159. Hi Josh,
    I know that I am going to graduate with a gpa between a 2.6-2.8 and the schools I want to get into are loyola marymount, howard, southwestern in la, southern law, LSU, etc Would I have a chance of getting in ?

  160. Hi Josh,

    I am a third year at Sauder UBC with a 3.3 GPA double majoring Finance and Marketing (part of the reason for my low GPA). I just started studying for the LSAT and is planning to take the June exam and then the October one to maximize my LSAT score. I was wondering if it is possible, aiming for around the 168-172 score range will get me to T20 schools. I had been quite involved in the executive teams of my school business clubs, had a bank internship experience and am currently working as a research assistant for a tax law professor at UBC. I am definitely going to add more work experience this summer and try to raise my GPA by a bit for the fourth year. I know my chances are quite low, but what LSAT score should I be aiming for my low GPA? Also, what are the top schools that are more accepting of students with high LSAT/ low GPA? (I wanted to target Columbia/Stanford/UCBerkley, but they seem to be the ones that are not so accepting of splitters) Lastly, do most top schools take average or highest LSAT score, because I am taking the june exam with only one month of preparation, but is planning to take the October one too.

    Thank you in advance!

  161. Hi Josh,

    I am a junior at NYU with a 3.0 GPA double major in sociology and journalism and a minor in political science. I am a member of the cherokee nation and am aiming to get 170+ on my LSAT this october. I would be hoping to get into a top tier law school but I’m not sure if it’s possible with my GPA. I did have to withdraw from a semester because a family member was diagnosed with terminal cancer and the semester beforehand my grades did suffer. But I have been receiving all As and A-‘s since. I’ve also had two prestigious internships in the city and have been working full time throughout being a student.

    Do you think it would be possible to attend a top tier law school, or should I be more realistic about my expectations?

    Thank you!!!

  162. Hi Josh,

    My non-LSAC GPA is 3.528. I had a tough first year of school (due to anxiety/depression issues) that really brought my GPA down. After that I gradually got my act together, to the point where I was getting all As (except 1 B+) my senior year.

    With my GPA I thought I wouldn’t even have the slightest chance at a T6 or T14 school (although I would love to go to Berkeley); after reading your article it sounds like it’s not too far out of the realm of possibility?

    I have been in the workforce for 3 years in state government working on policy. I have excellent letters of recommendation lined up. I plan to take the LSAT in June – I got a 161 on my diagnostic and plan to put in 20+ hours/week of studying for 3 months. I’m hoping to score in the 170+ range.

    Do you have any advice on how I should approach my application to increase my chances of getting into a T6/14 school? Which schools are realistically in my reach? (On a side note, I’d like to specialize in Environment/Energy law; I have been working in energy policy for the last 3 years and am passionate about it, which is one of the reasons Berkeley is so appealing to me)

    Thank you!!

  163. Hi Josh,

    I realize I’m way late to this article but am hoping you are still answering questions. I have an undergraduate GPA of 3.47, and will be taking the LSAT in June. My husband and I are relocating to Austin, TX to be closer to family and because of the excellent school system for our kids which is why my only law school choice is the University of Texas at Austin. What kind of LSAT score would I need to make myself a contender? Also, what do you think about applying for early admissions? Would this give me a better chance of acceptance?

    Thank you!

  164. Hello,
    I am hoping to apply to law school this coming Fall. However, I am worried how much my GPA will affect me getting into a good law school. In community college I had a 3.58 GPA and was in the Honor Society. However, in University I have a 2.4 currently. This low GPA is based off because the first year and a half I took physics and chemistry courses. I switch majors to just PS and have a 3.4 in that major. By the end of the Fall, I should have around an overall of a 3.2 GPA. Is there any chance of getting into a good school because I suppose my grades for winter and spring quarter will not count. I am studying and hoping to get a 167+ in the LSAT.

    • I am the person from the comment above.
      Also, I have 2 years of science research where I have presented at a National and a state conference. Plus, I have a summer of experience of working with an immigration lawyer. (I want to focus in immigration law). I will be working in Spring and next Fall with a detective and presenting cases before a DA.

  165. Hi Josh and Evan,

    I wanted to know two things. The first thing is should I wait to apply to law school and the second is, realistically speaking, how good are my chances of getting into any of these schools: T6 + Cornell or Berkeley.

    So for my first question: my current GPA is a 3.47. should I wait to apply to law school next fall (2016) or should I apply this coming up fall semester(2015)? I’m asking this because when I graduate – spring 2016, I am hoping to have a 3.53 GPA, but if I apply this coming up fall semester (2015) I will have to use my 3.47 GPA. What do you think would be better for me?

    My second question: what are my chances: T6 + Cornell or Berkeley?
    My GPA – 3.47
    LSAT – haven’t take yet
    Work experience: 3 years

    Thanks in advance!

  166. Hey guys,

    I was wondering if I could get an idea of where I should apply T14 wise.

    uGPA 2.85 from ivy (brought up to a 3.0 with undergrad post bac courses)
    PhD in engineering with 3.85 GPA from ivy
    LSAT: 175-177 on practice

    Great recs from Profs
    5 years of full time research experience with 17 published manuscripts in high level science journals (don’t know if that means anything for law school)


  167. Josh,

    Here is my skinny:

    Graduated with a BS in Journalism 2002 with a 2.51 GPA. Got out of school, went into finance as a stock broker working for my pops. Was offered a direct commission and became a commissioned Army officer in 2006.

    Combat tour to Iraq 2009, got injured, 90% disabled.

    Went back to school 2011, finished my MBA (same school) in 2013 with a 4.0. Graduated Summa Cum Laude.

    My LSAT prep tests have been coming in around 152-156, but only had a month and a half before taking the February 2015 LSAT. I am sure I could go take it again… but I am not necessarily looking for scholarship money. I still have 2 years of eligibility for my Post-911 GI Bill. Plus, never used my Illinois Veterans Grant — so, if I go to a school in Illinois — I am fully funded.

    If I don’t apply/get into to an Illinois school, I really want to attend FSU or U of F (because thats where my family is). I am 35 years old, married, kiddo — good job with DoD (still). Just don’t like what I am doing.

    With those numbers and background — provided my LSAT from Feb is somewhere in there — how likely do you think it is to get into Say U of lll, Southern Ill. Univ., U of F or FSU?

  168. Josh,
    I graduated my undergrad with a Poli Sci/Psych major 3.3 GPA in in 2012. I recently quit my full-time job and took a significant pay cut to work part-time to study as much as possible for the LSAT as I want to take it in June. My diagnostic in November was a 145 and I am now scoring a 155-158 consistently but I feel I am at a plateau and am getting frustrated that I haven’t yet broke a 160. My goal score is 170, but I’d be happy with a 168+ if I could get into any T14 schools. My question is:
    1) Do you think my LSAT goal is realistic? (Can someone with a 145 diagnostic get anywhere close to a 170 from now until June – I know odds aren’t really in my favor but I am working hard and studying 40+ hours a week).
    2) I know a 3.3 GPA is pretty bad for the schools (T14) I want to get into, do you think I could get in with a 168+ or would I have to get a 170?
    3) I am a LGBT student. I hate to play the “minority” card and I don’t expect it to play a major factor, but do you think it is worth mentioning in my application aka would it help me at all to get into a law school if I am on the “cusp?” Thanks!

  169. University of Toronto with a CGPA of 3.20, with a bit more time to raise it. My dream law schools would be either Columbia Law School or University of Chicago Law School. What LSAT score would make my application competitive? And what are my chances of getting accepted into the 2 universities?

  170. Hi! I just found your website and took a sample logic game but it just cannot stick with me. Quite frankly, I’ve never been good at them. Ever. When you guys started studying and researching for the LSATS, did you also have trouble with the logic games? How long did it take to start fully understanding them? I feel very stupid and incompetent but I am determined to become a lawyer. I’m in 10th grade though, is it too late to start studying law? I really have no experience in anything law related. Thanks for reading through my message!

  171. Hi I have a question about lsdas gpa conversition to ugpa. I graduated llb program in my country ı want to jd at top14 law school .fırst year İ took civil law but my grade was (FF) ,family law (FF),criminal law(FF) then ı entered University exam again and ı changed my law school . My school accepted all my fırst year and second year courses without civil law, family law,criminal law and in my transcript fırst year and second year courses writing (E) mean Exempt. but civil law,family law,criminal law courses grades were (FF) , I took these three courses again and my civil law grade(AA),family law grade (AA) , criminal law grade(AA), ı graduated from istanbul university. in istanbul university transcript these three courses grades were(AA) but In my previous university transcripts these three courses grade wriring(FF).If lsac accept my two transcripts of the three courses will be counted again.what can i do for this problem? or is this problem for my lsdas gpa calculation?Thnx a lot for your helping

  172. Hey there,

    Can anyone offer me some advice on Law school admission? I have a undergrad GPA 3.59 based on law school calculation. I’m really worried about my mediocre grades.

    I double majored in Mathematics and Physics, not a traditional path for law school I know but it was my passion. I did great on my first major Math, but not so much on Physics, too much workload. I wasn’t on a path to law back in the day. I even got a M.S. in Physics later but I know that doesn’t count much.

    I graduated from a big state university for undergraduate. Not prestige in any sense. Does that hurt my application?

    I will take LSAT soon. Right now can anyone tell me do I even have chance in any of Top 14 (HYS are out of picture I know) assume I did good on LSAT? I know it’s a big assumption. But I wish to be well-informed. Because if there is no way a 3.59 guy get in no matter his LSAT then I won’t even bother to do LSAT.


  173. Hey there,

    I am currently obtaining an MA in Philosophy and am planning on applying to law school this upcoming fall. I feel very naive to say this, but I just learned that my graduate GPA will not be considered in my law school application. My undergraduate GPA (which was finished 2 years ago and I honestly couldn’t even remember off the top of my head what it was) is a 3.2. I’m totally crushed because that number in no way represents the advanced philosophical coursework I do now and am capable of doing in the future.

    I have not taken the LSAT yet and understand that I need to rank in the 75th percentile of my preferred schools if I want a chance to get in. I am fairly confident that my advanced experience in philosophy and logic will give me an initial advantage for the LSAT (fingers crossed).

    I live in California and want to go to law school here. I had my hopes on 1) UCLA and 2) USC. Can you give me any advice going forward on those schools or other schools I should consider in CA (that are possibly considerate of “splitters”?).

    Your article was incredible helpful. I went from thinking my considered GPA was going to be 3.7 (graduate) to a 3.2 (undergraduate) and felt crushed. I now see that although I am not in an ideal position, it is not the worst and workable. Thank you for your time.


  174. Hi Josh,

    I am a finance major with a 3.91 cumulative GPA as a sophomore at a small, private university in California. I have just recently become interested in attending Law School, however, I have always had a passion for politics and debate. I took an abbreviated diagnostic exam and scored a 151 after going in completely blind. I have limited work experience, however, I am involved as a student leader at my university. Assuming I maintain my GPA, what should be my target score be on the LSAT in order to get into a top 14 school?

    Thank you!

  175. Hey Josh,

    Thanks for the great info. I’m an AA male with a LSDAS GPA of 3.14 as an Econ major. What is my magic score to get into a T14/T10 school? I realize my gpa is well below their 25%iles. However, I’ve been studying for the past 5 months, taking approx. 50 prep tests. My PT scores are hovering around 168-173 depending on how difficult the RC is. I’m also taking the LSAT this December, does that make the odds of a T14 admission worse?

    Thanks for all your helpful tips and information.

  176. Hello and good evening,

    I am glad I found this website. I am not a traditional student per say; I have a degree in history and nearly completed a degree in mathematics as well(still working on it part time). I come from a large household and have regularly supported my family throughout my entire educational career. As a result it has led to a sub par GPA that is not representative of what I am capable of. Currently, my GPA stands at 2.677 but my LSAT score that I took was a 174. What are the odds that I would enter schools such as:

    Florida State University
    University of Miami
    Florida International University
    University of Florida
    Duke(long shot)
    Cornell(another long shot)

    I’ve been working two to three jobs nonstop while completing my degrees, I have 2 years in the law field, and 3 years experience in finance and trading. I hope to be able to study financial law, taxation, and property law. That being said, I would like to stay in Florida so that I may be near my family. I do have interests outside of the state but don’t have the confidence, nor the means, to be able to do so.

    What is your opinion and prognostication that a student with my profile will enter one of these law schools.

    Thank you for your time

  177. Hi,

    Not sure if this thread is open but I thought I’d ask anyway. So I have a 3.78 GPA in Psych & French at an Ivy and a 169 LSAT – Is penn ED a viable option for me?

    Thanks so much, appreciate it!

  178. Hello,
    I have a 3.1 GPA in Chemical Engineering and want to go into IP law, how high of a LSAT do I need to be considered at Stanford, Penn, or Berkeley?

  179. Hi
    I have a GPA of 3.47 and a LSAT score of 160.
    I also have a two year working experience.
    Can I get admission into Northwestern Law School.

  180. Completed undergrad in accounting 2.8, completed Master of accounting w/3.3. Currently completing my last section of the CPA and working at a Big 4 accounting firm in NYC. Interested in T50 schools but with a LSAT of 170+ how likely?

  181. Hello! I graduated this past May with a chemical engineering degree and a 2.6 GPA. I know it is low but I’m still wanting to get into a top law school. I’ve always wanted to go to law school however I decided to do chemE to ensure always having job opportunity, money, fall back, etc. I’ve done research for months deciding whether or not I want to go to law school. I know I am set on it and willing to pay put the work in. I’m confident I can get a high score with the right prep. Currently I am working as a process engineer with a full time career. I’m looking to begin prepping for the next few months and take the LSAT next spring. Is it ok to prep for longer than four months if I don’t feel prepared for the Feb date and take the June? Any advice would be much appreciated, thank you.

  182. I’m a Asian woman who just graduated from an Ivy League School with a major in Economics. I have a 3.52 (not weighted yet by LSAC) GPA and a 171 LSAT score. I grew up in an Asian country and came to the USA for college. I am linguistically gifted with outstanding English proficiency and conversational French in addition to my native language. I am planning to apply early decision to UPENN. I would appreciate your assessment of my chances and any advice on how to elevate my profile. I know I’m a splitter by UPENN’s standards.

  183. Hey everyone, I graduated this past may and I am extremely nervous about applying to Law school. I am currently studying out of a KAPLAN book w/ 4 real practice tests and really want to get in. I am looking to get into the University of Kentucky’s Law school and I only have and undergrad GPA of 2.71 and my major is not LSAC approved but I began as pre-pharm. I also have some questionable grades throughout mainly because I sort of played around and at one point I was sick for an entire semesters. My last two semesters I was on the deans list (which shows that I did improve) and I worked throughout undergrad. I guess I am wondering what I need to score. I haven’t taken the LSAT before so December will be my first time and I am extremely nervous about it. I just want to do well. AT LEAST a 165 if not better. I am not sure if I am approaching the studying aspect the right way by simply going through the entire book for 2-3 hours a day once I leave work but I am learning how to tackle a lot of concepts that will show up on the exam.

    Also, I am a black male, so I think due to ‘numbers’ this may also give me a boost. I have a very strong resume, lot’s of work experience and even full-time after I graduated in May. I have left a nice salaried job job to pursue this so I am banking on this exam. Any advice? I would greatly appreciate it!

  184. Hello,

    I graduated from undergrad in 2007 with a degree in psychology, spanish, and professional writing. Unfortunately, I was one of those students who couldn’t find the passion for school and just went through the motions, so my cum GPA was a 2.82. Directly after undergrad I went to grad school and got my masters in education (cum GPA 3.65) and my education specialist degree in school psychology (cum GPA 3.40). I also didn’t care much about that program either, but knew I wouldn’t be able to find a job with a psych degree so I took the “necessary next steps.”

    Currently, I have been a school psychologist for the last 4.5 years and am now considering law school. I feel that until now, I hadn’t found my true passion. For the past 2 years I have been wanting to go back to law school but thought it wasn’t a possibility. The more research I did, the more I felt this might be a possibility.

    I’m aware that I need to blow the LSAT out of the water, so I’m taking a prep course beginning Dec. 7th for the Feb. 7th LSAT.

    Since I live in Chicago and I’m not really wanting to move, what are the chances I could get into one of the following schools (and would it be worth it): University of Chicago, Northwestern, Chicago-Kent, Loyola, DePaul, or John Marshall School of Law.


  185. Hi, I’m a 30 y/o wanting to go to law school. I’ve been out of school for 5 years after taking off to take care of my handicapped mother and brother.

    I scored a 151 on my LSAT and my undergrad GPA was 3.21 (I brought it up from a 0.7! in my freshman year that was caused by illness).

    I’m hoping for Cumberland School of Law (at Samford U) as it’s the closest ABA school and I can’t afford to move. What do you think the chances are?

  186. Hi,
    I graduated from Ohio State with a degree in Finance. My LSAC GPA is 3.52. Since graduating in 2013, I have been working at a Fortune 500 company in a Leadership Development Program. I am looking to attend school in the midwest, preferably Chicago. Since my GPA is below the medians, what would my LSAT score need to be to get into Northwestern or UChicago? Are their any other schools you would recommend in the Midwest based on my credentials?

    Thanks so much for your help!

  187. By no means am I looking at Ivy league or even regional schools at that. I have a 3.1 gpa and a 146 LSAT. LSAT is the devil to me I have taken it 3 times. I am looking at Faulkner (Jones), Charleston, Miss. College, Loyola-New Orleans and maybe Ole Miss even though that’s a long shot. My application has many strengths including 18 months full-time legal work experience, study abroad in Africa, no legal trouble, lots of volunteering, honor societies, dean’s lists, etc. I feel I have a really strong resume and personal statement too. Just curious of my percentages to get in…

  188. Hi Evan!!

    So my UGPA was a 3.66 cumulative, but my GPAs within my two majors (Human Rights and Political Science) were both above 3.8. I am taking the LSAT in December, and aiming for a min. 170 based on my practice tests results.

    I have strong soft aspects of my application, such as: multiple international study opportunities, internships in Washington, DC and with international non-profits, published academic research, strong recommendation letters, in addition to working part-time consistently through college.

    I am most interested in law schools with reputable international law programs, with human rights or criminal focuses, narrowing my top choices to: Harvard, Columbia, NYU, Michigan, Northwestern, and Boalt.

    If I can get my LSAT between a 170-175, what are my chances at these top universities, especially in regards to scholarship?

    Thank you!

  189. 3.71 GPA with a potential for 3.76 by the time I apply to law school. 172 on the LSAT which is 99th percentile. Solid internships in the legal field, mock trial experience. What are my odds of getting into Georgetown?

  190. so I think I’m a splitter- transferred from a well known school my sophomore yr with a 2.9 (extenuating circumstances) but transferred to another school and will graduate from this school with a 4.0/3.95 for 2 years. I’m taking my lsat in december, planning to hit around 165 or higher initially but am going to invest in private tutoring to take the test again in june. I do have URM status but does that matter for UCLA? what are my chances for t14 schools? Also, I’ve been working in the legal field as an undergrad (at law schools, high status private attorneys, etc) for almost four years but I’ve heard that experience doesn’t really matter- is this true?

  191. Hey guys,

    I just got my scores for the September 2014 Lsat and they’re not as great as I needed them to be.
    I have a 3.3 GPA and am aiming for NYU so I was trying to get a 177+, but the score came back as a 173 which I don’t really feel safe with. But I’m not sure if I should take it again because I just couldn’t consistently score a 175+ before (I’ve been studying for 6 months now and this was my second test) and so I’m scared that my score might not increase even if I take it again in December–or worse, it’s gonna drop. Would you guys know which schools I will be able to get in with a 173/ what score (minimum) I’ll need to get into NYU with my GPA? Really appreciate the advice!!!

    • First, good job on the 173. That’s my score! Here’s what I would do: apply with your current score. You might still get into NYU with that (in fact, I think it’s highly likely you will). At worst, you are getting waitlisted. Then I might sign up for a stealth February retake that could pull you off the waitlist if you end up on it.

      • This comment made my day except I guess I’m just still insecure that my +3 points above NYU’s LSAT median won’t cover for my 3.3 GPA (which is way below the 25th percentile)… I will try to apply as soon as possible though! Thanks!!

  192. Hi,
    I have come community college credits from 10 years ago (yes, actually ten years) that are killing my GPA. I quickly realize when I was 18 that I wasn’t ready for college, but not before trashing my GPA (a 2.28 for 28 credits). After 5 years, and a lot of life experience, I returned to get my degree. I now have 2 years at a different community college with a GPA of 3.65 and my final 2 years at a 4 year university with a 3.88 and a magna cum laude designation. I should I have excellent letters of rec. and my other ‘softs’ are decent. Still, these decade old credits are bringing my GPA down to around a 3.35. I have a wide range of schools to which I’m applying, but my dream school is University of Washington. I’m shooting for a 165+ on the LSAT and I am including an explanatory letter with my apps to bring attention to my rather drastic upward trend, but I’m just not sure that will be enough. Any thoughts or advise would be greatly appreciated. – Thanks

  193. Hi, I’m from India and planning to appear for LSAT June 2015 and subsequently apply for JD the same year. I have a Bachelors degree in Engineering(Biotechnology) ,’13 and currently pursuing a Diploma in Intellectual property Rights and Patent management.
    -I’ve a CGPA of 8.43/10 from LSAC recognised University. I was the Ladies Representative of my department, General Secretary for Literary events in the Student Council, have worked for a student startup for a year while still in the college(Business Development & Marketing) and will be interning at a Law firm from January.
    -How would you rate my profile and chances of getting into T-14 law schools? I assume my LSAT score should fall above 165+ (currently prep-ing for the test). Any suggestions on further improving my CV?
    Could you shed some light on how GPA is scaled ? and also how law schools look at International applicants? and also availability of scholarship. Thankyou

  194. Hi Evan,

    My GPA is a 2.3, which I know is really bad (maturity level and mental focus was not there – I want to kick myself now for slacking off!). However I graduated from college 4 years ago (Dec 2010). I have worked for the same company for the past 4 years (started working August 2010 – semester prior to graduation) and have matured mentally as well as professionally. I have taken practice LSAT exams and have scored in the 170 range.

    I really would like to pursue law school, however I am not sure if my low GPA will completely rule me out. Also not sure if this would increase my chances but I am a Mexican-American (URM). Do you think if I score in the 170s on my actual LSAT I could possibly get into T100 school (USC would be my top choice but again I don’t know if my bad GPA is going to rule me out completely)? I just want to see if this is an attainable goal or if I’m just wasting my time. I really appreciate your help and advice!

  195. For some reason my first comment didn’t post. I have generally been a good student until my sophomore year of college. I had a lot going on, captain of a sports team, my mom was sick, etc. I plan on explaining my poor grades in my referendum. Not to mention undergrad just bores me. I wish I could skip straight into law school. I have a 2.9 currently. If I bring it up to a 3.4/3.5 before I graduate, as I still have a year and a half to do so, are these schools possible: UCLA, USCalifornia, UC Berkeley, UFlorida, Fordham and Loyola Marymount? If these schools are possible, could I get a scholarship do you think?

    One last question. In your own opinion is it worth going to law school right now? Everyone says not to because of debt, but what if you know law is what you want to do and you know you’ll be good at it.

  196. Alonzo Beckham on


    I am currently an Economics major with roughly 2 in a half semesters left. At best I will have a 3.3 GPA. I plan on taking the LSAT next June.

    What are my chances in getting in either the University of Iowa, Flordia, FSU, and University of Miami? Should I even consider the costs?

    What LSAT score would I need to seal the deal at any of those places.

  197. Marques Valdez on

    I want am aiming for a T15 school. I had a 2.8 cumulative GPA but with an upward trend, I graduated with a 3.8 throughout my senior year. I just really bombed my first year in college. I was also my schools basketball team captain for 2 years and am currently a member of Teach for America. How realistic do you think it is to get into a T15 if I get a 170+ on my LSAT

  198. Hello Evan,

    So right now I have a 2.85 GPA as a junior. I messed up royally in the fall of my sophomore year due to athletics and my mom getting ill. I plan on explaining that in my addendum. I also have to finish one class that I know I will get an A in, so my GPA will go up automatically to about a 3.0. I am aiming to finish my undergrad with a 3.4-3.5 and have calculated I can do it if I go back to my first year roots. Currently I am scoring a 173 on the LSAT. I am not taking it until June but I have been practicing for a while to compensate for my GPA. What are my chances of getting into Duke, UCLA, University of Southern California, Fordham, University of Florida or Loyola University?

  199. For some reason my first comment never posted so I am going to try this again. I am in a situation similar to many applicants with lower GPA’s and I am wondering how merciful law schools really are about such things. I was home schooled when I was younger and in an attempt to get me ahead in life my parent’s threw me into college at age 16 and then got a divorce. So basically they tossed me out the door and stopped paying attention to what I was doing. I did terribly. I finished my associates with a 2.8. I then took a couple years off and started back into a university when I was 21 and my graduating GPA will be a 3.95. However, when LSAC combined the two it took me down to a 3.49. So basically, awful. What I am wondering is will I be treated like an applicant with that low of a GPA because of grades I got when I was too young to be in college? Will they go ahead and penalize me even though I am older now and have three years of immaculate grades? Or will they just ignore it and treat me more like a student who has excelled in college?

    I have taken about 25 timed practiced tests and for the last ten i have been in the 160-163 range. I am trying to get up to 165 on the day of the test this month but we will see about that. I have amazing letters of rec from professors (one of them is the dean of my department and another one I have been a TA for about 7 months now) and an employer that praises me non-stop. My work experience is relatively extensive and varied and my personal statement is looking pretty good. I am not looking to get into amazing school, but still pretty good ones. My top picks are BYU, ASU, and UW. How am I looking?

  200. Hi all, I have a question that I’m not sure has been answered before.
    I’m wondering what my chances are at a lower ranking school as a low GPA/ high LSAT applicant. I managed to graduate with a 2.7 at UIUC after a bad freshman year and had over 3.0 for my next 2 years. My LSAT practice scores predict about a 167. How competitive is that for a school like NIU Law? I’m not clear as to how lenient a sub 100 law school would be with that combination. Thanks!

  201. So I screwed up royally 10 years or so ago in community college. Ended up with a 2.56 GPA. Recently graduated from DePaul with a degree in marketing with a 3.5 GPA. Roughly averages out to 3.0. Would a 170ish LSAT give me a chance at Northwestern considering my status as an older student and work history?


  202. Hi Evan,

    I am in an unfortunate application situation. I did a “running start” program in high school that allowed me to get my associates while still in high school and I did terribly. I wasn’t ready to be 16 and in college and I got my two year degree with a 2.8. Anyway, I took a couple years off, got my act together, and I am one semester a way from graduating with my Bachelors in English with a 3.95. I have my LOR’s from solid people including the the English Department Chair and a professor that I was a TA for and I am working on my Personal Statement. Problem is, after my poor GPA and good GPA were combined I am sitting at an ugly 3.49. I have been scoring between 160-164 on the LSAT all summer and I really want to go to ASU or BYU. So what I am wondering is, do you think I have a shot? I have an interesting resume with work in things like healthcare and publishing, I have tons of volunteer hours, bi-lingual, etc. What I am concerned about is my numbers and whether or not admission’s officers will have mercy on my poor performance as a teenager. I know I can write an addendum but I just want to know if those are actually effective because I know law school’s want to look good to. Any insight would be incredibly helpful. (sorry this was so long)

  203. By my calculations I have roughly a 3.5 combined GPA. 3.3 while at a community college combined with 3.8 at a state university. Not sure if LSACs calculations will help, hurt or break even as I do have several A+s that I’m hoping will work in my favor. I’m taking the September LSAT and have been scoring in the 168-170 range. I’m wondering what my chances are for T14 schools with these numbers?

    • Those A+s will definitely help, (they count as 4.33). Do everything you can to get some more of those. Anything over a 3.5 is good enough to get you into several T14s is you pair it with a 170+ LSAT. You may even have decent chances with a 168 or 169, but do everything you can to claw your way over in the 170+ region. It can really make a difference with scholarships. Best of luck and keep in touch!

  204. anonymous longhorn on

    Hey Evan,
    As with some other people here I didn’t do so well my freshman year. My reasons were more of the messing around and not doing college the right way type which put me at a 2.4 gpa my freshman year. However, in my sophomore year I was able to raise that to a 2.85 and still have two years maybe 2.5 as I switched my major to Economics and have to backtrack a little bit. I feel confident I can reach a 3.35-3.55 range GPA at The University of Texas as an economics major. I feel confident in my natural abilities on the LSAT seeing as it tests some of my better areas, but I have bought prep books and plan on taking prep classes and the such to supplement. My question is what would my chances be to get into a law school worth going to with my gpa and what grades on LSAT would be necessary? I’d prefer to stay top 20, but wouldn’t mind going to an SMU or University of Houston law school.

    • Hey longhorn,

      It happens. Make sure you do everything in your power to get that GPA at least over 3.4. 3.4 seems to be the magical number where it’s still possible to get into top 10 law schools provided your LSAT is high enough. You probably don’t want to go to SMU or U Houston unless it’s on a big scholarship, so really work for the best LSAT possible. You might be best off waiting to focus on it when you are out of undergrad. Keep in touch!


  205. Hello,

    First thank you for setting up the website and answering all of these questions. I am sure it goes without saying that everyone appreciates it. Now to my credentials

    My LSAC GPA is a 3.65 from a NY State School. My actual GPA is closer to a 3.82, but freshman year i had a 101 foreign language class 8 in the morning and i decided to take it pass/fail. I failed and it tanked my GPA. One question concerning my GPA, would law schools view my transcript holistically (I am a double history/poli sci major and I have a 4.0 in both). So would law schools give me break from that one 100 class or take my 3.65 at face value?

    On to my LSAT, I am currently scheduled to take it in September. I have taken 5 prep tests after intense studying through all of the bibles and random sections. I have scored- 167, 168, 167, 170 and a 170 respectively. Do you think I will be able to push that well into the 170’s by September 27th? I have a considerable amount of prep tests left (like 20, that are divided up with 5 sections each).

    I have very strong softs and letters of rec.

    I am considering
    Columbia (#1 choice) (i live in New York city and want to pursue international law)
    Harvard Yale and Stanford (for the hail mary)
    my safety is Fordham (is fordham worth the investment?)

    Sorry for the loaded question, I would appreciate any advice/response

    Thanks again

  206. Hi –
    I am a current undergrad student at the University of Maryland. I will be a senior in the fall and am planning on taking the LSAT (first time) on 9/27. My current GPA is a high 3.3-low 3.4 (due to a rough first year) and I am planning on scoring around a 165 on the LSAT. I am hoping for University of Maryland School of Law (partly due to in-state costs) but I am wondering if my GPA will be too low.
    Additionally, I was considering applying early decision (either the November date or January date, which would allow for a slight GPA boost) but I was wondering if the early decision application would help/hurt my application, especially with the slightly low GPA.

  207. Nicholas Haigh on

    Thank you for answering everyone’s questions I have been reading through everyone’s own situations to try to gauge my own situation. I completed my undergrad in Dec. 2013 and have been working in the health care field full-time while completing a Master’s Certificate course through the Gillings School of Public Health. I currently hold a 4.0 GPA in the courses at UNC Gillings School of Public Health (#2 in the world). However, my undergrad cumulative is just over a 3.3 with a dramatic upward trend (2.58 freshman year to 3.34 upon graduation). I have also held many jobs in healthcare and the legal field. Where does my LSAT have to be to get into a top program? I am looking to enter a top healthcare law program and pursue a dual J.D./M.P.H. My soft factors on the application seem solid; yet, my undergrad gpa is not where I would like it to be.

    • Nicholas, well the softs do look good, a high LSAT is still generally necessary to get into top programs. Let me give it to you straight: your chances at the top 3 are likely negligible even with a 177-180, and even the top the 6 would be tough. However, things are quite a bit sunnier for you in the rest of the t14. Get a 170 plus score a you’ll have decent chances at Northwestern, Georgetown, and Cornell. 172 or better will give you a good bite at the middle T-14s like UVA and Penn. Best of luck.

  208. Hello Josh and Evan,

    As of now my #1 choice is Northwestern Law.
    – GPA, 3.3-3.4, Dual major PHIL/HIST
    – LSAT, taking the Sept 27 test, currently scoring 160-164, hoping to reach 170+ by test day
    – Nearly 10 years of work experience as a 24 year old
    Do you have any tips/advice for an applicant like myself regarding Northwestern Law admissions?


  209. Hi, thank you for writing this article and answering questions. It has been an extremely useful source. Anyways im writing because I am hoping to get into columbia, Chicago, Upenn and maybe by some miracle Harvard but, like most people reading this post, my GPA is low. I have a 3.45 gpa (Econ major) and have had a decent upward trajectory, a 3.75 since freshman year, ( without counting my semester abroad I have a 3.37 and 3.7 respectively). I got a 175 on my lsat and have had two summers working at a law firm and will be interning for the Securities and exchange commission this coming fall. Do you think I have a reasonable shot at any of theses schools?

    Thanks so much for any insight you can provide!

    • You certainly have a decent shot at UPenn and Chicago (way better than even odds, I’d say), so don’t despair. Just make sure your application is tight and you should prevail. Columbia might bite as well, and Harvard is a possibility, though a very long shot. Best of luck and let us know if you have any questions during the applications process. Great score by the way!

  210. Hi. I have a 3.6 GPA as a biochemistry major and my practice LSATs are around mid 170s. I am hoping to go to a top 10 school but worry that my GPA is too low. I won first place in a few research competitions and was the outstanding honor’s college senior at a major state university this past Spring. I am currently working at a biotech company while getting my master’s in cellular and molecular biology. I want to do biotech patent law. Do you think my awards, LSAT as well as working for a few years in the biotech industry will help me get into a top 10 law school despite my lower GPA?

    • Lauren, I wouldn’t worry about that GPA too much. 3.6 is not that low, and it looks like you’ve got what it takes to overcome. Score in the mid 170’s and you are certainly in at most T10 schools.

  211. Hi! I have a 3.42 GPA in English and Pre-Law from the University of Arizona. I’m gearing up to take the October 2014 LSAT, and am currently scoring in the low 170s. Do I have any chance of going to a top 30 school with some scholarship? I’d ideally like to attend one of the California schools. Also, do admissions committees place any real weight on grade distribution? All my lower grades are from freshman and sophomore year, while I earned mostly A’s my junior and senior years. Further, my GPA within my major (3.85) and minors (4.0) are hugely different from my cumulative…does this make any difference?

    Thank you so much for your time! This blog is extremely helpful.

  212. This article is partially wrong; look up the term splitter. And gpa accounts for more like 25-50% of a law schools decision making process, while your lsat score is usually given more weight.

  213. I have a 3.65 at the University of Rochester with a major in Political Science. I started out premed which tanked my GPA but my Political Science GPA is around a 3.9. I haven’t taken the LSAT yet but I really want to go to Stanford for law school because my mom works there and I really love the school. Do you think if I get in the 170s on my LSAT I’d have a shot? I’m a student athlete, I’ve had a job every year of college, and I volunteer at a community organization in urban Rochester to help low income workers. I have also interned in my Dad’s law firm the past two summers. I’m hoping to go to a T14 school (my other top choice would be Duke) but I just really love Stanford and want to know if it’s totally unrealistic to hope I could get in.

  214. Hi,

    I am a Canadian student at a top school completing a specialization in Biology. I only have a 2.9 GPA but I am hoping to raise it in my final year. I want to apply to the US and am wondering how being an international student will affect my chances. As well, I am considering changing from a specialization in Biology to a major in Biology for my fourth year so I can take more electives and raise my GPA. Do you know if switching to a major would actually lower my chances for admission, as I have heard that professional schools prefer specialization or honours specialization degrees?

    Thanks for your help.

  215. Hi I graduated with a 3.2 GPA from a CUNY with an upward slope and a 3.6 major GPA in political science. Leaving myself with 3 months before the Oct LSAT and signed up for a prep course I feel confident I can score in the low 170-173 range…I live in the NYC area and would love to study and practice the law here. I assume the 173 would be too low for Columbia/NYU. How much of an improvement on my LSAT score would give me a shot at those two elite schools and since I am looking to practice in NYC would it be wise if admitted to Fordham (another school I’m interested in) with $ to attend there over a school of a higher rank because of the alumni in NYC? Thanks for this blog post it provided me with a lot of insight.

  216. Hi!

    I’m an URM and I graduated from NYU with a 3.2 GPA back in 2008. I was dealing with some serious depression (we’re talking suicide attempts here) in my second year. I’ve been working full time since I graduated. I was hoping to possibly apply to T14, though I know that’s pretty much shot at this point. I was wondering if I would even have an outside change at possibly Georgetown or somewhere in the top 20, if I score 162+?

    Thank you!

  217. I have a 3.2 GPA at a public university with 164 LSAT score. I am looking to go to a school in California ie UCLA, USC, Berkeley, UC Davis. I plan on taking the LSAT again after signing up for a tutor, how much would I have to raise my LSAT to make that realistic?

    I have done alot of extracurricular activities; Nationally ranked college debater, summer legal internship, student government leadership position, founded a successful non-profit event, as well as doing/organizing volunteer projects through a student organization. How much do schools look at these factors compared to the numbers?

    Thanks for the advice!

  218. I have a 2.664 GPA and just signed up for the September LSAT and I am about to start my fifth and final year as an undergraduate. I have made my study schedule and am starting to study this week. Law school hasn’t always been my plan, but it has always been part of my possible career choices. What I really want to do is a dual degree program earning my JD and MPH (Masters in Public Health). Of the 145 ranked law schools, only 36 of them off this program. I have had a job all throughout college as well as volunteer experience. Will having either of those affect admissions decisions at all? What more can I do to really succeed and get into a program that has the dual degree program of my choice? Would you advise applying to all 36 of the schools with that program, or should I apply to law schools that don’t offer the program as well, and then later on get my MPH after law school?

  219. Hi guys,
    I’m a rising senior at a smaller private college. I’m a double major in chemistry and classical studies with minors in biology and English. I will most likely be graduating with around a 3.3 gpa. I’ve been very involved in chemistry research, working as a senior operator for the school’s partical accelerator, and working as a TA, and would ideally like to get into a T14 school with the intention of going into IP law. What LSAT score will I need to have a chance, and what schools are my best bets? Thanks so much!

  220. Hey Guys,

    Thanks for the blog.

    American University: 3.92 GPA (freshman year as a student-athlete)
    Graduated UPenn: 3.52 GPA… BA in Criminology with a Minor in Legal Studies and History

    Interned at 2 different District Attorney Offices in college.
    Military Service for 8 years as an officer.

    I’m not a good standardized test taker and would like to know what LSAT score is necessary to get into a T15 law school (if it’s even feasible with my resume). Ideally Columbia or NYU though.

    I appreciate the help.

  221. Hello and thank you,

    I have a 3.51 GPA. Additionally, I have three years of experience in internships, political fellowships, and court mediation. I also do community outreach work.

    Although I need more professional work experience, I want to attend Northwestern right after I finish my undergraduate degree at age 23.

    What are my chances? What LSAT score and further work experience would I need in order to have a good shot.

    I appreciate this blog; you guys are a tremendous help.

    All the best,


  222. Hi there. Earlier this year, I graduated with an Economics degree from Ateneo de Manila University, which is easily one of the top two universities in the Philippines. Right now, I haven’t gotten any work experience. I am an American citizen and I would really like to take up law in the US. I am based in California and the law schools I would like to apply to are UCLA, USC, Boston University, Fordham University, and UC Irvine.

    I graduated with a GPA of 2.8 as I did not do well earlier in my college years however my grades went up during my last two years. I am determined to get at least a 168 on the LSAT. I was just wondering if I have a good shot at getting into the above mentioned schools, as I would not want my efforts put to waste. Thank you!

  223. Hey guys–thanks so much for this blog, it has helped me in more ways than you know!

    I hope one of you can please advise me about my GPA/LSAT circumstance. During my first year of undergrad I received two grades that dropped my UGPA significantly (to a 3.42)–my final two years were 3.88 and 3.89. I did not submit two major papers for two of my first year courses because my brother passed away and my cousin committed suicide—all within that time–I became academically disengaged and numb after what happened, didn’t submit assignments. I did not tell my professors or my TAs anything because I did not want to be treated differently and I just wanted to accept the consequences of my academic disengagement.

    I continued studying at London School of Economics after my undergrad and took the LSAT this February scoring 173. After reading the forums and getting a general sense, it appears that I have a low chance of being accepted to many of the T14 schools because of my low GPA–and I am disheartened. I completed by undergrad 5 years ago and I am in a much better place now and in no way is that UGPA a reflection of my abilities (my last two years demonstrate that).

    I worked as a court transcriber for 3 years to pay off my debts and that is where I was introduced to the legal field–made some great connections too. I have published a book, and served as a fellow for various research and social innovation hubs and many other involvements. In your opinion what more do you think I can do to demonstrate that I am a worthy candidate at a T14 law school? Should I write an addendum (would they even read my application with that GPA)? should I aim lower? Would I be a write off because of the GPA? Thank you for reading my long message, I appreciate any advice.

    • Sharpie,

      A 3.42 is really not all that low to begin with. While you might have only a not-so-stellar (but still okay) shot at the top 6 schools, you are very likely to get into several T14s. That LSAT (same score as me!) places you at or over the 75th percentile for every school right now, which is exactly what you needed to do to make up for the lowish GPA. The upward trend in your grades will help, as will your experience. Definitely do write an addendum. They will read it.

      Right now, the Median GPAs are schools are a little high just because there are so few students with good LSAT scores to go around and schools are competing over the ones with good GPAs and so-so LSATs. Don’t worry, they are still competing just as much or more over the ones with good LSATs. You’ll be in good shape. This is why we don’t love the forums: bad info is mixed in with any good.

  224. I will be graduating Virginia Tech with a very low GPA, around 2.5, I spent 2.5 years in biological systems engineering but disliked it very much which is why i switched into environmental policy and economics with a minor in political science. Since then my IN MAJOR gpa has risen to around a 3.0. I have good intern work experience (worked for a engineering trading company in Middle East, worked as a compliance and legal analyst for the State government). Once I plan on graduating I plan on working for a couple years (potentially Lockheed Martin) before I actually apply to law schools to get another boost to my resume. I am taking the LSAT this fall and on practice tests I am scoring around 170-175. Do I have a shot of getting in anywhere? My gpa is in no way a reflection of my academic intellect

  225. Hi!

    Hopefully you can help me answer a rather pertinent question. I’m trying to figure out whether I should take the LSAT in 1 week or wait until Sept.

    Currently, I’m consistently scoring around 175 (+/-). I’m confident given a few more weeks I could pull my score up to 178+ but then I worry I would lose all my momentum before the Sept test. Plus I would like to have a life again.

    I really really really want to do International Trade Law. Like my dream is to either be suing the shit out of China on anti-dumping suits or representing companies/countries in cases brought before the WTO’s DSB (Boeing v Airbus is THE DREAM). As a result, I’m kind of picky about schools that I would go to; if they don’t have a great international law program there isn’t really a point. Columbia would be perfect since their faculty includes Petros Mavroidis and Jagdish Bhagwati (swoon!). But I would also love to go to NYU (Alan Sykes) Cal (Andrew Guzman) or Georgetown (No professors off the top of my head but really interesting postings on trade blogs).

    Anyways, I graduated Princeton with an AB in International Political Economy and 3.24 LSAC GPA (stupid grade deflation)

    I have a couple random awards from college, like being Li and Fung Scholar and have been working as a product manager in tech in Silicon Valley since i graduated. I’m hoping to find a position as a research assistant to some professor in trade before I apply to grad school.

    Anyways, given that profile and my goals, should I wait to take the LSAT until I’m confident I could get a really good score?

    • Just a heads up to those thinking about getting into law school, this is the sort of person that you are competing against (that’s not at all a dis to you Ashep, just pointing out that half-hearted entrants should take heed).

      I have to say I’m not sure what the right course is here. How sure are you that the 178 range is attainable? If you haven’t already poked into that range a few times, I would say it’s far from a guaranteed thing and you are best off just taking the test now. A 175, if you can hit it, is effectively about the same as a 178, in that both scores are over any school’s 75th percentile range. Also, you may make the jump in just this last week anyways. Go with your gut, but I would probably just take the test were I in your shoes.

      With that GPA, Yale and Harvard are already somewhat unlikely to admit you. They are the only schools that look down on taking LSAT twice. That means you can try again for a higher score later if things don’t go perfectly this time, and having taken it once before will not harm you.

  226. Hi Josh,

    Thanks for all of your posts — they’re EXTREMELY helpful!

    I’m a rising junior majoring in chemical engineering. I will be taking the LSAT next June and applying to law schools the following fall. I’m about to start studying this summer, and I was wondering how I should approach it since I am an entire year away from the exam. The semester I would be taking it is the toughest in my curriculum so I would most likely have to take off in order to get the most out of the three month study plan.

    Thinking ahead, I currently have a 3.56 GPA and I am aiming to reach and maintain a 3.6 by the time I apply to schools. I am an URM (I’m a bit confused as to how much that weighs into admissions) and I’m planing to work my butt off for a 170 on the LSAT. Would anything below a 170 eliminate my chances at a top 10 school?


  227. I graduated Community College with a 3.89 GPA

    At community college I served as:

    -Student Body President
    -Student Body Vice President
    -Student Body Defense Council (Defended students accused of academic dishonesty)

    I have worked a few jobs as a sales associate, marketing director and currently I am hopefully going to work as a secretary for an immigration attorney this summer. I am also a Resident Assistant on my hall.

    Currently I am at a 4 year school and I had a really tough semester last year which dropped my GPA to 3.58
    I am fairly positive that I can earn “A”s in my final two semesters in my undergrad which will put me around 3.69-3.7 at graduation.

    I have taken a few practice tests and score consistently in the mid 160s. I am going to study all summer for the September LSAT and I am fairly certain that I can score around 175 once I learn strategy and gain more practice.

    I will also be 19 when I apply to schools because I completed almost my entire AA while in high school and graduated high school when I was 16 (4.13 GPA.)

    Will my age or the fact that I went to community college hurt my application? I am planning to spend a considerable amount of time making my applications “air tight” as well.

    What are my chances of getting into Columbia or other top tier schools?

    Thank you so much for your help.


  228. Hey Josh,
    Wow! I am so glad I found your blog, it had helped me out so much in preparation for my first LSAT. I just graduated from MSU with a double major in Criminal Justice and Art History. I have a 3.0 overall and 3.5 departmental in art history & 3.1in Criminal justice. I just got a job in DC with Americorp, so I won’t start law school until I am done with my first year of service. (Fall 2015) My top choices is Georgetown, UMD & George Mason. I am also open to other law schools as well, what are some of the schools I should be considered and what is the score I should be aiming towards? Thanks so much.

  229. Hello! I’m a rising senior at Lehigh. I’m anticipating my LSAC gpa to be 3.1 (department gpa is 2.9) for a degree in chemical engineering and minor in philosophy. I also have multiple research experiences and will be spending this summer working as an intern at an air quality testing-related corporation. Further, I am anticipating a 165 LSAT score. What range of schools should I be looking at?

  230. Hey I graduated with a 2.45 GPA this year from Penn State with a degree in Political science. I’ve been pretty disappointed with my performance in college. But I know that I can do much better if given the chance in law school. I don’t want to sell myself short anymore. But with this GPA, I doubt that I can get into any law school within New York City. I plan to prepare intensely for the LSAT but do you believe that I have a chance? If so, what more can I do to increase my chances?

  231. Hi Evan!

    Wow, I wish I would have found this site months ago, extremely helpful!

    I just graduated, woohoo! I was a Biology major and wound up with a 2.9 overall. Miscellaneous circumstances resulted in a less-than-desirable GPA. I had never before considered med school, but my senior year I became extremely interested in public health.

    I took a public health course and loved it! I also took an econ and accounting course, because I was originally considering an MHA. Now, I am really interested in Health Law (Malpractice, insurance, government work, etc. etc.). Maybe a JD/MPH or JD/MHA degree?

    However with my numbers and no law experience, what do you think I should do? I am going to be researching/working with a professor very high up in Public Health, so a great rec letter may come out of that. With my GPA and no idea what I would get on the LSAT, have any suggestions?

    Thanks you so much!

  232. Jazzmine Burch on


    First let me start by thanking you for giving advice on case by case situations.

    I graduated with a 2.99
    I am taking the LSAT in a few months and am aiming for a 165+
    In undergrad, I was accepted into a law school summer institute at UNC where we went to law school classes for a month, studied logic, amongst other things.
    Before we studied, we took the LSAT and I got a 141.
    I figure with some actual studying I can raise my score at least 20 points,
    My goal is to simply get accedpted into a good school, it doesnt have to be in the top 50. I just want to know if you think I have a good chance of getting in with my low GPA.

  233. HI,

    I am 2 and a half years out of college. I have worked at one disability law firm and now work at a family law firm. I have my recommendations , transcripts, and am working on my personal statement.

    I have a 2.5 GPA, are you saying that in order to have a shot at any law school I would need to score above a 170?

    Right now, certain schools are taking late applications with the June LSAT. My goal was to apply to Suffolk university for their evening program and keep my job, as family law is what I hope to practice. Do you recommend against this? Further, should I just apply to this school since it is so late in the game? I know that other schools are taking late applications as well.


  234. Hi,

    I am a college junior, going on to senior year, with a 3.2 accumulative GPA and am hoping to score above a 172 on the LSAT. I am a History/Philosophy double major, if that helps my case, and am pretty well versed in symbolic logic. My goal is to get into one of the T14 schools, if I do very well I would like to be admitted into east coast colleges. I just bought the 15 LSAT Prep books that this website recommended and am willing to do whatever it takes to achieve a score above 170. I am not very motivated in school, hence my GPA. But I have a very strong interest in my future as a lawyer which is my greatest motivator. I want to know how much I’d have to study per week. Is 5-6 days with 4 to 5 hours a day good enough? Or shall I do more? Thanks!

  235. I am currently a Junior at UC Davis, and am about to start my senior year. As of now I have a fairly low GPA, 2.58, but am really hoping to graduate with at least a 3.0 (idk if thats possible or not, but am pushing for it) am planning on taking some time off to study for the LSATs after I graduate, 1 year max, but am not planning on applying right after I finish my undergrad. Ideally, I’d want to stay in California and am looking at UC Davis as my top law school right now, and was wondering what LSAT I would need to get in/ what my chances are.

    Experience wise, I intern at the District Attorney’s Office and because of that it has really motivated me to go to law school and pursue something within the criminal justice realm. Side not, recently recovering from ACL surgery so the PT appointments along with my new motivation for working in the criminal justice realm is really what has motivated me to go to law school.

    How much do law schools factor in work experience, and personal challenges when applying? Specifically, UC Davis. Also, does it matter if I attended the same school for my undergrad? And do I stand a chance at even getting into UC Davis, or are there any other California schools I should consider?

  236. Hi,

    Thank you for this article and all the feedback! I’ve been worried about my chances at a good law school because my GPA is average and I don’t have a lot of extra factors like international experience or a prestigious internship. I’ve been out of school for three years and have spent it working full time. I didn’t even have plans to go to law school until last year. NYU and Berkeley are my dream schools, NYU for its program and Berkeley because it’s both great and close to home, but I would be satisfied with cracking the T14. Money is a huge factor, but my GPA is middling, so I think I’d have a better chance with money at lower ranked schools

    UGPA: 3.57 from UCLA as a Poli Sci major
    LSAT: 172

    What are my chances in Georgetown, Northwestern, University of Chicago, U of VA, Berkeley, NYU and UCLA?

  237. So here is my situation: I had a cumulative GPA of a 3.8 and then I transferred the beginning of my junior year. I am entering my senior year and the past two semester at my current school have been absolutely awful for me. My first semester I got a 2.3 and this semester I got a 2.1 (which is not like me at all!). Since I transferred, my GPA at my previous college is completely irrelevant. I made the mistake of taking too many challenging classes every semester at my current school and my GPA suffered tremendously because of it. Prior to this I could have been T14 material (granted I score well on the LSAT). Any advice on what I can do to get into a top school?

    • Meghan, your old GPA is not irrelevant. All those credits will be calculated into your final GPA that gets reported to law schools. However, you have to find a way to stop the bleeding so that things don’t get any worse. Make sure you take classes where you can do well for the remainder of college. Also consider retaking the courses you did worst in if that is an option and you know you can do better this time. The old grade will still stand, but you will dilute it because the new grade will count with as much weight as well.

      Get the kind of good grades you were getting for your senior year and you’ll have a high enough GPA to have a shot at top schools. Do your best!

  238. Hi!
    I am currently finishing my junior year in undergrad. I am in Army ROTC and will be graduating as a 2nd LT in the Army. I had an internship with a state senator for 1 semester and worked for my school newspaper for a year. My current GPA is a 3.4, but it will probably drop to a 3.3 after this semester is over. I have a 154 LSAT score and I am looking to apply to schools in the NC area. Any suggestions? Any other schools or areas I should look in? My main goal is to get into a law school–location or school ranking don’t take top priority for me.


  239. Hi I’m an exercise science major with UGPA of 3.80, however LSAC factors in a D from high school (several years ago) and drops it down to 3.74. I’m scoring between 170-175 on my practice tests; assuming I do as well in October, do I have any shot at an HYS school with that low gpa? I’m URM (Mexican-American male). I know nothing is guaranteed at those schools, but how well would I need to perform to have a good shot? Thanks in advance!

  240. Hi! I am American and I recently finished law school in Mexico, I ended up with a 3.0 since I worked through school (at state congress and a law firm). Now I want to get my JD from a good school in the US (Top 50 school); I know I need a very high LSAT score to have a shot and a near perfect application but do I have anything going on against me as an non foreign applicant with a foreign degree? Thanks!


    • Definitely not Adrian. It’s certainly not unheard of to study law in two places. You will likely be more employable with both degrees and believe me, US law schools want highly employable students. Crush that LSAT.

  241. I am an exercise science major with a school gpa of 3.80. Lsac factors in a D from a high school concurrent enrollment course dropping my lsac gpa to 3.74. I know it’s impossible to tell what my lsat will be, but I’ve been consistently scoring 170+ on timed pt’s. IF I achieve a similar score in October/September, what are my chances at a T10 school? My softs are URM-Mexican American (male), served a 2 year mission (Mormon). Thanks in advance!

  242. thelawdreamer on

    I am graduating this semester with a bachelors degree in English Literature. My overall gpa is a 2.5 gpa due to some horrible mistakes early on with math courses. I work at a Law Office and know I could get some really good recommendation letters. Is there any way a school would take me if my LSAT went above and beyond, or will my gpa be the death of me. I’ve heard that you can take classes as an undergraduate to boost your gpa, do you think that would help in this situation. I am absolutely clueless on what to do next. I would appreciate any kind of advice on the subject. Thank you in advance 🙂

  243. Hi there,
    I am an Asian Male and currently working as a first lieutenant in air force for my country.
    By the time my officer career ends (after serving for three years), I expect to see myself enrolled in top tier law school. I’m currently planning to take lsat in october and aiming for 170+

    My stats are
    1) Major/Institution: Chemical Engineering @ U of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    2) GPA w/ transfer credits from summer courses at community college : 3.18
    3) 2 Internships: one engineering research firm / accounting firm
    4) 1 research experience w/ professor
    5) serving for my country as an air force officer for 3 years
    6) willing to put utmost effort to pull off lsat 170+
    7)reach school : top14 target school
    target school: Emory, Boston College or University, / other top 50s

    I have few questions regarding this.

    1)Do law school admissions grant any advantage on gpa for engineering majors? for ex) adding an extra 0.1 or 0.2 or so

    2)Would the transfer credits from community college (summer courses) count toward the lsac gpa?

    3)Is my aim (t14 and at least top 50) reasonable enough on the premise that i achieve 170+ lsat?


  244. I have a 2.5 undergrad gpa; 3.2 gpa from an ABA approved School for paralegal certificate; 8 years of working experience as a paralegal in personal injury in New York and Washington, DC. Averaging 170 on practice test. I plan on taking the October LSAT to start law school in the Fall of 2015.
    Boston College
    Boston University

    Thanks for your advice!!

  245. Non-URM
    GPA – 3.17 (3.5 except for an abysmal 2.28 first semester) from top 50 liberal arts, Accounting major
    LSAT – diagnostic 168, PTs in the mid 170s
    NCAA athlete in school, fraternity president, other volunteer work
    1 year WE oil and gas accounting consulting, 2 years by start of law school in 2015
    Habitat for Humanity, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Team RWB, local volunteering

    Trying to figure out which top schools I have a realistic shot at earning admission to. Open to all top schools and regional (Texas) options.

    Thanks for everything on this site, it is very, very helpful!

  246. Hi, thank you for all the incredibly useful information! I have a UK 2.1, average 65.125 from a good uni ( it’s 65.556 at my university to qualify for a 1st, but I heard a 2.1 nevertheless only translate to 3.4-3.5 US GPA). I was in a pretty good programme for my cohort so the courses were more difficult. Would you say I have a shot at the lower T14-20, and the LSAT range I would need to have a good shot?

  247. I have a 2.8 undergrad gpa from a school ranked in the top 25. My major gpa was a 3.7. I worked directly after undergrad and got a masters. I also am a female URM. I have been averaging a 170 on the LSAT. What are my odds for UVA? Would I crack admission to T40 schools?

  248. Hello, I’m an Indian American (first generation, became citizen in 2010) graduated with a 3.34 Undergrad GPA double majoring in Econ and Political Science with a minor in Environment Sci (science class hurt GPA). I was a national debate finalist and award international speaking awards (2nd, 6th speaker). I am currently finishing my 2 year commitment with TFA and I have been accepted into the Coro Public Policy Fellows program (national acceptance rate of 2%). I am also working this summer as a Fellow at the U.S. Dept. of Education. I am planning on taking the LSAT this summer. Any advice for what I need to score to get into T14?

  249. Hello

    I am an African American male and I’ll graduate with a 3.1 LSAC GPA. Really blotched some classes while I was in high school at a local junior college but finished my upper division courses with a 4.0… I’ll graduate ASU with a BA in Philosophy.

    On the LSAT, I’ve been studying for the better part of 6 months and am consistently hovering around 177-180 on practices tests. Lets grant that my test score may fall short of my actual LSAT score and I receive a 171 (honestly can’t see myself getting anything lower)– what would my chances be at a T-14?

    I am 24 and have 6 years of continuous work experience and I endeavor to enter the best school that will permit me. Any info would be helpful!

    • As a URM I would say you’ll have pretty good chances at even higher T-14s if you can post that 170+. Your cycle might be a bit unpredictable, but I’d think it very likely that some T-14s will bite and possibly you’ll be looking at decent scholarships. Keep that confidence up and you’ll crush it. Good luck!

      • Thank you for the encouragement! A needed qualifier is that the ASU program was completed online. The ASU transcript and degree will not specify that it was completed online but the perceptive eye will be able to discern that I worked in Cali while in school in Arizona. Is that a significant loss?

  250. hi,
    i have a 3.0 gpa from an ivy league school and i am an URM female. i am trying to get a 170 or higher on my lsat. i am also interning at a top law firm this summer. what are my chances at georgetown?

    • Hi Blaire,

      I’d say very good if you get somewhere near that on the LSAT. Take a look at the above comment. Aim for the highest LSAT possible obviously as some score within the school’s 25th-75th LSAT percentile range will greatly up your chances of receiving scholarships.

  251. Hey guys. I am graduating this May and my lsac GPA will be between a 3.3 – 3.4. I have taken the lsat before and I made a 148. I didn’t study for the lsat at all due to my campus involvement. I was involved in numerous organizations and actually was selected from a school of 18,000 students as an Outstanding Junior and then once again as an Outstanding Senior Leader at our Campus Awards Banquet. I have a really strong resume’ due to my campus involvement and interning at both my state senate for a semester and my state’s governor’s office for a summer. I currently work at a law firm and will be working here full time upon graduation. I have strong letters of reference, my personal statement will be good and I am Native American (so a minority). I am studying for 5 months and taking the LSAT in October. Realistically, how well do I need to do on the LSAT to get into a top 20 or top 14 school? What I am thinking is that if I can blow the LSAT out of the water that will get admissions offices looking at my entire application, where I would hope to shine with my campus involvement, internships and work experience. That is my plan as of right now. I wanted to get your opinion and see if you think that I am going about this the best way I can. I appreciate and welcome any advice that you all have to share with me!

      • It’s somewhat difficult for me to predict outcomes for you as a Native American URM applicant because there are so few such applicants, however, you would likely have a larger range of numbers lead to favorable outcomes. That said, I always say to shoot for at least near the 25th percentile range at the schools you are looking at. For LSAT, that will mean something in the mid to high 160s to get in to a Top 20 school or better. You other credentials will certainly help too.

        Don’t worry too much about that 148. An LSAT taken without studying is really not indicative of your potential. I wish we could have gotten you advice before hand so you wouldn’t bother taking one without study, but it’s really not that big a deal as long as you get in their and post a higher score.. Good luck.

  252. Hello,

    I am currently an international undergraduate student at UWashington, about to reach senior standing. Non-URM, did extremely well in high school, with an extensive list of softs such as extracurricular internships and certifications over the years till now. My first two years at university have been tragic, however – culture shock, two medical hardships and two funerals back home together dragged my GPA way down. The lowest was, in all honesty, 1.5 in freshman year winter quarter.

    It wasn’t working out for me, so I took two quarters off by the end of my second year. After a few of my hardship withdrawals have been granted, and some painful discussions, I managed to pull my grades back up at the same university. Major GPA is currently a ~3.5, while my quarterly GPA has been averaging approximately 3.6-3.7 closing approximately a year now, as well as being nominated on the Dean’s List multiple times. I still have some ways to go before I graduate because of the HWs and off-time, and I’m prepared to accept that my cumulative will most probably end up around 3.0-3.1 tops by graduate, even if I continue to average ~3.7 per quarter nowadays.

    My question is, while LSAT will be key, what would your professional opinion be regarding my chances in a T20-T50 law school? I’m simply afraid if a 3.0-3.1 cumulative GPA is going to delete the benefits of a good LSAT grade, I might need to start planning alternative routes while I still have the option to.

    Thank you so much..


    • With a 170+ T20s even are certainly possible, however, I’ll say the same thing I say often to low GPAers who appear to have a lot of talent: heavily consider other careers. Well it can be overcome, the low GPA is like an anchor dragging on the bottom. No other course in life is going to put as much stock in your GPA as law schools will. While you can get in to some top schools, the very top (Top 10) is probably a no go, and you won’t be able to count on much scholarship money at any T25. It’s obvious to me and anyone else looking at your record that you are a capable student, but, unfortunately, law schools are chained to playing the numbers game.

      Just be aware of the handicap. If you do have other courses available to you I definitely think they should be given full consideration.

      • Thank you so much, Evan. I will definitely keep your comments at heart, and be sure to update you along the way as I continue my studies. I hope everything goes well, too.


  253. So had an awful start to college. But I did some classes while still in high school. My grades are on a upward trend finally but my first year in college really messed me up. Realistically, I’m looking at a 3.0 gpa or slightly lower for graduation considering LSAC takes into consideration my first attempts of my grade forgiveness classes. I’m currently studying to take the LSAT in June and aiming for a 170-175. Is there any possibility of me getting into GWU or U of Miami? I’m a URM junior that currently works at a law firm. Also, should I write and addendum for my low gpa?

    • Get anywhere above a 170 and you have a shot at schools ranked well above GWU and Miami. URM “splitter” (high LSAT, low GPA” tend to fare really well in admissions. Get your LSAT at least into the 25th-75th percentile ranges for a school (ideally above the median) and you while have extremely good chances. Good luck and let us know where you are at after taking the LSAT!

  254. – BA in Accounting from Top 100 school, Top 50 Liberal Arts
    – 3.167 LSDAS GPA
    – Screwed up first semester and had 2.284 while starting out in Pre-Medicine and Biology, got about a 3.5 every semester after
    – Haven’t taken the LSAT yet, testing in the 173-175 range on my practice tests, so guessing somewhere in the 170s on test day
    – Looking at Penn, Northwestern, UVA, Cornell, Georgetown, Vanderbilt, Emory, and Notre Dame as my top schools. UCLA, Duke, NYU, Michigan, Indiana, WUSTL, SMU, Baylor, and Houston as reaches and safer schools.
    – NCAA Division 3 athlete – 3 years, 2 year starter (sat out senior year due to injury)
    – 3 officer positions in fraternity, (1 – President, 4 – Secretary, 7 – Parliamentarian)
    – 2 years Work Experience in oil and gas accounting and analysis
    – Team Red White Blue, YMCA/BBBS Mentor, Habitat for Humanity, local charity work
    – Plan on writing an addendum explaining my awful first semester

    – Do you think that any of the T14 are realistic goals or should I focus on going somewhere like Vanderbilt or Emory?

    Thanks so much.

  255. If you don’t make into the top 40 schools, is law school even worth going to? According to Law School Predictor, if I score 170, the highest ranked school for strong consider are University of AZ and University of CA-Davis at 38. Is that good or bad?

    • There are good options at 40 and lower, mostly state public law schools. I’m pretty leery of recommending that anyone go to a school outside the top 100 law schools unless the cost is very, very low, like close to free. I’d have to know more about your situation but I’m assuming you have a very low GPA (~2.0-2.5) In that case, typically I recommend pursuing options other than law school. Law school is literally the only field that is so preclusive to students with low GPAs, and it’s tough to get started in a career from such a disadvantage.

  256. Hi!

    Reading through the comments has given me a lot of help regarding what I need to do to get into law school. Here are my personal creds,

    Finishing BS in Chemical Engineering with Minor in Biomolecular Engineering
    3.4 GPA
    3 semesters of work experience (engineering internship)
    Paid for most of my own schooling

    What kind of LSAT should I shoot for to get into a top 14 school and what are my chances? I want to study patent law; does this and my engineering background help me at all?

    • I think 169+ will give you good chances at getting a t14. I’d say yes that having a reason to go to law school and a focus should make you a stronger candidate, so you might slightly outperform those with comparable numbers. Really shoot for that 170+ though as it will make a big difference. Engineering students tend to do well on the LSAT, so take a mechanical approach to it with at least 3 months of study and I am optimistic that you’ll do well!

  257. Hi! This website is so helpful, thank you! I am currently studying for the LSAT. I graduated from a t25 undergrad with a 3.3 gpa (major gpa is definitely higher but don’t know if that matters at all).and I have been working for four years not in a legal profession but in a highly competitive corporate advertising environment. Law school has always been my dream and I am excited to finally take the plunge. I’d really like to go to a t14 school but I’m worried about my Gpa. Realistically I see my LSAT in the high 160s although I’m hoping to break the 170 Mark. Will high 160s be too low for a t14?

    Thank you!!

    • Hi Marina, I think right now you would have some shot at the T14s with a 168 or a 169. You are certainly the kind of candidate for whom they might be willing to overlook a lowish GPA. Also 3.3 really isn’t all that bad given that so few people are applying. Definitely do your best on the LSAT and get your applications in very early.

      You will want to make sure your personal statement is great and that your application is very solid, so definitely do not wait til the last minute to do that stuff!

  258. Well the biggest one was Minnesota twin cities. A lot of it I feel has to do with regional location. I am from the Midwest; so I imagine that’s why they gave me close to a full ride and UT Austin waitlisted me. I would say you would have good chances of getting in to UT Austin, since you are from Texas.

  259. So, I’ve found myself in a midst of a small dilemma. I graduated last May with a 3.3 LSAC GPA with a major in biochemistry and a double minor in philosophy and biology. I took the LSAT in December and scored a 173. With this GPA and LSAT score I figured to be a splitter, and hoped at least one T14 school would bite. Yet it’s April and all I’ve received so far are spots on some top Law Schools’ waitlists. Although I’ve been accepted to a few schools that are willing to give me generous scholarships (including a few within the top 20), none of them are my top choices. That said I have a few questions:

    1) Is the reason I’m seeing so many waitlist offers because I’ve applied too late in the process? I wasn’t able to start applying until January, when I received my score.
    2) If this is true, and I am unable to gain acceptance from the waitlist to any of my top schools during this application period, would it be worth it to wait another year and begin the application process earlier on in next year’s application period?

    I would really appreciate it if you could give me some feedback as to what would be my best option from this point on, as I lack any real guidance regarding the process of getting into law school. Anyway, thank you for the helpful site and I hope to be hearing back from you soon.

    • Ben in Texas on

      My credentials will be very similar to yours. I would be interested to know which T20 schools accepted you and gave generous scholarships. That is if you don’t mind my asking

    • Hi Jeff,

      Well, a 3.3 in Biochem is certainly better for you than a 3.3 in political science or something like that. With the 173 to boot, I have to believe that applying late did indeed hurt you. Well applying late was generally fine this year if you were in a commanding position numbers wise, it appears not to have gone too well for people with one number below median. You can ride the waitlists and see what happens (I will bet that you are very high on them) but certainly, if nothing acceptable comes in, I would reapply as early as possible and make sure your application is bombproof.

      If you’ve read certain of my other posts, you know that I am a big proponent of trying again if you don’t like your results in a cycle. No reason to lower your standards now without being sure that it’s not the timing that hurt you.

      Really though, I’m optimistic that something will come through. Please let us know how it goes.

  260. Hello!

    I am planning on working for Justice Corps as a full time member for one year and also work at a law firm or a related administrative office position for the next, so 2 years total in the real world. I already have a lot of work experience. It’s my gpa that is really lacking.

    I am going to have a 2.6 / 2.7 gap after my last spring quarter.

    I am planning on taking as much time needed to study for LSATs and get in the 170 range.

    Do you think I would have an okay chance of getting into a school like UCLA, Loyola, or Irvine?


  261. Hopeful Law School Student on


    I never really took care of my gpa. I put my work and being able to pay for my bills as my priority. Unfortunately, this has really caused a lot of stress for me since now I want to go to Law School. I have a 2.5 cumulative gpa and have 2 semesters to go. I calculated and even if i get all A’s this semester my gpa will not go up as much as I will like. My dream law school would be University of Maimi. I have a lot of work experience under my belt. I have been working since i was 17. I am 24 now. Any advice??

  262. Hi! Graduated last year with a 3.3ish GPA from undergrad business school (NYU Stern) which unfortunately curves grades which was particularly rough when I studied abroad for 1.5 semesters and had class sizes of ~20. Majored in Business and political economy with a French minor, am a female minority, and I think I can get some good rec letters (though maybe I should get on this soon, as I’ll soon be out of school for a year?) I originally wanted to apply to law school straight out of undergrad, but decided to work for a while before applying. Have scored from high 150s to mid 160s in practice tests, but could dedicate time to getting much better, as I wouldn’t go to law school unless I got into a top school – NYU being one of my top choices though would love to apply to Columbia, UChicago, UVA, Gtown, Vanderbilt. Would I really have a chance though? What do I need to score and what would make my application stronger? Gracias!

    • Yes G, not a bad idea to secure recs early while you are still fresh in their mind. I think it’s a good decision to take a year. I really think with that GPA you are going to need the 170+ score to have solid chances at a top school, so keep that in mind. You may want to set your sights on business school down the road, where GPA will play a much smaller role in the application. Frankly, a huge percentage of law students secretly want to be business students, esp. nowadays, so make sure that’s not what you really want to do. I myself had a case of BSchool envy while at UChicago.

      As to making your application stronger, just make sure you are keeping yourself busy during this year off.

  263. Hey guys great site:
    I am a non traditional student (33)finishing up my BAAS degree in business operations @university of Texas Tyler. My lsac gpa should end up about 3.3-3.4 with a strong upward trend. All while working full time in telecommunications sales and supporting a family. I took a cold lsat and scored 154. My dream school is UT Austin, any chance I could get in there, or maybe Baylor/SMU with some scholarship $$?. I REALLY want to go to law school, and always have but I just can’t move my family across the country, and pay full price for a mediocre school at my age

    • Hi Ben, a 3.3/3.4 really isn’t all that low, esp. now when schools can’t be too picky (not enough people applying to law school). I’d say get into the 168 plus range and you have a very good chance of getting in and even getting scholarships at UT-Austin. Don’t worry about that cold diagnostic score, that doesn’t mean anything.

      I hear you. Definitely avoid paying a boatload for law school. As you may know, we definitely oppose going anywhere at full price unless it’s a Top-Tier Law School.

  264. Hi, I graduated from a service academy with a cumulative 3.2 GPA, 3.8 major GPA (polisci) and have been serving as a helicopter pilot. From practice tests, I feel I can expect an LSAT of ~175. I realize my cumulative GPA isn’t the best, but still intend to apply at the top law schools, among others. Dream school is Stanford- think I’ve got a shot? And, while I know undergrad GPA holds more weight, would good grades in another graduate program help? Or should I save my pennies…? Thank you in advance for the advice.

    • I would save your pennies– grad programs really don’t help much expect as possibly a good soft if you have a good story behind why you are pursuing a certain area of study. Definitely never just get another degree for the sake of it. Stanford is a very, very long shot. Last year it appears that they didn’t take anyone with below a 3.5, but if you get that 175 I am sure that some t-14 school will bite, probably several of them. Sorry I can’t give you better news.

  265. Hello,
    I’m currently in my junior year and will apply with a 3.4 gpa in finance and I’ve been hitting in the low 170’s on the LSAT practice tests. I have had two internships in finance previously and have been involved with the business school. What is the likelihood of getting into Georgetown, Berkeley, Columbia, Cornell or UCLA? Do I have any chance at all with my low gpa? Also when you report your grades can you include your fall grades by turning them in after you’ve finished your classes? Thanks again in advance.

    • If you get that 170’s LSAT score, I’d say you have a pretty solid chance at all of them. A 3.4 really isn’t that low right now. Gtown and Cornell would be a cakewalk. Berkeley and Columbia will of course require a little aligning of the stars, and you are obviously better off the higher you get that LSAT. If you are hitting that high now, I’m optimistic you can turn in a great performance come June, so keep on top of your prep and let us know if you hit any snags. I’ll be rooting for you.

  266. Hi,
    I was wondering if you have any advice for a current grad student almost finished with a PhD in philosophy and planning to apply to law school. Would having an advanced degree in philosophy count for much when it comes to scholarships or admissions into the top 20 schools?
    Also, I had a 3.71 as an undergrad, my top choices for law school are Penn and Duke, and I haven’t taken the LSAT yet. What LSAT score I should be aiming for?

  267. I have a 3.57, and I have a technically downward trend in grades, I had a high 3.7 until my last semester, where I took an almost full time job that overwhelmed me and I got mostly B’s and even a C! I applied to schools explaining it quickly in an addendum, but I’m wondering if that’s even the correct strategy. I’m retaking the LSAT again, I was scoring 168-170 but ended up with a 161 in February, so this would be mostly for my next cycle’s apps. USC and UCLA are my top two (and basically only) choices.

    • Katie, just hit that practice average on the real thing and you will have good chances at UCLA and USC. A 168 will put your numbers at about median for both. Try of course, to beat a 168 so you have an enhanced possibility of drawing scholarships. Good luck. That’s tough having a bad day on the LSAT, but it’s not likely to happen again!

  268. I have a 3.0 GPA with 4 semesters left. I know I have to do a lot of work to get into the law schools I want. However, is it possible if I work hard enough and get above 3.6 in the rest of my semesters do you think I can get into:

    1) Ohio State University
    2) University of Florida
    3) Florida State University
    4) Duke University
    5) University of Tennessee
    6) University of Indiana
    7) Northeastern University?

    If so, what LSAT score do I need?

    • Given that you’d end up somewhere just above a 3.0, any of those schools are possible. Duke however, would require a high power LSAT score, probably a 170 or better, for a chance. The other schools would be considerably easier. A 160 would probably give you good chances at most of them. That said, you should likely focus on the score necessary to get you into your home state’s best public school. If you can’t get into an elite school, in-state tuition is usually the next best option. Keep those grades up!

  269. Hey Guys,

    I have a 3.4 UGPA at a top 100 US University. My first two years were spent struggling a bit in pre-med courses as a bio major. I later changed to Healthcare Business and Administration. Junior and Senior year I averaged close to a 3.8 GPA, but since my first half of school was a struggle, it is pulling my GPA down. My first two years as a bio major I had a 3.0 and the last half as a business major I had a 3.8.

    With a cumulative 3.4 GPA and a 3.8 major GPA with a 168 LSAT score, can I get into…

    1) Emory
    2) Boston University
    3) Temple
    4) Brooklyn
    5) UCLA
    6) Drexel
    7) Northwestern
    8) Penn
    9) Michigan
    10) Cornell

    Thanks for your help

    • Hi Nick,

      Some of those are sure bets. Brooklyn, Drexel and Temple will accept you. The better question is whether you want to go to those schools: each only had rougly 50% of grads hired into full time legal jobs following graduation. That’s not a good bet in my book unless it’s free or damn close to free to go. Even then, it wouldn’t be my first option.

      BU is better, but I would still only attend with a significant scholarship. With your numbers, you are better of focusing on schools ranked just below the t14 such as UCLA, as well as applying to whatever the best state school is in your state. You will have good chances at UCLA, USC, UT-Austin, Vanderbilt and the like.

      Definitely apply to T14 schools, though with your current numbers it is going to be a long shot. If you could boost that LSAT even 3 points it would be a whole new world, with admission to Cornell, Georgetown and Northwestern suddenly looking likelier than not.

  270. Question: Do you recommend repeating courses that do not have a grade of C or higher? My current GPA is 3.07 and repeating a course with a less than desirable grade would show law schools that I am capable of passing all of my classes. What do you think? Is it worth it?

    • Yes, I think it’s certainly worth it to repeat anything you got below a C on. It will help your GPA as much as any other grade and will indeed show them that the poor performance was a product of circumstances, not your ability.

  271. Great article! Here’s my info:

    -177 LSAT from December 13 (I have two cancellations from 2011 as well).
    -3.27 UGPA at UVA
    -3 years work experience (hotel clerk from August to September ’11; US Senate campaign from September ’11 to December ’12; US Senate office from January ’13 to the present)
    -UVA law is my first choice

    1. What are my chances at UVA law? Would applying ED help?
    2. Do I stand any shot of getting $$ from any Top 20 schools?
    3. Hypothetically speaking, would it be dumb to go to UVA at sticker versus a lower ranked school (Vandy, Emory for example) at a reduced rate?
    4. Most importantly, besides getting LORs and my PS ready, what can I do between now and August to make myself a better candidate?

  272. *repost*

    Hi!! Great read and super helpful and informative. My stats are as follows… I’m currently studying for the LSAT hoping to pull off a strong split since my GPA is low (at least 170):
    – URM, Female
    – Strong interest in Intellectual Property Law
    – 3 years out of undergrad
    – Working full time as paralegal at law firm 3 years and part time in retail for 1 year while working full time
    – Started a small marketing company for visual branding needs
    – Created a legal blog
    – Active in volunteer and local community service
    – GPA: 2.56; Journalism major and Marketing minor; top 25 tier school
    – GPA took a hit during junior and senior year because of sick parent and travel back and forth
    – Worked part-time all throughout school
    – Member of 3 student organizations: legal, music and ethnic
    – Summer internships at media companies within their legal departments
    What would be my odds for UCLA, Loyola (Los Angeles), Temple, Drexel, Fordham, Cardozo, Brooklyn, and NYU???

  273. Hello, I graduated from UC Irvine in 2004, so almost ten years ago, with a cumulative GPA of about 2.7. Now at the time I was serving in the Marine Corps and was balancing school with multiple combat tours to Afghanistan and Iraq which accounted for my GPA being low, but all things considered, I graduated. My professional resume is impressive and now work for state government as a regulator having the professional background to support my qualifications.

    I know that some schools look at an “Overall picture” of an applicant. the Last time I took an LSAT test I scored above the median, but on the low end of the scale. I am in Arizona and was looking am limited to AZ based schools to either Arizona State University or Phoenix college of Law. The Arizona BAR last I heard does not recognize online based law schools regardless of accreditation. I have taken graduate level courses since 2004 as well as some professional certification courses with good GPA’s. What are my chances at being able to get into a law school program taking into consideration professional career and length of time since I graduated with my Bachelors.

  274. My undergraduate GPA was fairly poor, about 2.9. After college I comissioned in the Army as a Finance/ Logistics Officer. I did that for 3.5 years, with one of them being in Afghanistan. I’m currently working in the oil industry as a project manager, and I’ll be completing an MBA with a concentration inFinance in June 2015 with an anticipated GPA of >3.5. Basically I’m hoping that my military service and industry experience might redeem me slightly. Would a top tier law school be feasible assuming I crush the LSAT? If not, what are some schools that I could look at with 170+ and my background? Thanks.

    • I do think you have good chances if you get a 170+. Northwestern esp. might bite. However, I will say that your GPA gives you a big handicap, and you might be better off avoiding law school altogether. When I see someone who looks pretty successful already looking to pause their career and take on a ton of debt, I’m often skeptical that the math will work out. I live an Houston right now and the O&G people seem to be doing just as well as the lawyers, and the hours don’t seem quite as hellish!

  275. Hello Evan:

    First, thank you for answering and giving us all a great perspective on our odds.

    Let me give you some background information.

    First, I’m not a “traditional student”. I graduate from college a decade ago. However, I recently completed a master’s in public administration.

    Secondly, I have several years of work experience (8+ yrs) as a small claims/housing advisor for a legal aid agency. I work directly with clients and deal with so many issues ranging from unlawful detainers to claims of exemptions. I definitely want to go into public interest law.

    Third, I have a low undergraduate gpa. It’s 2.3. I had many problems when I was in college with transportation and with my several personal issues. However, I can’t overlook that g.p.a.

    Fourth, I got a 160 on the LSAT.

    I have a family I need to take care of and therefore can’t afford to quit my job. Thus, I’m looking at attending an evening law school program in Southern California. I have identified three schools that offer such a program: Loyola Marymount, Southwestern and Western State.
    What do you think my chances are? I’m thinking of re-taking the LSAT to boost my score. Would you recommend it? I can’t find much data on evening programs, so I’m just going base on the standard data I see for regular admission. Any input would help.


    • Hi Joe, night programs are typically slightly less selective, so you probably have okay chances even with your numbers as they are now. That GPA is a big obstacle to overcome however, so retaking is probably a good idea. I find that scorers in the low 160s have pretty good results when it comes to improving. Get that up to a 165 and I think you will be a lock for Loyola.

      One thing I will say is that you should keep costs as low as possible if you attending any of these programs, as you may have some trouble procuring employment right away. That to my mind makes retaking all the more important, as you boost your chances for scholarships.

  276. Hello!
    I read this and all the comments so couldn’t help myself, I wanted to discusses my situation with someone else than school officials so here it goes….
    I stayed in new york institute of technology for two years where I had 3.5 GPA. I was in the semester presidential list for a year. Then I transferred to Fordham U now I’m a junior and after this term I’ll be a senior. Now I have a 3.0 GPA. I have been working as a legal assistant in a law firm for three years now. I will be taking the LSAT this september and I’m very worried because I really want to make it Georgetown or George Washington and American U is my back up.. Please advise where do you think I have a shot at getting in…if not these colleges……

    • Get a perfect GPA your senior year and you’ll have about a 3.5, which is a fine GPA. Take easier classes if you have to, it’s that important to get any points you can. Still, even with a 3.3 or so you would have decent chances at the better schools you mention with an upper 160s LSAT score. American basically has an open door policy right now, so you can get in there as long as you have a pulse. However, I really wouldn’t recommend it unless you have a huge scholarship. American is really on it’s way down as a law school.

  277. graduated In Dec 2013 with a degree in business law and gpa of 2.7. I’m aiming for 165-170 lsat (as is most people). Meanwhile I’m looking for a job. Does it help my application were I work or what field of work I do ? I’m just really doing it to help pay my lsat prep course material and start paying loans off.

  278. Hi!! Great read and super helpful 🙂 My stats are as follows:

    GPA: 3.10 In Hon. Political Science
    Awesome softs as I was placed Top 10 in an undergraduate Mooting Comp. and worked at a top law firm in Toronto, Canada.

    Looking to apply to Michigan State or U of Michigan

    Do you think I can get into Michigan State with my current stats or do I need around a 160+ for Michigan State? Also if I kill the LSAT is Michigan still a shot??

    Thanks 🙂

  279. Hi!! Great read and super helpful and informative. My stats are as follows… I’m currently studying for the LSAT hoping to pull off a strong split since my GPA is low (at least 170):

    – URM, Female
    – Strong interest in Intellectual Property Law

    – 3 years out of undergrad
    – Working full time as paralegal at law firm 3 years and part time in retail for 1 year while working full time
    – Started a small marketing company for visual branding needs
    – Created a legal blog
    – Active in volunteer and local community service

    – GPA: 2.56; Journalism major and Marketing minor; top 25 tier school
    – GPA took a hit during junior and senior year because of sick parent and travel back and forth
    – Worked part-time all throughout school
    – Member of 3 student organizations: legal, music and ethnic
    – Summer internships at media companies within their legal departments

    What would be my odds for UCLA, Loyola (Los Angeles), Temple, Drexel, Fordham, Cardozo, Brooklyn, and NYU???


  280. Hey guys,

    Absolutely love this site. Thanks so much for doing this.

    So I’ve been considering law schools since I left undergrad but got distracted for awhile and took some time to consider other options. But now I’m back and really feel like this is the right direction.

    My undergrad gpa is ~3.3 with a degree in english.
    I worked as a personal assistant and legal clerk at a law firm for a year. Then I got a masters degree in english education from columbia with a gpa of 3.96.
    And I have a years worth of teaching experience in secondary schools.

    I took the LSAT right out of undergrad and didn’t really put enough effort into studying. I got a 147 and I know I can do better. Taking it this June and aiming for 160+.

    I’m not expecting to get into a top 14 school, though if I surprise myself on the lsat I may consider applying to a few. More realistically looking at university of Washington, Hastings, u Colorado boulder, Lewis & Clark, or Pepperdine.

    How do graduate GPAs factor into the numbers game of admissions? Is it just fluff?
    Am I looking at a good range of schools as far as my current numbers stack up?
    And what should be a realistic minimal score on the lsat for the schools I’m looking at?

    Thank you guys again for doing this. Hopefully I hear back from you soon!

    • Hi Andrew, sorry for the slowish response. As you can see we get a lot of comments! Unfortunately, the word “fluff” pretty accurately describes graduate GPAs. Grade inflation is so rampant in grad programs that they more or less disregard your grad GPA.

      You are looking at a good range of schools for your GPA, however, make sure your LSAT lands on the high side for those schools so that you can draw big scholarships. I really couldn’t advise attending otherwise, as the job prospects a tier 2 schools are far from stellar right now. Pepperdine for example had less than half of it’s students employed into full-time legal employment 9 months following graduation.

      Your law firm experience is good, as it shows you know what you are getting into, but as one English major to another, definitely consider whether you wouldn’t be happier in another field. I for example really regret not teaching abroad, and now that I’ve got a lot of debt to service, I’m stuck doing stuff that makes more money.

  281. Hello, I am not the typical law school student. I have considered law school for a long time and whenever I brought it up, it was met with, you wouldn’t be happy, you won’t like that. I have a bachelor’s in food service administration and a master’s in hotel and restaurant management. It was while I was getting my master’s degree that I took a class on Legal Aspects in the Hospitality Industry. I really enjoyed that class and since then have been thinking about law school. Just recently, I decided I wanted to make the jump. I work full time and want to attend a university here in Michigan that offers part time night classes.
    My undergrad GPA is not the best. I didn’t know what I wanted to do, made bad decisions, etc. My graduate GPA is very good, a 3.56. I have been working full time in my field for 6 years post grad. My question is, will they consider me? I am already studying for the LSAT because I know I will have to get an amazing score. What else should I do for the admissions process? Thanks so much!

    • Hi Holly,

      Unfortunately your graduate GPA is not going to matter a lot. You are kind of stuck with the undergrad GPA, so in terms of ranking your chances, that’s what we’d look at. I don’t want to be discouraging, but your friends probably know you pretty well. Really take a hard look at what lawyers do and make sure this is something you are truly interested in.

      If you are considering attending a low-ranked program, try to intern with alum from that school and find out what they are doing/make connections now. It will be much better to discover that this isn’t for you now rather than when you are saddled with debt.

      As I’ve said elsewhere, those attending schools outside Tier 1 should minimize debt as much as possible.

  282. – So my GPA is a 3.3 as of now.
    – I am a current Senior but I am in a 5 year program to obtain my Master’s in Business Administration.
    – I am aiming for an LSAT of 160
    – Applying Fall 2014 for Enrollment Fall 2015 when I graduate
    – Want to go to a Tier 2 school (Temple, Villanova, Etc.

    What do you think?

    • Why aim so low? With another year you can probably get that GPA to a 3.5, and you should be able to get into a higher ranked school or one of those you name with a big scholarship. Yeah being half realistic is okay, but everyone starting out should be aiming for a 170.

      You may or may not know that getting employed from schools like Temple is a tough prospect right now. If you go to a tier 2, it’s best to attend a public school on in-state tuition or go somewhere were you’ve gotten a very large scholarship.

  283. Hi guys,
    Great website, loving the information.

    I apologize if this is similar to questions you have already answered. 3.24 engineering GPA from Notre Dame. Have worked the past few years for a Gov. contractor as an engineer/analyst. Assuming an LSAT score in the 170s, do I have a realistic shot at a T14? What about getting some money?

    Also, I’ve heard the job market isnt near as bleak for patent attorneys. As this is my desired route, do you think it would be a little more reasonable to accept a slightly lower ranked school (and possibly get more financial assistance) than if I was looking at a more typical law program?

    Final question…is night school generally easier to get into, or are the standards about the same?

    Thank you very much!

    • Hi Jack, sorry for the slow response. You definitely have a shot if you get a 170 plus. I would think Northwestern would be particularly likely to bite given your good real world experience. With that GPA, substantial scholarships from t14s are not super likely unless you get in the the mid-high 170s.
      As to the lower ranked schools question, do a lot of research there, talking to actual alums if you can. I know my friends who went the patent route all had no trouble finding jobs, but I don’t know the situation at schools outside the t14. Anecdotally, a lot of them have been placed into the same firms as my friends, but I don’t know the rate of placement.
      Night school is generally easier, but you don’t want to even think about that. If you are going to do this, just focus on getting the LSAT worthy of an engineering major, which should be a good one. That said, definitely consider whether this is the route you want. I just moved to Houston Texas, and it seems like the engineers here are pretty happy sticking to engineering. Great pay and decent hours. By contrast, my big firm patent attorney friends are worked to the bone.

  284. Hello guys,

    My GPA for my first two years of college was 3.1 but my last two years it was a 3.9 making my cumulative GPA a 3.5. Thankfully, there is an upward trend.

    I want to attend USC or U Chicago

    What LSAT score would I need for this to be possible?

    I genuinely thank you,


    • Hi Matt,

      For UChicago I would think you’d need something close to a 174 to have a near-sure in, however, you’ll have good chances with anything 169 or better. USC is a much easier proposition. I’d say anything 166 or better should give you very strong chances.

  285. Hi,

    I received my Honours Bachelor of Science with a GPA of 2.83 from a Canadian University. I am currently doing a Master Degree (in Neuroscience) and also volunteering and working part-time. I also have a lot of research experience. If I get a high LSAT score (what score would I actually need to be considered?), do I have a chance of getting into law school? Also, are international (or in my case, canadian students) accepted to law schools in the US?

    Thanks a lot for your help!

    • Lili, you certainly have a chance of getting into some law school, but with a sub 3.0 GPA you need to do well on the LSAT for a chance at getting into the kind of schools I consider a good idea to attend. A 160 at least to be safe, but of course shoot as high as possible. I don’t know how law schools work in Canada, so I can’t help with too much advice their, but search my friend Graeme Blake on google. He is a Canadian LSAT tutor and he might be able to help you with more detailed advice.

      • Hey Evan,

        Thanks for the mention. Unfortunately, in Canada, GPA is more important than the LSAT. It would be very difficult to get into a school with under a 3.0. However, the science degree is a bit of an x-factor. I recommend the poster contact their target schools, lay out their situation, and see if they have a chance. Canadian schools are pretty open with feedback.

        I would not recommend the poster goes to schools outside Canada. They didn’t ask about this, but they’ll surely find out about them as an option. There’s a whole industry of foreign schools teaching Canadian law for those who can’t get into Canadian schools. As a whole, these foreign schools aren’t very well regarded.

        Finally, the law forum has good advice about admissions. They collectively know more than I do.


  286. Hey guys,

    I want to go to Harvard law. I am an african american male, but my gpa is only a 3.2 and it will be a 3.35 when i graduate. I finished my freshman year with a 1.24 so ive got a strong upward trend.

    Ive put in some pretty solid prep work for the lsat and i just took it last Saturday. There was a really weird game on that test, but i think i still had a fair shot of scoring 170>. Assuming i pull above 170, is the scarcity of blacks who score well on the lsat enough to put me over the top ?

    Ive also worked for a law firm while ive been in school, and sometimes a second job as a valet. My last two years ive made straight As. Give me some hope !


    • Scott, get that 170 better and you’ve got a really, really good shot, especially with that upward grade trend. Even if Harvard doesn’t pan out, I would say Columbia, UChicago, and NYU would be a lock.

      I’m rooting for you. Let us know how it goes.

  287. Hi Guys,

    Thanks for all the input and advice. as for my marks, I have a GPA around 3.20 and an LSAT mark of 152 (I know, not the greatest). I am working full time so I do not know if I should quit my job and study the LSAT full-time and retake.

    I hope to go to Michigan State this year, but if I cannot get in, maybe I should retake the LSAT and strive for a 165+. Let me know what you think of my chances and if you have advice I`d love to hear it.

  288. I am writing this because I don’t see any experiences which are quite like mine. I graduated from USC with a 3.18 GPA and recently took the LSAT for the second time. I am hoping that the score falls within the 165 -172 range.

    It was hard for me as a freshman as I was the first in my family to attend college. I was able to pick up my GPA in sophomore and junior years getting 3.5-3.8 GPAs. My grandmother and grandfather who raised me passed away my second semester of Junior year and in senior year which certainly affected my performance as my GPA dropped. My mother was always incapacitated and I come from a low socioeconomic background. I wrote the essays for law school apps and explained the above noted including how my queer sexuality played into my college experience (personal statement, diversity statement, and socioeconomic addendum). I also explained my mother’s situation and how her drug abuse and the fact that she is currently homeless has always affected my performance to show that I have overcome extreme socioeconomic situations.

    I went to USC with a full ride due to scholarships for leadership and beating the odds as well as grants – the full ride speaks to my academic abilities. I have been working at one of U.S. News’ Law Firms of the Year for two years and decided to apply to law school. I also have great community service and volunteer experiences and have received awards for those experiences. There are only fifteen ‘University Professors,’ or top ranking professors at USC and I have a letter of recommendation from one of them as well as a professor and Partner at my firm, who additionally know me well.

    What would you say about my chances of getting into a good law school?

    Please advise. Thank you in advance for your response.

  289. So I had a really hard time in University. Dealing with a sick mother, many times having to miss class to help her. Thus passed many classes with a C. I ended up with a 2.7 I just graduated dec 2013 from Cal state Northridge with a degree in Business Law. My last tier classes weighed heavily on groups which lowered my grade a lot since they were assigned and lets just say my group werent interested in high grades but instead just passing. I plan on taking LSAT Prep course and do as much as i can to get a good score. If I was to get within a 160-175 would I have a chance at a top 50 school?

    • J,

      You certainly would have a chance with a 165-175 LSAT. That said, that is a very low GPA. Unless you get better than a 170, It’s likely to keep you out of the top-20 schools, even with a good explanation (In writing an addendum, I would only discuss the issues with your mother, not the group stuff).

      • I was talking to a professor and she recommended that the 1 year gap between studying for LSAT and application period I get a full time job at a law firm, something entry or even internship, would you recommend this? Would it help my application if I did? Also, I have been looking for a job and it most of the times does not allow me to attend the Blueprint course nearest to me (and even less time to study). So I would have to do the online course. What would you recommend?

  290. Hi,

    GPA: 3.4
    Major: Chemical Engineering from UF
    LSAT: 170+
    Experience: 3 industry related internships. paid $50k to own schooling

    Do I have a chance getting into a top law school (T-14) studying patent law? My GPA is low, but do my other credentials give me a chance?

  291. Josh and Evan,
    IMPORTANT question:
    I am currently in my spring semester of junior year in undergrad. I will begin studying for the June 2014 LSAT this month.
    Regarding GPA, what years of undergrad are considered in the application process? Is it freshman-junior year only? If I apply last minute in January of my senior year, will my senior year fall semester classes factor into my GPA?
    Thank you. Looking forward to hearing your reply!

  292. Hello and thank you for this opportunity for me to voice my concerns,
    Major: Behavioral Science
    My cumulative GPA: 3.24
    My University GPA: 3.85

    I want to go to University of San Diego Law, but my dream is USC or UChicago. Once I finish my undergrad, I should have a 3.4-3.5 overall.

    I’m pretty scared/discouraged to move forward with taking my LSAT and pursuing my dream of becoming an attorney because I feel like I’ve doomed myself with my Junior College GPA.

    What can I do to help myself out? Any advice/guidance would be appreciated.

    I genuinely thank you again,


  293. Hello,

    I am currently a junior with a 3.71 undergraduate GPA in a large east coast state university, majoring in Economics and minoring in political science. Right now, I am reviewing for my LSAT and I am planning on taking it in October. I took my first practice test and I did a lot poorly than I expected, getting in the 130s without really any review at all. I am interested in intellectual property and healthcare law and I wish to attend UC Berkeley for law school. Without a doubt, I believe that my GPA will increase in the future as long as I continue to press on well with my studies but I am concerned about LSAT since I am not the best test taker although I believe I will improve come test time. I am not sure how much I can improve but I plan to study for the LSATs rigorously until I take them in October.

    Given that my GPA increases or worst case stays the same, what are my chances of getting into Berkeley if my LSAT scores were to increase up to somewhere between 155-160?

    On another note, would I gain an advantage in the application process if I were to take off from school for a year or two before applying to Berkeley or any other law school? What other law schools are worth considering given my circumstances?

    I apologize if I am asking a lot of questions but I am really concerned of my future prospects. Please respond as soon as possible and thank you so much for your time, I really appreciate it!

  294. Hello. I received my undergrad degree in 2003 in Business Management with a GPA around 3.5. In June 2013 I received my Master’s Degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management with around a 3.75 GPA. Do law schools look solely at undergrad GPA’s or do they consider Master’s as well? I am just starting to plan to take the LSAT in late 2014 and need a plan of attack (especially because I have two small children). Thanks for any advice you can offer.

    • They don’t look at the Master’s degree GPA very much I’m afraid. The issue is that grade inflation is common practice for almost all Master’s program, so it doesn’t give a lot of value for comparing you with other candidates. However, the degree is an excellent soft factor and something that should help you present yourself as a well-rounded candidate.

      Don’t worry too much though. A 3.5 is competitive at pretty much every school outside the top 6 and even there, a truly stellar LSAT score can still get you in.

  295. Hi! Thanks for all this, it’s all extremely helpful! My lsac GPA is drastically different from my undergraduate university GPA because I retook four classes over my four years and my school only counts the second grade for that, so my lsac GPA is a 3.14 and my university GPA is a 3.43. After this upcoming semester, my last semester, I am hoping to graduate with a 3.5 university gpa (magna cum laude at my school) and 3.25 lsac GPA. I am wondering if the significant discrepancy, in addition to the fact that I am a triple major in political science, philosophy, and communication, with an additional minor in legal studies, will be enough to get my top choice schools to overlook my lower GPA. I took the LSAT for the first time in June and got a 159, then retook last month and scored a 168. My LSAT is at or above the 75th percentile for most of the schools I’m applying to, except for my two big reaches: Georgetown and UCLA, but my gpa is also below the 25th for almost all of them too. I know I’m pretty much hopeless for those two but I was wondering if with my numbers I have any chance at schools like GWU, Alabama, Notre Dame, Fordham, BU, or BC. Or if I have the potential to get any scholarships from those schools or my safety’s of Pitt, George mason, Maryland or Rutgers (in state). I’m not sure if I might be aiming too high with my low GPA. Also, considering that I am expecting my GPA to increase slightly next semester would you recommend waiting until next cycle to apply, and potentially even taking the LSAT again? After I graduate in April I will also have better softs, including an additional recc letter from a professor I will be writing a thesis with this semester, a senior thesis published by my university, and some end-of-year awards I expect to qualify for. I’m just not sure if applying now or early on next cycle would be best. Thanks in advance for your help!

    • EE,

      Law schools will seldom completely overlook a lower GPA, but you have done exactly what you need to get in despite it, and that was getting a great LSAT score. Great boost on that retake. Do you mind terribly sharing what you did the second time around to improve? I’m trying to collect information on that for a post.

      I wouldn’t really say that you are hopeless at all for Georgetown or UCLA (UCLA has admitted people in that range so far this year). Neither is a lock, but you’ve still got decent chances. For the rest of your list, I would expect pretty good results.

      Here’s what I would do: if you have your apps pretty much ready to go, then I would consider applying now. However, you should mentally prepare yourself to wait and reapply next year if you don’t like the results you get in this cycle. Don’t worry, you won’t be prejudiced at all if you reapply.

      Those are, however, a lot of good reasons to wait, and I would say you will be a marginally better candidate after all that happens. It’s a tough call, and it’s one of those things where it’s just too personal a decision to give you a firm answer. If you have no compelling reasons to go right away, I would wait. A year off is great for a lot of reasons. All things being equal I always recommend that people take time off anyways.

      Don’t worry, everyone is predicting that the next cycle will be just as favorable to applicants as this one, as the number of applicants is still declining.

      Good luck and keep in touch.


      • Thanks so much! And I don’t mind sharing how I prepped for my second LSAT at all! When I took a cold diagnostic last February I scored a 161 (although I’m still convinced that was largely a result of luck) so I luckily had a very good starting point, and was shocked when after months of studying my score actually went down two points. I didn’t take a class or anything so it was all entirely self-preparation using the LSAT Superprep and Prep Tests published by LSAC and McGraw Hill’s LSAT study book, as well as any prep materials I could find for free online. Every study tool I had found stressed the huge importance of taking timed, full-length tests, so I took dozens when prepping for June, sometimes doing even two full exams in one afternoon. I thought that if I could just get used to the test then I could do well. Obviously that did not work for me, and my practice tests were never once outside of the 159-164 range, then the actual test was on the lower end.

        I did not even decide to take the LSAT again until October, and realized that my error came in never reviewing the practice tests I took. I would usually briefly skim my incorrect answers and see what the correct one was, but sometimes I didn’t even do that and would just take two tests in a row without any review or specific skills training. The second time around I reviewed like crazy and took very few full practice tests. After I took one (full-length or individual section) I would mark the questions I got wrong, then go back and (untimed) do all of them again, trying to see where I went wrong, then would see if I got them all correct the second time around. If one was still incorrect I would study the question until I was positive why the correct answer was right, and how to get to that answer in the future. I also really focused on improving my testing strategy, and studying different question types, so, for example, when I got to logic games I knew that it was a good strategy for me to skim the passages and rank them in order of difficulty, because the one I got to last would have the most wrong for me either way, so I might as well get the easiest ones out of the way first. I already knew that I had the stamina for the test and that I was familiar with what it was like to take a full one, because I had done so many before, so I really focused on specifics for the December test.

        What probably helped me the most, though, was definitely a huge risk and I would not recommend it for most people, but I decided to take one last full length test the afternoon before the exam. My scores had still been going up so I thought that one more had the potential to really boost my confidence and help me get some last minute cramming in (I know they say you can’t cram for the LSAT but I truly believe that I actually did cram in December). I scored a 168 on that practice test, which was the highest score I had ever gotten, and then I got the same score on the real test the next day. After taking that practice test I reviewed my answers like always, went to bed and didn’t get any sleep at all, ate a huge healthy breakfast and went into the test with a lot of nerves but so much more confidence than I had in June. In both June and December my score was the exact same as my most recent practice test score, so for me the mantra that how you practice is how you’ll perform definitely rang true. My methods were pretty unconventional, I think, but I definitely found a way that worked for me.

        Thanks for your advice about my application! It’s great to know that it won’t hurt me if I reapply; that was what was preventing me most from applying now. I think I probably will send in at least some of my applications now, but definitely apply next cycle too if I don’t get any good offers.

        I honestly can’t thank you enough for how helpful this website is! It has been invaluable in my preparation for applying to law school. I apologize for how long this post is, but I wanted to give you as much info as possible about my LSAT prep to help you with your post. Please let me know if you have any other questions about it!

  296. Hey guys, first off thanks for such a great sight , its refreshing to see after going through all the TLS forums were people tend to be quite obnoxious. You guys are great in that you make the law school process much less intimidating for a lot of people. Anyway I was hoping for some advice because I dont know to many people that went to such highly ranked law schools. During my undergrad I was more interested in a lot of other things than classes so my uggpa is a 3.24. I know this is low especially for the schools i want to go to. My lsat diagnostic was a 164 after about a month of studying im scoring at 169-174 on my last five tests. I know on test day ill probably be very nervous and my score might suffer. My questions is are (1) How do you know when you have reached your ceiling is it possible if I keep studying that i could score above a 175 (2)would I be better off taking the lsat and retaking if I am not happy with my score or would it be better to have one high score. (3) U of Chicago is actually my dream school and because my gpa is so low what lsat would give me at least a chance to uofc or nyu? I know that was rather long sorry about that but Thanks in advance!!

    • That’s a great place to be. Students at exactly the median are going to get in the overwhelming majority of the time, especially right now with so few students applying. That said, Berkeley is always somewhat of a crapshoot because they get a lot of qualified applicants at the range of numbers they tend to accept (they place a slightly lower emphasis on LSAT than the other top schools, giving them a wider pool to choose from). You still have a WAY better than 50% percent chance, but you’ll want to tip the scales in your favor as much as possible with a solid application.

  297. Hi! Thank you so much for your willingness to help.
    -GPA: 3.38 (current senior at Columbia)
    -First generation, South Asian
    -Lots of internships and extracurriculars
    -Planning to work for a year in public service before applying to law school next year
    Aiming for 168+ on LSAT, which I have around 8 months to study for now.

    I would love to go to NYU/Cornell/Georgetown, but my GPA is probably not going to cut it. What are my chances of getting into any of the T14? Does a low undergrad GPA at an elite institution mean anything?

    Would appreciate any input!
    Thank you

  298. Hello,

    I graduated from the University of Colorado with international affairs 4 years ago and my LSAC GPA is 2.8. I have worked in international human rights and 3 various law firms since then all focused in civil rights and social justice. I also speak 2 other languages after studying and living internationally. I do have amazing recommendations already sent in from my professors, and do have a 3.4 GPA for my final 2 years at Boulder (first two were 2.5 or something very low) I averaged my LSAT practices at a 162 after 4 months of studying, however after taking the test in DEC I ended up with a 156 sadly. I know I am capable of better. I hope and plan to study international law. Do you have any recommendations of what my next steps should be this late in the game for the admissions cycle? Would you think it smart to wait another year to apply in September of next year and take June LSAT, or would you think it smart to take February LSAT and still apply this year? Or possibly, not take it again at all and try to apply places. Does my work experience, and obvious passion in law and international world add anything to my application with such low GPA and LSAT?

  299. I’m really interested in UVA law and doing a joint JD degree and public policy. I graduated from UVA (undergrad) with a 2.9 in addition to having a Masters from Johns Hopkins with a 3.7 gpa. I am an URM and also did TFA. What LSAT score should I be aiming for? Can you recommend schools based off of this information?

  300. Hi,

    I graduated from UC berkeley in three years but with a very low gpa. Since I graduated early, I have been working at a law firm for over a year now. I believe I have great letter of recs and personal statements. I also got fee waivers from U of Chicago and even a direct one from Emory Law and way more. Basically I wouldn’t have to pay for applications but I got my lsat score and is terrified 🙁 Score of 147. Should I retake the test and apply in July 2014 or apply with this score this month and see where I get in?

  301. Josh and Evan,
    I want to first say that I am thankful for your website and valuable advice. I will graduate with a 3.25 in Finance and am taking the June LSAT where I will shoot for a score around 170. I’m on the speech and debate team at my school, and my work experience includes two law firms. I would like to get accepted at any of these schools: Virginia, Alabama, Texas, Columbia, Florida, Florida State, Miami, and North Carolina. UF or FSU are my first preferences. What are my chances for admission to any of these schools?
    Thank you!

    • Malcolm,

      First off, shoot for a 180. That way if you fall short and get a 170, it’s not that bad. That’s a broad range of schools. With your GPA, you’d need a 170 or better before the T14ers become a possibility. Columbia is likely out of reach without a 175 or better. For Virginia and also Texas, you might need a 170 or better. 172 or better to give you good chances.

      Luckily, your list gets much easier after that. Anything over a 160 should get you into Florida for example. That said, aim high. With schools outside the T14, most people right now are well-advised to go with a big scholarship or not go at all.

  302. Hi Josh and Evan,

    Thank you for your very helpful advice. I graduated from Uc berkeley with a 3.7 GPA (3.8 LSAC GPA)- I went through serious financial difficulties my first year, which led me to have not so good grades but after that year I pretty much got all As. I am also Latino, low income, first generation but with roots in Central America (I guess non urm). What kind of lsat score would I need to have a solid chance of getting into a top 14 and top 3 school?

    Thank you so much!

    • Roy, you are in very good shape with that GPA so don’t worry about that down year. For Harvard, a 169 or better would give you something like a 90% chance. You have a shot with a lower LSAT– URM applicants with low 160s do get in pretty regularly — however, I would really shoot for high 160’s or better if you are aiming for top 3 schools. Now, nothing is ever guaranteed at Stanford or Yale, but still, those are the kind of numbers to aim for.

      Any LSAT in the mid 160s should make you a likely admit at most of the remaining T14s. Again, even with low 160s you would likely get in to several of them (I’m assuming that you have average soft factors).

      That said, always aim for the highest LSAT score you think you can get. With your GPA there is really no limit. With a great LSAT score, you could be looking at big scholarships at top schools.

  303. Josh and Evan,
    I want to first say that I am thankful for your website and valuable advice. I will graduate with a 3.25 and am taking the June LSAT where I will shoot for a score above 170 but who knows what I will get. I’m on the speech and debate team at my school, and my work experience includes two law firms. I would like to get accepted at any of these schools: Virginia, Alabama, Texas, Columbia, Florida, Florida State, Miami, and North Carolina. UF or FSU are my first preferences. What are my chances for admission to any of these schools?
    Thank you.

  304. Hello,
    I am in the very early stages of even looking into law school. My situation is a little different. I was thinking about Vermont Environmental Law Accelerated JD program. I just graduated with an Environmental Science degree with a Concentration in Climate. My GPA will be around 3.0-3.1 (I just took my last finals not sure of final GPA). I know there is a very high need for environmental lawyers.

    • Joe, I don’t want to burst your bubble, but there isn’t very high need for any kind of lawyer right now. Vermont law puts up fairly substandard employment figures. Only 43.7% had full time legal employment 9 months from graduation. I just want to caution you that in almost all circumstances you should only go if you incur very little debt.

  305. Hi,

    You guys discussed upward grade trends. My GPA isnt terrible its around a 3.63 but the pat few semester I have had a significant upward trend (3.85, 3.8, 3,.9, and a 4.0 for the five winter and summer courses that i took over the past year). Is there any way for me to really highlight this on my application? Should I state it somewhere on my resume? I don’t think an addendum is necessary. I don’t really have a good excuse for my lower grades in the previous semesters except for roommate troubles and I was still adjusting to college. Should I be pointing out my upward trend or is it something they will hopefully just notice?

  306. Josh and Evan,
    The way things are shaping up it looks like I will graduate with a gpa between 3.2-3.3. I have not taken the lsat yet but have already started studying for the one in June. I am a Finance major, and am on a nationally competitive speech and debate team at Marshall University where I have had success in debate. By the time I graduate I will have worked at two, maybe three law firms. What kind of school can I expect to get into if I score a 165 or higher on the lsat?
    I want to practice in the state of Florida so I will likely be applying to UF, FSU, Miami, Stetson, UCF, and USF. I would prefer UF, what are my chances?

  307. I am an immigrant from Egypt and has a B.S in accounting from Alexandria university with a 3.25 GPA and i came here in 2010 and i passed the CPA exam and on my way to get licensed and getting experience beside my 3 years of experience and i am passionate about going to law school especially an Ivy league school, so i was thinking of getting the highest score possible in LSAT and getting a masters in English from a university in California-the state i am living in- to give the admission office an idea of my mastery to the English language which is the most important tool in the law school.

    so i would like to know the best advice given my situation and the best plan possible so i can get into one of the top law school?

    I am a permanent resident and on my way to become a citizen in 2015

    • Mahmoud,

      Provided you can do well on the LSAT, you are in a pretty good position. GPAs from foreign schools are not totaled into the median GPA for enrolling students at a school, so they have no incentive to reject you based on a low GPA. As such, you will be judged almost entirely on your LSAT.

      Really, getting a masters in English is not at all necessary and wouldn’t help you a whole lot (It would just be another decent soft factor. See our post on admissions soft factors: You can sufficiently demonstrate your mastery of English through a good LSAT score. For every Ivy except Cornell, you would probably need an LSAT score in the 170+ range.

      Now, that’s a hard score to get. If you are not a native English speaker, prepare to put a lot of work into it. You have to overcome any language obstacles before you can reach your maximum ability. I’ve seen non-native speakers put up to three years into the process.

      • Joshua,

        Thank you so much for your help, i really appreciate it, i just have few follow up on this.

        Can you further explain your statement ” GPAs from foreign schools are not totaled into the median GPA for enrolling students at a school, so they have no incentive to reject you based on a low GPA ”

        Does this mean that i don’t have to worry about my low GPA if i want to get into one of the Ivy league law schools and put a massive effort on getting the highest LSAT score beside letters of recommendations and personal statement?

        If so, could you please give me an advice on how to best prepare my self for this and how can i put a comprehensive strategy and a plan of action in order to achieve this goal? i really want to go to HLS

        Keep in mind that my GPA has been evaluated by an accredited center And and not by the LSAC

        Thank you.

        • Basically, GPA is not going to be a big factor in their decision to admit you or not. That’s good for you, because if your 3.25 GPA was from an American school, it would be very difficult to get into the top schools.

          As far as a game plan for the LSAT, I don’t think you should even start LSAT-specific prep until you have really honed your English skills. Start by reading tons and tons of very dense material. The Economist and the Wall Street Journal might be good places to start. Once you feel you are reading English at close to the level you read your native language, then you are ready to start preparing for the LSAT.

          As to how long it will take, I have no way to put a time-frame on that. It’s going to depend a lot on your dedication and your current ability.

          Don’t neglect other areas of your life in order to focus solely on the LSAT. Top schools want well-rounded students who are successful in several areas of their life. If you’re working a job, make sure you do well and advance. Getting involved with charitable activities is often a good idea as well.

  308. Because of some medical issues while I was an undergraduate student, I ended with only about a 3.3 GPA. I am in a 5 year integrated Accounting masters program though, and was wondering how school would look at my two GPAs. For example, would they weigh one more heavily than the other? If my graduate GPA ends up being very high, how much will that help offset the effects of my low undergrad GPA? Thanks.

    • Please any advice or thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

      Hi, Joshua & Evan.

      I have never really commented on/asked a lot of questions on blog sites, but have found your articles and advice to be pretty interesting and helpful. With that said, here goes nothing:

      I graduated from Ohio State this past spring. My GPA was a 3.41 with a Political Science major. I am from the Los Angeles area originally and have no idea what region of the country I would like to practice law in, but I want to be a lawyer and have a deep passion for the law (just wish I wasn’t so fearful of law school in undergrad). i would have been a much more dedicated student if I was. I did a lot of extracurricular activities, including running a charity org that donated $35,000 to cancer prevention research.

      I took the LSAT prep course twice through Kaplan over the summer and in the fall and took the December LSAT (wasn’t ready for October). My first diagnostic test over the summer yielded a 142, by the end of first course I was getting anywhere from 154-158. From October to December, following the second course, I was able to achieve scores between 161-165.

      I left the test feeling very uneasy, similar to those 155 days than to the more recent 160s days. My goal is to go to law school next year and I am working on applications now and won’t get my LSAT score until beginning of January. I took the time to study my hardest, but know I am capable of so much more.

      Here are my questions:
      1) Should I retake the LSAT in February? and still try to go to law school next year on the outside shot that there are still openings? I am a big fan of momentum, but some of the material I have read suggest holding off until June because of the difficulty in raising my score so much in such a short period of time.
      1a) What kind of study schedule would you recommend for taking the test in February?

      2) If not in February, should I retake in June or October? and in doing so, I would delay law school another potential year, which is fine given my passion for being a lawyer.

      3) My first choices for law schools would obviously be somewhere inside the Top 20 with UCLA and USC as top choices given that I want to practice law in the world of entertainment (shocking I know). What can I do in the meantime with these schools to make myself a known quantity? Or any other schools for that matter?

      4) Do you unequivocally buy into the law school regional argument? If so, should I not waste my time worrying about applying to other top 40 law schools if I don’t plan on being there long term (I define long term has beyond 5 years after law school)?

      I appreciate your time and consideration in these questions, I am looking for guidance from people who have recently gone through this process. I have plenty of career guidance from my uncle/mentor/consigliere, but he is retired and isn’t in the “the game” anymore.

      Much appreciation,

  309. Josh & Evan,

    My facts:
    Double major in Economics and Finance (at a small private university)
    GPA: 3.0
    3 years working experience (2 with high volume litigation attorneys)
    URM (Mexican American)
    Many leadership activities and volunteer experience

    What LSAT score do I need to be accepted into:

    U of Virginia,
    George Washington,
    Boston U
    and Boston College?

    Thank you kindly!

    • Hi Martha

      UVA is going to be tough without something close to a 170. Anything better than that and I’d say you have good chances there.

      Georgetown you probably want a 167 or better to have good chances.

      Lower down, any LSAT within the schools 25th to 75th percentile ranges should give you a solid chance. As your LSAT get close to the 75th percentile, your chances will become very high. Those are good soft factors, so you can reasonably hope for an edge over URM’s with comparable numbers.

  310. I have a low GPA 2.6. I am an under represented minority (Native American) I applied for early admissions on the advise of the admissions representative at SMU. The two full tuition scholarships that I am eligible for require to be admitted early. What are my chances of me getting in and what LSAT score must I achieve?

  311. Hello and thank you for this opportunity for me to voice my concerns,
    Major: Behavioral Science
    My Junior College transfer GPA: 3.12
    My University GPA: 3.68 so far(I’m a junior)

    I want to go to University of San Diego or Loyola. Since my junior college days, I’ve quit my retail job and started volunteer mediation work. It has freed my time for school work and subsequently better GPA in university.

    Although I have great connections and internships lined up, I’m pretty scared/discouraged to move forward with taking my LSAT and pursuing my dream of becoming an attorney because I feel like I’ve doomed myself with my Junior College GPA.

    What can I do to help myself out? Any advice/guidance would be appreciated.

    I genuinely thank you again,


  312. I also have a Chem degree from one of the top 5 schools with gpa of 3.65 and lsat of 172 Do I have a chance at a top law school, how do they feel about retaking lsat and do I need to?

  313. I have a 3.59 in Chemistry from a top-10 undergrad and a 174. What do you think my chances at UChicago are? I also have a year of work experience and a master’s degree in American studies.

    • Joe, your chances are very good. It’s close to certain you are in. Enjoy UChicago! I would still apply to every top-10 school and see where you get the best offers. Congrats on a great LSAT score.

  314. There is very good info on this site, my wife who has been out of school for 8 years now raising our 3 kids have dreams of going to Law school. Her undergrad GPA is 2.85 and 3.5 for grad school. Just wanted some advice if she got a really good LAST score 170+ would she have any chance of getting accepted into a top school in the northeast.

    • That is, unfortunately, a very low GPA. The masters GPA won’t help matters much (unfortunately they discount Masters program GPA heavily because grade inflation is so rampant for graduate degrees). However, she does have a unique story. If she got a 170+ she would have a shot at some T14s. Cornell would be the best chance among the T14 in the Northeast. Be forewarned that with that GPA, nothing would be certain at the top schools.

  315. So here’s my dilemma

    I have 3.0 I’m in my senior for a BA in literature and cultures, from UC Merced

    And got a measly 143 on the October LSAT while previously testing in the 148-152 range.
    And have 2 summers of experience working in an immigration law office.

    My Dream school is UC Irvine.

    And I’m looking into ways to drastically change my study habits, after a summer of 2-3 hours a day, four days a week. Didn’t give me the results I want. Wondering how much my score would need to jump to make this possible?

    Considering retake in Feburary?

  316. Hey Guys,

    I just got the results back from my October LSATs and were hoping to get some advice on how to continue.

    My numbers are:
    3.59 GPA in Biomedical Engineering from Duke
    3.79 GPA in Bioengineering from Penn (Masters)
    168 LSAT

    I have been working at the patent office for the past 2 years and was hoping to attend a T14 school to study IP law. I know my UGPA is fairly low for the top schools and 168 isn’t amazing.

    Would you guys recommend that I just go forward with putting together the best application possible, or retake the LSAT in December?

    I have been averaging 174-178 on practice tests, and actually felt pretty good after taking the LSATS, so the 168 result was kind of surprising.

    Any insights on my current chances as well as thoughts how beneficial a retake would be would be greatly appreciated.

    Also, thank you for all the help you’ve been providing here for hopeful law school students!


    • See the advice from Ann Levine posted yesterday in re retaking. It’s general but it is clear on this point:

      You want to retake in that situation.

      Your current chances are good, but really, I wouldn’t even think about them. Get the score that you deserve by working on your confidence and going into the next test relaxed and ready. Getting something in that average range will put your in a whole different world scholarships wise. It’s worth trying for, plain and simple.

      In your situation I would not apply until I get my second score. Don’t worry too much that this will happen again. The test is designed so that you usually hit your average. Make sure you simulate conditions as closely as possible in the practice tests leading up to the exam.

  317. So here is my problem. I have a B.S. in Biological Sciences with a final GPA of 3.0. It’s not low from lack of trying, I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder the summer before I started my senior year that accounted for me being a terrible test taker. My question is, should I write an addendum explaining that? I don’t really want to make excuses for myself but I don’t want admissions to see my GPA and not even look at my major because I think (no offense to anyone else) that if I was a creative writing major or something that didn’t require the courseload that I took with being pre-med in college, I would have a higher GPA. Do you think they would take that into account?

    • Jess,

      that’s a really tough call. I myself developed panic attacks starting in Senior year though I was able to *mostly* keep it from hurting my grades. I chose to keep it private. My thinking at the time was that schools are going to view it as a liability.

      The modern world just hasn’t really gotten around to the idea that anxiety sufferers might have to be treated differently for fairness’s sake. You’ll be subject to the same pressures as everyone else in law school (cold-calling, exams, job-interviews) and will be expected to handle them the same as everyone else.

      Though I personally think that’s unfair, it’s somewhat understandable. They want people who can succeed in a pressure cooker environment.

      It’s too tough a call for me say there is a ‘right answer’ here. I might try to talk to admissions officers anonymously or at schools your aren’t applying to and solicit their opinions. Generally you do want to explain a low GPA if you have legitimate excuses. See if they have come around to the idea that this is a legitimate excuse.

      If you do disclose, I would take pains to demonstrate that you have your anxiety under control now.

      Yes, difficultly of major will always be taken into account. If you went to a school that is known to be difficult that’s another little boost. That said, a 3.0 is a 3.0. Expect to have odds of admission similar to other applicants with low 3.0 scores. You’ll need a good LSAT to make up for it.

      The other thing you want to do is really consider if law is right for you. My experience has been that it’s a terrible field for someone who has issues with anxiety. While a ton of serious anxiety sufferers do manage to handle it (I knew at least 5 other panic attack sufferers at U Chicago), it’s not easy, and get’s harder once you get a legal job. Jobs were you can count on getting a good nights sleep every night are preferable if you ask me.



  318. I have a 2.8 gpa, and would like to go to Notre Dame (first choice), GW, Washington and Lee, or Washington St. Louis. My LSAT score hasn’t come back yet, but on practice exams I was consistently in the 165-172 range. I have a good resume with lots of volunteer work and internships, but no legal experience. Thoughts on my chances?

    • Joshua Craven and Evan Jones on

      That GPA is indeed low but those schools are probably doable if you hit the upper end of that range. Quite a few admits have managed to pull it off. Do make sure your application is really, really solid. Great PS, beautiful looking resume, etc.

      Don’t worry at all about the lack of legal experience. It’s not a concern.

  319. I have an LSAC GPA of 2.87 and a degree GPA of 3.42. There’s a strong upward trend, and it’s so low due a couple of issues. I was stationed in Germany when I started my freshman year. During my first college semester I gave birth to my daughter, had to go back to work, and my husband deployed to Afghanistan. Honestly I forgot about the courses I was enrolled in and got two ‘F’ grades. Later, I deployed to Iraq during a subsequent semester. Given two weeks to pack up my life, I again forgot to drop (I am attempting to fix this with the school). Excuses right?! Anyway, I just took my first ‘cold’ PT and got a 159. Assuming I can get it to 165 or so, what are my chances at Georgetown or GW? Also, I’m a URM and of course military. Thanks!

    • That’s a low GPA but yes, some good excuses:) Still, I think Georgetown is going to be tough without a high 160s-low 170s lsat. If you got a 159 cold, I really think odds are better than not that you can get it up there.

      Did you already submit transcripts to LSAC? It might be a little harder to fix things then. Try anything you can to get those withdrawals fully erased as far as your undergrad is concerned. That might make is so LSAC doesn’t count them.

  320. Hello my goal is to attend either Florida State’s law school or Florida ‘s law school. UF’s law school especially since my girlfriend of two years lives in Gainesville. I have a 3.37 GPA and I completed my bachelors degree in 3 years so my course load was pretty heavy. Also my GPA has a significant upward trend and I’m taking the LSAT in December hoping to get a 160. Also I am an African American and I heard that as well can increase my chances of getting into law school. My letters of recommendation letters are pretty solid, I have 2 from accomplished professors and 1 from a partner at a law firm that I interned for. How do my chances looks? What would help improve my chances?

    • Joshua Craven and Evan Jones on

      I’d say your chances are very good. Get a 160 LSAT and UF would be as close as one can ever get to a sure thing. That GPA isn’t too low and the upward trend will help. Really, it seems like all you have left to do is focus on the LSAT. I am assuming you have started prepping already. Give me some more details about your strategy so far and where you are at and we will be happy to give you some tips.

      Honestly, if you best a 160 or better, you should also apply to schools ranked higher than UF. If you can, use any scholarship offers other schools give you and parlay that into a big offer from U of F. Yes you know that U of F is your first choice, but they don’t know that 🙂 read this

  321. Sadie