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In today’s post we have a reference chart of GPA medians by law school. These GPA figures, pulled from the class that entered in Fall 2013, are those used in ranking law schools for the current 2015 US News Best Law Schools Rankings.

I expect that these median figures reflect with reasonable accuracy what GPA you will need to be competitive in the coming admissions cycle– though something around 10,000 fewer people have applied for Fall 2014 than for Fall 2013, it looks like we’ll regain much of what was lost for Fall 2015. In other words, you can expect the next published medians (2014) to be slightly lower than this, but expect the GPA numbers for your class entering 2015) to be very similar to what you see here.

For those new to the admissions game, having a median or above GPA paired with a median or above LSAT makes you a near shoo-in for admission to the school. Here is a chart of LSAT MEDIANS AT TIER 1 LAW SCHOOLS for reference. If your GPA is a little below the median, having an LSAT at or over the school’s median can make up for it. For more information on admissions by the numbers, check out these posts:

What Is A Good GPA for Law School?

What Is A Good LSAT Score For The Top Schools?

Remember that of the two numbers, LSAT and GPA, LSAT weighs far more in the admissions process. As such, there is no reason to have fits of despair if you are .1 or even .2 or .3 off the median. You can still get in. See our post on getting into law school with a low GPA,

Without further ado, here are the GPA medians for law schools:

Law School GPA Medians

GPAmedians

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14 Comments

  1. How much can a good GPA help an LSAT score that is not top notch? I have a 4.0 GPA (double major in political science and English). I just took the June LSAT, which was my first time, and I am expecting a score in the low/mid 160s…My guess is a 163 as that is what I was averaging, and I feel that I hit that on test day. For instance, could it help me get into a school whose median LSAT is a 166? Will it help me get more scholarship money at a place where I am right at the 75th percentile mark for the LSAT score?

    • Yes, with a 4.0 I expect you would have pretty decent chances at a school where the median is 166, and yes, you can expect a boost in your scholarship drawing power where your LSAT is median or above. You can certainly expect better results than someone with the same LSAT and a median-ish GPA.

      If you think you have potential to improve on the LSAT, consider trying, as there is still time to take the Sept LSAT and get your applications in early. That 4.0 GPA paired with a high 160s GPA would likely gain you entry into a number of T14 schools or get you bigger scholarships at those ranked just below.

  2. With a 2.6 gpa and a 166 LSAT, what do you think are the chances of getting into a decent law school?

  3. I have a 2.8 I’ve been Pt’ing in the 168-172 range. I have a year of related work experience and some good internships under my belt. I’m also a minority(is this relevant in the admissions process?)

    What is the likelihood of me getting accepted into BU or BC?

    Thanks

  4. How would one decide their target schools if their GPA is drastically different between their community college and university GPAs (with LSAT score in the high 160s)? My community college GPA is 2.93 (attended CCs on and off for about 10 years), but after finally transferring to a state university, I have a campus GPA of 3.99 with a major in Honors in English and a minor in Women’s Studies. In addition, I have been fortunate enough to receive several department, university, and state scholarships- however, I’m worried about my low cumulative GPA. For this reason, I’m not quite sure which schools I should be targeting. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.

    • What GPA did LSAC calculate when you submitted all your transcripts? Unfortunately, you can expect to be judged on this GPA for the most part. It will certainly be a point in your favor that you have a great degree GPA, however, I would apply to schools with the lower LSAC gpa as your guidepost. Of course, you should always apply to “reach” schools.

  5. Hi Evan,
    Thanks for posting this. Question for you. My GPA is a 3.35 right now, and I am in my Fall semester of Senior year. I had a rough start and my GPA has been limping back since Freshman and early Sophomore year. There is a noticeable upward trend however. If I were to get a 4.0 this semester and next, I would be just shy of a 3.5. However, I wanted to study abroad next semester…leaving only 1 semester to boost my GPA, leaving me around a 3.4 at best. I think I can pull a 167-170 on the LSAT in September. I want to do everything I can to compete for a T20 school. Do you think it is worth it to give up studying abroad for a shot at a 3.5? Or will a 170 with a 3.4 be competitive for a T20? Also, I am currently pursuing a Master’s degree and hope to apply to law school during my Master’s. Will they look at my Master’s GPA or my Undergraduate more? Do you have any insight on a JD/MBA program at a T20 school? I run my own business and plan to take the GMAT next year and would want to apply to a JD/MBA program. Any advice?

    Thanks and sorry in advance for the long post. feel free to email me. thank you

    • In terms of your development as a person, you are going to be glad you went on that study abroad. I still regret not doing that. A 3.4, while not stellar, is not going to keep you out of many top 10 schools so long as your LSAT is high enough. A 170 would likely get you in to schools as high as U Mich, Cornell, and the like.

      The bad news is that they will hardly consider you masters GPA. Since grade inflation is some common in masters degrees, they really don’t look at it.

      While I wouldn’t do it if it causes any financial hardship, you might want to delay graduation a semester so you can both study abroad and bump your GPA. Really, I’d only recommend this course if you are determined to leave as many doors open as possible. A 3.4 to a 3.5 is not the biggest difference in the world, but it may help you get a couple more acceptance letters.

      As to a JD/MBA, the only thing I would say is that if you know you want to do business, don’t bother with the JD. Particularly if you crush the GMAT but not the LSAT, just head for the high ranked B-School.

      • Hi Evan,

        Thanks for the response. I will take your advice and apply for the study abroad. The application is due Sept 29 (2 days after the LSAT) so I should know my score within just a few weeks of submitting my application. If I get below a 168-170, I will focus on my GPA and rescind my application to study abroad. If not, I’ll have to send you a postcard from the Golden Coast.

        Thanks for the help
        Nathan

  6. Do law schools consider your major? I’m considering applying to med school, but I’ve been doing neuroscience + pre-med, and so I’ve had to take many challenging science courses. The average GPA among science majors is likely lower than that among non-science majors, such as political science or history. Will law schools consider that, and will they judge me hardly for not taking poll-sci or history courses? What would my chances be at a top 14 law with a 3.65 bachelor’s in science and a 170 LSAT? (I scored almost a perfect score on the verbal SATs and quite enjoy logic puzzles, so I think I’d do well).

  7. Stephen Raines on

    I am currently a sophomore in high school with a gpa of roughly 2.7-2.8 and just considering that what could be the chances of getting in a decent law school.

    • Stephen,

      Law schools aren’t going to look at your high school GPA, so you’ve got plenty of time to turn things around.

      The key is going to be your LSAT score and your college GPA. You don’t need to worry about the LSAT for about 4 or 5 years, so put that on the backburner for now.

      On the other hand, I strongly recommend focusing on academic performance and developing strong study habits over the remainder of your high school career. If you don’t develop strong study skills in high school it’s going to make that transition to college pretty rocky. I hear from students every day who come to me for advice because they got off to a rough start in college and they’re worried that their low GPA is going to hurt their chances of getting into a good law school. Don’t make that mistake. Use these next few years wisely so that you’re able to keep up freshman year of college when you can’t afford to get bad grades.

      I remember hearing people tell me this sort of stuff when I was in high school & I didn’t really pay attention to it. I’m living proof that you can easily overcome a rocky start to high school & still end up at one of the best law schools in the country… so I encourage you to go for it!

      Good Luck!

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