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Can You Get Into Law School With a Low LSAT Score? 6 Steps

Can I get into law school with a low LSAT score? Can I get into law school with a LSAT below 150? Can I get into a top tier law school with a law school below the 25th percentile?

These are common questions I get every year from clients who have dreams of going to law school or dreams of going to a specific law school, but just can’t seem to get their LSAT score to where they want or need it to be. 

No matter the applicant, my answer is always: nothing is impossible! Every year I have clients getting into law schools where if you just looked at their LSAT score, they shouldn’t have been admitted. 

Because guess what, contrary to popular belief, law schools don’t care only about your LSAT score. 

Just look at some of my recent clients, who if you had just looked at their LSAT should not have gotten into the law schools they’re at right now!

Clearly, the LSAT score is not the only thing that matters. 

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But I also am always very realistic with my clients. And while the LSAT is not the sole factor for law school admissions, it is still important. 

So that begs the question, what is considered a low LSAT score for law school?

The answer will vary depending on every applicant’s individual goals. But typically, a low LSAT score would be if your score is at or below the school’s 25th percentile LSAT score. 

So looking at the table below, at the top tier schools’ LSAT ranges from 2020, anything below their “LSAT Low,” which is the 25th percentile, would be considered low for that school. So if your goal school was NYU, any score below 167 would be considered low. 


Of course, a score that would be low for NYU may be fantastic for another school. So what is considered a “low” LSAT score really is dependent on your specific law school goals. You can see the rest of the schools’ 2020 LSAT ranges here

Now, that being said, at some point there is such a thing as an LSAT score that is simply too low to get into law school. The below table shows the schools that accept the lowest LSAT scores. This shows that the lowest acceptable LSAT score is 139. 


Typically, a good rule of thumb is that you want to at least break 140 to make taking on the cost of law school economically feasible. You can get into a law school with a 140 LSAT score. If you can’t break 140, you either want to rethink your testing strategy or reconsider law school. 

It is simply not worth taking on all that debt or expenses if you cannot get a job or pass the bar afterwards. Remember, your goal is to be a lawyer not just get into law school!

But as I said before, your LSAT score is not the only thing law schools care about. And as my clients can attest, there are things you can do to get into law school with a low LSAT score.

So to answer the question Can I get into law school with a low LSAT score? Yes, yes you can! 

Here’s how. 

How to Get Into Law School with a Low LSAT Score

1. Re-take the LSAT.

Ok so the most obvious first thing to consider is whether you can improve your LSAT score.

The LSAT score is important enough that it is worth taking a hard look at how you’ve been studying. Have you been treating it like a job, or just doing it on the side? Maybe you need to take a prep course or hire a tutor? Do you perform well on practice tests, but then panic on the real thing?

If you haven’t checked all the boxes possible in your LSAT prep, then the first thing I would consider is taking the test again, even if that might mean pushing back your application cycle.

Of course at some point, you have to accept your LSAT score is what it is. Don’t be one of those applicants who takes the LSAT score five times, only to score about the same every time.

I’d say three times is typically the max I would recommend taking it (unless extenuating circumstances happened during one of the exams). If you’ve studied well and are scoring on the official exam within three points of your average practice tests, then that is probably what your score is. And it is time to move on 

If you’re stuck with a score you’re unhappy with but know you can’t re-take the LSAT again, I know the question is still: Can I still get into law school with the low LSAT score? Let’s find out what else you can do. 

2. Take the GRE.

Don’t forget that the LSAT is not your only option! The ABA has officially endorsed the use of the GRE in law school admissions. If you just can’t get the LSAT score you’re looking for, think about taking the GRE. I’ve had some clients who just bomb the LSAT but have then gotten near perfects on the GRE.

But don’t take the GRE if it’s just going to be another low standardized test score. Take some practice tests and see how you do.

It can be tough to know what a good GRE score is for any given school since they don’t report it as widely and there are just fewer data points since most applicants are still applying with the LSAT.

My suggestion: compare percentiles. Look to the school’s median LSAT score and see about what percentile that would be for that years’ law school exams (this will be an average since it changes with each exam). You’ll want your GRE score to fall within that same or similar percentile.

So for instance, according to this website, a 170 LSAT in 2020 was around the 97th percentile. You’d then want to get a GRE score to fall within the 97th percentile.

Note that this is definitely not a perfect science. Especially with the new LSAT-Flex test, the percentiles are less known, and have been all over the place. But it still helps to get at least a sense of what kinds of schools you’d be competitive for with your GRE score. 

Also, remember that if you took an official LSAT test within the past five years, your LSAT score will still be reported to law schools even if you take the GRE. You can’t choose to not report your LSAT score. So while a high GRE score can certainly make up for a low LSAT score, it sadly cannot erase a the low LSAT score.

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3. Have a High GPA

You can get into law school with a low LSAT but high GPA. 

As you can see from my clients above who got into law schools with low LSAT scores, most of them had excellent GPAs. While this is not the rule (as you can see my client “D.O.” got in with a lower GPA and low LSAT), you are much more likely to get in with a low LSAT if you have a strong GPA to make up for it. 

Popular to contrary belief, the LSAT is not more important than the GPA. And in my experience, law schools are often more forgiving of a low LSAT if the applicant has a proven record of academic success. A strong GPA would be above a school’s median, or at the very least within the school’s median. 

If you don’t have the strongest GPA, there are still things you can do to show that you have a proven record of academic success. Read my blog post here about how to make up for a low GPA in college.

4. Present Robust Letters of Recommendations 

Letters of recommendations for law school are something too often overlooked when trying to get into law school with a low LSAT score. They are vitally important.

Since the biggest fear of admitting an applicant with a low LSAT is that he/she/they won’t succeed academically, your best letters will be those that show how you have succeeded in a rigorous academic environment in the past. Professors will be the most obvious choice for this, but if you’re a few years removed from undergrad a letter talking about how you go above and beyond in a rigorous professional environment will also be impactful. 

When asking your recommenders, make sure to give them guidelines about what you want them to talk about. For an applicant with a low LSAT score, you’ll want to make sure they highlight specifically how you have already shown that you have the capabilities and character traits to succeed in a demanding academic environment like law school.

5. Write an Addendum Explaining Your Low LSAT Score

If you have a valid reason for your low LSAT score, I suggest writing an addendum. You should not write an addendum simply because your score is low.

A valid explanation for a low LSAT score would be things such as: 

  • Significant responsibilities while studying for the LSAT, thus limiting your time to study;
  • Extenuating circumstance such as family emergency and an explanation for why you couldn’t take it again at a calmer time;
  • Poor standardized test taker with appropriate explanation, such as a history of standardized tests not being indicative of academic performance, coming from an underprivileged background and never having the necessary support/resources to compete well on standardized exams.

Read the full details, along with sample addenda, on how and when to write a law school addendum.

6. Write a Winning Personal Statement 

Writing a personal statement that stands out and shows not just who you are and what you’ve done, but also how you think can go a LONG way to getting you admitted into law school with a low LSAT score. 

In fact, it is the thing that will get you admitted to law school even with a low LSAT score.

For my clients who got into their dream law schools despite not having the LSAT score to match, it was their personal statement that ultimately made them stand out. Through their personal statement they showed law schools they were someone who could think critically and complexly. i.e., they used their personal statement to show law schools that they had the exact traits they needed to succeed in law school: critical thinking and writing abilities. 

Learn How to Write a Winning Personal Statement.

Do not underestimate the impact of a powerful personal statement. If you have a low LSAT score, your personal statement is one of the primary things you can now control. Don’t waste the opportunity to show law schools that you are more than your LSAT score. 

Key take-aways

  1. Can you get into law school with a low LSAT score? Yes! But you need to do some work. 
  2.  My LSAT is low, should I still apply to law school? If you can get above a 140, it is still worth applying. If you can’t break 140, you will probably not get into a law school that will make the cost worth it. 
  3. How do I get into law school with a low LSAT score? 6 ways to boost your chances of admission:
    1. Retake the LSAT – the lowest acceptable LSAT score is 140.
    2. Take the GRE – but only if you’ll do better percentile wise than the LSAT.
    3. Have a high GPA – you can get into law school with a low LSAT but high GPA.
    4. Present persuasive letters of recommendation – ones that show you can handle the rigorous academic environment of law school. 
    5. Write an addendum explaining your low LSAT score – but only if you have a valid reason 
    6. Write a Winning Personal Statement – one that shows you can think and write like a lawyer.  

Want an entirely individualized outline and feedback on your personal statement? Schedule a FREE consultation now to see how we can help you get into your dream law school!   

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Hope you enjoy this blog post! Want to know how to use the power of your personal statement to get into your dream law school, even if you aren’t the “perfect” applicant?

Mara has helped countless law school applicants get into their dream law schools, even without a perfect GPA, the highest LSAT score, or most unique story. Mara used to be a litigator at one of the top law firms in the world and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Law School as a prestigious Toll Public Interest Scholar.

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