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What Law School Can You Get Into? (Easiest & Hardest Law Schools)

what law school can you get into

 What law school can you get into? 

Every law school has its unique requirements and admissions processes. Determining which one you can get into can be a daunting task.

In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the essential factors to consider when evaluating your chances of getting accepted to law school. 

Read on!

The easiest law schools to get into in 2023-2024

First, let’s take a look at what the easiest law schools you can get into with a low(er) GPA or LSAT. In 2023, these are: 

School

Median GPA

Median LSAT

Acceptance Rate

Southern University Law Center

3.08

146

63.0%

Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School

2.99

147

63.4%

Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law

3.07

147

62.3%

Arizona Summit Law School

3.05

149

62.2%

Western Michigan University Cooley Law School - Auburn Hills

3.05

147

61.8%

New England Law

3.14

148

61.7%

University of the District of Columbia (Clarke)

3.07

148

61.2%

University of Puerto Rico School of Law

3.05

147

60.7%

Florida Coastal School of Law

3.04

148

60.6%

The hardest law schools to get into in 2023-2024

And now, the hardest law schools to get into in the US. These are all some of the best ranked schools in the US. 

School

Median GPA

Median LSAT

Acceptance Rate

Yale Law School

3.94

174

6.9%

Stanford Law School

3.91

172

4.8%

Harvard Law School

3.90

173

12.9%

Columbia Law School

3.90

172

7.4%

University of Chicago Law School

3.89

171

8.0%

University of Pennsylvania Law School (Penn Law)

3.88

171

7.7%

New York University Law School (NYU Law)

3.87

171

10.5%

Duke Law School

3.86

171

7.0%

However, you don’t need perfect stats to get into law schools. 

You can have a lower GPA or LSAT and still get admitted to your top law school.

Here’s what you need to know about what academic credentials you need to get accepted. 

Assess your academic credentials

What GPA and LSAT score do you need to get into law school? 

Law schools place significant weight on your undergraduate GPA and LSAT (Law School Admission Test) scores, seeing them as indicators of your potential to succeed in law school. 

While both are vitally important, law schools tend to weigh your LSAT score more heavily in their decision. 

The LSAT is a standardized test designed to assess the skills required for success in law school. Scores range from 120-180. The average LSAT score for full-time, first-year JD students in fall 2022 was 159 (according to ABA reports of median LSAT scores). 

According to the same data from the ABA, the average GPA of admitted students hovers around 3.6. However, these numbers vary significantly across different law schools. 

For instance, top-tier law schools like Harvard Law School and Yale Law School often admit students with LSAT scores in the 170s and GPAs above 3.8. 

On the other hand, some regional law schools may have more lenient admission criteria.

But your GPA and LSAT scores can be lower than your target school’s median scores.

It all comes down to the rest of your application – if you can successfully demonstrate that you have what it takes to succeed at that school. 

I’ll talk more about how to create the right application below. 

However, your undergraduate institution and major are not a significant factor in law school admissions. 

Law schools don’t care much whether your GPA is from an Ivy League undergraduate school or from a lower ranked state school. They care more about seeing through your application materials, that you are someone who can hack it academically in law school and beyond. 

In a similar vein, law school’s care more about your overall GPA than the rigor of your major. However, if you are strategic with how you frame an alternative major, like a science background, it can be an asset to your application.  

To gain a better understanding of your competitive standing, research the average GPA and LSAT scores of admitted students at various law schools. The LSAC website and law school admission websites are excellent resources for obtaining this information.

Identify your professional priorities

Different law schools have different strengths and focus areas. 

Some excel in environmental law, while others have a strong reputation in corporate law or civil rights. 

It's essential to align your interests and career goals with the strengths of the law schools you're considering. Think about the type of law you wish to practice, the legal issues you're passionate about, and the kind of legal career you envision.

For instance, if you're interested in environmental law, schools like Vermont Law School or Stanford Law School might be appealing choices due to their specialized programs and resources in this field. 

On the other hand, if you aspire to work in international law, schools like Georgetown University Law Center or New York University School of Law might be a better fit due to their global law programs.

You also want to consider the region you want to practice in after graduating, and select law schools that will place well in that region. 

Schools outside the T-30 often place more regionally, meaning you’d want to be ok working in that region after law school. Law School Transparency can be a great resource to identify where students find jobs after school. 

Remember though, the best law school for you might not necessarily be the top-ranked one, but rather the one that best suits your career goals and preferences.

Next, let’s take a look at the difference your application can make. 

Extracurricular activities and your application

Your law school application will be a critical component of getting into your dream law school. 

Every law school requires a personal statement, resume, and letters of recommendation.

They also tend to provide the option to submit additional essays, such as a diversity statement, addenda, and school-specific supplemental essays. 

Your application as a while is an opportunity to showcase your:

  • Unique qualities
  • Experiences
  • Passion for the legal field

Your essays should reflect who you are as an individual, your motivation for pursuing a legal career, and the experiences that have shaped your decision.

Don’t underestimate the impact a powerful application can have. 

It could make the difference between getting accepted or rejected – especially if you don’t have perfect GPA and LSAT scores. 

To illustrate, let me share with you two client stories. 

Raneem and Miles both came to me after applying to law school on their own and getting flat out rejected at every law school they applied to. 

Raneem’s rejections weren’t that surprising to her as she had a very low gpa (3.0) and a below median LSAT score (168) for the T-14 schools she applied to. 

Miles on the other hand, had excellent stats (174, 3.9), yet still couldn’t get into any law school. 

After working together revamping their application materials, Raneem and Miles applied with the exact same stats they had each previously applied with (aka, neither of them took the LSAT again or had a change in GPA). 

Yet they both had entirely different outcomes than the first time they applied. 

Raneem got into Northwestern, despite her extremely below-median stats, and Miles got into multiple T-10 schools with scholarship money. 

It was their application materials that made all the difference. 

But there are other things that impact your application, too. Here they are. 

Apply as early as possible 

When you submit your law school application can significantly impact your chances of admission. 

Here are some general guidelines for when to apply to law school: 

Law schools typically have two main application cycles: 

(1) Early decision, and 

(2) Regular decision

Early decision deadlines are typically mid-November (though some schools like Georgetown have the option to apply ED throughout their entire application cycle). 

Regular decision deadlines typically fall between February and March. 

Note, for the very few select schools that offer spring admissions (like Baylor), the application deadline is typically in early December. 

Most law schools follow a rolling admissions process, meaning they review applications as they receive them and offer decisions throughout the application cycle. 

So while a school may have a deadline of March 1, if you wait that long, your chance of gaining admission is lower - by a lot. Which is why I always recommend applying as early as possible. 

That being said, there is a lot of fear-mongering on Reddit that you have to apply the day applications open. This is simply not true, and applying in September versus November will have a negligible impact on your admissions decision. 

Most schools don’t even start reviewing applications until October at the earliest. 

But you absolutely want to apply by the New Year, because anytime after that will decrease your admissions chances.  

Apply to a mix of schools

It's essential to create a well-balanced list of law schools that includes: 

  • Reach schools (where your credentials are below the average)
  • Target schools (where your credentials align with the average)
  • Safety schools (where your credentials are above the average)

I typically recommend applying to at least three in each category, but I am also of the mind that you shouldn’t apply to a school you’ll never go to. 

Reach schools are those where your GPA or LSAT score (or both!) is below the school's median. While your chances of admission might be lower, it's still worth applying to these schools if they align with your career aspirations and provide the opportunities you're looking for. 

Every cycle, most of my clients get into at least one of their reach schools, with some getting into dream reach schools they never thought possible–shout out to Lauren who got into American despite her LSAT score being 10 points below the median! 

So dream big and shoot your shot. 

Target schools are those where your academic credentials fall within the school's median range. These are your best bets for admission, given your competitive standing. 

But also, don’t conflate these with safety schools. Just because you have the stats doesn’t mean you’ll get in–especially with how competitive admissions are these days. 

Safety schools are those where your academic credentials exceed the school's median. These schools are your safety net and should have a higher likelihood of admitting you, particularly with scholarship money.

Applying to a mix of schools increases your chances of gaining admission to at least one law school that meets your criteria. Be strategic in your choices and consider factors beyond just the school's rank. 

Look at the curriculum, faculty, clinical opportunities, and overall environment to ensure the schools you apply to align with your goals.

Highlight your diversity 

Law schools, like many educational institutions, often seek to foster diverse student bodies, which includes individuals from various racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds. 

Being an underrepresented minority can give you an advantage in the admissions process, as law schools may actively seek to increase diversity on their campuses.

However, with the recent Supreme Court ruling striking down affirmative action programs in college admissions, it is even more essential than ever to convey through your application materials how your underrepresented minority status influenced your unique perspective. 

The Court explicitly wrote that admissions officers could still take account of race when “considering an applicant’s discussion of how race affected his or her life, be it through discrimination, inspiration, or otherwise.” 

If anything, this ruling just makes your essays an even more important part of your law school application. 

Next steps

Now you know what law school you can get into!

Deciding what law school you can get into involves thoughtful research, introspection, and realistic assessment of your academic credentials. Remember that gaining admission to law school is not solely about numbers; it's about presenting a well-rounded and compelling application that showcases your passion for the legal profession.

Take the time to research various law schools, understand their strengths and specializations, and carefully craft your application to increase your chances of achieving your dream of becoming a successful legal professional. Law school is a transformative experience that will shape your future career, so finding the right fit is crucial.

Want to make sure you’ll be well-positioned to get accepted to your dream law school? 

Sign up for my law school consulting to increase your chances of getting accepted.

I’ve worked with all types of clients to help them get accepted to top law schools, even if they don’t have perfect stats. 

Read more: 

What GPA Do You Need for Law School? 

Can You Get into Law School with a Low LSAT?

ABOUT MARA FREILICH

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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