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|LSAT scores and the numbers game|
|Written by R. Branch, Esq.|
You Received Your LSAT Results. Now What?
You signed up for an LSAT prep course, paid the tuition, studied hard, took the LSAT, and received your LSAT score. Is your score good enough to get into the law school of your choice? What law schools do you have a solid chance of gaining admission? To see how competitive you are at different law schools, check out Legalnut’s law school search tool.
How do law schools use your LSAT score?
Index Score. Generally, law school admissions professionals create a numerical formula which combines your LSAT and GPA scores into one “index formula” or “index score.”
From there the law schools may also calculate their separate 25th and 75th percentile for LSAT scores and GPAs. Presumably, this means that if your index score falls within the law school’s 75th percentile requirement, you would have a very good chance of gaining admission. However, if your index score for either your LSAT or your GPA falls within the law school’s 25th percentile, you are likely to be denied admission.
Retaking the LSAT
If you are unhappy with your LSAT score should you retake the LSAT? In some situations it may be necessary to retake the LSAT, such as getting a low score because you mis-grid your answer sheet, or you canceled your LSAT score prior to grading. Please note, if you retake the LSAT without canceling your score within the cancellation period, then your LSAT scores will be “averaged” by the law schools, then weighted with your GPA to arrive at your adjusted index score.
Where do you stand?
High LSAT Score and a High GPA: If your LSAT score and GPA rank above the 75th percentile admissions numbers, you have a great chance of getting accepted. In such a situation, the law school admissions professionals may only briefly review your writing sample, assuming they look at it at all.
Know the facts
Law school admission is becoming more competitive. According to a recent survey of law school admissions professionals, there has been a decline in the number of law student applicants, while the law school professionals have noticed that the applicant pool’s index scores are increasing. So, there are fewer law school applicants, but the applicants now have higher LSAT and GPAs. This is probably attributable to the increased use of LSAT test preparation courses such as the Princeton Review.
Fact. In year 2005, Yale Law School received about 3,778 applicants and admitted only 6% of them, or 226 students. Yale listed their low LSAT score as 168 and low GPA of 3.79. So, out of 3,778 applicants, 3,551 were rejected.
The earlier you apply to a law school the less time you will have to wait for an admit/deny response. Usually, if you apply before December 1st, you will only have to wait about four weeks for an answer. If your index score is average, and you apply late, it’s likely that the law school has already filled their first year seats with higher index scoring applicants.
Law School Resources
Attorney jobs listings and sites with attorney salary information, attorney job search functions, and salaries by law firm.
Law school rankings show how competitive your lsat scores would be at top law schools in the US.
Law school admissions advice is available both at the LSAT forum and throughout the pre-law section, including LSAT prep options, law school personal statement help, LSAT score distributions and law school bar exam pass rates.
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