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Mean LSAT Score by Undergraduate College

exegesisexegesis Registered User Posts: 129 Junior Member
edited August 2011 in College Search & Selection
I was browsing through a Law School admissions forum and thought this list was interesting. These are the mean LSAT scores for some UG institutions in 2008 according to the LSDAS. The colleges are ranked from lowest to highest. I’m assuming there is some correlation between LSAT scores and the quality of the student body at the college. Schools with higher LSAT scores might also do a better job of teaching its students critical thinking and reasoning skills. Thoughts?

University of Phoenix 143
Bellevue University 145
FIT 145
Valdosta State University 145
Southern Illinois University 146
Suffolk University 146
Florida Atlantic University 147
Hawaii Pacific University 147
Wayne State University 147
Winthrop University 147
California State Fullerton 148
Richard Stockton College of New Jersey 148
Towson University 148
Baruch 149
The Citadel 149
City University of New York 149
Kennesaw State 149
University of Houston 149
Marist College 149
Seton Hall 149
University of Nebraska - Omaha 149
UNLV 149
University of New Mexico 149
University of North Carolina Wilmington 149
Sonoma State 150
Texas Tech University 150
University of Hawaii 150
University of Mississippi 150
University of Saskatchewan 150
University of South Carolina 150
University of South Dakota 150
University of Wiconsin - Green Bay 150
University of Wyoming 150
Wright State 150
Franklin & Marshall 151
Marquette 151
Northern Arizona 151
Ohio University 151
Portland State 151
St. Norbert College 151
Syracuse University 151
University of Cincinnati 151
Agnes Scott College 152
Arizona State 152
Concordia University 152
Grand Valley State University 152
Michigan State 152
Penn State 152
Purdue University 152
Saint John's University 152
Saint Louis University 152
Southern Utah University 152
University of Alabama- Tuscaloosa 152
University of California- Irvine 152
University of Connecticut 152
University of Denver 152
University of Miami 152
University of Oklahoma 152
Oklahoma State
University of Tennessee 152
University of Vermont 152
Baylor 153
Fordham 153
Indiana Bloomington 153
Syracuse University 153
Texas Christian University (TCU) 153
Touro 153
University of Maryland - Baltimore County 153
Ursinus College 153
Virginia Tech 153
American 154
Arizona 154
Ithaca College 154
Ohio State 154
University of California- Santa Cruz 154
University of Florida 154
University of Iowa 154
University of Mary Washington 154
University of Nebraska - Lincoln 154
University of Oregon 154
Utah State University 154
Centre College 155
Colorado University- Boulder 155
Dickinson College 155
Gustavus Adolphus College (is this college real?) 155
Rensselaer Polytech Institute 155
Texas A&M 155
The College of New Jersey 155
University of California- Davis 155
University of California- Santa Barbara 155
University of Georgia 155
University of Illinois 155
University of Minnesota 155
University of Washington 155
Boston University 156
Calvin College 156
DePauw University 156
Holy Cross 156
Lafayette College 156
Lawrence University 156
Rutgers College 156
Rhodes College 156
University of California- San Diego 156
University of Wisconsin- Madison 156
Texas 156
Calvin College 157
George Washington 157
Tulane 157
University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill 157
University of Southern California 157
Wake Forest 157
West Point 157
Boston College 158
Brandeis 158
Georgia Tech 158
Queen's University (Canada) 158
Saint John's College 158
University of California- Los Angeles 158
University of Dallas 158
University of Michigan 158
University of Rochester 158
University of Virginia 158
Washington University in Saint Louis 158
Brigham Young University 159
Byrn Mawr College 159
Carnegie Mellon 159
Colby College 159
Colgate 159
Colorado College 159
Emory 159
John Hopkins 159
McGill 159
New York University 159
University of California- Berkeley 159
Vanderbilt 159
Tufts 160
William and Mary 160
Cornell 161
Georgetown 161
Haverford College 161
Northwestern 161
Notre Dame 161
Reed College 161
Washington and Lee 161
Wesleyan University 161
Wheaton College (Illinois) 161
Carleton College 162
Claremont McKenna 162
Hamilton College 162
Rice 162
University of Chicago 162
Brown 163
Columbia 163
Dartmouth 163
Duke 163
MIT 163
University of Pennsylvania 163
Stanford 164
Williams 164
Pomona College 165
Princeton 165
Swarthmore 165
Yale 165
Harvard 166
Post edited by exegesis on

Replies to: Mean LSAT Score by Undergraduate College

  • exegesisexegesis Registered User Posts: 129 Junior Member
    Interesting how the top state schools (Michigan, UVA, Tech, etc) all clustered around 157-158. Wash U. a bit lower that I expected. Wheaton College in Illinois does very well (excellent Christian school).
  • Erin's DadErin's Dad Super Moderator Posts: 36,348 Super Moderator
    ^ Looks like William and Mary may be the top state school for VA (160). Anyone know what the average variation is in scoring (i.e. is there are real difference between a 158 and a 161)?
  • tk21769tk21769 Registered User Posts: 10,585 Senior Member
    Not surprisingly, the top schools by LSAT scores correspond closely to the top schools by SAT scores.

    The following schools (universities and LACs) had 75th percentile M+CR scores >= 1500 in 2010, according to stateuniversity.com:

    Harvard, Yale (1590)
    Princeton (1580)
    Pomona, MIT (1560)
    Dartmouth (1550)
    WUSTL, Duke,Stanford, Brown, Columbia (1540)
    Chicago, Rice (1530)
    Swarthmore, Penn, Amherst, NU, Williams (1520)
    JHU, Bowdoin (1510)
    Cornell, ND, Tufts, CMK, CMU, Vanderbilt (1500)

    Most of the above are also in the top 25 for LSATs. The exceptions are Tufts, Vanderbilt, JHU, CMU, and WUSTL (which still fall in the top 40 range for LSATs, but not the top 25). Bowdoin is not reported at all in the above LSAT list. Oversight?

    Schools in the top 25 for LSATs, even though they are not in the top 25 for SATs (with 75th% M+CR <1500) include Hamilton, Carleton, Wheaton, Wesleyan, W&L, Reed, Haverford, and Georgetown. All of these but Georgetown are LACs.

    I'm inclined to make two observations:
    1. SAT performance seems to be a strong predictor of strong LSAT performance (again, unsurprisingly)
    2. Small LACs seem to help students with good SATs get even better LSATs, relative to other schools.

    It's possible, though, that self-selection effects influence these patterns. I wouldn't be surprised if the strongest students at JHU, CMU, and WUSTL tend to choose law school at slightly lower rates relative to some of their peers. They may be gravitating to medicine or IT at higher rates.

    Wheaton College is interesting. Its 75th% M+CR score is 1420. So it ranks 50-something for SATs. But for LSATs, it's tied for 19th. So, among all these schools, it seems to be the one with the biggest spread (+ or -) between SAT and LSAT rank.
  • bluebayoubluebayou Registered User Posts: 26,554 Senior Member
    2. Small LACs seem to help students with good SATs get even better LSATs, relative to other schools.

    Another possibility: the 'stronger' test takers at the Big Research Unis tend towards STEM majors, fewer of which apply to law school relative to lit/hume majors.

    Before all the lit/hume parents start throwing stuff, I'm just suggesting an idea, which I received from another parent poster who claims that she has seen the test scores at her big public and that the higher scores are in STEM wannabes.
  • tk21769tk21769 Registered User Posts: 10,585 Senior Member
    ^ Maybe so. That's what I meant by "self-selection effects".

    Bear in mind, though, that LACs are well represented among the top schools for per-capita PhD production. This is true not only in the humanities and social sciences, but in the physical sciences, life sciences, and mathematics as well ( COLLEGE PHD PRODUCTIVITY).

    And here are the percentages of degrees conferred in physical science + life science + mathematics at a few LACs and big universities, for comparison:

    Carleton (30%)
    Reed (23%)
    Williams (23%)
    Swarthmore (20%)

    Berkeley (18%)
    UVa (12%)
    Michigan (12%)

    If you throw in engineering degrees (which most LACs don't offer), and CS degrees, the picture will change somewhat. At Berkeley, STEM percentage is 30% with engineering and CS added. That's still lower than Carleton, though, which after adding CS degrees conferred goes up to 35%.
  • drax12drax12 Registered User Posts: 1,407 Senior Member
    Meh...

    Elle Woods scored a 178 (179?) on the LSAT and she was a Fashion (Merchandising?) major at CULA.
  • floridadad55floridadad55 Registered User Posts: 2,262 Senior Member
    Don't go to law school.

    It is a mistake.

    There are way way way too many lawyers out there.

    I have clients whose grandchildren are graduating good law schools such as Northwestern, with no jobs, or jobs at $30,000 a year.
  • bluebayoubluebayou Registered User Posts: 26,554 Senior Member
    but the big difference tk, is that strong test taking skills are not a requirement for a top PhD program. Unlike other grad programs, the lsat is ~50% of law school admissions. Thus, only strong testers need apply to HYS.
  • drax12drax12 Registered User Posts: 1,407 Senior Member
    I think for public research institutions, the URM factor has to be considered in these u's LSAT scores, moreso than higher scorers gravitating towards STEM.

    As an example, a lot of the URM's that attend UCLA, and maybe to a bit of a lesser extent, Cal, are more admitted to the these u's based on potential, rather than by manifesting high stats, specifically scores ... SAT's.

    These students by graduation, would probably have made up significant ground in, say, scoring well on the LSAT -- whether it's a level of confidence, self-esteem -- as compared to their more educationally priviledged classmates from hs, but maybe not yet have up all the ground in four years or +.

    I don't think higher scorers gravitating towards STEM is the answer at all. Because humanities majors would probably tend to do better anyway on the more specifically based LSAT, which might be more to their liking and more in line with their particular perusals ... wrt 'standardized' testing for l-school admission.

    Here's Elle Woods' Harvard app video.
  • DolorousEddDolorousEdd - Posts: 1,274 Senior Member
    Another possibility: the 'stronger' test takers at the Big Research Unis tend towards STEM majors, fewer of which apply to law school relative to lit/hume majors.

    Before all the lit/hume parents start throwing stuff, I'm just suggesting an idea, which I received from another parent poster who claims that she has seen the test scores at her big public and that the higher scores are in STEM wannabes.
    This sounds reasonable. Think about it: A great deal of the best test-takers at a large university will be going into science and engineering. However, at a liberal arts college, or a smaller university without an engineering school, one of the top fields for students to go into would be law (they would still loose the high-scoring science students to medicine, but there's still no engineering). From what I've seen, engineering students seem to be among the best at standardized tests, though of course that's just in general, and not applied to each individual.
    Not surprisingly, the top schools by LSAT scores correspond closely to the top schools by SAT scores.
    Since many of the schools listed have higher ACT averages than SAT averages, it might be interesting to look at those, too. And breakdowns of different subjects could be informative.
  • drax12drax12 Registered User Posts: 1,407 Senior Member
    Engineering students would do better on the math portion of the SAT; humanities students probably do better on the written and critical-reading portions. Students doing better on the W and CR in relation to the M portion, humanities students, would probably score better on the LSAT, though a major in engineering might help with portions of the LSAT, undoubtedly. And these would be trends...
  • PSC2IVYPSC2IVY Registered User Posts: 459 Member
    BUMP Lmao.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 76,194 Senior Member
    Re: #11

    Note that the LSAT has a logic puzzle section, which is presumably something math and philosophy majors clean up on.
  • Cue7Cue7 Registered User Posts: 2,513 Senior Member
    Those medians are quite old, I believe. I think Chicago's undergrad LSAT median has gone up a couple points in the past few years (to 164), and Harvard and Yale's undergrad medians have gone up a bit too (to 167, I believe, which is stratospherically high).
  • Erin's DadErin's Dad Super Moderator Posts: 36,348 Super Moderator
    This thread is three years old. Please start a new thread if you have a question.
This discussion has been closed.