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T-14 - what does it take?

guitars101guitars101 2122 replies135 threads Senior Member
edited September 2011 in Law School
what are opinions on getting into top law schools as far as gpa and lsat scores go? what are good, solid numbers?

thanks!
edited September 2011
21 replies
Post edited by guitars101 on
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Replies to: T-14 - what does it take?

  • SamonuhSamonuh 956 replies95 threads- Senior Member
    GPA? I'd say a 3.8+ is pretty solid. LSAT scores? You definitely need a 170+ to be in the running for admissions and a 175+ for a solid chance.
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  • LazyKidLazyKid 751 replies7 threads- Member
    GPA? I'd say a 3.8+ is pretty solid. LSAT scores? You definitely need a 170+ to be in the running for admissions and a 175+ for a solid chance.

    OP asked what are good numbers to get in to a T14, not getting into Yale Law School. If you have 175 on LSAT you are an auto admit at Harvard Law as long as you have a decent GPA. I'd say that With a GPA of 3.8, you can get 167-168 on LSAT and still get into several lower-tier T14 law schools. (Georgetown, UVA, Cornell)
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  • lebob23lebob23 28 replies4 threads Junior Member
    3.5 and a 160 plus around a million dollars.
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  • EMM1EMM1 2486 replies97 threads Senior Member
    "If you have 175 on LSAT you are an auto admit at Harvard Law as long as you have a decent GPA."

    This is just wrong. Coming from an undergraduate school other than Harvard, Yale, Stanford, etc., you generally need both an outstanding LSAT and an excellent GPA to be admitted at Harvard (or Yale, or Stanford) The average undergraduate GPA at Harvard Law School is 3.9.

    Harvard University, Harvard Law School
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  • HeywatchitbuddyHeywatchitbuddy 114 replies39 threads Junior Member
    "This is just wrong. Coming from an undergraduate school other than Harvard, Yale, Stanford, etc., you generally need both an outstanding LSAT and an excellent GPA to be admitted at Harvard (or Yale, or Stanford) The average undergraduate GPA at Harvard Law School is 3.9."

    This is mostly correct, however at the 175 LSAT level, anything at or above a 3.8 GPA seems to be auto admit. At the lower 170s though, you really do need to have around a 4.0. I hope this clears it up a bit.

    Sources: LSN :: Harvard University - Admissions Graph
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  • LazyKidLazyKid 751 replies7 threads- Member
    This is just wrong. Coming from an undergraduate school other than Harvard, Yale, Stanford, etc., you generally need both an outstanding LSAT and an excellent GPA to be admitted at Harvard (or Yale, or Stanford) The average undergraduate GPA at Harvard Law School is 3.9.

    By decent, I mean GPA 3.6+ or above. With 175 LSAT, you would have a very strong chance of getting into Harvard Law with 3.6-3.7. Worst comes worst, with that kind of stats, you could always go to Columbia or NYU Law along with substantial merit money offers from numerous lower T-14 schools. Getting 174+ on LSAT is a HUGE deal and with that kind of score, you would get into many top law schools (perhaps not top 6) even with a GPA as low as a 3.0.

    Remember: as long as you go to a top 6 law school, it really doesn't matter which one you go. Law firms won't care if you come from Harvard or Columbia. Getting a good lawyer job depends a lot on other factors than the name of the school, such as the grades during 1L, interviewing skills, work experiences, bidding strategy, and so on. As a result, no one should ever lose sleep about not getting into Harvard or Stanford Law or whatever. Get 170+ on LSAT, go to a top 10 law school, and bust your as$.
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  • kwukwu 4743 replies16 threads Senior Member
    It does matter. Law school is a $250,000, three year investment.

    With regards to coveted careers in academia and the wet dream of a SCOTUS clerkship, Yale, Harvard, Stanford, and Chicago beat out the rest:

    Brian Leiter Law School Faculty Moves, 1995-2004
    Brian Leiter Law School Supreme Court Clerkship Placement, 2000-2010

    If one were interested only in a dead end job at a big firm, one would pick Columbia over Chicago, and maybe even Stanford, but the yields are telling.

    Y: 80.40
    H: 67.34
    S: 47.50
    C: 34.03
    C: 24.15
    N: 26.89

    etc.

    The numbers reflect the cultural values--this a profession in which prestige is paramount.
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  • LazyKidLazyKid 751 replies7 threads- Member
    It does matter. Law school is a $250,000, three year investment.

    With regards to coveted careers in academia and the wet dream of a SCOTUS clerkship, Yale, Harvard, Stanford, and Chicago beat out the rest:

    I concede that highly selective clerkships and professorships at law schools would favor grads of Harvard and Yale Law. However, to be competitive for those kind of jobs, even coming form Harvard Law, you would need to be close to top 10% of your class and be on Law Review, and there is still no guarantee that you will attain such jobs. If you ask me, that is a very slim chance for anyone to realistically expect to get those kinds of jobs.

    Hence, my point that within the top 6-10 law schools, the discrepancies in school prestige or small rank differences do not matter nearly as much as some people hype it up to be. A top 30% class rank Stone Scholar from Columbia Law would beat the heck out of median to below-median Harvard Law student when OCI season comes, when students compete for those Skadden, Davis Polk, Wachtell, or Cravath SA spots.
    The numbers reflect the cultural values--this a profession in which prestige is paramount.

    I would say school prestige in law matters, but not quite to the point of 'paramount'. My observation is that within top 10 law schools, students' individual performance and qualifications matter much more than, say, the difference of attending between Harvard or Columbia.

    In addition, I have a high school friend who made it to V10 NYC firm doing corporate M&A out of a Top 50 law school, while a sizeable number of 2Ls from Harvard Law failed to secure any kind and form of a BigLaw employment last few years. Where you go to law schools is important, but your class rank at your law school, in my estimate, can be even more important. BigLaw firms, just like other employers, try to look at the whole package: school rank, individual's class rank within his/her law school, resume/work experience, interviewing skills/personality, etc.

    Finally, after your first job, people won't very much care where you went to law school. Your work experience, connections, resume built, and networking/ people skills will absolutely trump the school prestige factor. Hence, would any individual need to lose sleep for not making it to Harvard/Yale Law and 'settling' for another top 6-10 law school? I really don't think so, at least in the long term.
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  • EMM1EMM1 2486 replies97 threads Senior Member
    "Getting 174+ on LSAT is a HUGE deal and with that kind of score, you would get into many top law schools (perhaps not top 6) even with a GPA as low as a 3.0."

    Again where is your evidence. At Michigan (a low T-14 school) a 3.5 GPA is not even in in the 25th percentile of the entering class.

    Class Statistics
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  • LazyKidLazyKid 751 replies7 threads- Member
    Again where is your evidence. At Michigan (a low T-14 school) a 3.5 GPA is not even in in the 25th percentile of the entering class.

    Do your own research. I don't care if you buy my argument or not. Like I said, I know many people who got into UVA, Georgetown, Northwestern, and Cornell with low GPA + high LSAT combo. Google search "splitter friendly top law schools" and I suspect you will see results. Or, you can google "LSAT or GPA importance/weight top law schools". Seriously, do your own research on your own before demanding sources from others.

    For your information, I had a GPA of 3.6 (not even in the 25th percentile of my top 6 law school), and still got in. I had 3.6 GPA and 172 LSAT, and I got into 3 of top 6 law schools along with every single top 14 law school outside of Harvard/Yale/Stanford. And, I was waitlisted at Harvard Law. I know from my own experience that LSAT trumps GPA and as long as you can crack 3.5+ GPA, you can get into damn good schools. It all depends you your LSAT. Btw, Michigan is not a low T-14 school. Re-check the school rank, again.
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  • princetongirl93princetongirl93 239 replies31 threads Junior Member
    Best Law School Rankings | Law Program Rankings | US News

    Last time I checked (about 3 min ago) Michigan was top ten...
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  • EMM1EMM1 2486 replies97 threads Senior Member
    Well, let's see. The 25th percentile GPA at Georgetown (officially no. 14) is 3.45. The idea that they would let someone in with a 3.0 based on a high LSAT is ridiculous.

    http://www.law.georgetown.edu/admissions/documents/JDFactSheet2012.
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  • sacchisacchi 2056 replies77 threads Senior Member
    The 25th percentile GPA at Georgetown (officially no. 14) is 3.45. The idea that they would let someone in with a 3.0 based on a high LSAT is ridiculous.

    I'm no expert on law school admissions, but I can read a graph, and EMM1 is wrong. High LSAT/low GPAs are called splitters. According to Georgetown's graph at Law School Numbers, it looks like with a 171+ on the LSAT, you've got pretty decent odds of getting accepted with a GPA of about 2.9 or above.

    However, with a 170, you need a 3.7.

    LSN :: Georgetown University - Admissions Graph
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  • LazyKidLazyKid 751 replies7 threads- Member
    I'm no expert on law school admissions, but I can read a graph, and EMM1 is wrong.

    This is credited...
    According to Georgetown's graph at Law School Numbers, it looks like with a 171+ on the LSAT, you've got pretty decent odds of getting accepted with a GPA of about 2.9 or above.

    However, with a 170, you need a 3.7.

    This demonstrates how much even a 1-2 point difference on LSAT can make all the difference in the world for law school admissions universe. With 172+ on LSAT, you can literally get into several very impressive law schools even with a terrible GPA. (below 3.0)
    Well, let's see. The 25th percentile GPA at Georgetown (officially no. 14) is 3.45. The idea that they would let someone in with a 3.0 based on a high LSAT is ridiculous.

    As ridiculous as that may sound to you, that is just how this game works. LSAT absolutely trumps the law school admissions game. Now, granted, you won't get into Harvard/ Yale Law with a 3.0, but you can realistically get into Northwestern/ Virginia/ Georgetown/ Cornell with a 3.0/ high LSAT combo. (All of which are excellent schools, btw)
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  • graduated31graduated31 52 replies1 threads Junior Member
    LSAT is king. My roommate at lower t-10 school had near 3.0 but got a 172 on the lsat and got in. But it doesn't work the other way around. I met so many people at my school who had above a 3.8 but got mid to high 160s in the lsat and didn't get into a top 5.

    Its all about the lsat.
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  • LazyKidLazyKid 751 replies7 threads- Member
    Its all about the lsat.

    I think that there are too many people out there who are so clueless about law school admissions. I saw way too many people on this board and real life asking "what undergrad college should I go in order to get into Harvard Law School?", and the like.

    I remember one poster who gave me much disrespect and launched ad hominem attacks against me for disagreeing with her opinion that sending her daughter to Cornell University for undergraduate would boast her daughter's chances at Harvard Law School. She just pulled out Harvard Law's undergraduate class composition and remarked that 45 people from Cornell constituted Harvard Law's student body, which she thought was impressive. In fact, that was the dominant reason for her daughter applying to Cornell. I hope her daughter wouldn't listen to her mommy's ill advice and enroll at Cornell for undergraduate just because of her misled guidance that she is on a safer track to making it to Harvard/Yale Law.
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  • graduated31graduated31 52 replies1 threads Junior Member
    Most people just refuse to believe that a test can count so much more than 3.5 years worth of work. And I feel for some of them. I know people that busted their butt to get a great gpa, but they just couldn't do well on the lsat. Some people just can't do well on that test, no matter how hard they try. Maybe its nerves, or whatever, but it sucks for them. Then you get clowns like me :) who screwed around and got mediocre grades and make up for 3.5 years of flakiness in 3.5 hours of test taking! How's that fair?!
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  • klugekluge 6448 replies111 threads Senior Member
    "Fair" has nothing to do with it. The LSAT is a tool designed to help law schools decide which applicants will become the kind of graduates that school wants to produce. Evidently they've concluded it's a good one.
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  • LazyKidLazyKid 751 replies7 threads- Member
    Then you get clowns like me who screwed around and got mediocre grades and make up for 3.5 years of flakiness in 3.5 hours of test taking! How's that fair?!

    Actually, I think the process is very fair. LSAT score is proven to be much more relevant to one's potential to succeed at a law school compared to GPA. To correlation ratio of LSAT to one's 1L grades at law school, I read somewhere, was somewhere close to .6, with GPA, being much lower. Also, I think LSAT is a better and more objective measure of one's intellectual horsepower. LSAT measures one's reading comprehension skills, logical thinking abilities, reasoning abilities, and being able to think quickly under time pressure, all of which are the qualities that law school exams seek to test the students. Meanwhile, getting A's in Spanish or intro Astronomy from college may not have much relevance to one's potential to succeed at top law schools.

    Case in point, a 3.8 in electrical engineering from MIT and 3.8 in sociology from Arizona State University are not the same. The former is much more difficult to attain, and the requisite intellectual horsepower and the work ethic needed to accomplish the former is on a whole different level compared to the latter. Actually, I would argue that getting a 3.0 in engineering from MIT is much harder than getting a 4.0 in English literature from Arizona State University. Due to the fact that each undergraduate institution and each major differ from other institutions and majors in terms of difficulty in both grading and content, it wouldn't be objective to base one's admissions decision based primarily on GPA at law schools.

    This problem is mitigated by the fact that top law schools value LSAT score much more than GPA. Even if you have a 4.0 in sociology from Southern Florida State University, if you can't score 170+ on LSAT, it just means that you are a hard worker but lack the requisite intelligence compared to other candidates competing for those few slots at top 6 law schools.
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  • klugekluge 6448 replies111 threads Senior Member
    I would argue that getting a 3.0 in engineering from MIT is much harder than getting a 4.0 in English literature from Arizona State University.
    "Harder" - almost certainly, in general, although I'm sure there are individuals who would find the former easier to achieve than the latter.

    More to the point, a person who attains a 3.0 in engineering from MIT, while demonstrating admirable mental skills and work habits, may or may not be well equipped to take on the specific tasks and skills required for the practice of law. There are many competent engineers who would make lousy lawyers (and the converse is quite certainly even more true!)
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