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T-14 - what does it take?

guitars101guitars101 Registered User Posts: 2,253 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!
Post edited by guitars101 on
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Replies to: T-14 - what does it take?

  • SamonuhSamonuh - Posts: 1,051 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.
  • LazyKidLazyKid - Posts: 758 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)
  • lebob23lebob23 Registered User Posts: 32 Junior Member
    3.5 and a 160 plus around a million dollars.
  • EMM1EMM1 Registered User Posts: 2,583 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
  • HeywatchitbuddyHeywatchitbuddy Registered User Posts: 153 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
  • LazyKidLazyKid - Posts: 758 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$.
  • kwukwu Registered User Posts: 4,759 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.
  • LazyKidLazyKid - Posts: 758 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.
  • EMM1EMM1 Registered User Posts: 2,583 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
  • LazyKidLazyKid - Posts: 758 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.
  • princetongirl93princetongirl93 Registered User Posts: 270 Junior Member
    Best Law School Rankings | Law Program Rankings | US News

    Last time I checked (about 3 min ago) Michigan was top ten...
  • EMM1EMM1 Registered User Posts: 2,583 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.
  • sacchisacchi Registered User Posts: 2,133 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
  • LazyKidLazyKid - Posts: 758 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)
  • graduated31graduated31 Registered User Posts: 53 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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