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Low GPA and a decent LSAT. Chances of getting into a good Law School?

heregoesnothingheregoesnothing Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
edited August 2015 in Law School
I'm considering going to law school. I've been doing some research over the past month and did a couple of LSAT diagnostic exams - my 1st, 2nd, and 3rd scores were 164, 174, and 173. I plan to keep studying for the LSAT and my goal is to get 170+ on the actual test. The problem is I have a pretty low cumulative gpa - 3.2 as of now and depending on how I do this last semester (an easy semester) I could get it up to ~3.25. I switched my major from engineering to history during my junior year and and ended up minoring in physics since I already had a bunch of credits under my belt. That being said, my current MAJOR gpa is 3.7 - considerably higher than my total gpa - and the school I got to is ranked 38 nationally (US News). Given my total gpa, Major gpa, and hypothetical LSAT score, what are the chances of me getting into a T14 law school? Also, how much of a difference would it make if I took up an internship/work experience before applying to grad school?

Replies to: Low GPA and a decent LSAT. Chances of getting into a good Law School?

  • CatriaCatria Registered User Posts: 11,349 Senior Member
    The T14 school where work experience makes the biggest difference is Northwestern. Plus NWU is more LSAT-heavy, whereas UVA and Georgetown don't care as much about work experience, yet are splitter-friendly.
  • heregoesnothingheregoesnothing Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    That's good to hear. NWU was already my top choice!
  • sacchisacchi Registered User Posts: 2,133 Senior Member
    There is a lot of good data on admissions results for particular LSAT, GPA scores at Law School Predictor. http://www.lawschoolpredictor.com/

    A lot will depend on the actual LSAT score you get. Top 20 schools should be in reach with a high enough LSAT score, but T14 will be tough.
  • ariesathenaariesathena Registered User Posts: 5,087 Senior Member
    My advice for splitters:

    Don't apply immediately after college. This helps you to get your full senior year GPA as part of the LSDAS GPA, helps you to get your applications in early, gets you put into the "has work experience pile"... and most importantly, if law school applications are a wash, it mentally helps you to understand that not going might be your best option. I would also suggest working in the geographical area that you eventually want to live in.

    A lot of this is about medians. If you are under the median on one part (ex. GPA), but darn sure to be over the 75th percentile on the other. Keep studying the LSAT. (My personal advice is to take a timed, diagnostic LSAT with Kaplan. They have a higher score or your money back guarantee. So if you take a diagnostic with them and get a 173, the course or tutoring is free if you don't get at least a 174 on the actual LSAT.)

    Apply EVERYWHERE. If you want a T14, apply to every school in the T14 that isn't Harvard, Yale, or Stanford. Some schools are more splitter-friendly than others; some are more friendly in the direction you are. It's just more random as to which schools are going to want your particular splitter combination, your background, etc.

    Make a note somewhere that your liberal arts GPA is different from your engineering GPA. This won't help the numbers game (i.e. schools want people with high GPAs so it helps their rankings), but it does alleviate concerns that you're not a strong candidate.
  • CatriaCatria Registered User Posts: 11,349 Senior Member
    I would recommend applying to UPenn, Cornell, Michigan and to a lesser extent NYU, Columbia, Duke, over Boalt Hall. And that's in addition to UVA, NWU or Georgetown.
  • heregoesnothingheregoesnothing Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    That's very helpful. Thanks.
  • bluebayoubluebayou Registered User Posts: 24,406 Senior Member
    until you have a real LSAT score, we are all just speculating.

    Even tho your pretests maybe clearing 17x, you could easily run into rare logic game format that you don't "get", costing you 3-5 points. So your real score could easily be 171 or 166. And the difference in law school apps with those scores is like the difference between night and day.

    Second the notion about working for a year. Northwestern is very splitter-friendly.



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