How high of an LSAT necessary when you have a 3.0 GPA?

<p>Really underachieved my first 2 years in college but picked up my last 2 years, getting all A's and am finishing with a 3.0 from the U of Miami with an econ degree. I want to go to as good a law school as I can. I'm wondering, with a low gpa like a 3.0, how high an LSAT score is necessary to go to a top 40 or 50 law school straight from undergrad? I'm planning on taking a year off after graduation to work and study for the LSAT. I've already put in a great deal of work into studying for the LSAT already and I think after an extra year of study, I can get at least a 165...at least. Does law admissions care that despite my gpa I got all A's in my last two years? Should I consider grad school first? Does law school admissions care about grad school grades and gpa?</p>

<p>Thanks</p>

<p>Edited to add: I am also an under represented minority.</p>

<p>Rankings don't matter below the T14, and your chances at the T14 will be pretty poor unless you really kill the LSAT. You should shoot for the best school in the market where you want to work, regardless of ranking. </p>

<p>You can submit an addendum pointing to the strong upward trend in grades, which might help you a little, though I'm not sure you'd do much better than someone who had a 3.0 each year of UG.</p>

<p>Grad school is a waste of time if your goal is law school, because your grad school grades won't be part of you LSDAS GPA. </p>

<p>Don't worry about your chances at any schools until you have an actual LSAT score. Studying for a year is also overkill. I would also recommend taking the LSAT before graduation even if you don't plan on applying until after you graduate.</p>

<p>Grad school isn't a waste of time based on what I have heard from Admission;however, you need to understand the admission process at many schools.</p>

<p>Generally, your undergraduate GPA and your LSAT is figured into a formula that each law school has. Each school also places differing weights on the LSAT vs. GPA;thus, the forumula varies from school to school. Those in the bottom 25% or so are summarily rejected.</p>

<p>However for borderline applicants, schools will look at grad school performance and personal stateements, etc. If your grad school performance is MUCH better than your undergrad, your LSAT will have even stronger emphasis since admissions will wonder which transcript would be more indicative of your ability. Strong Grad school grades with high LSAT could be use to raise or even slightly discount your lower undergrad GPA. However, the reverse is also true. IF you don't do well on the LSAT, many schools will assume that your undergrad GPA will be more indicative. </p>

<p>Bottom line: you need to ace the LSAT especially in the situation of the OP.</p>

<p>For what its worth, I know someone with a 3.1 GPA and 170 on the LSAT who had close to a 4.0 in grad school. He also had sterling recommendations and got into a much better law school than his undergrad would have indicated.</p>

<p>Go to LSAC.org</a> Homepage. Look for the gizmo which allows you to search for your odds of admission at various law schools based on undergrad gpa and lsat. It will give you better advice than any of us can. </p>

<p>Next, grad school grades matter much less than undergrad. Basically, almost everyone who goes to grad school gets great grades. </p>

<p>Plus, while Ph.D. programs are generally funded, very few terminal master's degrees are. You're going to have to spend a lot of $--probably more than $100,000-- to go to law school. Putiing yourself another $20-$50,00 in debt to get a master's degree because it might help up your odds for ls very slightly really isn't a good idea, IMO.</p>

<p><a href="http://www.lawschoolpredictor.com/wp-content/uploads/Law-School-Predictor-Full-Time-Programs.htm%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.lawschoolpredictor.com/wp-content/uploads/Law-School-Predictor-Full-Time-Programs.htm&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>Knock yourself out.</p>