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Top 100 Law Schools | Average LSAT Scores & GPA

October 2, 2023
6 min read


Reviewed by:

David Merson

Former Head of Pre-Law Office, Northeastern University, & Admissions Officer, Brown University

Reviewed: 10/02/23

Curious about the GPA and LSAT scores for law schools? We’ll outline the key information you need to know below.

Yale University campus

In the competitive world of legal education, aspiring law students often wonder what it takes to gain admission to the nation's top 100 law schools. This article delves into the crucial factors of LSAT scores and GPA, shedding light on the benchmarks and expectations that can make or break your application. 

Discover the average LSAT scores and GPA thresholds that pre-law students should aim for to secure admission to these prestigious institutions. Let’s get started!

LSAT Scores for Top 100 Law Schools

The table below outlines the average GPA and LSAT scores for the nation's top 100 law schools.

Name of School US News Ranking Average
LSAT Score
Yale Law School 1 175 3.94
Stanford Law School 1 173 3.92
University of Chicago Law School 3 173 3.91
University of Pennsylvania Law School 4 172 3.90
Duke University, School of Law 5 170 3.85
Harvard Law School 5 174 3.92
New York University 5 172 3.88
Columbia University 8 173 3.87

Use this table to determine your likelihood of getting into the law schools of your choice. To give yourself the best chance of acceptance, aim for GPAs and LSAT scores that are as close to 4.0 and 180 as possible; high scores look good on law school applications because they demonstrate that you are a competitive applicant. 

What Is the Average LSAT Score for Law School?

Generally, the average LSAT for law schools is about 151-152. Regardless of the average score, applicants should strive for a good LSAT score. However, it's essential to note that the competitiveness of LSAT scores can vary significantly depending on the law school you’re applying to and its ranking.

High-ranking law schools, such as T14 schools or those within the Ivy League, often require substantially higher LSAT scores. Applicants to these schools commonly have LSAT scores in the mid-160s or even higher. For example, the best law schools in the United States, Yale and Stanford, both have scores in the 170s—175 and 173, respectively. 

Mid-tier law schools have average scores ranging from 155 to 165. For example, the University of Maryland and the University of Oklahoma, which both tie for the 51st-best law school in the country, have average LSAT scores of 163 and 159. 

Conversely, some less competitive law schools may accept students with LSAT scores of about 150 or lower. It's crucial for prospective law students to research the specific admission requirements and average LSAT scores for the schools they are interested in. 

The admissions process for law schools is highly competitive; achieving an LSAT score as close to 180 as possible can significantly enhance an applicant's chances of gaining admission to their preferred institutions.

Why Do I Need a Good LSAT Score?

A strong LSAT score is essential for several key reasons in your pursuit of a legal education. 

Firstly, it significantly influences your chances of securing a spot at your preferred law school. A good score not only demonstrates your readiness to tackle the demands of law school but also makes your application more competitive, especially in schools with highly sought-after seats and numerous applicants.

Scoring high on the LSAT can also open doors to scholarships and financial aid. Many law schools offer merit-based scholarships to students with impressive LSAT scores, easing the financial burden of tuition fees.

An impressive LSAT score also expands your options when it comes time to select a law school. It provides the flexibility to choose a program that aligns with your academic and career goals. It can also enhance your bargaining power when negotiating admission offers and financial aid packages.

Female student taking exam

What Is the Average GPA for Law School?

According to recent data compiled from the 191 ranked schools, the average GPA for law school was 3.55. However, like LSAT scores, it's important to understand that the specific average GPA can differ depending on the law school and its level of competitiveness.

Top-ranking law schools often expect higher average GPAs, typically ranging from 3.8 to 3.9 or even higher. They place a strong emphasis on academic excellence to complement strong LSAT scores.

Mid-tier law schools, though still competitive, might have slightly lower average GPA expectations. Here, an average GPA in the range of 3.5 to 3.7 is more common.

Less competitive law schools may admit students with lower GPAs, often around 3.0 to 3.4 or even lower. These schools may prioritize other factors like diversity and unique experiences over strict academic metrics.

Prospective law students should carefully research the GPA requirements and average GPAs for the specific schools they're interested in. While GPA is a crucial component of the application, it should be considered alongside other elements such as the LSAT score, letters of recommendation, personal statement, and relevant experiences.

Achieving a competitive GPA is important for law school admissions, but the exact benchmark can vary significantly based on the institution's ranking and selectivity.

FAQs: Average LSAT for Law Schools

Still have questions? Take a look at our answers to these frequently asked questions.

1. What Is the Lowest LSAT Score Accepted by Law Schools?

The lowest acceptable LSAT score is 144-145. Though it may be challenging, you can still get into law school with a low LSAT score if you write a stellar personal statement, compile an impressive resume, and secure strong recommendation letters.

2. What LSAT Score Do You Need for the Top 10 Law Schools?

The LSAT score for top law schools is as high as 171 due to the increased competitiveness of applicants in these top schools.

3. What LSAT Score Is Needed for Most Law Schools?

An applicant should get about 152 to gain admission into a law school.

4. Is 171 a Good LSAT Score?

Yes, 171 is a good LSAT score; a good score ranges between 166 and 172.

5. What Is the Lowest LSAT for Harvard?

An LSAT score of about 170 is the lowest for Harvard because it is a highly competitive school.

6. What GPA Is Needed for Most Law Schools?

Top law schools need a GPA of 3.7 or higher for admission. However, you can use a GPA of about 3.5 to get access to a law school.

Final Thoughts

The journey to law school is a rigorous one, and understanding the significance of LSAT scores and GPAs for admission to the top 100 law schools is essential. 

These metrics serve as important guideposts, helping aspiring law students navigate the competitive landscape of legal education. While aiming for high GPAs and LSAT scores is crucial, it's equally important to remember that your application comprises more than just numbers. 

Personal statements, recommendation letters, and your unique experiences all contribute to your overall profile. Each law school has its own distinct criteria, and success is not solely determined by metrics but by the holistic view of your potential as a future legal scholar. 

So, as you embark on this journey, use these average GPAs and LSAT scores for law schools as your compass, and may your pursuit of a legal education be a successful and fulfilling one.

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