How to Get Into Law School
Reviewed By: Morgan Galloway Daly, J.D.
Many prospective law students are curious on how to get into law school. There are some basic steps to get into law school that we will review below.
In addition to some basic steps, there are also some more challenging steps, like scoring well on the LSAT. With that being said, entry into the law school program of your choice can be attainable by following the steps below.
Summary: We review how to get into law school below as well as various law school requirements. For help getting a top score on the LSAT, consider using LSAT prep classes.
Steps to Get Into Law School
No matter what law school you go to, you will need to complete the following steps to get into law school.
Please note that in recent years some law schools have started to accept the GRE in place of the LSAT. Roughly 1 in 4 ABA approved law schools now accept the GRE.
1. Earn a Bachelor’s Degree
A bachelor's degree is a minimum educational requirement you must meet before applying to law school.
You do not need to be a specific major to apply to law school. However, there are some majors that may be more beneficial than others. Some examples include:
- Political Science
It is important to focus on your studies while working on your undergraduate degree. Having a higher GPA will significantly help your chances when applying to different law schools.
2. Prepare for the LSAT
This is one of the most important steps when figuring out how to get into law school. Scoring well on the LSAT will take a lot of study time and dedication.
It is generally recommended that you spend between 200 and 300 total hours preparing for this exam. You can use our LSAT sample questions to start your preparation.
3. Take the LSAT
If you put in the proper study time and effort in the last step, you should be good to go. However, if you do not prepare properly, you may struggle.
Scoring well on the LSAT will really help your chances of getting into the law school of your choice. If you are curious about what score you may need to achieve to get into a specific law school, we wrote a guide on what is a good LSAT score.
4. Get a Letter of Recommendation
Reach out to your network for some letters of recommendation. This letter of recommendation can really help move the needle if you are on the cusp of admission.
The letter of recommendation can come from anyone within your network. Some possible people could include:
- Community members
5. Write Your Personal Statement
This will vary depending on the school you are applying to. Some schools will give you more guidance on this than others. Look up the guidelines for that specific school and follow them.
6. Apply to Law School
One of the more obvious steps to get into law school – actually apply to the school. It is generally a good idea to apply to a dozen law schools. You can mix in some reach schools, midrange schools, and safety schools.
It is important to include some safety schools to ensure that you get into law school.
(click on image to enlarge)
Law School Requirements
If you follow the steps to get into law school above, you will have met the law school requirements. The general law school requirements are:
- Complete a 4-year bachelor's degree
- Take an admissions test – usually the LSAT, but some schools accept the GRE.
- Get a letter of recommendation
- Provide a personal statement
Keep in mind that these are the general requirements for most law schools. Some schools may have different policies like not requiring letters of recommendation or a personal statement.
Also, law schools will have different requirements for GPA and admissions test scores. If you want to go to a top 25 law school, you will need a higher LSAT score compared to an average law school.
How to Apply to Law School
When actually applying to law school you will want to follow these steps:
- Create a Law School Admissions Council (LSAC account) – this will help you keep track of the steps you take as well as various deadlines. You can do so on the LSAC website.
- Register for the Credential Assembly Service (CAS) – this allows you to streamline the application process. You will only need to submit your transcripts and letters of recommendation once to LSAC. This may or may not be needed.
- Request all required transcripts – allow LSAC 2 weeks to process them. Once done, you will be able to see everything in your LSAC account.
- Request letters of recommendation – allow LSAC 2 weeks to process them.
- Apply to law school – you can apply to as many law schools as your want via your LSAC account.
Is it Difficult to Get Into Law School?
Law school is hard to get into. Law schools weed out many candidates based on their GPA and test scores. You will need to find a way to stick out from the crowd when applying to law school.
One of the best ways to stand out is by scoring well on the LSAT. The average score is 152. If you can score a 165, you will be in the 92nd percentile of LSAT scorers – this gives you a great chance of admission into law school.
If you pair a good score on your LSAT with a high undergraduate GPA, you will be all set. With that being said, you do not need a perfect score on the LSAT to get into law school. Many students get the average score of 152 and have a strong GPA and other strong features that allow them to get into law school.
What GPA Do You Need to Get Into Law School?
To help you better understand what GPA you need to get into law school, we have provided you with actual data from the American Bar Association.
The following table breaks down the 75th and 50th percentile of GPA scores for 197 different law schools.
|School||Total 75th Percentile GPA||Total 50th Percentile GPA|
|AKRON, UNIVERSITY OF||3.59||3.39|
|ALABAMA, UNIVERSITY OF||4.00||3.94|
|ALBANY LAW SCHOOL OF UNION UNIVERSITY||3.69||3.42|
|APPALACHIAN SCHOOL OF LAW||3.57||3.27|
|ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY||3.94||3.85|
|ARIZONA, UNIVERSITY OF||3.81||3.66|
|ARKANSAS, FAYETTEVILLE, UNIVERSITY OF||3.80||3.59|
|ARKANSAS, LITTLE ROCK, UNIVERSITY OF||3.63||3.43|
|ATLANTA'S JOHN MARSHALL LAW SCHOOL||3.38||3.13|
|AVE MARIA SCHOOL OF LAW||3.57||3.17|
|BALTIMORE, UNIVERSITY OF||3.56||3.34|
|BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY||3.93||3.85|
|BROOKLYN LAW SCHOOL||3.66||3.50|
|CALIFORNIA WESTERN SCHOOL OF LAW||3.48||3.26|
|CALIFORNIA-BERKELEY, UNIVERSITY OF||3.92||3.83|
|CALIFORNIA-DAVIS, UNIVERSITY OF||3.82||3.70|
|CALIFORNIA-HASTINGS, UNIVERSITY OF||3.69||3.52|
|CALIFORNIA-IRVINE, UNIVERSITY OF||3.80||3.69|
|CALIFORNIA-LOS ANGELES, UNIVERSITY OF||3.92||3.82|
|CARDOZO SCHOOL OF LAW||3.86||3.74|
|CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY||3.83||3.61|
|CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY OF AMERICA||3.67||3.50|
|CHARLESTON SCHOOL OF LAW||3.60||3.32|
|CHICAGO, UNIVERSITY OF||3.98||3.91|
|CHICAGO-KENT COLLEGE OF LAW-IIT||3.74||3.56|
|CINCINNATI, UNIVERSITY OF||3.85||3.70|
|CITY UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK||3.66||3.46|
|CLEVELAND STATE UNIVERSITY||3.70||3.48|
|COLORADO, UNIVERSITY OF||3.77||3.61|
|CONNECTICUT, UNIVERSITY OF||3.71||3.54|
|DAYTON, UNIVERSITY OF||3.72||3.53|
|DENVER, UNIVERSITY OF||3.77||3.63|
|DETROIT MERCY, UNIVERSITY OF||3.55||3.32|
|DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA||3.35||3.08|
|FLORIDA A&M UNIVERSITY||3.64||3.42|
|FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY||3.84||3.69|
|FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY||3.90||3.82|
|FLORIDA, UNIVERSITY OF||3.94||3.86|
|GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY||3.88||3.81|
|GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY||3.91||3.83|
|GEORGIA STATE UNIVERSITY||3.76||3.55|
|GEORGIA, UNIVERSITY OF||3.93||3.82|
|GOLDEN GATE UNIVERSITY||3.42||3.13|
|HAWAII, UNIVERSITY OF||3.76||3.54|
|HOUSTON, UNIVERSITY OF||3.76||3.64|
|IDAHO, UNIVERSITY OF||3.62||3.26|
|ILLINOIS, UNIVERSITY OF||3.82||3.66|
|INDIANA UNIVERSITY - BLOOMINGTON||3.91||3.77|
|INDIANA UNIVERSITY - INDIANAPOLIS||3.77||3.56|
|INTER AMERICAN UNIVERSITY OF PUERTO RICO||3.63||3.37|
|IOWA, UNIVERSITY OF||3.83||3.69|
|KANSAS, UNIVERSITY OF||3.89||3.69|
|KENTUCKY, UNIVERSITY OF||3.84||3.62|
|LEWIS AND CLARK COLLEGE||3.78||3.54|
|LOUISIANA STATE UNIVERSITY||3.78||3.56|
|LOUISVILLE, UNIVERSITY OF||3.77||3.56|
|LOYOLA MARYMOUNT UNIVERSITY-LOS ANGELES||3.78||3.64|
|LOYOLA UNIVERSITY-NEW ORLEANS||3.63||3.35|
|MAINE, UNIVERSITY OF||3.79||3.57|
|MARYLAND, UNIVERSITY OF||3.80||3.70|
|MCGEORGE SCHOOL OF LAW||3.66||3.44|
|MEMPHIS, UNIVERSITY OF||3.65||3.36|
|MIAMI, UNIVERSITY OF||3.77||3.63|
|MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY||3.74||3.59|
|MICHIGAN, UNIVERSITY OF||3.93||3.84|
|MINNESOTA, UNIVERSITY OF||3.89||3.80|
|MISSISSIPPI, UNIVERSITY OF||3.80||3.56|
|MISSOURI, UNIVERSITY OF||3.86||3.69|
|MISSOURI-KANSAS CITY, UNIVERSITY OF||3.74||3.48|
|MONTANA, UNIVERSITY OF||3.74||3.50|
|NEBRASKA, UNIVERSITY OF||3.95||3.64|
|NEW ENGLAND LAW | BOSTON||3.58||3.28|
|NEW HAMPSHIRE UNIVERSITY OF||3.69||3.50|
|NEW MEXICO, UNIVERSITY OF||3.83||3.61|
|NEW YORK LAW SCHOOL||3.69||3.49|
|NEW YORK UNIVERSITY||3.93||3.86|
|NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL UNIVERSITY||3.53||3.27|
|NORTH CAROLINA, UNIVERSITY OF||3.83||3.73|
|NORTH DAKOTA, UNIVERSITY OF||3.68||3.39|
|NORTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY||3.49||3.20|
|NORTHERN KENTUCKY UNIVERSITY||3.63||3.37|
|NOTRE DAME, UNIVERSITY OF||3.85||3.77|
|NOVA SOUTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY||3.52||3.26|
|OHIO NORTHERN UNIVERSITY||3.80||3.43|
|OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY||3.90||3.79|
|OKLAHOMA CITY UNIVERSITY||3.59||3.30|
|OKLAHOMA, UNIVERSITY OF||3.81||3.59|
|OREGON, UNIVERSITY OF||3.70||3.54|
|PENNSYLVANIA STATE - DICKINSON LAW||3.73||3.54|
|PENNSYLVANIA STATE - PENN STATE LAW||3.90||3.76|
|PENNSYLVANIA, UNIVERSITY OF||3.96||3.90|
|PITTSBURGH, UNIVERSITY OF||3.75||3.51|
|PONTIFICAL CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY OF P.R.||3.50||3.13|
|PUERTO RICO, UNIVERSITY OF||3.88||3.75|
|RICHMOND, UNIVERSITY OF||3.79||3.70|
|ROGER WILLIAMS UNIVERSITY||3.52||3.17|
|SAINT LOUIS UNIVERSITY||3.73||3.50|
|SAN DIEGO, UNIVERSITY OF||3.81||3.70|
|SAN FRANCISCO, UNIVERSITY OF||3.60||3.33|
|SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY||3.62||3.42|
|SETON HALL UNIVERSITY||3.75||3.58|
|SOUTH CAROLINA, UNIVERSITY OF||3.72||3.53|
|SOUTH DAKOTA, UNIVERSITY OF||3.74||3.44|
|SOUTH TEXAS COLLEGE OF LAW HOUSTON||3.46||3.22|
|SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, UNIVERSITY OF||3.90||3.82|
|SOUTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY-CARBONDALE||3.62||3.36|
|SOUTHERN METHODIST UNIVERSITY||3.89||3.76|
|SOUTHWESTERN LAW SCHOOL||3.57||3.31|
|ST. JOHN'S UNIVERSITY||3.79||3.62|
|ST. MARY'S UNIVERSITY||3.59||3.36|
|ST. THOMAS UNIVERSITY (FLORIDA)||3.51||3.32|
|ST. THOMAS, UNIVERSITY OF (MINNESOTA)||3.72||3.48|
|TENNESSEE, UNIVERSITY OF||3.81||3.67|
|TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY||3.94||3.84|
|TEXAS AT AUSTIN, UNIVERSITY OF||3.90||3.80|
|TEXAS SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY||3.60||3.32|
|TEXAS TECH UNIVERSITY||3.74||3.56|
|TOLEDO, UNIVERSITY OF||3.65||3.42|
|TULSA, UNIVERSITY OF||3.70||3.38|
|UNIVERSITY OF BUFFALO-SUNY||3.78||3.58|
|UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS CHICAGO SCHOOL OF LAW||3.52||3.31|
|UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS DARTMOUTH||3.62||3.36|
|UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA - LAS VEGAS||3.85||3.70|
|UNT DALLAS COLLEGE OF LAW||3.52||3.14|
|UTAH, UNIVERSITY OF||3.91||3.82|
|VERMONT LAW SCHOOL||3.65||3.40|
|VIRGINIA, UNIVERSITY OF||3.97||3.91|
|WAKE FOREST UNIVERSITY||3.81||3.68|
|WASHINGTON AND LEE UNIVERSITY||3.78||3.61|
|WASHINGTON, UNIVERSITY OF||3.79||3.67|
|WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY||3.87||3.75|
|WEST VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY||3.88||3.56|
|WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY||3.28||2.99|
|WESTERN NEW ENGLAND UNIVERSITY||3.70||3.47|
|WESTERN STATE COLLEGE OF LAW||3.43||3.11|
|WILLIAM AND MARY LAW SCHOOL||3.89||3.78|
|WISCONSIN, UNIVERSITY OF||3.81||3.65|
|WYOMING, UNIVERSITY OF||3.53||3.32|
How to Get Into Law School FAQs
How do I choose the right law school?
Can I retake the LSAT if I do not get a good score?
- Three times in the same testing year.
- Five times within five years.
- Seven times over your lifetime.
What are law schools looking for in their applicants?
What determines if you get into law school?
If you can score high on the LSAT and pair that with a high undergraduate GPA, you will be in a good position.
What LSAT score do I need for law school?
We broke down specific scores for each law program in our guide on LSAT scores if you are looking for specific information on this.