Authored By: Dave Evangelisti
How to Get Into Law School

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.

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:

  • Business
  • English
  • Philosophy
  • Economics
  • 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:

  • Professors
  • Coaches
  • Bosses
  • Advisors
  • 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.

How to Get Into Law School

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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:

  1. Complete a 4-year bachelor's degree
  2. Take an admissions test – usually the LSAT, but some schools accept the GRE.
  3. Get a letter of recommendation
  4. 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.

When actually applying to law school you will want to follow these steps:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Request all required transcripts – allow LSAC 2 weeks to process them. Once done, you will be able to see everything in your LSAC account.
  4. Request letters of recommendation – allow LSAC 2 weeks to process them.
  5. Apply to law school – you can apply to as many law schools as your want via your LSAC account.

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
AMERICAN UNIVERSITY 3.71 3.57
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
BARRY UNIVERSITY 3.47 3.15
BAYLOR UNIVERSITY 3.78 3.64
BELMONT UNIVERSITY 3.86 3.71
BOSTON COLLEGE 3.81 3.69
BOSTON UNIVERSITY 3.87 3.77
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
CAMPBELL UNIVERSITY 3.64 3.40
CAPITAL UNIVERSITY 3.60 3.30
CARDOZO SCHOOL OF LAW 3.86 3.74
CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY 3.83 3.61
CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY OF AMERICA 3.67 3.50
CHAPMAN UNIVERSITY 3.71 3.60
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
COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY 3.92 3.84
CONNECTICUT, UNIVERSITY OF 3.71 3.54
CORNELL UNIVERSITY 3.95 3.86
CREIGHTON UNIVERSITY 3.74 3.39
DAYTON, UNIVERSITY OF 3.72 3.53
DENVER, UNIVERSITY OF 3.77 3.63
DEPAUL UNIVERSITY 3.73 3.57
DETROIT MERCY, UNIVERSITY OF 3.55 3.32
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA 3.35 3.08
DRAKE UNIVERSITY 3.75 3.50
DREXEL UNIVERSITY 3.73 3.59
DUKE UNIVERSITY 3.91 3.82
DUQUESNE UNIVERSITY 3.72 3.43
ELON UNIVERSITY 3.57 3.31
EMORY UNIVERSITY 3.90 3.80
FAULKNER UNIVERSITY 3.50 3.23
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
FORDHAM UNIVERSITY 3.80 3.70
GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY 3.88 3.81
GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY 3.91 3.83
GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY 3.94 3.85
GEORGIA STATE UNIVERSITY 3.76 3.55
GEORGIA, UNIVERSITY OF 3.93 3.82
GOLDEN GATE UNIVERSITY 3.42 3.13
GONZAGA UNIVERSITY 3.72 3.51
HARVARD UNIVERSITY 3.98 3.92
HAWAII, UNIVERSITY OF 3.76 3.54
HOFSTRA UNIVERSITY 3.69 3.48
HOUSTON, UNIVERSITY OF 3.76 3.64
HOWARD UNIVERSITY 3.69 3.49
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
LIBERTY UNIVERSITY 3.78 3.48
LINCOLN MEMORIAL 3.67 3.43
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-CHICAGO 3.64 3.46
LOYOLA UNIVERSITY-NEW ORLEANS 3.63 3.35
MAINE, UNIVERSITY OF 3.79 3.57
MARQUETTE UNIVERSITY 3.72 3.56
MARYLAND, UNIVERSITY OF 3.80 3.70
MCGEORGE SCHOOL OF LAW 3.66 3.44
MEMPHIS, UNIVERSITY OF 3.65 3.36
MERCER UNIVERSITY 3.70 3.51
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 COLLEGE 3.58 3.24
MISSISSIPPI, UNIVERSITY OF 3.80 3.56
MISSOURI, UNIVERSITY OF 3.86 3.69
MISSOURI-KANSAS CITY, UNIVERSITY OF 3.74 3.48
MITCHELL|HAMLINE 3.61 3.29
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
NORTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY 3.79 3.66
NORTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY 3.49 3.20
NORTHERN KENTUCKY UNIVERSITY 3.63 3.37
NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY 3.93 3.86
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
PACE UNIVERSITY 3.66 3.40
PENNSYLVANIA STATE - DICKINSON LAW 3.73 3.54
PENNSYLVANIA STATE - PENN STATE LAW 3.90 3.76
PENNSYLVANIA, UNIVERSITY OF 3.96 3.90
PEPPERDINE UNIVERSITY 3.91 3.80
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
QUINNIPIAC UNIVERSITY 3.74 3.46
REGENT UNIVERSITY 3.85 3.64
RICHMOND, UNIVERSITY OF 3.79 3.70
ROGER WILLIAMS UNIVERSITY 3.52 3.17
RUTGERS UNIVERSITY 3.63 3.39
SAINT LOUIS UNIVERSITY 3.73 3.50
SAMFORD UNIVERSITY 3.76 3.54
SAN DIEGO, UNIVERSITY OF 3.81 3.70
SAN FRANCISCO, UNIVERSITY OF 3.60 3.33
SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY 3.62 3.42
SEATTLE UNIVERSITY 3.56 3.36
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
SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY 3.39 3.03
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
STANFORD UNIVERSITY 3.99 3.91
STETSON UNIVERSITY 3.65 3.45
SUFFOLK UNIVERSITY 3.69 3.48
SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY 3.72 3.51
TEMPLE UNIVERSITY 3.74 3.60
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
TOURO COLLEGE 3.44 3.15
TULANE UNIVERSITY 3.74 3.60
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
VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY 3.95 3.89
VERMONT LAW SCHOOL 3.65 3.40
VILLANOVA UNIVERSITY 3.83 3.70
VIRGINIA, UNIVERSITY OF 3.97 3.91
WAKE FOREST UNIVERSITY 3.81 3.68
WASHBURN UNIVERSITY 3.80 3.53
WASHINGTON AND LEE UNIVERSITY 3.78 3.61
WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY 3.99 3.93
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
WIDENER UNIVERSITY-DELAWARE 3.51 3.19
WIDENER-COMMONWEALTH 3.50 3.20
WILLAMETTE UNIVERSITY 3.61 3.32
WILLIAM AND MARY LAW SCHOOL 3.89 3.78
WISCONSIN, UNIVERSITY OF 3.81 3.65
WYOMING, UNIVERSITY OF 3.53 3.32
YALE UNIVERSITY 3.99 3.94

How do I choose the right law school?

There are several factors to consider when choosing the right law school. Two of the most important are the school's location and its application requirements.

If your GPA and test scores do not meet the minimum requirement of a school you would like to attend, you may need to find an alternative.

In addition to admittance requirements, you should look at a school's culture, price, and areas of specialty.

Can I retake the LSAT if I do not get a good score?

Yes, you can retake the LSAT, but there is a limit to the number of tests you can take. It is also important to note that some law schools will average your LSAT scores, so your first score could drag your average down even if you decide to retake the exam.

Taking the LSAT is a serious decision, and ample time and resources should be devoted to studying.

You can take the LSAT:
  • 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?

When you submit your law school application, schools will be looking for many things in addition to your LSAT score. While every school's application process varies slightly, most law schools will require letters of recommendation, a resume, and a personal statement.

Other schools may ask you to submit writing samples and complete an application interview process.

Because this process can look so different depending on the law school you choose, look for the specific application process for your school of choice before beginning your law school preparations.

What determines if you get into law school?

There are many things that go into the law school admissions process. Every school is different, but for the most part, you undergraduate GPA and test scores will play a big factor in your admissions decision.

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?

Your LSAT score will vary depending on the schools you want to attend. The average score is 152. If you want to attend a top tier law program, you will need to score much higher than 152.

We broke down specific scores for each law program in our guide on LSAT scores if you are looking for specific information on this.

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