Tips for Law School Applicants with low LSAT scores and low GPAs:
- Call attention to excellent performance during a portion of your time in college, or in a certain area of study in college.
- Obtain excellent academic letters of recommendation.
- Demonstrate that more recent academic accomplishments (in graduate school, or during your later years of college) are a better indication of your abilities.
- Consider retaking the LSAT with additional preparation.
Your LSAT and undergraduate GPA are the two biggest factors in whether you can get into law school. Applicants with very low GPAs (under 3.0) and low LSAT scores (under 150) face a number of hurdles when applying to law school. Without numerical indicators demonstrating that you can succeed in law school and pass the bar exam on the first try, the law schools will see your admission as a liability. Therefore, you have to try to overcome these objections.
Do you have tips for transfer students? Does the admissions still pay attention to LSAT and undergrad GPA?
Hi David, Most of the emphasis is on performance in law school when you are applying as a transfer.
My name is Sunny and I am intrested in applying to law school and I received a 139 on my lsat. I am intrested in applying to Touro Law School’s flex program in NY. I feel. Like applying right now with hope that with the covid situation I might get a seat. i need guidance on my personal statement.
Please provide input if you thing it is a good idea or not?
Sunny, I think you will find retaking the LSAT to be beneficial.
I’m consider law school, but I’m going to be 39 this summer. I attended a challenging ivy engineering program, but had a rough GPA (~2.6). About 5 years ago I got a masters at a non-ivy and finished with a 4.0 (including an A in a communications law course), finishing top of the program and being honored by the school for academic achievement. I’ve had an excellent but meandering career and have always taken to the legal aspects of my jobs. I’ve taken some practice LSATs and am getting in the 170 range – hopefully, I can replicate that in the real thing.
Do you have any advice for someone looking at law school and law as a career at this stage?
What chances do I have at getting into a top tier law school? What is the best I can hope for? Will the admissions committees consider someone like me? What about post-graduation job opportunities?
Congratulations on moving forward toward this goal. I think the fact that you completed a top engineering program and that you’ve had professional experience in your field will help you a great deal, and your LSAT score will show law schools what you are capable of at this time in your life. If you present your experience and goals effectively, law schools will appreciate you. I can’t tell you a schools list based on the information you’ve given me – and I don’t do that on the blog – but I would say that if you hit 170 on the LSAT a top 30 school and maybe higher would be available to you.
I can’t speak to post-grad job opportunities; that’s a bit outside my wheelhouse.
Hi Ann, thanks so much for all your helpful content (I’ve been watching and reading non-stop for a couple days now). I was wondering if you have any advice out there about how to choose what law schools to apply to (particularly if you have a low GPA but a high LSAT score). I’ve read some of your articles about how you want to apply to some safety, realistic, and reach schools, but I was wondering if you had more advice about how to determine what schools fit into each category. I know that a low GPA probably takes some of the top schools off the table, but I don’t want to completely undershoot with my reach schools and miss an opportunity. Thanks again for everything you’ve put out so far!
Hi John, some of this depends on how low your GPA is, and how much lower it is than the 25th percentile at a school…..
I am currently studying to take the LSAT in August 2020 to apply for law school for the Fall 2021 school year. Here’s my situation:
1. I am a former elementary school teacher. My undergrad GPA was 3.19, and my graduate GPA was 3.714. That was almost 20 years ago. I have been taking classes recently at a community college and currently have a 4.0.
Which GPA counts the most towards decision-making, because I know a 3.19 is low for law school?
2. I have started a non-profit that helps the homeless.
3. I am a published children’s book author.
4. I have won speech contests for Toastmasters.
5. I work with missionaries at my church to spread the gospel at the convalescent homes and am involved with the prison ministry.
As someone who would be an older student, I am very much involved in my community. How would this weigh with all other factors of me getting into a good law school despite a low UGPA from almost 20 years ago with maybe some scholarship money?
Thank you Ann!
Sorry for the delay in responding. It sounds like you’re a multi-dimensional and committed person! This will be really important in your applications and will help override a 20 year old GPA.
Hello, my daughter took the LSAT and score 134, which is low. Do you suggest for her to retake the LSAT? How about the GRE?
She will need to retake the LSAT and she should evaluate various preparation methods and/or tutors who may be able to help her.