Can you get into Law School with Low LSAT scores?

Law School Expert Blog

If your LSAT score is in the 140s or lower, you need to spend some time looking at the 25th percentile LSAT scores for the schools you were hoping to attend. If that number is more than five points higher than your LSAT score, please be realistic: your chances of admission are slim to none (especially if your GPA is also below the 25th percentile for that school).

If you have an LSAT score in the mid-140s or lower, you have three choices:

  1. Retake the LSAT and improve your score (by doing something differently than you did the first or second time, which for nontraditional applicants can include reducing hours spent working, and for international applicants it can include spending more time on English reading fluency and speed and comprehension). Don’t expect the same behavior to bring about different results.  If the way you prepared for the LSAT didn’t help you last time, it’s unlikely to help you this time unless you just didn’t put in the time to use the materials/program effectively. If you do plan to retake the LSAT, only do so if you’re willing to invest the time and money necessary to really improve the outcome. Think long and hard about whether you could improve your score by increased preparation time or changing your preparation methods, and whether you’re willing to do what it will take. If so, then try again. If not, reconsider your goals.
  2. Be more flexible in your list of law schools by including schools that do take people with your numbers. If a school never takes anyone with your numbers, then they won’t take you – no matter how amazing your personal statement, diverse perspective statement and letters of recommendation may be.
  3. Re-think your plans to attend law school. After all, if you have a 2.3 GPA and a 138 LSAT, you  – unfortunately – are very unlikely to be able to make it through law school and then pass the bar exam when you get out. So making this decision now, before you’ve invested three years and $300,000, could be the smartest thing you could do. This is especially true for those of you harboring a “dream” of becoming a lawyer but who do not have a lot of practical experience in a legal environment and therefore may not be clear about the profession and its demands.

I get a lot of comments on this blog from people who are in your situation. I first published this post in 2007, and it’s been my most popular blog post ever since. I welcome you to read the comments and my responses, but they can be summarized in these points:

  • If you have a high 140s LSAT, a GPA at 3.5 or above, and no major arrests, discipline issues, etc., then if you apply to the right schools and submit the best possible application materials, you will probably be successful. If you have a mid 140s LSAT, a high GPA, and a history of accommodations that you were not awarded for the LSAT, you may also be successful with a persuasive application. In today’s landscape, accommodations are given pretty freely for those who apply so this is unlikely.
  • If your grades are in the 2.0 range and your LSAT score is in the 140s, I don’t care if you have 20 years of experience as a paralegal, and an MBA from the University of Phoenix, you are probably wasting your time applying to law school. Some mitigating factors might include military service or coming from a significantly underprivileged background.
  • If you have a 130s LSAT, you’re not going to law school.  It’s not fun for me to say this, and I know it hurts to hear it. And, yes, I will answer this question exactly the same way no matter how many times or in how many variations it is posted as a comment on my blog or the Law School Expert Facebook page. People get really mad at me for saying this, like I’m saying it to be mean. People leave comments about how mad they are that I wouldn’t help them because of their 136 LSAT. So then I message them and ask them to prove me wrong – where did they get in? My favorite response was the person who recently told me that she “almost” got into a certain law school. I’m just not sure how a person “almost” gets into law school. I hate dashing people’s dreams, but I like making sure people don’t ruin their lives or pound themselves into debt for no reason. If you can try to retake the LSAT with better preparation, that’s my first suggestion. Only after repeated attempts would I suggest giving up the dream entirely.

What about Conditional Acceptance Programs?

There are schools that will offer you the privilege of paying to take a summer course or two with the incentive that participants who earn a certain grade will be admitted to the fall entering class. These programs are sometimes referred to as “AAMPLE” programs. Sometimes conditional programs are online, and sometimes they are on campus. If your LSAT score isn’t an accurate predictor of future academic success, this may be your best and only option. But there is no guarantee of acceptance, and before you commit to any programs ask about the number of people admitted during previous sessions and whether those people went on to graduate/be in good standing once enrolled as law students. For a list of law schools with conditional acceptance programs, see

I first wrote this post in 2007, and it has been my most popular blog post in the years since. I have not seen students with scores in the low 140s be successful with admission to ABA approved law schools in quite a few years. When someone approaches me who has a very low LSAT score I always encourage them to spend their dollars on LSAT preparation/tutoring before admission consulting and to contact me again once they have achieved a higher score. Schools are not taking chances on people with very low LSAT scores because, statistically, these students do not perform well in law school. Law schools are being closed for taking students who have little chance of success – see Thomas Jefferson Law School.

What about taking the GRE?

Many law schools will accept GRE scores in lieu of an LSAT score, but once you have an LSAT score on record this is what they will rely upon to make your admission decision.

What about applying to law school without a standardized test score?

Starting in 2024, many law schools have agreed to consider applicants without standardized test scores if they complete a program called JDNext. If you know you struggle with standardized tests, this may be worth considering. You will take a class and have a scored final exam. It has yet to be seen how many applicants will be admitted through this program, but they claim it eliminates the bias that standardized test scores tend to reflect regarding socio-economic status.

See also: When is an LSAT Score Too Low?

686 Responses

  1. I have a lsat score of 141 and a good GPA. I want to know what schools can I get into with this Lsat score? What do I have to do to ensure that I get into a school? Not sure what to do! Please Help!

  2. You are someone who would really benefit from working with a law school admission consultant. I have several clients in your situation. I walk them through the entire process of building their applications (essays, resume, LORs, addenda) to make them as strong as possible. It’s also a question of working with someone who knows what schools will take a chance on someone with your LSAT score based on previous experience. This requires some flexibility on your part, but it absolutely can happen.
    Please visit my web site for more information: http://www.lawschoolexpert.net
    I look forward to hearing from you.

  3. I have a GPA of 3.8 from NYU, about 7-8 years of professional and research experience, and am gearing up to take the LSAT on September 29. Unfortunately, I keep scoring in the mid-150’s on my practice tests, and am nervous that I won’t get into any schools of my choice. This may or may not be relevant, but I come from a very nontraditional background, am a person of color, and am queer. I also overcame quite a bit of socioeconomic difficulty in my life, and am not sure if I need to mention these factors in my application. Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

  4. Thanks for leaving a comment. You are the kind of applicant that I work with every day – someone who has a lot to offer but needs to package his/her application in a way that helps make up for the LSAT score. Please visit my web site, http://www.lawschoolexpert.net for more information about how I can help. I look forward to hearing from you.
    P.S. Please do keep in mind that you still have 8 weeks until the LSAT which is LOTS of time to see great improvement. So don’t be discouraged yet.

  5. Hi, I have a LSAT score of 140 my highest. I am 22, Caucasian and not a good standardized test taker. I was Deferred at two schools and wait listed at 2 this year but it all fell through. I applied to about 50 this year. I have a 3.5 GPA cum laude with a double major in 3 years and am disabled. I have a pretty large resume of awards, job experience, social clubs and extracurriculars, including law internships, a county and federal judge internship and many other things. I dont think my personal statement was that good, so I rewrote it and made a new one for this year and also included a disability addendum. I am still waiting on one waitlist that I will find out by the end of this week, but if that falls through I am going to get a one year MBA at a local private school and apply early this year in September for Spring and Fall Terms 08. I cant take the LSAT again because I have taken it 3 times but I think I can take it again in December but I am going to apply early and if im allowed to take it again I will under accommodated status which I wasnt accommodated last time. I have already read 4k+ in law school books from hornbooks to casebooks to primers to the UCC and restatements, ect… Is there any hope for me? If I dont get in next year im going to go to a non-accredited school and transfer to a ABA school after a year but really dont want have to go through that. I studied for the LSAT and took two courses, I am not going to give up and am going to keep trying, any advice would be well appreciated. I would love to get in anywhere part time or full time. If you would like to see my information or can help me on any way, please do so. Thanks!

  6. I have applied to law school two years in a row and been denied. I taken the LSAT twice my first score was a 136 and second score was a 143. I was accepted into the Nova ammple program but I missed the requirement of a 2.5 gpa i got a c plus and c minus on both test. Out of 300 students only 17 made it, the courses were third year. What should I do ? take my lsat again in december? My undergraduate gpa is also not great is a 2.6. My work expirience is not bad I teached high school for a year and currently work for a law firm as an analyst consultant advisor. I am extremely frusterated and I hope this year I get better results what can I do ?

  7. Thanks for writing. There are a lot of things you can do. First, you can hire a law school admission consultant to help with everything from explaining your LSAT, GPA and performance at Nova, to building up the rest of your application to make you seem so fantastic that law schools want to accept you despite the hiccups in your background, to helping you pick the right schools to apply to. Your situation is complicated and not something that can be answered appropriately on a blog post. However, taking a prep course and getting private tutoring for the LSAT (December test) would be a great first step. You are welcome to check out my web site at http://www.lawschoolexpert.net for more information about how I can help.

  8. Hello:

    I have been trying to get accepted to Law School for the last 3 years and still no luck. I have taken the LSAT more than once and my highest LSAT score so far is a 143 and my undergrad GPA is not the greatest (2.2). However, I decided to move on to pursuit a Master’s degree (MBA) in the hopes of raising my chances of admission. I’m almost done with my degree now and I want to know what are my chances of getting admitted to a good, decent school despite of my unchangeable undergrad GPA.

    Thank You

  9. Thanks for writing. If you visit my web site at you will see that I help a lot of law school applicants in your situation – low numbers but other valuable skills and experiences to offer. I am happy to provide consulting services to fit your individual needs. Please feel free to contact me and we can get started. Thanks for writing.

  10. I just got my score from the sept. LSAT and got a 141. I am finishing up my applications and was wondering if it is even worth going through the process? I have a 3.0 GPA, great resume, Letters of Rec. and personal statement. If I took the test again in December would it be too late for most schools if I wanted to get in Fall 08? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks

  11. how can i have faith when my lsat score is realy low (141), and gpa is low (2.62), maybe i am not meant for law school?

    what sort of schools may be interested, do i stand a shot?

  12. MY DAUGHTER JUST RECEIVED HER LSAT SCORE. 143 AND THE TEARS CAME. SHE HAS A HIGH GPA 3.6 AT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY. HER MAJOR IS POLY SCI WHICH SHE HAS A 4.0 SHE WAS A 4 YEAR ALL-AMERICAN ATHLETE AND SERVED ON STUDENT ATHLETE COMMITTEES AND BOARDS AND DOES NUMEROUS VOLUNTEER PROGRAMS. WHAT ARE HER CHANCES OF LAW SCHOOL?

  13. I know there is a lot of anxiety out there about low LSAT scores. This is for David, Anonymous, and Lyn:
    Each applicant has something different to offer, different restrictions on where they hope/need to attend law school, and different circumstances. It’s very hard to give personal advice on a blog format. These are the types of issues I help people with as a law school admission consultant. Should you re-take the LSAT? How to convince the schools that other factors are more representative of your abilities? Can you get into law school now or should you take time off….
    These are good questions, but the answers are very individual. I encourage you to see my web site http://www.lawschoolexpert.com for information about how I help people through this process and for testimonials from others in similar situations who are now attending law school. I’m working all weekend because scores are out and encourage you to call me and allow me to help you through this trying time with advice specifically tailored to you.
    Remember, your LSAT score is not telling you you’re stupid. It’s not telling you that you can’t be a lawyer. It’s not something tatooed on your forehead that will label you forever. It’s just a weakness to overcome, one way or another.
    Ann

  14. Just received my scores, 142 it’s horrible! My GPA a 3.09 isnt the greatest either. However, I got a Dean LOR and another strong LOR and Hispanic. Is American Uni even a possibility?

  15. Hi Anonymous- I don’t know enough about you to conclusively say “no way” and American doesn’t release statistics about who they admit in each score bracket, but I would say just based on what you told me that you have a huge uphill battle and it’s probably not the right school for you to apply to without a significantly improved LSAT score.

  16. I have a high GPA (3.99/Phi Beta Kappa, graduated early, overcame poor vision, and yet am stuck with a weak LSAT score of 153. I am planning to take it again in Dec since I was scoring between 160-161 on all practice tests. I am worried though that I am not a good test taker (actual test) because I have history of low scores (SAT/ACT). I had higher hopes, but now I would be THRILLED to make it into Tulane. You seem great, but I am not sure if I can afford the services. Do you think I would have a chance getting in there? Or let me know if you could truly help me enough for me to take out yet another loan?! 🙂 Thanks Ann!

  17. Rania,
    I know that the decision to attend law school is an investment in your future. I also know that in 99% of the cases, it’s an investment that pays off big time in your life and career. You are not out of the running at Tulane and I do support your decision to take the LSAT again based on your practice scores. I can help you give yourself every possible advantage in this process, and would be happy to do so. Just give me a call anytime – my toll free number is 877-LAW-SKOL.

  18. is it rare to get admission into law school (ranking of tier 1 or maybe top 25) with low lsat scores, or does this occaisonally happen?

  19. You haven’t given me enough information to give you solid advice on this one; I don’t know how low an LSAT you mean and I don’t know anything else about you. But let’s pick a good law school at random – I opened up the book to Boston University School of Law. If your LSAT is anywhere in the 140s, they took 2 applicants of a pool of about 600….I don’t love those chances unless something about your life story is going to blow me out of the water…..
    I hope this is helpful.

  20. In terms of an addendum, I saw that you said it is best to include a score report for past standardized test scores if you are claiming weak test scores but great academic performance. Is it fine to scan the score report and attach it via LSAC applications or should it be mailed separately? Thanks and love your blogs!

  21. 1) i have a 141 lsat and carrying a 2.62 gpa, but am in a rigorous major, with 2 minors, i have my eyes set on franklin pierce b/c im interested in IP, throughout my applications im stressing that im more than just grades, having strong LOR’s, strong experiences and personal statement(aka the whole package), do i stand a shot in this tier 3 school with my low lsat scores?

    2) even though i alredy applied to FP regular decisoin, can i change it to early decision or will this frowned upon by their admissions office?

    your comments are greatly appreciated! i love the blog thanks!