Who Gets To Attend A Top Law School?

Law School Expert Blog

(Originally posted in 2014, I’m updating this on 3/26/2020 – changes are in bold text):

How to Get Into a Top Law School?

Top law schools require stellar undergraduate grades, an LSAT score that shows you can compete with their student body, and soft factors which demonstrate experiences that will add to the diversity and knowledge of the law school class. For Top 10 law schools, a ballpark combination would be scoring 170+ on the LSAT and 3.8+ GPA.

What’s the difference between someone who gets accepted into Harvard Law and someone who doesn’t? Experience tells me there are two universal traits of people who get into top law schools: the quality of their undergraduate education, and their engagement in extracurricular activities and professional positions that show passions and a level of expertise in one or more subject areas. They also have high LSAT scores, unless they have overcome significant obstacles in their life in order to excel in academics and extracurriculars.

Top Law Schools are looking for thinkers – people who are not afraid of a challenge and were truly engaged in their educational and professional environments. If you phoned it in during your college years, doing the bare minimum academically while focusing on less intellectual endeavors, top law schools have the luxury of turning you away even if your LSAT score is 174+. When I review a law school applicant’s transcript and resume, it’s immediately obvious whether they took their college experience seriously and whether they have pursued the kinds of activities and positions that will help them compete with people at the top law schoolsAn internship on Capitol Hill isn’t enough unless it’s combined with a series of interesting pursuits and a record of excelling. For law school applicants who don’t have the luxury to pursue unpaid internships, law schools are looking for whether you balanced school and work well or just barely managed. Getting a 4.0 at Ohio State while working full time can get you into Harvard Law if your LSAT is in the right range (as one of my clients did this year) not everyone has to have traditional pre-law internships but the work experience should show advancement and intellectual engagement.

Quality of Undergraduate Education

Attending a prestigious undergraduate institution puts you at an advantage in the eyes of the Top Law Schools. You’ve been tested against the nation’s best and brightest, and – presumably – engaged in rigorous coursework with renowned professors. Earning top grades and writing a thesis in this environment is something Top Law Schools appreciate. It also makes it highly likely you will have a letter of recommendation (or two or three) from professors who are truly in a position to evaluate your work and can compare you to past students who have gone on to Top Law Schools. An applicant from this background, especially one who has supplemented their time with volunteer efforts, travel, and interesting and well-rounded pursuits, is ideally positioned for success in the law school admission process. For the Fall 2014 application cycle to date, my applicants who have been admitted to Harvard Law attended Berkeley, Yale, Penn, Stanford, Dartmouth, and (yes) Harvard for their undergrad work. (Update for Fall 2019: Stanford, Trinity, Kenyon, Columbia (x2), Ohio State and Arizona State – and some still pending on the waiting list. Note: The ones from Ohio State and Arizona State had 4.0 GPAs and went through honors college programs).

Top Law Schools are unlikely to admit people who attended less impressive undergraduate schools, especially if there were opportunities you did not pursue (such as independent academic research, challenging courses, and intellectual pursuits outside of the classroom.) However, if you have a near perfect GPA and stellar academic accomplishments at a well-known and respected school, especially where your major is known to be rigorous, the fact that you didn’t go Ivy League may be forgiven. Examples include studying Philosophy at Rutgers and Business at the University of Southern California because these are departments that are particularly respected within the academic community. It also includes attending a college-within-a-college honors program.

If you started at a community college, changed majors several times, attended a state university near home where you had few opportunities to interact with faculty members, majored in something not known for rigor, like Communications or Legal Studies, and still only managed a 3.5 GPA, Top Law Schools are unlikely to take you seriously even if you absolutely kill the LSAT. In fact, a 3.5 at a respected university is a disadvantage in recent cycles. Top Law Schools are not compromising on GPA; they can forgive an LSAT that’s a bit low if everything else is in line and impressive but not a GPA because it’s earned over time.

For non-traditional applicants who have been out of school for many years, a lot can be forgiven if their work experience is truly impressive and if their LSAT score demonstrates academic abilities beyond what is evident from their transcript. But remember that Top Ten Law Schools don’t have any incentive to overlook these issues because they are able to fill their classes with applicants who did everything right.


What activities are Top Law Schools looking for? What actually impresses them? Here are a few examples:
• Participation in college athletics (no matter the division)/Olympic or other high-level competitive sports involvement;
• Significant volunteer experience at home or abroad regarding an issue you are particularly knowledgeable and passionate about;
• Learning another language, along with significant international and/or multi-cultural experience;

• Holding a leadership position within a journal, college newspaper, or political or service organization.

Anything that demonstrates passion/knowledge/drive and direction. Even if it might be a bit controversial or distinctive.

What doesn’t impress Top Law Schools? Applicants who spent most of their time on fraternity and sorority involvements, whose internships are scattered and primarily include online marketing and social media management, who have not spent significant time volunteering in a meaningful capacity, and who only have traditional travel or study abroad experiences.

Obstacles Overcome

Merely having obstacles in your background won’t get you into a Top Law School; a lot of application fees are wasted by people who believe otherwise. The key to getting into a Top Law School is being able to show that despite growing up with significant disadvantages, you got yourself somewhere really amazing on your own two feet. In other words, it’s how you reacted to the obstacle, how you overcame the obstacle, that impresses Top Law Schools. One of these rare and amazing stories of triumph, coupled with impressive academic, extracurricular, and professional achievements makes Top Law Schools willing to dip lower on their LSAT score requirements. For example, if you couldn’t attend college so you joined the military, then earned multiple degrees while deployed. Or if you were a single mom and had to pay your way through school while managing your life and you still excelled. It’s the “overcoming” that matters most to law schools – that’s what shows your personal drive and motivation and that’s what brings a diverse viewpoint to the classroom and to the legal profession.

2021 Top 10 Law Schools

Rank School
1 Yale Law School
2 Stanford Law School
3 Harvard Law School
4 (tie) Columbia Law School
4 (tie) University of Chicago Law School
6 New York University School of Law
7 Penn Law (Carey School of Law)
8 University of Virginia School of Law
9 (tie) Northwestern Pritzker School of Law
9 (tie) Berkeley Law
9 (tie) University of Michigan Ann Arbor

142 Responses

  1. T14 schools don’t care where you got your UG, they care far more what your GPA is. This article is misleading. Going to some random state college with a 4.0 can get you into Harvard. Going to Princeton with a 3.6 will not.

    1. Well said! This article is, in fact, misleading.
      I went to an “unimpressive undergraduate school” with a good, but not great LSAT score, yet I was offered admission by a T14 law school

    2. Thank you so much for making this comment. I’m attending Hofstra University and it’s a goal of mine to attend a T14 law school but I was so scared that my chances would be nonexistent because of where I went for undergrad. I couldn’t afford a better school but I have a 4.0 and I work very hard.

    3. This article is correct. There are exceptions, of course, but it’s not the rule. There have been numerous studies. Top likes to admit from the top.

  2. I’m beginning my Law School Application process, hoping to submit for Fall 2015 acceptance. I’m taking my LSAT in June and have already collected my transcripts and sent out some recommendation requests. I’ve been out of school for a couple years, so its looking like getting recommendations from professors is proving a bit difficult for one reason or another. I’m still just a bit overwhelmed by the whole process, and can already feel application paranoia setting in. I know a lot of the schools I want to apply for are relatively selective (even reflecting the recent trends in applications). I’m always afraid I just won’t stand out enough, especially since I waited until after achieving my B.A. and M.Ed. and being in the work force for a little while before applying. I tend to be very personally critical and can’t help but wonder if I’ve done anything to WOW the admissions boards. I’m not necessarily looking at schools at the very top of the list, but the ones I’m interested in certainly seem prestigious.

    1. Hi Catherine,
      Sounds like you’re getting things ready right on schedule, and it’s natural that it would be hard to get professor letters given the time you’ve been out of school. I don’t think “WOW” is the thing to go for – I think it’s sincerity, authenticity, and seriousness of purpose. I think you can probably create that impression pretty effectively!

  3. I will be a junior this coming academic year at a state university after having transferred from a community college last year and hope to apply to law school upon graduation. I had some major financial setbacks that delayed me from attending undergrad and as such I will be four years behind the traditional student. While I fear graduating law school too late, I do not want to rush the procedure. I have been and continue to work full time (for the past 2.5 years I have been in the banking/financal sector) while attending undergrad. Currently I hold a 3.74 GPA and plan to take the lsats in june. What are my chances of getting into a top-tier law school? How well should I do on the LSATs to consider a school of that caliber? And will law schools look at my transfer college GPA?

    1. Correction: I am a junior and will be a senior this coming academic year…. I plan to take the LSATs in september, not june. The GPA score is that of my junior year.

    2. Hi Gin,
      I’m glad you don’t want to rush – better to do things right. I don’t know where you are enrolled in school and I don’t know your full story. Schools will see all of your grades – they all count toward your LSAC GPA so no one gets a fresh start unfairly. Good luck on the LSAT – that will really make a big difference in your chances at different schools. Your current GPA is very promising, obviously.

  4. Hi Ann,

    I was wondering if you offer any advice to international students who studied at an institution that is not in the U.S.?

  5. Hi Ann,

    I played a sport my first year and a half of college, after competing in it four years in high school. I feel like it would be weird to put it on my resume if I quit part way through my college career, but would it help me? I have heard similar statements other places about athletes being successful in law school, and law schools liking them. I have considered writing my personal statement about my decision to leave the team, but didn’t want to focus on being a quitter either. Thoughts? Thanks!

    1. Hi Syd, You should absolutely put athletics on your resume – yes!!!!
      I have read a good personal statement that was about the decision to quit, to show what you did, how you changed for the better, found your way, focused on academics, etc. But you don’t necessarily have to go that route.

    2. Hi Ann,

      My daughter is undergrad at Berkeley. She is about to complete her second year with a 3.8 (or higher) gpa.

      She keeps on stressing about admission at a top 5 law school (Harvard being her top choice). She was in Cal field hockey team during her first year (she was distinguished as one of the athletes with the highest gpa), played with the French National team at the European championship (under 18), at the under 21 World Cup, and at the world league. She had to drop top level field hockey after a serious knee injury which require heavy surgery. She has been a research assistant at Cal and works for non profit organizations on campus.

      I keep on telling her that she has an impressive profile but she keeps on thinking that she is average. Could you give me you neutral opinion.


        1. Hi Ann,

          I will advise my daughter to contact you.

          She has now graduated with a major in political science and a minor in History from UC Berkeley (3.9, highest honors, phi beta kappa) and is now heading to Cambridge for a MPhil before applying to law school.

          Hope the two of you match.



    1. John,
      It’s something that is highly respected by law schools, but you will also need an LSAT score that shows you can compete (assuming grades are lower and that’s why you’re asking?)

  6. You carelessly minimize individual circumstances with the facile notion of “applicants who did everything right.”

  7. Hi Anne,
    I am a mother and currently pregnant with my second child. I am going to Virginia Commonwealth University for psychology and have a 4.0. Would top law schools be impressed with the fact that I am going to school, participating in extracurriculars and maintaining a high grade point average? I would love to the chance to go to a top tier school, but I also want to be realistic. What are your thoughts?

  8. Hi Ann,

    I have a 3.48 GPA (science major) from UT Austin (graduated in may 15′) and I’m taking the LSAT in february for the first time. I’ve been studying really hard for it and am hoping to do well on it. I know my GPA isn’t stellar and that applying closer to deadline is disadvantageous because of rolling admissions. I have a variety of leadership roles from my undergrad including two years of resident assistant experience as well a semester of teaching assistant experience for an undergraduate public health class. I also had officer positions at student organizations but I don’t know if that really counts for much. I don’t really have a question for you but just wanted to hear your thoughts about where you think I stand in terms of my chances of getting admission in UT law school or others of comparable caliber.

    Thank you!

  9. Hi Ann,

    I currently attend a non-so-impressive undergrad university. I am a sophomore and currently looking at law schools to attend. My GPA is a 3.875, I am President of various clubs and a Honor Society, and I also hold a job on campus while being Vice President of my class in Student Government. I also recently just became a Student Member at Large on a National Council for a honor society. While my undergrad isn’t so competitive what other law schools can I get into?


  10. I went to a small school in Long Island and am a senior I am on pace to graduate with a 3.5 GPA, i am also a college athlete. In your earlier post you said colleges prefer bigger schools with harder majors. I majored in Political Science which I am not sure if its considered an easy major. Would this hurt me for Law School, I took hard electives level 3000 Psych and 3000 Sociology classes. I would like to go to a top 25 school would i have a chance if i did well on the lsat.

      1. So I did very meh on the lsat – 165. That said, I had a 3.86 GPA undergrad, have won numerous nationally competive scholarships for undergrad and grad school study, speak five languages, and have had some serious work experience. Is there hope for me at harvard??

  11. Hi Ann,

    Thank you for writing such a helpful and informative article for those of us getting ready to dive into law school, this definitely helped me feel better prepared for what’s to come. I am a 3.9 ASU Honors student with another 3 semesters left and am majoring in Political Science. My biggest concern going into next year is time management. So my question to you is when exactly should I start preparing for the LSATs, school applications, etc.? Also with the fact that I am attending a university that is not as distinguished and renowned like that of Berkeley or Yale how much weight would my extra curricular and LSAT scores pull? I have quite a bit of travel experience as I took time off before college and lived in Australia as well as England and will be volunteering in Nepal for six weeks this year. I also am involved in things like the debate team, toastmasters, and local homeless shelters. I also work full time while going to school full time and am financially independent. I apologize for the information overload, I would just like to know where you think my focus for the next two years should be to better my chances. Thank you so much for your time and look forward to hearing from you!

    1. Hi Shea, I love this question. If you would be able to study for the LSAT over the summer, you could plan to take it in September. That might be the best timing for you.

  12. Hi Ann, I am 31 years old working for a top IT company for the past 8 years. I have a Bachelors in Engineering from India (GPA:3.5) from a top 5 ranked college in the country and a Masters in International Business from a top school in France(US GPA:3.65). I have also led teams at work as a manger and worked in Europe, Latin America and now in California.In school i was helped setup the student body and was elected for 3 years straight alongwith founding and setting up the placement cell for university. I am yet to take the LSATs and would only want to go to a top school. Do you think considering my circumstances (not being a young 25 year old anymore), i might be of interest to a top school? Also, based on the data points, what LSAT score should i be targeting to get into a top 10 school?

    If possible, i would like to consult with you 1:1 to discuss my case. Please let me know if this is feasible.

    Thank You.

  13. I am a Biomedical Engineer at a lesser known state school. I have a 3.75 GPA in my third year. I plan to do quite well on the LSAT as I have been preparing diligently for it. Will my not so prestigious undergraduate school hold me back from a T14 law school?

  14. I am a recent graduate at a top 10 (USNWR) university. I have a 3.81 gpa with a 173 lsat. I am currently working and plan to go to law school after about two years of work. I have a question about Letters of Recommendation. I thought that I had read that for people who have work experience, they can choose to have one academic LOR and one business LOR if they want. I recently read a blog from the dir of admissions at Yale where she says she really wants only academic LORs since since what she cares about is their ability as a student – not the worker. What is your advice?

  15. I am a sophomore Journalism major at a lesser known university. I have a 3.87 GPA and currently hold executive positions in my fraternity and the interfraternity council. I was elected president as a sophomore and continue to hold multiple positions. I have been actively preparing to take the LSAT and believe when the time comes, I will do well. I noticed you stated that top-tier law schools are unimpressed with being involved with either a fraternity and sorority, will holding positions in greek life at a lesser known university hurt my chances?

    1. Mikhael,
      I love your leadership and GPA. It’s not that your leadership won’t count in the admission process, but standing alone it’s not what will make a huge difference since it’s a pretty common involvement (although leadership positions at a young age are impressive). It won’t hurt you that your primary involvement has been though the Greek system, but it’s good to show you are well rounded too.

  16. I am an Environmental Science and Political Science double major and know I want to pursue Environmental Law. I currently run my own startup NPO dealing with promoting environmental sustainability, I’ve been the president of my university’s environmental club since I founded it my freshman year, I have done biology/enviro research with my university (although, it is a rather small school/department) and I have had several papers published dealing with the environment. I have also had several law internships over the course of my college career, one of which being with environmental attorneys specifically.

    Grades and LSAT scores aside, would T14 schools take to seeing all the work that I do with the environment or would they be turned off by it being too homogenous? I have a few more leadership positions under my belt, but I would like to focus on the work I’ve done with the environment, as it is my passion.

  17. So I am in a sorority but do not hold a position and am just an active member. I am also a part of a pre-law association club, and I didn’t get on the school newspaper. Should I leave my sorority off my application?

      1. I’m trying to go to Harvard, Stanford, Yale, so to them you don’t think it would matter? That I never held a position?

      2. I’m trying to get into Harvard, Stanford, Yale so you don’t think they would care that I didn’t hold a position and was just a member?

        1. Hi Alison, you should share the information, elaborate on your strengths, but there’s no shame in “just being a member” of things… I can’t see the earlier part of your question (not sure why…) so I respond more specifically.

  18. Where could I find a list of colleges that are represented by each top law school? I am trying to decide on a University for my undergrad in preparation for law school.

  19. Hi Ann,

    Thank you for continuing to answer questions!

    My undergrad GPA was 3.63 (private/liberal arts), and my master’s program 4.0 (smaller for-profit college). I’ve recently been worrying these are not impressive enough because especially my master’s program was not at a particularly well-known institution, and I do wish I’d proven myself more in undergrad.

    I surprised myself actually doing alright on my cold diagnostic, and really think my studying efforts could lead to a great LSAT score… Is there anything specific I can be focusing on to strengthen my applications? (or push through GPA anxiety?) My grades are done, and I want to make sure I’m presenting my best for consideration as a competitive applicant.

    I know answering questions with little information from comment boxes must seem vague, and I truly appreciate your time and resources you provide!

    1. Hi Dana, An LSAT that shows you can compete with a school’s students will go a long way. You can’t change your GPA now but you can show your abilities through your LSAT score. I always believe it focusing on the things you can control and letting the rest go….

  20. Hi!
    Do you know how American Law Schools look at international students who have studied Law before in another country as an undergraduate degree? For example a bachelor in Law from England?
    Will this be a disadvantage or will they just look at your GPA, LSAT score and extracurricular activities?

    I know international students can study for a Master degree but I’m really interested in studying for a JD.


    1. Tim, I have worked with people in your situation before. Many start with the LLM and then transfer to a JD program. Different schools have different policies on this.

  21. You said that it would be very unlikely for a student from an “unimpressive” college or university to get into the top law schools. How come when you look at some of the top law schools’ accepted students’ undergraduate university catalogs you see a very diverse range of schools? I have no doubt that the majority of law school students come from the “prestigious” schools but there still must be a sizable percentage coming from state colleges and lesser known universities.

    1. Ed, I think it probably comes down to a definition of “unimpressive” – a wide range of public and smaller schools are represented, of course, but it’s harder to get in from very small, lesser known, or less competitive schools.

  22. Ann,

    I am currently finishing up my sophomore year at a public state university (ranked #115 nationally by US News). I am double majoring in finance and accounting. My GPA is currently a 3.92 (3.95 if you include the summer classes I took at a community college last year). I’ve taken an art history class and a philosophy class and I plan to take all of the business law classes offered by the time I graduate.

    Do I have any chance whatsoever of getting into a really top-tier law school (at least T14), seeing as I’m attending a university that is not prestigious? Also, will my majors hurt me? I’m considering changing the accounting degree to economics, but I am undecided at this point. I understand that a huge part of this depends on my LSAT score, but I haven’t taken it yet so I am just trying to get an idea of where I stand. Thank you!

  23. Hi Anne,

    I am currently at Miami University and I am hoping to attend a t-14 law school. Currently I have a 3.64 and I am a veteran from the Air Force. My practice LSAT’s I have been scoring in the late 160’s and early 170’s is there any chance to get into a top law school with such a low GPA?

  24. Thank you for writing this article. I am a 34 year old senior at a small university in Texas graduating with a BS in Industrial Technology with a expected GPA of 3.80. I understand getting into a good law school would be greatly dependent on my lsats, however I’m concerned with my age, transferring from a community college, and going to a small university. Law school is expensive and I am not exactly in my 20s; time is limited. My question is what are the chances of getting into a top 15 school with my so so background and age even with a decent GPA? I’m an INTJ personality, I feel very confident that I will do well above average on the lsats.

    1. Hi Chris,
      Without knowing an LSAT score or range, it’s hard to say whether you would be competitive for a top 15 law school. Depending on your score, work and life experiences, writing ability and letters of recommendation, you could be in that range.

  25. Hi Ann,
    I am currently a freshman trying to decide on whether to double major in Economics and Government or minor in international relations. Do you think that double majoring is more advantageous when it does to applying to law school?

  26. Hi Ann,

    I am a recent high school graduate. I’m going to a private university this Fall and plan to major in History. I know aiming for one of the best law schools in the country might be a bit far-fetched, but I plan to give it my best shot. I’ve never been athletically inclined, but I’ve always been very interested in learning new languages and studying abroad. I also compete in national beauty pageants and am very passionate about volunteering. Is there any advice you would give to a young student planning to go to law school who is just beginning her journey?

    1. Liza,
      Thanks for asking. Take time to find your passion. Don’t choose anything because others expect it of you or because it sounds like something law schools will appreciate. Enjoy college. Challenge yourself. And keep reading the blog : )

  27. I’m starting undergrad next year at UC Berkeley and Harvard Law has been the dream ever since I was little. I am going to major in Political Science and minor in creative writing, join and hopefully gain leadership in the humor magazine and the Amnesty International chapter, and intern in the fields of film, writing, and politics. I also would probably take a year or two off before applying to law school to work perhaps as a creative writer. Is that too scattered? I am passionate about Political science and law as well as creative writing for film and hopefully will continue this passion through entertainment law. I am also prepared to work as hard as possible to get top grades and a top LSAT Score. Please let me know what you think.

    1. Sarah, enjoy this time. Worry less about Harvard and more about finding your passion – enjoy every opportunity that comes your way.Ask the tough questions and have fun exploring your college experience. I look forward to hearing about all of your adventures over the coming years.

  28. Hi Ann,
    First of all I would like to thank you for writing this article and helping guide students like me with it.
    I had a question in regards to what you had mentioned about the consideration admission officers take for the undergrad school that is attended. I am going to the University of Washington, a huge state university, and would really like to get into a T5 law school. Would it benefit me or harm me to try and transfer to a more selective school for my undergrad? Would you recommend it or should I stay?

  29. Thank you for posting this blog. I obviously want to get into the best law school that I can, and I wanted to know the realistic possibilities about this endeavor, considering my academic and extracurricular activities. I have two semesters left until I graduate from Middle Tennessee State University with a bachelor in marketing. I know that MTSU is a low-tiered, unimpressive undergraduate school and that the marketing major is not known for it’s academic rigor. But I have a 3.9 overall G.P.A, and will have some experience interning for a law firm before I graduate. However, I do not have much civic service experience. Hypothetically speaking, say I make a 160 on the LSAT: What are my chances at getting into a top 14 law school? And is it worth it to go to a less prestigious law school if I can’t get into a t14?

    1. Also, would it be worth it to transfer to a slightly higher tiered undergraduate school such as Belmont?

  30. Hi Ann,

    I have 3.0 GPA in chemical engineering from a top school and an lsat of 167, what tier of law school will I be able to get into?

  31. Hello Ann,

    I would highly appreciate your opinion on my chances and most importantly, on advising the direction I better follow to get accepted. I have graduated from a University of my country (Azerbaijan) in International studies with the GPA of 3.02. Even though all law courses I have ever taken were A, microeconomics and statistics were my weak points. In September I am starting my LL.M in International laws in University of Southampton (UK). I have already started preparing for LSAT, and registered for December. Should I better work after completing my graduate degree, or applying directly to JD would be fine? And most importantly, will my graduate degree’s GPA compensate the undergraduate one?

    Looking forward to hear from you!

  32. Hi Ann,

    I am an Industrial and Labor Relations major at Cornell University. I am a Law minor and a Business minor. I have a 4.0. I am a senior. I am taking the LSATs on September 24th and have been scoring in the 167-172 range on practice tests. For the purposes of this post, let’s presume I take the test in one month and score within that range (Although I know that test day can sometimes produce scores different from those scored on practice tests)

    Things I am involved in on campus:
    1. I am on the executive board for my major’s “peer mentor” program. I organize a group of mentors and I have also been a mentor to freshmen for three years. This program is something I have worked to develop over time, and it has evolved and improved pretty drastically from the time I became involved with it, through some of my work on it.
    2. I have been the Risk Manager for my sorority for 2.5 years. This is what I have put a large degree of time on consistently throughout my four years. I know that you said this isn’t impressive to top schools, but I worked really hard on this and in making my chapter one of the absolute safest on my campus, where there have recently been some bad happenings with Greek Life. I raise awareness about health and social issues within my chapter and teach bystander intervention trainings each semester. I wasn’t the “social chair” or something frivolous, is it too hopeful to think that this could be valued by a law school?
    3. I am involved in a pre-law fraternity.
    4. I interned in an employment law firm last summer (2015) near my home
    5. I spent this past summer 12 hours from home interning for GEICO doing a rotational business internship program. I chose to pursue a business internship because I am possibly interested in a dual law and business degree and wanted to have had exposure to both in internships.
    6. I am a Finance TA, for one of the harder finance courses on my campus.
    7. Last year, I was a representative for a company called Say It With A Condom that prints eye-catching messages on condom wrappers to raise awareness for HIV/AIDs prevention.

    1. I am currently writing a senior honors thesis relevant to my field of study. It will be complete by May.
    2. I am also a first generation college student.

    What schools do you think could be reasonable to shoot for? I, of course, would love to think I could get into Harvard or UChicago (my two dream schools), but, I would be happy if at the end of the day I could get into Duke or Northwestern. Do you think this is attainable?

    1. Hi Carly,
      I can’t give schools advice on the blog format, but if you’re interested in talking with you and possible consulting, I’d be happy to address this for you.

  33. Hi Ann,

    I’m from Puerto Rico and I graduated with a 3.41 GPA in accounting from a local college (University of Puerto Rico). I’m currently working as a CPA in a small firm here, and I’m also finishing the Enrolled Agent certification. I took the LSAT a couple of months ago and got a 168. Do I have any chances of entering a tier 1 law school? Does having these certifications helps me at all or recruiters don’t care about that?

    Thank you for reading this!

  34. This cannot be true unless by “Top” you mean literally only Yale. I am at a T-14 school and most of my friends went to non-prestigious state universities. Some went to ivy leagues or other fancy schools, but not the majority.

    I had poor grades in UG (like, below a 3.5) in a not very difficult major (and did no academic research/ no thesis), had mediocre work experience (though some volunteering experience as well), and wasn’t an athlete. I got into several T-14 schools just because I had a 173 on the LSAT.

  35. Hi Ann, I have a 3.0 GPA and a 155 on my LSAT. I competed all four years for University of Texas in my sport and competed in the 2012 and 2016 Olympics for USA earning a silver and a gold. I only really want to go to UT Law. What are my chances of being accepted?

    1. Paul, that’s AMAZING! Thanks for representing the USA so well! I’m impressed! I think with a strong application they will seriously consider you. Every law school would love to have an Olympian : )

  36. Hi Ann –

    I received 2 concurrent undergrad degrees from a major, private – not Ivy League – university, and completed all 3 of the most challenging areas of concentration for my business degree. I was the valedictorian (3.97+) and recorded a 177 on my LSAT. I was also a varsity D1 athlete for 3 years. I, however, have no “non-traditional” factors in my favor. I’ve been working in Finance since graduation to make sure the bills are paid 🙂 What can you broadly suggest would be my best approach to pursue admission at the very top-level; schools?

    1. I’m betting you did great in the admission cycle, or that you will if you haven’t hear back yet. Sorry I didn’t see this comment earlier. If I can be of any help at this point please let me know.

  37. Hi, Ann!

    I am currently going to University of Oklahoma (OU) and majoring in Criminology, minoring in Psychology. I expect to graduate with a 3.7 GPA.

    Without considering the LSAT, I had a few obstacles during my freshman year that caused me to withdraw from school and attend a community college near my chemotherapy center until I went into remission and transfer back to OU. I’m not trying to win over T14 law schools with a sob story, but will this situation hurt my chances of getting into a selective school?

    p.s. I am involved in MANY extracurriculars, including an honor society. Additionally, I have volunteered for many nation-level philanthropic organizations.

  38. Hi Ann,

    thank you for your very helpful posts.

    I got wait listed for a T5 school and I was wondering if i actually stand any real chance of being admitted. My gpa is abyssal (2.99), and lsat is even worse at 146. I have a unique background and my soft was perfect.

  39. To be honest reading this article is frustrating. You discount so many well qualified individuals and make yourself look extremely biased when saying that state schools aren’t impressive, sorority/fraternity involvement isn’t impressive, and “ordinary” study abroad experiences aren’t impressive. Coming from someone who served as second in command in my sorority of 400 members at a large state school, I can tell you the amount of leadership experience I gained from that position is unmatched by any internship I’ve ever had. I personally managed a budget of over $65,000 and planned huge events with complete creative and organizational control. I’m just trying to say you can’t discount someone just based on stereotypes of greek members or state school alumni.

    1. Emma! I agree with you! I help people emphasize those responsibilities and traits. My intention in this post was merely to show you what you’re up against when competing with people who have been out in the world managing start-ups and working at big consulting firms, not that I don’t think these things are important or a lot of work. I was a sorority president myself….

  40. Hi Anne!

    I love your article and the insight you provide.
    I am an incoming Junior at Emory University as an English Major, after switching from the sciences early on as a freshman, realizing the types of classes where my skills could really allow me to thrive and enjoy the challenges thrown my way. I have involvement in the environmental science department in extra curricular, like working on different CO2 emission projects for the school and community. I also have interned for the past year (and this summer) with an animal rights organization, and plan to start a chapter at my school this coming Fall. I started an animal rights club at my high school, so getting things going will be familiar to me! I’m also a member of SALDF, which is a student organization for animal justice at Emory’s law school! I have networked a bit with the law students, which has given me the opportunity to observe/shadow the law student moot court competitions and practices. I’ve also written for various school papers, but no big positions in them yet, unfortunately.

    Having given a bit of background, my biggest concern right now is my GPA. I’ve gotten all As (but one B+) in all of my English class (major), but a bad grade in required math freshman year and one or two other B-‘s has killed my GPA. So right now I have about a 3.4, and I’m concerned bringing it up by the time I apply even just to a 3.5 won’t do my application justice. I have already started studying for the LSAT, and am confident I can perform exceedingly well based on my preparation. Will law schools provide a little slack on my GPA given the academic rigor of a prestigious university? Thank you so much for your opinion/expertise 🙂

    1. Hi Madeline, I’m glad the blog has been helpful to you. You should consider writing an addendum to point out the overall strength of your grades and pinpoint that a few select classes have brought down your average. Great LORs will help too! Let me know if I can be of further help to you!

  41. Hi Ann,

    I am currently going to Columbia University in New York and majoring in political science with a 3.2 GPA.

    I will be a 4 year varsity athlete by the time I graduate and am interning on capital hill in Washington D.C. this summer for my local congressman. I want your honest opinion of my prospects of me getting into a top 15 law school, preferably either University of Texas or Georgetown. I have not taken the LSAT yet and I know that is critical to the application process. What do you think I will need to score on the LSAT in order to be likely to gain admission into these schools, and what could I do outside the classroom separate from I’m already doing to increase my chances?

    1. Hi Bryan,
      Your athletic experience is something law school appreciate, and adding an internship to that is great. But I can’t offer opinions on your chances because, as you know, you don’t have the LSAT yet. And I don’t draw bright lines on LSAT scores for admission chances, especially in the blog format. Do the best you can on the LSAT, and do the best with what you have. Outside of the classroom, it appears you’re doing everything right.
      One thing that you may want to consider is using your senior year to get your grades up and applying the following year to law school so that you have a chance to show an upward trend and get some letters of rec from professors teaching higher level classes. Let me know if I can be of further help.

  42. HI Ann,
    this blog post popped up when I randomly searched for “how to get in to top law schools,” haha. Nevertheless, I am pretty summed up with what I should be really focusing on after reading your post. I think there are divergent opinions regarding to whether name-value of undergrads matter or not (pretty much in everywhere online when discussing about law school admissions).
    So, I am kind of curious of what your personal opinion is for my case:
    I’ve recently completed my undergraduate studies at a tier 1 school, but my gpa isn’t so impressive. It’s around 3.7, and my first Lsat score is 169. ( I am taking another one in Sept. )I have been working as a skype tutor 15hrs/week as an SAT instructor for a private institution for 4 years. So I was working while attending college as a full-time student. I have done optional thesis for my major(honors). Nevertheless, I am unsure whether I should apply to schools like Yale, Harvard and Stanford. I just don’t want to throw my money away by applying to schools that I will def not get into.

    1. Hi AJN, I think that some of this depends on how much you bring up your score and how strong your faculty LORs are. I always think it’s worth trying if you’re close. I don’t think that working 15 hours a week as a tutor is going to blow them away though… That’s not going to be the tipping point.

  43. Hello Ann,

    I need your advise, on whether to apply to law school at all.

    I have very poor UG record. A UK 3rd class. Well not actually a 3rd, a low 2nd class, but given my poor grades , its coming to a 3rd. I struggled with my major courses as well as gen eds. In fact the only paper I ever got an A was in Elective English. Other wise my college years are filled with grades from C/C+/C- and B-.

    On hindsight, I ought to have changed my major – as I had little to no aptitude in it. The best I could manage was a B- in my final year.

    For what its worth, my alma mater had a harsh grading curve C/B-. And I didn’t have the fortitude nor was resourceful enough to discover how to get good grades in a grade deflation environment.

    I have translated my grades on WES, and UK/US Fulbright grade conversion calculator and its coming to a mid 2’s. The LSAC I suspect will not be so generous and will give me a GPA below 2.

    The LSAC evaluates foreign transcripts as Above, Average, Superior, Average, Below Average. Mine will be a Below Average equivalent to a D.

    I have already taken a cold LSAT score and have a 165. I am confident that I can bring it to a 170+ on the real deal. It stings me to this day, that I could not even manage an average result in my UG, but that’s water under the bridge.

    What do you suggest I do? I can send you my transcripts and grades obtained via email. If you indeed think that

    I am targeting T3/4 Law schools, but even that will be a long shot, I fear.

    1. If you have a 165 on the LSAT, you don’t need to go to a 4th Tier school- pick schools where your LSAT is at or above the 75th percentile and put together a great application. Law schools are familiar with the UK grading curve. Please let me know if I can be of help.

  44. Hi Ann,

    I am attending Ohio State University (#16 public university, #54 overall) with a Comm major and a minor. I went to college while in high school to do gen eds, so I will be graduating here a year and a half early (at age 20- does that matter?). I received a full ride from OSU and a few other scholarships. I currently have a 3.93 GPA and don’t expect much change there. As far as the LSAT goes, I am planning on 6 months of studying before the June exam and taking it in September to (hopefully) get up to high 160’s/low 170’s.
    I have studied abroad twice, and am trying to plan a volunteer trip with a non-profit org for this summer, in time for my apps. I also have worked part time (as an online teacher for Chinese students abroad) and in my parent’s business.
    Taking everything into consideration, whats your prediction at a school like Northwestern? They value work experience before applying, but I really want to dive into law school after undergrad.

    Thanks for your time!!

    1. Sydney, you sound like a very qualified applicant. I can’t predict admission changes via the blog format, but I’ve had traditional applicants be admitted to Northwestern so it’s not impossible just because you won’t have work experience.

  45. Oh, and i forgot to add that I intern for a law professor at OSU’s Moritz College of Law. She is writing a book and I do research for her, and there is a strong possibility of securing a recommendation letter from her.


  46. Hi Ann
    I am an international student, with a GPA of 9.34 in the major Mathematics. My university is not internationally known and is quite small. I scored 173 the first time I took the LSAT, and 177 the second. I published a book of poetry three years ago with Partridge Publishers, and was the Technical Advisor of the Mathematics Society at my University. Could you tell me if I have a chance at any of the top 15 law schools in the U.S? If so, what amount of scholarship am I likely to get?

  47. Hi!

    I am a student at one of the University of Texas schools (I suppose one of the ‘less impressive’ ones, regrettably).
    I graduated High School a year early, did the IB Program, and got my BA in History (concentration: Social Studies Composite including Economics and Political Science courses) in 2016. I got this degree within two years due to IB credits as well as the fact that I took eight classes one Spring semester and seven during the summer. I graduated with a 4.0 GPA. For this degree, I also did an internship at a local high school, where I taught US History and AP Macroeconomics. I created syllabi, assignments, et cetera for these courses, and I taught the sessions and graded the work. Furthermore, I got my MA in History from the same university, likewise with a 4.0 GPA. I am now working on the PhD and will have it by Spring 2020. I will be 22 turning 23 by the time I graduate with my PhD.
    I am also volunteering at numerous organisations, such as a historical society in the area where I archive materials, and another archival centre.
    I speak four languages, English, German (both at the level of a native speaker), French, and Spanish. For my current degree, I will also attend conferences to present papers and next year I will look into publishing some of my work.
    Moreover, in the past four years, I have travelled to Germany and China.
    I would really like to attend an Ivy League law school – what chances would you say I have?
    Thank you for your time!

    1. You sound like an amazing applicant. I had a client from UT Arlington graduate at the top of his class at Northwestern. Don’t let your school whisper doubt in your ear. Good luck!

  48. Hi Ann,

    I am currently a sophomore in undergrad at a school ranked in the lower half of the Big Ten. My particular academic program carries weight within my state, but I do not know if that is necessarily portable. I have around a 3.75 GPA and am a dual major in Political Theory and history. I have recently started prepping for the LSAT with a cold diagnostic of 165. I interned with the State government over the summer, and I am fairly involved on campus. I was wondering just how much attending a school ranked 80-100th in USNWR hurts my chances of attending an elite law school.

    Thank you for your time!


    1. If you scored a 165 cold, you have lots of potential. Don’t worry about your undergrad school – do the best you can there, get great LORs, kill the LSAT and you’ll be just fine.

  49. Hi Ann,

    I was hoping you could give me insight into my chances of getting into a T14 law school. I am attending a small college that is not very well known but is regionally accredited. It is notable that this is not a community college but it is as competitive as a community college, but it is a part of the University System of New Hampshire. I am majoring in Business Management with a minor in Finance and have a 3.71 GPA. I am a work study in the school office working as an Administrative Assistant and this is my major campus involvement. I think what makes me stand out is that I have endured significant life challenges in my high school and college years which forced me to move home after my first year of college and attend where I am now as well as do poorly my first year, which is why my GPA is lower than I would like (I can elaborate on what these challenges were exactly if you think they will make a difference, as there are several). Despite this I attained a reasonably high GPA while working two jobs and being forced to move into an apartment with my sister because our house was foreclosed on. I do martial arts as an extra curricular activity if they would weigh this. I have not taken the LSAT but am studying very hard as I know this is the largest factor remaining that I still have control over.

    My question to you is in regards to how I could strengthen my chances of getting into one of these schools and ideally getting a scholarship. I have considered a few ideas and was curious if you could tell me if they would help. I am planning on taking some time off before I apply, do you think work experience would be a major factor and that this is worth it? I’m considering getting a paralegal certification and working as a paralegal for a few years while I accumulate volunteer hours to improve my resume (or even if I do not work as a paralegal do you think a paralegal certification would help?). I am very young, 22 and have time to add extra accolades to help my chances. I have considered attending a better but not top school like University of New Hampshire to get my MBA, which I am highly confident with the life distractions done with and without working two jobs I would be able to attain a 4.0 or very close to it. Do you think this would benefit me and show that I can do better in a more competitive academic environment or would this be a waste of time?

    One last note, I have a personal reason for wishing to attend one law school in particular. I want to attend Berkeley because my senior year of high school my older brother got admitted to this school with a full scholarship but due to a mistake he made he lost this opportunity and took his own life. I want to attend this school because my mother never fully recovered from this and I feel like it would mean a lot to her as well as to myself if I could attend there. Do you think an admission officer would consider this or that it is worth mentioning in a personal statement? I would not write it as a grab for sympathy but I am worried it would appear that way, I only want to state my reason for why I deeply desire to attend this school.

    If there are any other questions you have that could help you more fully answer my inquiry I’d be happy to answer them! Thank you for any insight you can give me!


  50. I graduated on poltical Science and Philosophy at U Penn with a 3.0 GPA and got 169 at LSAT. What are my chances on getting into Law School.

    Is applying to U Penn the school I went for College a good idea?

  51. Hi Ann, thanks for your advice. I must admit, I felt really disheartened and hopeless when I read your article because I am aiming to go to a top law school, but I graduated from a so so university for my undergrad, have a 3.8gpa, and majored in art – a major which many people don’t take seriously unless I came from a top art school, which I didn’t. I was involved in some school clubs, but I never volunteered (due to financial reasons) and never had something I was SUPER passionate about that I’m dedicating my life to advocating for. I’m wondering what I should be doing now to position myself best to get into a good law school aside from doing well on the LSAT.

  52. Hi Ann, I graduated High school in 2008. I started community college and at the same time my mom got diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. I did really bad in those years I have an F a D Cs and some Ws. In 2014 I registered for a few courses in Harvard Extension got an F due to a mistake on my registration ( I take full responsibility) but I started college in 2015 and I have a 3.75 GPA right now and I am hoping to graduate with a 3.8 GPA. What are my chances of getting into a T14 Law schools with a really high LSAT score? I went through a lot in the past few years and now that I am finishing strong, I just want to get into a good school.

    1. Sepi, I can’t comment on your chances at T14s without more information, but I’m glad you finished strong and you should write an addendum to explain the early circumstances.

  53. Hi Ann,
    I am about to finish up my first year at UCF, majoring in Computer Science. At the end of the summer semester, I will have 40 credits completed and will have improved my 3.91 GPA to a 3.92, if all goes well. I am active in several clubs on campus and have been accepted as a Lockheed-Martin internship candidate. Any tips on improving my chances to be accepted into a top law school in the next couple years?


  54. Hi Ann,

    I’m a little concerned about my undergraduate institution and whether or not it will hold me back. I’m currently an international student studying LLB at the University of Manchester and my grade average is a first class.

    If other parts of my application are competitive enough, would my undergraduate institution itself adversely influence my chances? It’s obviously not Yale or Stanford. Thank you!

    1. Hi – the problem is that schools can’t count your GPA toward their reporting stats so it’s going to put more weight on your LSAT score. It will also be harder to get scholarship offers. But there’s no reason you wouldn’t otherwise be competitive !

  55. Hi Ann,
    I am a Senior at Hofstra majoring in Finance with a 3.56 GPA graduating the four year program in just three years. I am in multiple honor societies, I have relevant experience with very large entities, and I have held many positions on campus including a high position in the student government. I also have a ton of volunteering experience and I am the Founder/President of a nonprofit organization and I am taking the LSAT in September, but I project 160-169. Which law schools do you think I have a solid chance at? Right now I plan to apply to CUNY, Fordham, BC, Berkeley, NYU.

    1. T – that’s all impressive! I don’t give feedback on school chances on the blog, and there’s a big difference between a 160-169. I would just say keep doing what you’re doing and work on your LSAT for the next month. If I can be of help as you put together your application materials, please let me know.

  56. Hi, Ann.
    I’m still at a community college right now (4.0 GPA currently) and am trying to decide where to finish out my undergrad. I see that The University of Alabama and The University of Alabama – Birmingham are represented at Harvard Law. However, I don’t see The University of Alabama – Huntsville represented. It’s still under the UA umbrella and it would be far more cost-effective to go to UAH. Do you think that if I have a solid GPA/LSAT and strong softs I could still attend Harvard even having attended UAH?

    1. Daniel, YAY FOR UAH (I’m a graduate of Lee High School and my dad was a professor at UAH). It’s absolutely ok to attend UAH, just kill it when you’re there!

  57. Hello Ann,

    I’m a graduate of Electrical and Electronic Engineering from Nigeria, with a deep interest in the legal side of engineering and emerging technologies. My decision to study engineering was very intentional because I wanted to get to the peak of it, gain a solid grasp of Engineering and the industry before moving to Law which is the real aim.

    This quest led me to a selective internship with Shell Nigeria, where only two of us represented Electrical Engineering in the whole country. On graduation, I took up a position with the number one Telecommunications infrastructure providers in Africa, where I managed 54 telecommunication base-stations – with over 50 workers from different mobile network providers under me – in Nigeria, at 24 years.

    To consolidate my understanding of Engineering and subsequent desire to launch into law I started my PhD in Micro and Nanoscale Systems Engineering, in Louisiana, US. As I approach the end of my doctorate in the next two years, I’m now deeply thinking of my main intention – Law school.

    Being an international student who had his undergraduate studies in Nigeria, with a CGPA of around 3.6 in US scale, do you think I stand a chance of getting into a top law school in US after graduating from my PhD program at 28 years?

  58. Hi Anne,

    I am a senior in highschool and I am planning to attend University of Arizona due its scholarships. I plan to double major in Politics, Philosophy, Economics, and Law and Environmental Studies. I would be admitted into the honors program and considered a sophomore in my first year due to my credits. Would it be a disadvantage for me to attend this school since it’s a state school? Would it benefit me to do environmental science over environmental studies since I want to do environmental law?

    1. Hi Jay,
      U of A is a good school and I have had clients from U of A and ASU go on to amazing law schools.
      Your double major sounds fabulous. I can’t say which track to choose re: environmental studies/science; the science part will be more difficult but if you can do well in it, it will also be more distinctive.

  59. Hi Ann,

    Thank you for writing this post (and still responding to comments years later)! It would be great to know your thoughts on what I can do to make myself an attractive candidate to Northwestern, including what a good LSAT score range would be.

    To provide some background: I attended a community college for two years (with a full ride scholarship and honors) and went on to attend a small private liberal arts school in my area. I received my AS and a BA in Organizational Communication, with two minors. I have a 3.89 GPA from all four years of college. I worked three internships during college while also working at the school. One internship was volunteer work, and another was for a very well known international law firm in Chicago. I also have extensive speech and debate experience, including a state and national championship title in debate. I currently coach a small debate team, volunteer at Chicago Public Schools, and have been working in the HR sector (learning and development) of a large international law firm in Chicago for three years, having been promoted in the last year. I also faced a few personal crises during undergrad and shortly after graduation, including a period of very, very brief homelessness due to homophobia.

    Does that fact that I went to a “no-name” college for a relatively basic major hurt me in the application process when weighed against the rest of my experience? What sort of LSAT range do I need to shoot for to make up for my average undergrad experience? I test well, and will obviously do the best I can, but it would be immensely helpful to have a goal score for Northwestern.

    If you happen to read this and respond, thank you in advance!

    1. MJT, I’m happy to respond!You have a good GPA and a great resume/background so if you can get an LSAT score that shows NW you can hold your own there ; )
      Let me know if I can be of help as you move forward!

  60. Ann,

    Thank you for the post.

    I have spent all of my undergraduate experience working to be a good candidate for a top tier law school. I go to a state school, but not the flagship. I have a 3.97 GPA with two degrees (political science BA and communication-journalism BA) and two minors (anthropology and art history). I have held many leadership positions in my sorority. I studied abroad at the University College of London School of Law for a summer and received high grades from the actual law courses I took there. I have been in student government and was the managing editor of my university’s well respected, award-winning newspaper. I was a semi-finalist for student of the year my junior year and a finalist my senior year. I was a finalist for student leader of the year as well both my junior and senior years. I interned on capitol hill for a New York Senator. I also was the finance director of a US Congressional Campaign in 2018. I have thousands of volunteer hours from women’s health organizations and organizations helping low-income women in the town I live in, as well as I have been a coach for Girls on the Run for all four years of college. I also have a few national awards for journalism and newspaper design, as well as a national journalism scholarship.

    I will be taking my LSAT in June and I have been consistently scoring a 168-172 on the practice tests I have been taking. I will obviously continue to study and that score may be raised.

    Do I have a chance of getting into a top tier law school even though I go to a state school that isn’t even the flagship for the state?

  61. Hey Ann,

    I don’t know if you would know this because this post does not specifically address it, but do you happen to know what qualifies as a URM for law school? I am not mexican or puerto rican but I am hispanic and I am unsure if I qualify.

  62. Hello Ann,

    Thank you for the article.

    I am a 2020 college graduate and while I plan to go to law school, I am going to be taking 2-4 years off before law school to work full time. For recommendations, could I reach out to professors now and ask, as I have recently worked with them, or do I have to wait until closer to my application date?

    If you happen to respond to my post, thank you in advanced!


  63. This was an extremely informative post. I was just wondering, though, what happens to students who’ve done a second undergraduate degree, because their first undergraduate degree did not go smoothly for various reasons. I’ve look everywhere, and it seems like the top schools take a ‘holistic approach’ – evaluating all aspects of a candidate’s academic records. But it’s unclear whether this means they focus less on a second undergraduate degree or whether they average it out.

  64. Hi Ann,

    I am a math major with a 3.8 at a top 5 undergrad institution (HYPSM). If I select some difficult and focused courses in my remaining terms, I have the opportunity to earn both a BS and MS in mathematics upon graduation. However, I fear that my GPA may suffer from such a difficult courseload.

    I am also considering applying to spend a term studying law at a top UK school (Oxbridge or UCL) in the Spring of my Junior year. If I were to be accepted and go overseas for a term, I would probably not be able to earn my MS.

    My ultimate goal is to attend a top law school; if I am faced with the choice between earning my masters (and possibly hurting my GPA) or gaining the experience of law at a top UK school, which should I choose?

    For what its worth, I have not taken an official LSAT but I have scored ~171 on the handful of practice exams I have taken. Should I forego the graduate math work and the abroad term to work on my LSAT score?

    Your consideration of my question is extremely appreciated. Thank you so much for your time, if I am lucky enough to receive an answer 🙂


  65. Hi Ann,

    I am a math major with a 3.8 at a top 5 undergrad institution (HYPSM). I have the opportunity to take some difficult courses in my remaining terms and earn both my BS and MS in mathematics in just four years. However, I am afraid that such a courseload may negatively affect my GPA.

    I am also considering applying to spend a term at a top UK school (Oxbridge or UCL) studying law during my Junior Spring. It would probably not be possible for me to earn my MS under these circumstances.

    Attending a top law school is my goal: if I am fortunate enough to choose between earning the MS or spending the term abroad, which should I choose?

    For what its worth, I have taken a handful of LSAT practice tests and scored ~170. Should I forego the degree and the possible trip to focus more on LSAT study?

    I am extremely appreciative of your time and I hope that I am lucky enough to receive an answer 🙂


    1. Always seek challenge, Ahkil. Never do the easy thing that you know you can conquer. I think right now it’s hard to plan to study abroad – who knows when we will be able to travel again…..
      I hope this helps.

  66. Hi Ann,

    I have student who finished his Bachelors Degree in Criminology at a reputable university. Because he did not receive a good grade on his first LSAT try, he applied and was accepted to a one-year Forensics Degree program at a local college. Rather than studying on his own, he will take an LSAT course prior to taking the test next year.

    He is now actively applying for a junior full-time job within the legal field, and he plans to quit the Forensics Degree once he is offered a full-time job, regardless of the timeline.

    My advise is that he should focus on obtaining the best grades he can to get and obtaining the Forensics Degree, because quitting the degree would put his law school application at risk: it questions his academic preparedness and ability to manage a demanding academic load.

    If he chooses to quit his Forensics degree at any point, could this choice affect his Law school application (United States or Canadian), regardless of his GPA and LSAT score?

  67. Hi Ann!

    I am studying at Yale (undergraduate) right now as an engineer. Unfortunately, I have around a 3.0 GPA. My first LSAT score is 170, but I have a few more opportunities to take it. In addition to school, I do intramural sports, Mock Trial, volunteer, theater, and engineering research and clubs.
    I’m very worried about my GPA, that seems to be the low point of my application. I will point out, I took a gap year where I took some classes from another institution (local state college) and got a 4.0. So, how do those grades factor in?

    Thank you!

  68. Hi Ann!

    I am studying at Yale (undergraduate) right now as an engineer. Unfortunately, I have around a 3.0 GPA. My first LSAT score is 170, but I have a few more opportunities to take it. In addition to school, I do intramural sports, Mock Trial, volunteer, theater, and engineering research and clubs.
    I’m very worried about my GPA, that seems to be the low point of my application. I will point out, I took a gap year where I took some classes from another institution (local state college) and got a 4.0. So, how do those grades factor in? And, can I get into a top ten law school such as Stanford, Harvard, or Yale?

    Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *