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Choosing Law Schools

Your Applicant Profile: GPA and LSAT Score:

Law-school admissions committees do rely heavily on undergraduate GPA and the LSAT. Looking at a law school’s entering class profile for average and mean for GPAs and LSAT scores and can be a good way to compare your own applicant profile to a school’s targeted median (25th to 75th percentile range) and gauge your chance for admission to prospective schools. You can compare your profile to each school’s admission statistics via the “Admissions” tab information on a school on Law School Transparency. Applicants should use this information when determining where to apply in an effort to cover a range of options:

  • Safety Schools: schools for which an applicant’s LSAT and GPA scores are at or above the institution’s 75th percentile

  • Target Schools: schools for which an applicant’s LSAT and GPA are both close to the institution’s 50th percentile

  • Reach Schools: schools for which an applicant’s LSAT and GPA are at or below the institution’s 25th percentile

*While GPA and LSAT scores are important, numbers alone are not the sole factors considered by law school admissions and should therefore not rule out consideration of applying to “reach schools.”

Geographic Location:

Geography is extremely important when applying to law schools. Where your school is located can affect summer internship and employment opportunities available to you, cost of living, and ultimately your ability to practice elsewhere. Think long term about where you would be happiest living and practicing after you have graduated. Examine whether your prospective school has a stronger national reputation or regional reputation. (Schools with national reputations typically require higher GPAs and LSAT scores.) Geography plays a vital role with, in particular, your selection of safety schools, so please consult with a pre-law advisor.

Personality and Fit of School: 

  • Campus culture

  • Diversity of student body and faculty

  • Collegiality reputation

  • Competitiveness of academic culture

Cost of Attendance:

Factors to consider:

  • Availability of financial aid

  • Ability to establish residency for reduced tuition costs

  • Potential for merit-based funding

  • Cost of living in city school is located