LSAT Role in Application

How Much Weight Does the LSAT Carry in an Application?

The LSAT is a critical component of the law school process. It was devised to be an equalizer, or a way to measure the aptitude of student coming from different institutions and different majors, and it remains highly valued for that purpose. While this puts a lot of pressure on test takers, it is fair to say that admissions committees rely heavily on LSAT scores to help them differentiate candidates.

There are many different tiers of law schools and they all report a range of LSAT scores and GPAs for their entering class. Most schools publish both the average LSAT score, and the range from the bottom 25 percent of test scores of accepted students to the top 75 percent. Test takers who are concerned about their scores should look closely at this range. If a test taker's score is above the bottom 25 percent for a law school, the applicant has a shot, if it is below that bottom 25 percent, it will be very difficult. Of course this is not an absolute rule, but it might be as good of a benchmark as there is.

LSAT as a Predictor of Law School Success

LSAC conducts studies on the correlation between LSAT scores and success in the first year of law school. The study measures the correlation on a scale of zero to one, with one being a perfect correlation and zero being no correlation at all.

The most recent results found that the correlation varied between law schools from .12 to .56 with a median of .36. The same study found that the correlation between undergraduate GPA and first year law school grades ranged from .09 to .45 with a median of .28. Incidentally, when LSAT scores were combined with undergraduate GPA, the correlation was stronger. The combined LSAT/undergraduate GPA correlation with first year law school grades ranged from .30 to .62 with a median of .48.