How important is GPA in law school admissions?

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
User avatar
lawfreak
Posts: 365
Joined: Sat Jan 08, 2011 10:42 pm

How important is GPA in law school admissions?

Postby lawfreak » Wed Jan 12, 2011 8:43 pm

Yes people, I am one of those rare reverse-splitters with a 158/3.9.

I just want to know given my horrid LSAT score, if you think that I still have a shot at any decent NY law schools part time programs.
Addtionally, does anyone know exactly how important GPA is in comparison to LSAT score?

Thanks for your help!!

User avatar
txadv11
Posts: 922
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2010 3:06 pm

Re: How important is GPA in law school admissions?

Postby txadv11 » Wed Jan 12, 2011 8:48 pm

http://www.lawschoolpredictor.com/
http://officialguide.lsac.org/release/O ... fault.aspx
http://lawschoolnumbers.com/

Aside from those 3, im sure given your GPA you'll find some luck in PT programs, hell, maybe even worth a shot doing some T50 FT
Just warning, you are going to hear "retake" at least 3 times in this thread.

pwyoung
Posts: 163
Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2010 2:19 am

Re: How important is GPA in law school admissions?

Postby pwyoung » Wed Jan 12, 2011 8:58 pm

I'll contribute the first: retake.


JD2014
Posts: 161
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2010 10:45 pm

Re: How important is GPA in law school admissions?

Postby JD2014 » Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:53 pm

Seriously, retake. I went from a 159 to a 174. There's no way you got a 3.9 without an ability to blow off your social life, lock yourself in a room with some books and some adderall and work/bore yourself to death. Google "LSAT blog" and use Steve Schwartzman's study schedule.

BTW, law schools hate reverse splitters. With grade inflation, high GPAs are a dime a dozen. High LSATs by definition are rare. Read Dean Pless's comments in the Illinois thread. One of his comments obliquely acknowledges rejecting good people in favor of numbers to rise in USNWR rankings. "We need to be ambitious" I believe was his justification.

Aggiegrad2011
Posts: 1514
Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2010 6:42 pm

Re: How important is GPA in law school admissions?

Postby Aggiegrad2011 » Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:56 pm

I have over a 4.00 LSAC GPA, and it's done nothing for me. They only care about the LSAT score and their precious UNSWR rank.

You have to re-take. Even an improvement to 162/163/164 would open you up to a lot more schools. A 158 will limit you dramatically...
Last edited by Aggiegrad2011 on Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

kehoema2
Posts: 135
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:52 pm

Re: How important is GPA in law school admissions?

Postby kehoema2 » Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:58 pm

Not as good as the poster above me but I went from a 158 to a 166. The poster above me is entirely inaccurate on the dedication it takes for that GPA. Still don't waste it. I was looking at Tier 2 schools and I recently got a full ride to a T-30. Restudying and retaking was without a doubt a great thing for myself, I would recommend the same.

User avatar
Grizz
Posts: 10583
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 6:31 pm

Re: How important is GPA in law school admissions?

Postby Grizz » Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:59 pm

Not important enough to make up for your 158. Retake.

Aggiegrad2011
Posts: 1514
Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2010 6:42 pm

Re: How important is GPA in law school admissions?

Postby Aggiegrad2011 » Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:59 pm

rad law wrote:Not important enough to make up for your 158. Retake.


Ugh, why do I have to agree with Tom Cruise over here =/

User avatar
TLSanders
Posts: 163
Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2010 1:24 am

Re: How important is GPA in law school admissions?

Postby TLSanders » Thu Jan 13, 2011 3:34 am

Disagree with the overwhelming cry for a retake, unless you have reason to believe that you'll do significantly better. I'm more interested to know how you scored on your pre-college tests.

User avatar
Grizz
Posts: 10583
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 6:31 pm

Re: How important is GPA in law school admissions?

Postby Grizz » Thu Jan 13, 2011 3:36 am

TLSanders wrote:Disagree with the overwhelming cry for a retake, unless you have reason to believe that you'll do significantly better. I'm more interested to know how you scored on your pre-college tests.


Disagree. A 158 will SEVERELY limit you, even with a 3.9. OP has to at least try. LSAT is eminently learnable.

User avatar
TLSanders
Posts: 163
Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2010 1:24 am

Re: How important is GPA in law school admissions?

Postby TLSanders » Thu Jan 13, 2011 3:46 am

rad law wrote:
TLSanders wrote:Disagree with the overwhelming cry for a retake, unless you have reason to believe that you'll do significantly better. I'm more interested to know how you scored on your pre-college tests.


Disagree. A 158 will SEVERELY limit you, even with a 3.9. OP has to at least try. LSAT is eminently learnable.


I agree that the LSAT is learnable--for many people. But most people also top out at some point, and neither of us has any idea whether or not the OP has reached that point. That's one of the reasons I asked about pre-college test scores. Typically, someone who is a "bad test taker" is more teachable than someone who had excellent ACT/SAT scores but didn't see that translate to the LSAT. By the same token, the person who had low ACT/SAT scores and a college GPA out of proportion to what those scores would have predicted is the one person truly in a position to legitimately point out that his standardized test scores are probably NOT truly indicative of his potential to perform at the school, and I've worked with several students who were admitted to schools well outside their LSAT range with addenda to that effect.

The last thing a person in this situation would want to do would be to risk another low score--if a retake is in the cards, that decision shouldn't be made without some clear indications of expected improvement.

User avatar
Grizz
Posts: 10583
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 6:31 pm

Re: How important is GPA in law school admissions?

Postby Grizz » Thu Jan 13, 2011 3:50 am

TLSanders wrote:
rad law wrote:
TLSanders wrote:Disagree with the overwhelming cry for a retake, unless you have reason to believe that you'll do significantly better. I'm more interested to know how you scored on your pre-college tests.


Disagree. A 158 will SEVERELY limit you, even with a 3.9. OP has to at least try. LSAT is eminently learnable.


I agree that the LSAT is learnable--for many people. But most people also top out at some point, and neither of us has any idea whether or not the OP has reached that point. That's one of the reasons I asked about pre-college test scores. Typically, someone who is a "bad test taker" is more teachable than someone who had excellent ACT/SAT scores but didn't see that translate to the LSAT. By the same token, the person who had low ACT/SAT scores and a college GPA out of proportion to what those scores would have predicted is the one person truly in a position to legitimately point out that his standardized test scores are probably NOT truly indicative of his potential to perform at the school, and I've worked with several students who were admitted to schools well outside their LSAT range with addenda to that effect.

The last thing a person in this situation would want to do would be to risk another low score--if a retake is in the cards, that decision shouldn't be made without some clear indications of expected improvement.


Fair enough, so I suggest

1) Plan to retake
2) Practice hard, doing a lot of timed PTs
3) If scores aren't increasing, reavalute.
4) If they do go up, awesome.
5) ???
6) Profit!

Mike088
Posts: 224
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 8:10 pm

Re: How important is GPA in law school admissions?

Postby Mike088 » Thu Jan 13, 2011 6:47 am

3.9 gives you so many doors that will be locked at long as you carry around that 158. I scored a 159 on my first lsat, studied half ass for a few weeks before the october and jumped to a 161.

The lsat is a very manageable test. Whatever amount of studying you put in will yield an improvement.

User avatar
invisiblesun
Posts: 329
Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2009 6:01 pm

Re: How important is GPA in law school admissions?

Postby invisiblesun » Thu Jan 13, 2011 8:05 am

Aggiegrad2011 wrote:I have over a 4.00 LSAC GPA, and it's done nothing for me. They only care about the LSAT score and their precious UNSWR rank.

You have to re-take. Even an improvement to 162/163/164 would open you up to a lot more schools. A 158 will limit you dramatically...


+1, this is completely true. A former admissions dean said a law school's GPA stats are relatively easy to raise, because there are "countless amazing GPAs from bullshit college with bullshit major". The high LSATs are a much more limited commodity, and just about every law school gives the LSAT a much heavier weight than the GPA.

User avatar
brochocinco
Posts: 60
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 11:47 am

Re: How important is GPA in law school admissions?

Postby brochocinco » Thu Jan 13, 2011 8:27 am

I'm in similar situation with a 158 and 3.85 (likely to be 3.9 when I graduate). Although I've applied and been accepted to a few schools, a retake is imminent. I can't justify paying sticker anywhere - let alone a T2 - as scholarship money will be very limited with a 158. Focus on your weaknesses and take it again in June. Apply super early next year and profit.

Sandro
Posts: 2526
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2009 12:12 am

Re: How important is GPA in law school admissions?

Postby Sandro » Thu Jan 13, 2011 1:33 pm

LSAT should be much more heavily weighted than GPA

Aggiegrad2011
Posts: 1514
Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2010 6:42 pm

Re: How important is GPA in law school admissions?

Postby Aggiegrad2011 » Thu Jan 13, 2011 2:41 pm

Sandro777 wrote:LSAT should be much more heavily weighted than GPA


I agree with a caveat: Rigor of undergraduate major, rigor of individual study, and school reputation SHOULD allow the GPA to be weighed more heavily.

For instance...

Rigor of UG major:
Biochemistry or MCB vs. Communications

Rigor of Individual Study:
Student X takes 12 units/term and gets a 4.00
Student Y takes 16 units+ a term and gets a 4.00

School reputation:
Student X has a 4.00 at UC Berkeley or Stanford
Student Y has a 4.00 at California State University unranked

There are clear delineations here and I would argue that, among those 3 divisions, you would be able to ascertain whether an applicant "bullshitted" (is that a verb? lol!) their high grade point average or not.

Additional metrics should include: Did the student JUST achieve a high GPA at School X, or did they also participate in Y hours of sports and did they work Z hours WHILE doing it @, say, Stanford?

Just looking at the LSAT and going, "durrr... my UNSW&R is gonna get hurt and I MIGHT lose to a peer school and get tied for 9th so I guess I had better tell this kid who studied and worked his brains out for 4 years to take a hike." Naturally, some folks can bring home a full transcript of As and work and do ECs with no effort but there are people who do very minimal prep for the LSAT and bring home 170+ scores so those outliers can be eliminated imo.

For all I know, for all we know, the school admissions folks do take into account the 3 divisions I laid out above, but to what extent is to be determined (and if they SAY they do it, but do they actually practice it?). *shrug* I guess I'm just bitter. There are folks in my seminars that have 168/169 LSAT scores and barely B-averages that basically coasted through undergrad. achieving nothing of consequence whatsoever who are already putting seat deposits down on T-14 schools. Le sigh.

User avatar
invisiblesun
Posts: 329
Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2009 6:01 pm

Re: How important is GPA in law school admissions?

Postby invisiblesun » Fri Jan 14, 2011 12:27 am

Aggiegrad2011 wrote:
Sandro777 wrote:LSAT should be much more heavily weighted than GPA


I agree with a caveat: Rigor of undergraduate major, rigor of individual study, and school reputation SHOULD allow the GPA to be weighed more heavily.

For instance...

Rigor of UG major:
Biochemistry or MCB vs. Communications

Rigor of Individual Study:
Student X takes 12 units/term and gets a 4.00
Student Y takes 16 units+ a term and gets a 4.00

School reputation:
Student X has a 4.00 at UC Berkeley or Stanford
Student Y has a 4.00 at California State University unranked

There are clear delineations here and I would argue that, among those 3 divisions, you would be able to ascertain whether an applicant "bullshitted" (is that a verb? lol!) their high grade point average or not.

Additional metrics should include: Did the student JUST achieve a high GPA at School X, or did they also participate in Y hours of sports and did they work Z hours WHILE doing it @, say, Stanford?

Just looking at the LSAT and going, "durrr... my UNSW&R is gonna get hurt and I MIGHT lose to a peer school and get tied for 9th so I guess I had better tell this kid who studied and worked his brains out for 4 years to take a hike." Naturally, some folks can bring home a full transcript of As and work and do ECs with no effort but there are people who do very minimal prep for the LSAT and bring home 170+ scores so those outliers can be eliminated imo.

For all I know, for all we know, the school admissions folks do take into account the 3 divisions I laid out above, but to what extent is to be determined (and if they SAY they do it, but do they actually practice it?). *shrug* I guess I'm just bitter. There are folks in my seminars that have 168/169 LSAT scores and barely B-averages that basically coasted through undergrad. achieving nothing of consequence whatsoever who are already putting seat deposits down on T-14 schools. Le sigh.


The problem with an approach like this is putting an unfair weight against people who pursued easier majors because they were interested in the topic. Should a 3.9 biochem major get more credit than a 3.9 history major, even if the 3.9 history major took plenty of difficult history classes and was one of the best history students in his class? While an admissions dept. certainly doesn't want to incentivize students to take bullshit classes, they also don't want to punish students for pursuing the path that seemed the most interesting to them.

User avatar
JazzOne
Posts: 2938
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 11:04 am

Re: How important is GPA in law school admissions?

Postby JazzOne » Fri Jan 14, 2011 12:35 am

JD2014 wrote:Seriously, retake. I went from a 159 to a 174. There's no way you got a 3.9 without an ability to blow off your social life, lock yourself in a room with some books and some adderall and work/bore yourself to death. Google "LSAT blog" and use Steve Schwartzman's study schedule.

BTW, law schools hate reverse splitters. With grade inflation, high GPAs are a dime a dozen. High LSATs by definition are rare. Read Dean Pless's comments in the Illinois thread. One of his comments obliquely acknowledges rejecting good people in favor of numbers to rise in USNWR rankings. "We need to be ambitious" I believe was his justification.

+1

User avatar
rinkrat19
Posts: 13910
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2010 5:35 am

Re: How important is GPA in law school admissions?

Postby rinkrat19 » Fri Jan 14, 2011 12:44 am

invisiblesun wrote:
Aggiegrad2011 wrote:
Sandro777 wrote:LSAT should be much more heavily weighted than GPA


I agree with a caveat: Rigor of undergraduate major, rigor of individual study, and school reputation SHOULD allow the GPA to be weighed more heavily.

For instance...

Rigor of UG major:
Biochemistry or MCB vs. Communications

Rigor of Individual Study:
Student X takes 12 units/term and gets a 4.00
Student Y takes 16 units+ a term and gets a 4.00

School reputation:
Student X has a 4.00 at UC Berkeley or Stanford
Student Y has a 4.00 at California State University unranked

There are clear delineations here and I would argue that, among those 3 divisions, you would be able to ascertain whether an applicant "bullshitted" (is that a verb? lol!) their high grade point average or not.

Additional metrics should include: Did the student JUST achieve a high GPA at School X, or did they also participate in Y hours of sports and did they work Z hours WHILE doing it @, say, Stanford?

Just looking at the LSAT and going, "durrr... my UNSW&R is gonna get hurt and I MIGHT lose to a peer school and get tied for 9th so I guess I had better tell this kid who studied and worked his brains out for 4 years to take a hike." Naturally, some folks can bring home a full transcript of As and work and do ECs with no effort but there are people who do very minimal prep for the LSAT and bring home 170+ scores so those outliers can be eliminated imo.

For all I know, for all we know, the school admissions folks do take into account the 3 divisions I laid out above, but to what extent is to be determined (and if they SAY they do it, but do they actually practice it?). *shrug* I guess I'm just bitter. There are folks in my seminars that have 168/169 LSAT scores and barely B-averages that basically coasted through undergrad. achieving nothing of consequence whatsoever who are already putting seat deposits down on T-14 schools. Le sigh.


The problem with an approach like this is putting an unfair weight against people who pursued easier majors because they were interested in the topic. Should a 3.9 biochem major get more credit than a 3.9 history major, even if the 3.9 history major took plenty of difficult history classes and was one of the best history students in his class? While an admissions dept. certainly doesn't want to incentivize students to take bullshit classes, they also don't want to punish students for pursuing the path that seemed the most interesting to them.


Well, whether it's super interesting or not, it's still easier. I might think that Sports Science or something sounds neat and it might be my life's calling, but the fact remains that it's a bullshit major and someone who aces it shouldn't get the same amount of credit as someone who gets good grades in engineering or theoretical mathematics.




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Baidu [Spider], Bing [Bot], Yahoo [Bot] and 3 guests