Advice for "splitters" -which law schools favor LSAT vs. GPA

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
User avatar
Ken
Posts: 923
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2005 6:22 am

Advice for "splitters" -which law schools favor LSAT vs. GPA

Postby Ken » Sat Jan 26, 2008 5:25 pm

Many students are "splitters" in that they have a strong LSAT score but a weak GPA or vice-versa. For these students they will increase their success when applying but directing their applications to those law schools which favor the stronger part of their application (ie, those with strong LSAT scores applying to law schools that favor LSAT over GPA). The following article discusses what schools favor the LSAT over GPA and the converse as well.

What Law Schools Favor LSAT over GPA and Vice-Versa

For every law school the two most important components of your application are your undergraduate GPA and your LSAT score. However, the relative importance of these two variables varies in that some law schools focus more heavily upon your LSAT instead of your GPA and vice versa. The key to determining whether a law school prioritizes GPA or LSAT can be determined by viewing a law school statistics in relation to other law schools.

This information can be useful in helping you where to apply for it you have a 175 LSAT score but a 3.2 GPA, you will find more success by applying to law schools that favor LSAT over GPA such as Northwestern. Conversely, some law schools such as U.C. Berkeley’s Boalt Hall look more closely at GPA and an applicant with a 4.0 but a 164 LSAT score would be wise to apply to Boalt.

Determining which schools favor LSAT over GPA and vice versa can be determined by examining the statistics of a law school’s entering class relative to its standing amongst other law schools. For example, Northwestern focuses more heavily upon LSAT then GPA in evaluating candidates. This deduction is formed by finding that LSAT score for its 25th percentile of applicants is 166, or tied for the 7th highest amongst law schools. The LSAT score of its 75th percentile is a 172, or the 4th highest amongst law schools. Yet the GPA statistics are much lower in relation to other law schools, with a GPA of 3.40 (30th highest) at the 25th percentile and a GPA of 3.80 (26th highest) at the 75th percentile. Thus, Northwestern would very likely take a candidate with a high LSAT and be forgiving of a lower GPA. Note that the GPA statistics of Northwestern, 3.40 to 3.80, are less rigorous than the University of Iowa (3.46 and 3.80 respectively) and a complete match with Brigham Young University.

Other top law schools that focus more heavily upon LSAT vs. GPA include:

Chicago (LSAT 25th: 169 – tied for 2nd; LSAT 75th 172 – tied for 4th; GPA 25th 3.51 – tied for 9th; GPA 75th – 3.77 tied for 39th)

Columbia (LSAT 25th: 169 – tied for 2nd; LSAT 75th 174 – 3rd; GPA 25th 3.51 – tied for 15th; GPA 75th – 3.82 tied for 20th)

Penn (LSAT 25th: 167 – tied for 10th; LSAT 75th 171 – tied for 8th; GPA 25th 3.47 – 27th; GPA 75th – 3.84 tied for 11th)

Michigan (LSAT 25th: 166 – tied for 10th; LSAT 75th 170 – tied for 12th; GPA 25th 3.53 – 23rd; GPA 75th – 3.80 tied for 26th)

Without boring you with statistics, the following law schools favor GPA over the LSAT:

Boalt
Duke
UCLA
Vanderbilt
Boston University
U. of Iowa
U. of North Carolina
U. of Washington
U. of Florida
U. of Georgia
Brigham Young University

Thus, if you have a strong LSAT score and not as compelling a GPA then you should apply to the first set of law schools. If instead your GPA is the best aspect of your application, you will fare better by applying to the second list of schools which favor GPA over LSAT score.

I look forward to anyone adding what law schools they feel value the GPA over LSAT or vice-versa.

User avatar
edgarderby
Posts: 279
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 2:51 pm

Re: Advice for "splitters" -which law schools favor LSAT vs. GPA

Postby edgarderby » Sat Jan 26, 2008 5:30 pm

I'd say I'd put Cornell well over Duke for being nice to high GPA's. Cornell often takes almost all 165/166 3.9+, but I don't believe Duke ever does this.

User avatar
underdawg
Posts: 1131
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 1:15 am

Re: Advice for "splitters" -which law schools favor LSAT vs. GPA

Postby underdawg » Sat Jan 26, 2008 6:22 pm

Doesn't Stanford favor GPA over LSAT? Granted both their numbers are stellar, but still...

User avatar
Ken
Posts: 923
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2005 6:22 am

Re: Advice for "splitters" -which law schools favor LSAT vs. GPA

Postby Ken » Sat Jan 26, 2008 6:33 pm

"Have no fear, Underdawg is here!" I am probably the only one old enough on the forum at 35 to remember this phrase from one of my favorite childhood cartoons.

As usual, Underdawg is right. Stanford's GPA (both bottom and top 25%) is the 2nd highest amongst law schools. Their LSAT is lower, with their bottom 25% being the 6th highest and the top 25% being the 4th highest (tied with several others such as Chicago, Columbia, etc.).

Thus, although Stanford has stellar numbers for both categories, they do favor GPA over LSAT.

User avatar
ancientone
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 11:00 am

Re: Advice for "splitters" -which law schools favor LSAT vs. GPA

Postby ancientone » Sat Jan 26, 2008 6:42 pm

<--- had Underdog jammies

User avatar
gmail
Posts: 1012
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2007 9:41 pm

Re: Advice for "splitters" -which law schools favor LSAT vs. GPA

Postby gmail » Sat Jan 26, 2008 7:42 pm

Great post. But I think the rankings for GPA might be a little off in your stats for schools that favor LSAT. Chicago and Columbia both have 3.51 as the 25%ile and yet they have different rankings.

User avatar
underdawg
Posts: 1131
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 1:15 am

Re: Advice for "splitters" -which law schools favor LSAT vs. GPA

Postby underdawg » Sat Jan 26, 2008 7:43 pm

Yeah and 3.53 is listed as 23rd. Been drinking Olde English again, Ken? :wink:

User avatar
Merrill
Posts: 135
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2007 3:28 pm

Re: Advice for "splitters" -which law schools favor LSAT vs. GPA

Postby Merrill » Sat Jan 26, 2008 7:50 pm

I am probably the only one old enough on the forum at 35 to remember this phrase from one of my favorite childhood cartoons.


Oh Ken, please.

viewtopic.php?f=7&t=23466

User avatar
Ken
Posts: 923
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2005 6:22 am

Re: Advice for "splitters" -which law schools favor LSAT vs. GPA

Postby Ken » Sat Jan 26, 2008 7:50 pm

Sorry for any small discrepancies. I started on this article before and had last year's data. I finished the article and tried to incorporate the latest GPA and LSAT data but it appears that I may have missed a few changes. I think the concept is good, but the details not perfect. And yes, I do my best posting after slamming a few 40's of Old Englishe. If that is wrong, I don't want to be right 8)

BruinBoy86
Posts: 36
Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2007 6:08 pm

Re: Advice for "splitters" -which law schools favor LSAT vs. GPA

Postby BruinBoy86 » Sun Jan 27, 2008 8:43 pm

Old Englishe malt liquor? Wow. You and some guys I met in Compton the other day have something in common...cool.

User avatar
edgarderby
Posts: 279
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 2:51 pm

Re: Advice for "splitters" -which law schools favor LSAT vs. GPA

Postby edgarderby » Sun Jan 27, 2008 8:44 pm

Ken,

I just drank a Steel Reserve last night. It was wonderful.

Cheers,

Chris

Rayster
Posts: 79
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2007 8:19 pm

Re: Advice for "splitters" -which law schools favor LSAT vs. GPA

Postby Rayster » Sun Jan 27, 2008 8:48 pm

Ken wrote:"Have no fear, Underdawg is here!" I am probably the only one old enough on the forum at 35 to remember this phrase from one of my favorite childhood cartoons.

As usual, Underdawg is right. Stanford's GPA (both bottom and top 25%) is the 2nd highest amongst law schools. Their LSAT is lower, with their bottom 25% being the 6th highest and the top 25% being the 4th highest (tied with several others such as Chicago, Columbia, etc.).

Thus, although Stanford has stellar numbers for both categories, they do favor GPA over LSAT.



Isn't it "There's no need to fear, Underdawg is here!"?

User avatar
rochester
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Oct 28, 2006 2:13 pm

Re: Advice for "splitters" -which law schools favor LSAT vs. GPA

Postby rochester » Mon Jan 28, 2008 11:09 am

Ken wrote:Sorry for any small discrepancies. I started on this article before and had last year's data. I finished the article and tried to incorporate the latest GPA and LSAT data but it appears that I may have missed a few changes. I think the concept is good, but the details not perfect. And yes, I do my best posting after slamming a few 40's of Old Englishe. If that is wrong, I don't want to be right 8)
Better stay in Cali. Tax on malt liquor is about to go from insignificant to over $2.50/gallon in NYS. Spitzer's a hater.

User avatar
Rsrcht
Posts: 146
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2008 1:02 pm

Re: Advice for "splitters" -which law schools favor LSAT vs. GPA

Postby Rsrcht » Tue Nov 04, 2008 3:14 pm

bump




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests