Hey lawyers, what's a good LSAT score?

Discussion in 'Community' started by jefhatfield, Nov 7, 2004.

  1. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
    #1
    i took the test yesterday to see how i would score...it had 125 questions on it and the law school director said a good basic score would be to get half right...i will find out tuesday night what i got

    but only half right?

    that's so different than the SAT where people shoot for a 1200 out of 1600, if possible

    by just guessing on the five choice qustions a person can get 20% percent correct on the LSAT...i took a practice test i bought and i got a lousy 32% pecent correct :)
     
  2. ravenvii macrumors 604

    ravenvii

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    #2
    I'm no lawyer, but I plan to become one :)

    A good score to get on the LSAT is 165 and above, that will get you into the top 20 schools. If you're looking at the top 10 schools, a score above 170 is what you want. The LSAT score ranges between 120 to 180, so to get above 170, you'd have to get about 80% of the questions right.
     
  3. jefhatfield thread starter Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
    #3
    the national average is 150 for people who have studied and prepared...my raw baseline score, taking the test cold is a 144...i hope to bring it up above 150 or so with proper study...i think 160 would be great but i don't expect that since a 160 is the top 3% percent in the nation

    i plan to attend a local northern california school where the scores i have seen range from 142 to 150s for california bar association schools and 148 to 160s for american bar association schools
    which would be:

    Golden Gate University/148
    UOP/151
    USF/154
    Santa Clara University/155
    Hastings/161
    UC Davis/162
    UC Berkeley/165
    Stanford, at a whopping 168
     
  4. jasylonian macrumors regular

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    Sep 25, 2003
    Location:
    sacramento
    #4
    bummer... just missed it. i'm trying to figure out what schools i can get into (i've already sent out my apps). in terms of rankings, i applied to 11 schools between #5-25. my lsat was a 164, undergrad GPA was a 2.954, and grad school GPA is a 3.783. i have no idea if i'm going to get into any of them.
     
  5. ravenvii macrumors 604

    ravenvii

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    #5
    As the poster above says, it depends on what schools you want to go to. The prestigious schools require a higher LSAT test. That's why they're prestigious :)

    That LSAT score ain't bad at all, you could probably get into a top 25 school if all the other stuff are good. Your undergraduate GPA, well what can I say other than "ouch"? Hopefully the school will ignore it and look at your graduate GPA instead, since it's more recent, and obviously you want that to happen :)

    Good luck.
     
  6. jasylonian macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2003
    Location:
    sacramento
    #6
    ya, my undergrad experience was not the high point of my life. i was at michigan for 6 semesters (graduated in 3). the first was ungraded because i was dumb. the second semester, i took orgo, multivariable calc, and intermediate microeconomics in the same semester because i felt like "expanding my horizons." after i realized that i really had no desire to pursue math and science any further, i kinda dogged them and this has haunted me the rest of my life. i also compounded the stupidity by not staying the 4th year because i thought i had a job offer. i have given a valiant effort at explaining this to the law schools that i applied to, but i'm not feeling overly hopeful that i can overcome a sub 3.0.
     
  7. kylos macrumors 6502a

    kylos

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    Nov 8, 2002
    Location:
    MI
    #7
    A friend of mine got above 170 on his lsat, but wasn't accepted at the major law schools he applied to. Now he's teaching classes on the lsat for a prestigious company, waiting for another year to apply.
     
  8. gwuMACaddict macrumors 68040

    gwuMACaddict

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    Location:
    washington dc
    #8
    what? did he have to admit to prior felonies or what? sounds like there is a lot more to that story. if you have a moderate gpa and a 170+ you can waltz in to many of the top tier law schools in the country.
     
  9. TheGimp macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2004
    Location:
    anywhere, usa
    #9
    How important is one's undergrad major? I'll be graduating with a BS from Boston College (in US top 40) in Chemistry (about a 3.4 GPA). I liked chemistry, but got higher grades in my liberal arts courses and enjoyed them more. I scored 153 on one self-administered timed LSAT practice test (with no preparation). What are my prospects for law school, provided I can finagle a 157-162 on the real LSAT?
     
  10. Yellowtooth macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #10
    I just took the test last year and got a 160, and I'm currently in my first year at Southwestern Law in L.A. If you are truly serious about doing well on the test, I suggest doing what I did:

    1) Quit your job and dedicate at least the four weeks prior to the test to study
    2) Buy the practice tests from the LSAT service (as many as you can)
    3) Test yourself without cheating on time or looking ahead at the answers

    I literally jumped from a self-tested 141 on my first practice test to the 160 I received, which put me in about the 83rd percentile nationwide. Over 155, every single question is extremely important, and even though it is a stupid standardized test, law schools give it as much (if not more) weight than 4 years of undergrad.... and sorry to say, but pretty much whatever you do in grad school doesn't matter a whole lot...

    I, too, blew it during undergrad, getting a 2.82 from UCLA. I then went on to USC and got a Master's in Playwriting with a 3.63, but during most of my interviews this last year, law school admissions people said that my improvement in GPA was a good sign, but couldn't really be considered as part of my admissions.

    Sorry for the long response, but I hope it helps.... My advice is to study as hard as you can for the test, but be realistic about where you want to go to school. Everybody wants to go to a Top 25 school, but not everyone can.

    Just for reference, I had a friend at UCLA who had a 3.65 gpa and scored a 169 and got rejected from UCLA law (top 20 school) :eek:
     
  11. kylos macrumors 6502a

    kylos

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    #11
    Just over 3 gpa. His theory is that his applications, though before the deadline were later than most other candidates
     
  12. gwuMACaddict macrumors 68040

    gwuMACaddict

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    washington dc
    #12
    with a 170+ and a 3+ gpa, something else was wrong... maybe his personal statement or something else on his application. but its no secret that the lsat is the number one way in to law school these days.
     
  13. jefhatfield thread starter Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
    #13

    what is strange is that elite schools are not always fair when it comes to getting into them..he he..look at our president ;)...ok, ignore that last statement

    when i was in high school in the 70s, our top student with a 3.99 gpa (when there was nothing higher than a 4.0, regardless of ap status), and the highest sat score in our school (back when the sat was scored about 60 points tougher) and he got a 1400+, found that he could not gain immediate entrance into uc berkeley..so he went to uc santa cruz

    the next student in line at our school got into stanford and a couple of students not even in the top ten percent got into baby ivy league schools

    what i did notice is that, at the time, the undergraduate schools gave extraordinary favor to the sat score and not much on gpa...i ranked in the lower half of my high school class on my gpa (2.3), but got a sat english score in the top 25 percent (460) and math score (690) in the top 1 percent so i waltzed into a school that better students with high gpa marks could not get into...i realized that this was not fair and that admissions people liked standardized tests...and i worked the sat with a first attempt with a national average 880, a second attempt at a slightly above average score of 1010, and a above average score of 1150...in those days, a 1200 coupled with a high gpa was the ticket to anywhere...but today with the 5.0 gpa system and an easier sat i hear people have to have a 4.0 and 1400 to get the same results

    back to law school topic...;)

    it seems, from many stories that i have heard, that a 160+ lsat is key for a top law school, and that a 170+ is a get into harvard free ticket...i am glad that i am considering something close to home for the reason of my age and place in life which makes it stupid to abandon my established business, house, and family...if i were younger, i would, like a poster mentioned above, quit work and study the lsat inside and out

    the first lsat i took was from a book, stone cold, a couple of sections daily, over three days between chores and i got a 133...i studied maybe four hours in my prep book and i got a 144 from a kaplan proctored test...now if i did nothing but focus on the test, i am confident i could get 155 to 160 and the local law school i am shooting for near my home wants a 148 as does the lowest ranked aba law school in my region

    now the two schools with international reputations in northern california are hastings with a 161 average lsat score and stanford with a 168 average...and those schools won't consider an undergrad gpa less than 3.7...and even if you get the lsat and gpa, you still might not get into hastings or stanford

    for those kids out there who want the very best, realize that some top firms will only hire lawyers who graduated from a private university so if you get accepted to a top public unversity (like boalt hall at uc berkeley) and a harvard or stanford...take the private school route since the big bucks over a career fall into line with those that graduated from the private university law schools...of course the private schools have a higher tuition for law school but the better overall lifetime earnings of a harvard or stanford will make it well worth the money

    hey, like in life, you get what you pay for
     
  14. gwuMACaddict macrumors 68040

    gwuMACaddict

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    Location:
    washington dc
    #14
    colleges have to rely on standardized tests when grade inflation is so rampant across the country at different prep schools/high schools. not every school can teach the same ammount of knowledge. a standardized test is a great equalizer.

    i dont blame them. i dont like it, but dont blame them
     
  15. jefhatfield thread starter Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
    #15
    more and more accredited university undergraduate admissions officers are putting less weight on standardized tests for admission but from what i have read, the law schools still use the lsat as the main criteria for admission...more than grades and more than the writing sample portion of the lsat test

    i also noticed that a lot of top graduate schools do not like to take alums into their graduate schools and teaching spots...many go to top school "a" for their ba and then finish up their graduate studies at top school "b" and then maybe, if they are into being a professor, teach at top school "c"

    when looking at college catalogs, i rarely read about a professor who got their ba, grad degree, and first teaching post all at the same university

    but in the case of those top schools, admissions officers often favor applicants who had parents go to their school, so the favor/perk goes to the next generation but not necessarily to just the one person from undergrad through grad studies

    but for schools that are not in the top tier/top 50 institutions (non ivies and most public universities), i don't think it really matters if they have their students go through all the education and then become teachers there

    i think a place like harvard or yale (or most top 50 schools) have to keep up a certain image and be able to say their diverse, world class faculty comes from other great places like oxford, cambridge, university of paris, columbia university, etc
     
  16. jefhatfield thread starter Retired

    jefhatfield

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    Jul 9, 2000
    #16
    and then there's the mba schools

    i know this one lady who was 18 when she decided that she would go to stanford business school for her mba

    she got her bachelor's and then went on to score a 700 on the gmat and applied only to stanford

    she worked on her personal statement for 100 hours and she had the necessary 6-8 years of real world corporate managerial experience a school like stanford can demand

    for a school that accepts less than ten percent of applicants, she got in through a combination of a lot of hard work and, imho, a large degree of luck...a place like stanford business school can actually afford to turn away a 4.0/perfect score gmat applicant if they choose to

    in the top law schools book from barron or petersens, i read that with such stiff competition for a harvard or yale, admissions counselors then start looking at the ungraded writing sample of the lsat...a great ungraded writing sample won't guarantee the top law school, but a less than great writing sample could kill your chances
     
  17. mstecker macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    #17
    48

    Back in my day, the test was scored on a 10-48 point scale. I got a 48.

    Still didn't get into Harvard, though.

    Matthew
     
  18. ZildjianKX macrumors 68000

    ZildjianKX

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    May 18, 2003
    #18
    Glad to hear some others in macrumors are applying to law school, etc. Sorry to bring up a 2 week old thread, but came up when i was searching in the forums.

    I just got into Santa Clara University, which is my top choice so I'm completely psyched. I had fairly low numbers (158/3.05) but if you have a strong application and apply early you've always got a shot.

    Only bummer is I'm going to have to buy an old crappy PC for examsoft... that and $31K tuition.
     
  19. jefhatfield thread starter Retired

    jefhatfield

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    Jul 9, 2000
    #19

    oh come on dude, wake up...you did great

    here's some numbers from barron's law schools guide for lsat average scores of admitted students in northern california of aba law schools

    golden gate 148
    uop 151
    usf 154
    santa clara 155
    YOU...158
    hastings 161
    uc davis 162
    cal 165
    stanford 168

    most people take the test cold and get in the 140s, then they bone up and eventually get into the 150s...160 or 170 and above are very rare and almost sure tickets into any law school in the united states

    now that i have talked with every law student or attorney in sight in recent months i have found that high tuition does pose problems...so go to a private law school...better connections for higher paying jobs for the rest of your law career...that way, you will live to see your loan, and interest, paid off in full

    remember, you have your life expenses and family after law school, salaries of associates, clerks, and paralegals, and possibly rent for office space if you make the big time and become your own corporation

    somewhere in the mix, you have to pay off your student loans...santa clara is great and there is a strong alumni partnership with lawyers in northern california
     
  20. Peyote macrumors 6502a

    Peyote

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    Apr 11, 2002
    #20

    This practice is not limited to just top schools. It's called "Educational Incest". A school that hires a lot of its graduates will not advance in teaching methods, new ideas, fresh perspectives, or diverse backgrounds. It will also limit the types of classes available. For instance, a school has a teacher that teaches graduate courses. Students take those courses, and graduate. If they are hired as teachers, they would never be able to teach any classes that are new or different than any of the classes they took.
     
  21. FriarTuck macrumors 6502

    FriarTuck

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    May 26, 2003
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    Chicago area
    #21
    Post-university work experience is much more significant to top law schools now than when I was applying to law schools a decade and a half ago.

    When I got into NU Law (somewhere in or around the bottom half of the top 10 for most of recent history), about half of the entering class had a break between college and law school.

    According to the alumni begging letter I got from the dean last month, that figure is over 90 percent now.

    Just an FYI.
     
  22. jefhatfield thread starter Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
    #22
    i was not aware of that...i thought lawyers and MD/DDS/PharD/DVM students went from high school or junior college straight to finishing their bachelor's and then straight to grad school...and then into the working world

    having been an MBA student, i know that almost all MBA programs want the applicant to have 3-5 years of managerial experience from the applicant as well as their bachelor's...the average MBA graduate in the usa is almost 30 or so...but in these hard financial times, some small private MBA programs will take someone straight out of undergraduate school if the school cannot fill up their spots since tuition is the school's only source of income...when we are sitting in class working an harvard case study, the dumbest comments certainly come from those inexperienced students who have never worked a day in their life;)

    i know when i inquired at stanford university's mba program, the average applicant there had a strong bachelor's degree record and were mostly senior corporate managers or highly successful entrepreneurs...some applicants were corporate presidents, CEOs, or chairmans of boards...in truth, the average applicant for stanford had already "made it" and didn't need the degree

    it's kind of like what paul mccartney says about all the music companies that now give him thousands of dollars of free music equipment...he says he wished he received that musical equipment when he was a poor struggling musician in the cavern club in 1960 :)
     

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