Pre-Law Advising

What Law Schools Are Looking For

As more strong applicants apply to law school every year, law schools can be more selective in deciding who to accept. To get into law school, then, you must have a strong academic background and develop an attractive application. Some of the most important parts of that application are detailed below.

  • Perhaps the single most important factor determining your chances of getting into law school is your LSAT score. LSAT scores range between 120 and 180. Typically, a score below 146 will hinder your chances of getting into law school. Ideally, you will want a score well above 150.
  • You should graduate with a good GPA. Typically, anything under a 3.0 will hinder your chances of getting into law school. Ideally, you should aim for a GPA of 3.3 or above.
  • Your major, minor, and electives should be academically rigorous. Courses that develop your ability to communicate clearly and effectively are essential. See the Choosing Courses webpage for more details on choosing your courses.
  • You will need strong and detailed letters of recommendation. A good letter of recommendation comes from a professor who not only can claim that you received a good grade in their class but can also describe you as a person and as a student. In other words, they must know who you are, not just what grades you received.
  • You will have to write a clear and compelling personal statement. In that statement, you must explain to the admission officers what your future career goals are and how law school can help you to achieve them. In other words, you must address the question of why you want to be a lawyer. You should note that claiming you have always wanted to be a lawyer will not be adequate.
  • Law schools want to admit people who will help to form a strong community—people who not only fill seats but also contribute to the program. Thus, by being a part of extracurricular activities now, you can demonstrate that you will be such a person. Taking on the responsibilities of a leadership role in such an organization is especially helpful here.

The short story is rather simple: if you wish to get into law school, you must take challenging courses and get good grades in them, score well on the LSAT, and impress your professors.  Don’t wait until your final year of school to start preparing for this. Start now!


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