Law school applications have increased notably in recent times. How does this impact current pre-law students? To appreciate the effect of a larger volume of applicants, it is important first to understand how the LSAT (the most important factor in law school applications) is scored. The LSAT uses a converted scoring system with a 120-180 range, and it operates like a bell curve. In other words, most LSAT scores will fall between 147-155, with fewer scores at the extreme ends.
More students applying to law school results in law schools having more applications with LSAT scores (and gpa’s) in all ranges. While more “low” LSAT scores isn’t necessarily relevant to your chances, the fact that law schools are receiving more “high” LSAT scores (and gpa’s) does have some significance. So, for pre-law students, it means two things:
- You are going to want your LSAT score and cumulative undergraduate gpa to be as strong as possible.
- Since more applicants will be in your LSAT/gpa range, you also want your “soft factors” – particularly your personal statement and letters of recommendation – to stand out.
None of this basic, common-sense advice is worth panicking about. Pre-law students should continue to make their applications as strong as possible, just like before. And finally, don’t forget: if a little increased competition causes you to develop a stronger application, you’re likely to be better off!