Law School Admissions
It is now quite difficult to gain entrance into law school. While it is still possible to differentiate between law schools on the basis of the quality of their entering classes, it is very difficult to offer an applicant a wide choice of schools if that student has less than a 3.00 cumulative average and less than the 50th percentile on the LSAT. There are exceptions to this, of course, so that these figures must not be used as an inflexible rule of what you must possess before you apply to law school. Simply keep these guidelines in mind when you look at yourself objectively as an applicant. If you have less than a 3.00 and less than the 50th percentile, prepare for a struggle and consult very carefully with pre-law advisers about choosing among the less selective law schools. If you are in happier circumstances and follow a reasonable selection strategy, chances are very good indeed that you will be admitted to as competitive a law school as your credentials permit.
Many students wonder if working for a few years after college will help or hurt law school admission. The answer is that it will not hurt you, and it may help you. It will help if you have attained a significant level of accomplishment in your chosen work. If, however, you do decide to work for awhile, it is a good idea to have faculty members who know your work write recommendations for you (in terms of your law school potential) and place those recommendations on file in the Career Services Center (building near Perkins Center parking garage). This file will then be accessible to you when you do apply to law school later.
Some students also wonder whether a graduate degree will help law school admission. In general, it will not. However, if you are a student with high law board scores and low grades, a couple of years of high grades in a graduate program may demonstrate a level of academic maturity that can partially overcome a weak college record.
Because the proportions of women in law school and in the law profession have increased drastically in recent years, many students wonder if "easier" standards are being applied to women law school applicants. The answer is no. Law schools have simply stopped discriminating against women. Consequently they admit far more than they used to.
As of 2007, many law schools do have special admissions programs which aim at increasing the representation of racial minority groups in the law profession. These programs, in general, emphasize college grades and de-emphasize LSAT scores. (Caution: Most of the programs do, nonetheless, have LSAT "cutoff" scores below which they will admit no one.) If you want to be considered eligible for such programs, it is important that you take particular care with your personal statement on the application in order to demonstrate that your admission would enrich the diversity of the entering class in meaningful ways. Law schools do not publicize these in great detail; consult either pre-law advisers or specific law school admissions officers for more precise information.
Please note, if you were raised in a home where English was not spoken, or was rarely spoken, this WILL affect your LSAT score. Law school admissions personnel SHOULD BE INFORMED of this circumstance by you, so as to more adequately interpret your score. It will help your chances of admission if you tell them.