When I made the decision to go to law school I was 21 years old and in undergraduate school. I did not quite understand the importance of a LSAT (Law School Admission Test) score, thus, when I took the exam I had an extremely low LSAT score. It was awful. I took the LSAT a total of three times and the highest score I received was a 142. As I stated in my law school experience post, I was not fortunate to have known anyone who went to law school so my advice on how to prepare for law school was limited. I wish I knew about LSAT prep courses when I was studying for the LSAT because I do believe I would have received a higher score.
The first time I took the LSAT I flat out did not study. In my mind, I had never failed a standardized test and that was all the LSAT was. I scored a 130 on my first LSAT. I quickly realized that the LSAT was not like your normal standardized test. The second time around I decided to actually study. I ordered the following two books to help me study for the LSAT:
- 10 Actual, Official LSAT PrepTests Volume V: PrepTests 62 through 71 (Lsat Series)
- The PowerScore LSAT Logical Reasoning Bible
My score jumped 10 points on my second try. The panic official started to set in when my score came back the second time. Every individual I spoke with and all the internet articles I read literally said that I could not get into any law school with a score of 140. So I took the LSAT for the third time and my score only went up two points.
Fast forward to three years, I graduated law school with a 3.3 G.P.A. (.3 shy of honors) and passed the bar exam on my first try. In this post, I am going to share with you why your LSAT score does not determine your legal career.
WHY LOW LSAT SCORE DOES NOT MEAN A THING
Ignore the What Folks Say
If I would have listened to what folks said my scored needed to be to even think about getting into law school. I probably would be in the Air Force right now (No shade to my arm forces) or in some line of work, I absolutely hate. I believe if going to law school is what you truly want to do then you will find away to do it even when the odds are stack against you.
Finding the Right School
One of the biggest misconceptions about the LSAT is that if you score low you cannot get into any law school. The fact is that is just not the case, while you may not have the score to get into the law school of your choice. There is still a law school out there for you. You may have to attend law school in another state, but that does not mean you are required to practice in that state.A low LSAT score does not mean you cannot get into a law school.
“Certain schools never would have admitted a student with a 145 LSAT score several years ago,” said SULC’s chancellor, John K. Pierre. “But this year they did and last year they did, and in some cases, they are even offering students with that profile scholarships or tuition reductions.” – www.insidehighered.com
There are a ton of law schools who accept students with low LSAT scores. When I first decided to go to law school. I was one of those individuals who wanted to go to a top law school. But after doing research I just was not sure that I wanted to shed out the amount of money it would cost to go to one of those top tier schools. Especially, when all roads lead to the same bar exam. I decided to start looking in tier 2 and tier 3 schools. By narrowing my choices to tier 2 and tier 3 schools it allowed me to get into law school with a low LSAT score.
Undergrad G.P.A is Important
Getting a good LSAT score means you have more opportunities when it comes to your school choices. But if you are like me and did not receive a high LSAT score. What does your undergraduate GPA look like? Law school admissions typically look at both your LSAT score and your undergraduate GPA when choosing its candidates. For me, I had an undergraduate G.P.A. of a 3.4.
Some folks say the LSAT and the law school correlate with each other. Personally, I did not see it. The analytical thinking required for the LSAT was a lot harder than the analytical thinking required during law school. On top of that, once you get into law school no one cares what your LSAT score was. I do not think I ever had a conversation in law school about LSAT scores. (ok maybe once or twice). If your LSAT score was an accurate indication of how you would do in law school I would have flunked out the first year.
The Bar Exam is More Important
Remember when I said all roads lead to the same test. That test is the state bar exam you choose to practice law in. At the end of the day, it is the only important test you will take. If you want to be a licensed attorney than you must pass a state bar exam. There are absolutely no correlations between the LSAT and the state bar exam I took. (You can fight me on that. lol) Moreover, I know people who scored super high on the LSAT but still did not pass the bar exam. Additionally, I know people who went to top law school and still did not pass the bar exam. All roads lead to the same test.
Now, this post is not to encourage you to settle with a low LSAT score. But to let you know it will be ok if you did score low. So if you recently took the LSAT or about too. I want you to know that a low LSAT score does not mean an end of a dream. If anything it’s the beginning of a new one.