The Cheapest Law Degree?
Getting Into Law School Is Easier Than It Used To Be, And That’s Not Good
Picture this for a moment: You are now entertaining the idea of law school. Crazy, right? Nevertheless, this is what you want to do and it means researching the best schools for you. Most likely, you have looked at a website that compiles LSAT scores and GPAs for each school. You see the bottom 25th-percentile, the median and the upper 75th-percentile. If you’re a poor test-taker who has a high GPA or compelling story to share, this news is for you.
The bottom 25th-percentile LSAT score is getting lower. Many believed with the lower amount of LSAT test-takers would also come a drop in quality of students being accepted. And in terms of the lowest scoring LSAT test-takers, this is absolutely the case. But this doesn’t just apply to the Thomas Jefferson’s, Florida Coastal’s and Catholic University of America’s of the law school world.
Northwestern’s bottom 25th-percentile dropped five full points. So did Pepperdine’s and Georgetown’s. Arizona, Illinois and Baylor all fell six points. And the biggest drop, at nine full points, came at Emory, a top-20 school according to US News. Let’s take a moment to remember the LSAT is scored from 120 to 180. That’s a 60-point difference. Nine points out of 60 is significant.
In fact, according to a report released last month by the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE), 95% of the 196 American Bar Association (ABA) accredited schools have lowered their standards for the bottom 25th-percentile since an all-time high in 2010. Additionally, 20 out of the 22 schools among those ranked in the top 20 (there was a three-way tie for 20th place) by U.S. News have lowered their LSAT standards for admittance.
The significance of these results has just as much to do with predicted success during law school as it does post law school. LSAT scores tended to correlate with the multiple choice section of the bar exam. And as we all know, bar exam scores have not been top-notch lately. But hey, if you have been thinking about law school, but fearful of your LSAT score hindering what schools you get into, now is the time to buck up and go for it.
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