Not that I want to join in the pigpile on Yaleman, but I did want to respond to the LSAT issue.
As someone who's GPA is low (2.83) because of a bad sophomore slump, the LSAT presented an opportunity for me to show what I was capable of. I studied, took practice exams, and came out with a score of 167. This score, and an addendum explaining my academic stumble, allowed me to apply to respected schools with quality programs (as opposed to pretentious schools who rely on their aristocratic pedigree).
You do not see me whining about how schools place too much emphasis on GPA's, or don't take into account special circumstances. And, as a matter of fact, I am CERTAIN that my personal statements had a role in my acceptances and waitlistings. One statement was tangibly less exciting and interesting compared to another and the schools I sent it to waitlisted me. The other was much more focused and enthusistic, and schools who got that one accepted me.
I worked hard and earned my LSAT score, and it is largely responsible for me being able to aim higher than I would have just relying on my GPA. And, truth be told, GPA and where you went to undergrad are JUST AS SUBJECTIVE as the LSAT. I know a lot of people may disagree with me on that, but just because it represents a larger commitment doesn't make it any less subjective.
We live in a world where pedigree and "brand naming" eclipse ability and character. This is especially true on the coasts and in large cities. When you get out of your scholastic cocoon and into the real world you sink or swim entirely on your own. A good school can get you off to a good start, but that only gets you so far.
Of course, if you are already privileged and have a ton of connections that's a completely different story.