The past couple of years, they have paid a lot of attention to LSAT scores. You have to keep in mind that applications have increased by over 25% the past few years. Most of us are the offspring of baby boomers, and are one of the largest populations to be finishing our undergrad degrees since our parents. This, plus the bad economy has increased applications after they were way down during the 1990's.
Thus, law schools can be very picky. Not only in who they accept, but how many they accept. For example, in 1999 Hofstra might have had to initiallly accept 1,000 applicants to yield 250. Now perhaps, they need only accept 500 applicants with higher GPA's and LSAT scores than they ever did before to yield the same number.
I am not trying to discourage you, but the fact is, it is a tough year to apply to law school. Further, evidence suggests that it won't slow down until 2005-2006. Does that mean you should sit out a year. Not really. Statistics show that this does not increase the likelihood of being admitted, unless you get some significant experience in the legal field.
Yeah, it is crazy that they put so much emphasis on the LSAT, but from their perspective, applicants tend to look the same. I was reading where an admissions officer at a top school said that last year there were 3,000 applicants with a score between 164-168. Thus, four points can make a huge difference.
So, I would suggest either retaking the LSAT, or getting into a 3 tier school, and finishing 1L at the top of your class, then you can transfer into a tier 1.