Law School Discussion

LSAT Preparation => Studying for the LSAT => Topic started by: Winnie on October 26, 2004, 04:16:54 PM

Title: Weighing GPA vs. LSAT?
Post by: Winnie on October 26, 2004, 04:16:54 PM
The official line I have heard is that admission committees weigh your GPA and LSAT equally.  However, after talking to several friends that are lawyers, they said if you have a strong LSAT and a average/weak GPA, then they want to know why you haven't applied yourself in college.  On the other hand, they said if you have a low LSAT and a high GPA then conditions are more favorable for admission.  Has anyone else have any information/thoughts on the matter?  I guess I am just trying to come to grips with how 4 years of work can be weighed equally with 4 hours of test.  I'd appreciate your input!
Title: Re: Weighing GPA vs. LSAT?
Post by: nekko on October 26, 2004, 04:38:02 PM
I'm sure it depends on the school but generally speaking LSAT is as important as UGPA and often times weighed more heavily. I think for a lot of schools it's easier for them to find higher GPAs then it is for them to find higher LSAT scores if they want to beef up their numbers.
Title: Re: Weighing GPA vs. LSAT?
Post by: penultimatelama on October 26, 2004, 05:24:36 PM
I'm not sure where you got your info from but there's a big difference in lsat vs. gpa depending on school, gpa is between 15-30% of index scores on average with most school around 20%, the rest is lsat.  Although even with a great lsat I would imagine a very poor gpa would have to be explained in order to be accepted.
Title: Re: Weighing GPA vs. LSAT?
Post by: legallyliz on October 26, 2004, 05:36:50 PM
Im not sure if the index percentage difference LSAT and GPA is that large, but I do think that for many law schools, the LSAT is weighed just as heavily as the GPA (if not more).  I think the reasoning behind this is that a high GPA from one school may be equivalent to a low GPA from another school due to the "difficulty" of the school and also to whether or not the school is known for having inflated GPAs. 

Because of the discrepancies between GPAs from different schools, the LSAT may seem like a more dependable reflection of a person's potential success during law school.  In fact, I have heard that some school do take the GPA discrepancy into consideration and give "boost" to GPAs from schools that are known from their harsh grade curves.
Title: Re: Weighing GPA vs. LSAT?
Post by: Lulu on October 26, 2004, 05:49:17 PM
Also people get their GPAs from different classes, and you could theoretically not ever have taken a class taht would "test" your reasoning ability or whatever it is they test on the LSAT. It's also, like everyone else has mentioned, a standardized test that everyone takes on an equal playing field, regardless of difficulty of college, major, etc.
A really low GPA though could mean you're not a hard worker, which is why it's looked upon negatively, whereas a really high GPA could mean you're somewhat of a slacker that took easy classes, profs, easy major, etc.
Title: Re: Weighing GPA vs. LSAT?
Post by: mrdino on October 28, 2004, 07:10:27 AM
I'm not sure where you got your info from but there's a big difference in lsat vs. gpa depending on school, gpa is between 15-30% of index scores on average with most school around 20%, the rest is lsat.  Although even with a great lsat I would imagine a very poor gpa would have to be explained in order to be accepted.

Where did you get YOUR info from??? this is news to me
Title: Re: Weighing GPA vs. LSAT?
Post by: absy on October 28, 2004, 07:21:48 AM
this has been discussed before:

http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/prelaw/index.php/topic,7197.msg101283.html#msg101283


it includes a table showing the percentage that top schools use GPA/LSAT, based on their LSAC formula.
Title: Re: Weighing GPA vs. LSAT?
Post by: grizzly on October 28, 2004, 07:26:04 AM
While some schools may weigh them equally, certainly not all schools do.  Go to the LSAC site and you can print out the index formula for just about every school.  With relatively simple math you can calculate which school cares more about the LSAT.  For example, by plugging in numbers you will see that at some schools an increase in LSAT is worth more than an increase in GPA compared to another school.  

Take UArk-F and UArk-LR for example.  It is clear by their formulas that Fayetteville puts more emphasis on Grades (or Little Rock puts more emphasis on LSAT) than Little Rock.  (Plug in the numbers and you'll see that a 2.8/162 beats a 3.0/160 at Little Rock but at Fayetteville the 3.0/160 wins.)

And after all, your question suggests you are looking for schools that emphasize one or the other.  

While most schools won't tell you what the magic number is (although the Arkansas schools actually do), rest assured there is a number.  Hope this helps.
Title: Re: Weighing GPA vs. LSAT?
Post by: absy on October 28, 2004, 07:36:10 AM
While some schools may weigh them equally, certainly not all schools do.  Go to the LSAC site and you can print out the index formula for just about every school.  With relatively simple math...

well, for data from the top 15 (those that use a formula), just look at the table in the above link.  but yeah, the math is pretty easy.  just remember that LSAT varies by 60 and GPA varied by 2.
Title: Re: Weighing GPA vs. LSAT?
Post by: crimedog on June 08, 2005, 10:11:48 PM
correct

I'm not sure where you got your info from but there's a big difference in lsat vs. gpa depending on school, gpa is between 15-30% of index scores on average with most school around 20%, the rest is lsat.  Although even with a great lsat I would imagine a very poor gpa would have to be explained in order to be accepted.
Title: Re: Weighing GPA vs. LSAT?
Post by: the scientist on June 12, 2005, 06:13:56 AM
LSAT score is considered 3x more tha the under grad GPA so it seems foolish to underestimate th LSAT. This is probably the most important factor that contributes in determining which Law School you will attend.
Title: Re: Weighing GPA vs. LSAT?
Post by: twarga on June 12, 2005, 06:51:36 AM
The official line I have heard is that admission committees weigh your GPA and LSAT equally.  However, after talking to several friends that are lawyers, they said if you have a strong LSAT and a average/weak GPA, then they want to know why you haven't applied yourself in college.  On the other hand, they said if you have a low LSAT and a high GPA then conditions are more favorable for admission.  Has anyone else have any information/thoughts on the matter?  I guess I am just trying to come to grips with how 4 years of work can be weighed equally with 4 hours of test.  I'd appreciate your input!

You have it absolutely backwards.  I had a cruddy 3.0 GPA but a good 166 and got into Rutgers-Camden, Temple, and Villanova.  People with higher GPAs but lower LSATs did not get in.  Check out lawschoolnumbers if you don't believe me.  The LSAT score is paramount!
Title: Re: Weighing GPA vs. LSAT?
Post by: twarga on June 12, 2005, 08:41:18 AM
Go to the "The Unthinkable just happened, now what?" thread to get an idea of what I mean.  That poor dude had a 3.8 and a 150 and didn't get in anywhere!  Your LSAT score drives the train, my friend.
Title: Re: Weighing GPA vs. LSAT?
Post by: Nellbelle on June 12, 2005, 09:09:43 AM
Just an FYI, If anyone is in the low LSAT/high GPA predicament. (But not looking for T1 or T2 schools. Stetson seems to really but quite a bit of weight on GPA. There are some people that even got merit scholarships having an LSAT in the upper 150's but a 3.8-4.0. Also, they have Spring, Summer and Fall admissions.
Title: Re: Weighing GPA vs. LSAT?
Post by: ASNetlenov on June 13, 2005, 07:48:05 AM
The LSAT is much more important than a GPA. Some schools, especially public ones, look favorably at GPA. The LSAT determines to which schools you should apply and your GPA determines whether you are accepted.

Look at it this way, you can have a 4.0 and a 157 and not get into schools that you might if you have a 2.8 and a 170. Look as LSN for verification, as another poster has suggested.
Title: Re: Weighing GPA vs. LSAT?
Post by: SleepyGuyYawn on June 13, 2005, 08:20:24 AM
Haven't read the other posts here, so sorry if I repeat something.

I'm faily certain that at most schools the LSAT counts somewhat more than GPA.  It could be somewhat true that an admissions committee may wonder why an applicant w/ a low GPA didn't apply herself more as an undergrad.  But it's a lot better than an admissions committee having doubts about whether a law student can actually do the work.

A good GPA, especially at an undergrad school without a great reputation, is also seen as a matter of effort -- rather than intelligence -- by law school admissions committees.  Most law schools are less concerned about whether an applicant will do the work (students being prepared and doing homework isn't a big issue at most law schools) than whether they can.

Of course, this doesn't mean that an undergraduate record doesn't count -- far from it.  A record with difficult classes is especially helpful (and necessary at any top school).

If you're interested, the LSAC has formulas used by law schools to come up with admissions indexes. They're posted on the LSAC Online Services website (you have to sign in though).  It will prove what I'm saying, btw.