The Boston College Law School Locator lists the 25th to 75th percentile LSAT scores and GPA ranges of first year classes at accredited law schools. This means that half of a law school’s entering class scored in the range indicated.
The Locator can help you identify schools where your LSAT scores and grades are most competitive for admission and help you gauge your chance of admission at a particular school. The chart is useful in evaluating law school choices but cannot determine where you should or should not apply. The law schools are placed in cells on the chart according to their 25th percentile scores.
All schools accept applicants with marks above and below these scores. The ranges give an idea of the quantitative criteria expected. In selecting schools, you should choose some law schools where your GPA and LSAT scores make you competitive and consider some safe schools and long-shot schools.
Competitive Schools : Each cell in the Law School Locator represents a specific range of LSAT and GPA scores. You can find your competitive law schools by locating the cells where your scores are in the top half of the range. Your statistical chance of admission at these schools is roughly fifty-fifty based on the numbers alone. Your personal statement, letters of reference, and other qualitative credentials are very important in determining admission to these schools.
Long Shots : The cells above and to the right of this competitive area represent long-shot schools. You should apply to some long-shot schools if there are one or two that you truly want to attend for very specific reasons. You must provide a clear reason for these schools to accept you and explain the special programs that interest you, your unusual experiences, or other personal characteristics that make you an attractive candidate for each school.
Safety Schools : In the cells below and to the left of your competitive area, you will find schools that you can consider safe bets on the basis of their numbers alone. However, even the highest scores do not guarantee admission. Pay close attention to presentation and qualitative aspects of your application even at schools considered safe.
Law School tuition ranges from a few thousand dollars a year to more than $35,000 per year. After adding in housing, food, books, and personal expenses, a three year law school education can exceed $125,000.
The first step in applying for financial aid for law school is to complete the free Application: Federal Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and available from ESF’s Office of Financial Aid. Applicants can also apply for need-based and merit-based scholarships, grants, and fellowships. However, their availability is quite limited, and they are usually awarded by law schools. Individual law school’s financial aid offices can provide you with more information. Federal Work-Study programs also provide funding for students to work part-time during the school year and full-time during summer months. Education loans may be awarded directly by the school or through other private agencies. The largest student loan program is funded or guaranteed by the federal government.
The range and quality of academic programs is one of the most important factors to consider when you choose a law school. Almost all law schools follow the traditional first-year core curricula of civil procedure, contracts, Constitutional law, criminal law, property, and torts. If you are interested in environmental law, you need a thorough grounding in basic legal theory (civil procedure, contracts, Constitutional law, criminal law, property, and torts) so that you can apply the principles from these courses to environmental law.
Online Directories of Law Schools: Internet Legal Resources Guide