LSAT Scores for the Top 100 Law Schools: Good LSAT Scores for Your Goals

LSAT scores top 100 law schools - image by Magoosh

What’s a good score on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT)? The average range is from 120 to 180 points. That’s a pretty narrow score range, but it reflects a wide diversity of abilities and outcomes. The mean LSAT score is approximately 150, but you’re going to have to do well above average to get into a top law school. Here’s what average and good LSAT scores are for different goals, including LSAT scores for the top 100 law schools. Also, check out this guide to the LSAT score scale as well as our top tips for getting a high score on the LSAT!


 

Table of Contents

LSAT Scores: What You Need to Know in 2021

The LSAT test currently has approximately 75-76 graded questions, with each correct answer counting for one point of your raw score. From your raw scores, the test is graded on an LSAT score scale from 120-180. The average LSAT score is about 150. To get into a top 14 law school, you need to score above 162, and to get into a top 50 law school, you need 154 or above.

In spring 2021, the LSAC (the LSAT test-maker) announced that the remote, at-home version of the LSAT they introduced in 2020, the LSAT-Flex, would adapt into the remote LSAT from August 2021 through at least June 2022. In the meantime, they’ll be reintroducing an ungraded section back into the test as of August 2021, as well as a break between the second and third sections. If you plan to re-take the LSAT in an attempt to get a specific score, make sure to read this piece about non-disclosed LSATS. Also, keep in mind that you can cancel your LSAT scores if you’re not feeling good about your testing experience, but you only have a few days to do so.

Your LSAT score is the most important piece of your law school application.

Click to read more about why they’re important

How important are LSAT scores?

The two most important pieces of your law school application are your undergrad GPA and LSAT scores. There is some debate as to which of these two factors in law school admissions is more important. This debate is based on differences in law school admissions departments. Each department will naturally place a different emphasis on the various law school application requirements (undergraduate GPA, “soft factors” like the personal statement, and LSAT), prioritizing them based on their own formula.

However.

If you look at the most up-to-date law school rankings, you’ll notice that a program’s rank tends to correlate more with admitted students’ scores than with their undergraduate GPAs. The top programs require a top score. And an excellent score can help compensate for a less-than-stellar GPA.

Some law school admissions departments openly claim that the LSAT makes up 70% of a student’s admissions chances, with the other 30% attributed to GPA. You read that right—the morning that you spent taking the LSAT might be more important than the four years you spent studying in college.

So, I feel pretty confident when I say—your score is the most important piece of your law school application.

Why are LSAT scores so important?

The logic is fairly straightforward. The LSAT was designed to determine how likely you are to succeed in law school. Your test scores provide the best apples to apples measure of how law school applicants stack up against one another. While levels of grade inflation and academic rigor vary from one undergraduate university to another, the LSAT was built to be a consistent measure of ability for all test takers. Good scores are important because the LSAT provides law schools with the best means of measuring how prospective students stack up. (Side note: check out this overview of the average LSAT score by college major).

The takeaway here is twofold. First and foremost, studying for the LSAT is worth a significant investment of time and effort. Increasing your score will drastically improve your admissions chances. Second, for sending off your LSAT scores, be sure to research the law schools you plan to apply to. Some programs actually publish the calculation that they use to determine whether or not they will advance a candidate. Knowing this information will help you figure out the likelihood that you’ll be accepted, given the strength of your undergrad GPA and LSAT scores.

So now you’re convinced that the LSAT is really important. Time for a crash course on how LSAT scoring works.

 
Back to top

LSAT Scores for the Top 100 Law Schools

Ready for a little data visualization? Take a look at the LSAT scores for the top 100 law schools. Each responsive dot in the chart below represents one of the top 100 law schools in the United States. Hover over a dot to learn more about that program’s application requirements. You can also drag your mouse over an area to zoom in, then right-click to reset the view! Then, scroll down for more info on law school LSAT scores!

Practice with official LSAT questions. Start your online LSAT prep with Magoosh today. Start a free trial

LSAT Scores for the Top 10 Law Schools

Do you envision yourself graduating from an ultra-prestigious law school like Yale, Harvard, or Stanford? It’s a beautiful dream, and one that you shouldn’t discount. If your undergrad GPA is 3.8 or above, and the soft factors of your application are strong, then a great score could put you in contention.

And by a great LSAT score, I mean near-perfect.

The table of LSAT scores by school shows some important trends. The 75th percentile LSAT score for a top 10 school ranges from 169 (Duke) to 176 (Yale). The 25th percentile LSAT scoring range is from 163 to 170. These are the top-ranked schools for a reason—they are tough to get into. Only 7.4% of applicants earn the right to join Yale Law School each year. So, congratulations to Yalies Hillary and Bill Clinton, Sonia Sotomayor, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Gerald Ford…you really raised the bar for prospective students!

The table below shows 2021’s ten highest-ranked law schools according to U.S. News & World Report’s Best Law Schools report.

Law School RankLaw School NameLSAT Score 25th-75th Percentile RangeAcceptance Rate
1Yale University170-1767.4%
2 Stanford University169-17410.5%
3Harvard University170-17513%
4 (tie)University of Chicago167-17317.5%
4 (tie)Columbia University169-17316.7%
6 (tie)New York University167-17221.6%
6 (tie)University of Pennsylvania164-17114.3%
8University of Virginia164-17214.1%
9University of California - Berkeley 163-17021.5%
10 (tie)Duke University167-16922.3%
10 (tie)University of Michigan -- Ann Arbor164-17016.4%

Scores for Law Schools Ranked 11-50

Did you look at that chart of reach schools above and think to yourself, “on second thought, a top 50 law school would be a great fit for me”? Well, that’s understandable. Even if you’re aiming for a top ten school, it doesn’t hurt to apply to some target and safety schools, as well.

Here is where the LSAT score ranges become really diverse. Say you really want to go to fifteenth-best law school, the Georgetown University. With about a 20% acceptance rate, this is an incredibly competitive school. The 75th percentile LSAT score is a mighty 169, which is on par with top ten school Duke University. On the other hand, a 161 would put you in the 75th percentile at 50th-ranked University of California (Hastings).

Go ahead and filter the table below by your score. A 160+ LSAT score will provide you with quite a few options. You can also search by law school to see stats on your top prospects.

Law School RankLaw School NameLSAT Score 25th-75th Percentile RangeAcceptance Rate
12Northwestern University165-17119.2%
13Cornell University164-16919%
14University of California - Los Angeles164-17122.8%
15Georgetown University164-16920.1%
16 (tie)University of Texas - Austin164-16918.4%
16 (tie)Vanderbilt University162-16822.6%
16 (tie)Washington University in St. Louis162-17020.3%
19University of Southern California (Gould)162-16817.2%
20Boston University162-16824.9%
21University of Florida (Levin)156-16619.8%
22 (tie)University of Minnesota160-16636.4%
22 (tie)University of Notre Dame161-16820.3%
24University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill 159-16421.6%
25 (tie)Arizona State University (O'Connor)156-16626.2%
25 (tie)University of Alabama158-16635.7%
27 (tie)George Washington University159-16734.2%
27 (tie)University of Georgia157-16619.5%
29 (tie)Boston College160-16531.8%
29 (tie)Brigham Young University (Clark)161-16836.7%
29 (tie)Emory University159-16732.2%
29 (tie)University of Illinois -- Urbana-Champaign156-16442.5%
29 (tie)University of Iowa156-16360.4%
29 (tie)University of Wisconsin -- Madison158-16542.4%
35 (tie)Fordham University162-16627.4%
35 (tie)University of California -- Davis158-16433.1%
35 (tie)University of California -- Irvine163-16720.3%
35 (tie)Washington and Lee University157-16436.7%
35 (tie)William and Mary Law School 161-16442%
40Ohio State University (Moritz)158-16435.2%
41 (tie)George Mason University157-16522.8%
41 (tie)Wake Forest University158-16517.8%
43 (tie)Indiana University -- Bloomington (Maurer)157-16443.4%
43 (tie)University of Utah (Quinney)159-16333.5%
45University of Washington157-16534.5%
46 (tie)Pepperdine University159-16428.2%
46 (tie)University of Arizona (Rogers)161-16427.7%
48 (tie)Florida State University 156-16229.7%
48 (tie)University of Colorado -- Boulder158-16436.5%
50 (tie)University of California (Hastings)155-16138.7%
50 (tie)University of Maryland154-16236.4%
Rankings data according to US News & World Report's 2021 Law School Rankings. Data represents the most recently admitted class.

Scores for Law Schools Ranked 51-100

If you’re scoring in the 155 range on the LSAT, or you are looking for a local safety school to apply to, then take a look at the U.S. law schools that are ranked 51–100. There are a lot of great, and often overlooked, options on this list of the second half of the LSAT scores for the top 100 law schools.

Law School RankLaw School NameLSAT Score 25th-75th Percentile RangeAcceptance Rate
52 Southern Methodist University156-16440.8%
53 (tie)Temple University157-16336.1%
53 (tie)Texas A&M University155-16122.4%
53 (tie)University of Richmond 155-16243.5%
53 (tie)Villanova University156-16129.7%
53 (tie)Yeshiva University (Cardozo)157-16437.7%
58 (tie)Baylor University157-16234%
58 (tie)University of Connecticut156-16045.4%
60 (tie)Pennsylvania State University Dickinson Law153-16238.6%
60 (tie)Pennsylvania State University - University Park155-16237.6%
60 (tie)Tulane University155-16153.5%
60 (tie)University of Houston157-16248.5%
60 (tie)University of Missouri155-16055.5%
60 (tie)University of Nevada--Las Vegas154-16131.4%
60 (tie)University of Tennessee--Knoxville155-16133.3%
67 (tie)Northeastern University158-16435.6%
67 (tie)University of Oklahoma154-15947.9%
67 (tie)University of Pittsburgh155-16141.1%
70 (tie)Seton Hall University154-16046.6%
70 (tie)University of Kansas153-16059.9%
72 (tie)Case Western Reserve University156-16146.6%
72 (tie)Loyola Marymount University157-16135.7%
72 (tie)St. John's University152-16241.1%
72 (tie)University of Miami156-16151.4%
72 (tie)University of Oregon153-16045.8%
72 (tie)Wayne State University154-16136.6%
78 (tie)Georgia State University156-16028.5%
78 (tie)Loyola University Chicago157-16044.4%
78 (tie)University of Denver (Sturm)155-16151.4%
81 (tie)American University (Washington)154-16236.3%
81 (tie)Brooklyn Law School156-16048.8%
81 (tie)Drexel University (Kline)152-15843%
81 (tie)University of Cincinnati155-16150.6%
81 (tie)University of Kentucky152-15860.7%
86University of San Diego155-16139%
87 University of Nebraska--Lincoln153-15966.2%
88 (tie)Florida International University156-16929.1%
88 (tie)Lewis & Clark College (Northwestern)155-16260.7%
88 (tie)University of New Hampshire151-15956.9%
91 (tie)Howard University150-15634.2%
91 (tie)Illinois Institute of Technology (Chicago-Kent)152-16147%
91 (tie)Michigan State University153-15859.2%
91 (tie)University of Arkansas - Fayetteville151-15755.8%
91 (tie)Rutgers University154-15843.5%
91 (tie)Saint Louis University151-15861.7%
96 (tie)University of Arkansas--Fayetteville152-15954.4%
96 (tie)University of South Carolina153-15847.3%
98 (tie)University at Buffalo--SUNY152-15844.9%
98 (tie)University of Hawaii--Manoa (Richardson)151-15740.3%
98 (tie)University of Louisville (Brandeis)151-15748.7%
98 (tie)University of Mississippi152-15842.4%

Back to top


 

Good LSAT Scores

You can score between 120 and 180, but a good LSAT score very much depends on your goals, the programs you are applying to, and the other aspects of your application. You should aim for the 50th to 75th percentile for your “dream” law program.

Do you not have a “dream law school”? That’s okay. This isn’t college admissions, and many law school applicants don’t have their hearts set on one specific program. If your “dream school” is the highest-ranked law program you can get into, then preparing for a great score should be your number one priority.

Is your LSAT score good enough?

Since you’re reading this post, I’m going to guess that you fall into one of two categories.

  1. You’ve already taken the LSAT and are now trying to determine which law schools you can get into with your score. You would consider retaking the LSAT if your score isn’t good enough for the caliber of law school that you’re hoping to attend.
  2. You haven’t taken the LSAT yet and are trying to figure out what score you need to get into a top program. You’ve probably taken a practice test and are doing your research to set a score goal.

In either case, the first step in figuring out whether or not your LSAT score is good enough is to research the scores and score percentiles of each law school’s newly admitted class. If you have a score from a practice test, you can then convert it to an LSAT percentile.

(When we discussed LSAT score percentiles earlier in this post, I was speaking in the context of LSAT Score Reports. The LSAT score percentile that you’ll see on your score report tells you how your score compares to that of other students who took that test. This is slightly different.)

Back to top

What is a Good LSAT Score for Your Goals?

You know the average scores and LSAT scores for the top 100 law schools—now let’s break it down a little more, and talk about some specific scores:

Is 150 a good LSAT score?

Is 150 a good LSAT Score?

According to StartClass.com, there are over 50 law schools in the United States with scores of 150 or lower within their median range (though, I’ll warn you that you’ll find very few of them in the table of Top 100 Law Schools).

When is a 150 LSAT good?

A score of 150 on the LSAT is within the range of “an LSAT score needed for law school.” In other words, it’s good enough to get into law school, despite what anyone says to the contrary…just not a top law school. (And that’s okay!)

So does that mean 150 is a good LSAT score? It does if your only goal is to get into any law school, and for many people, that’s exactly their goal. In this sense, you can think of a 150 as a good score for the passionate applicant. These are people who feel driven to practice law because they understand the job, love what it entails, and are prepared to work hard regardless of compensation or recognition.

When is a 150 LSAT not good?

If you’re applying to law school primarily because you are searching for financial and professional stability, a 150 is probably not a promising score. A score of 150 most likely means that you’ll be attending a lower tier school, and thus will have more limited access to lucrative positions at big firms.

With this is mind, getting a score in the 150s when your scores are released might mean you should consider retaking the LSAT.

Is 160 a good LSAT score?

Is 160 a good lsat score?

Of the 205 ABA-approved law schools in the United States, only about 40 of them have median scores above 160. That means that a score of 160 would put you above the median at 80% of the law schools in the country.

When is a 160 LSAT good?

Most people consider anything above a 160 to be a good LSAT score on your LSAT test date. In this context, “good” really only means a score that sounds respectable and that most law schools will look upon favorably. Compare this to scoring above 1800 on the SAT (or above 1200, depending on when you took the SAT) or above 25 on the ACT.

When is a 160 LSAT not good?

…to those of you who are aiming for top 20 schools, you’ll need to set your sights a bit higher than 160. As you can see from the tables, basically all of the top 20 law schools in the US have median LSAT score ranges of 162 or higher. As a reminder, that’s just the median score range, so your chances aren’t ruined if you don’t hit that mark. However, you’ll have a competitive edge if you can get your score up above the school’s median.

Furthermore, a 160 might not be desirable for students seeking scholarships.

Is 170 a good LSAT score?

scores above 170 are very good lsat scores

A 170 or higher means you’re scoring in the top 2-3% of LSAT test-takers, and almost no one is going to complain about that. Admissions officers certainly won’t. There are only 5 law schools in the US (Yale, Stanford, Harvard, Chicago, Columbia) that currently claim to have median range scores above 170, and the last one on that list is only at 171. In other words, nearly half of the students at the very best legal institutions in the country are still scoring at or below 170.

When is a 170 LSAT good?

Pretty much always. But will a 170 guarantee you a spot at Yale? Nope. Will a 175? Probably not. Will a 180? Unlikely. LSAT scores are an important part of your application (arguably the most important part), but they are still only one part. A weak GPA, lack of work experience, or unimpressive letters of recommendation can derail any application, even if it’s accompanied by a perfect score.

Think of it this way: over 100,000 people take the LSAT each year. The top 2-3% equals about 3,000 students. The top 10 law schools, collectively, have fewer than 3,000 seats available. Therefore, there isn’t even space for all the people who score above 170 to attend a top ten school.

Now, to be fair, if you score a 170 or higher, you’re probably going to be accepted to a great school regardless of the rest of your application.

When is a 170 LSAT not good?

If you’ve ever visited an online law school forum, you probably won’t be surprised to hear that some people are not impressed with a 170. Granted, law school forum users tend to be an exceptionally intense subset of an already selective group of the population (people taking the LSAT), but they do have some valid reasons for fretting over the difference between a 170 and a 175.

Remember, there aren’t enough seats in the top 10 law schools for all the folks who score over a 170. If you’re one of those people, you want to do everything in your power to make sure you’re not one of the applicants who gets bumped. So, you try to edge out the competition with an extra point of two.

Practice with official LSAT questions. Start your online LSAT prep with Magoosh today. Start a free trial

Back to top

LSAT Scoring and Future Salary

Now that you know how challenging it is to go to a top ten or top fifty law school, you’re probably wondering how your LSAT score (and the law school it enables you to attend) will affect your future career. Does a JD from a prestigious law school guarantee you better job prospects and a higher salary?

Let’s put it this way: if you needed even more of a reason to believe that your LSAT score is a valuable indicator of future success beyond law school life, then I think we found it.

To answer this question using real-world numbers, I pulled average LSAT score data and salary data from U.S. News & World Report. What I found shows that the correlation between a high LSAT score and high starting salary is impressive, especially if you’re looking at the highest ranking law schools.

According to the data in the table below, graduating from a top ten law school will basically guarantee you a job within ten months of graduation, and a starting salary of $160,000 per year, if you work in the private sector. Aside from some outliers, a higher LSAT score and a top-ranked school corresponds with a higher salary upon graduation.

(Hint: If your score is 161 or above, you might consider applying to 39th-ranked Fordham University. For some reason, their average starting salaries for private sector practice are staggeringly high—to the tune of $180,000 per year.)

Scores vs. Starting Salaries

RankLaw School NameLSAT Score 25th-75th Percentile RangeGraduates Employed in Long-Term, Full-Time Legal JobsMedian Starting Salary (private sector & public sector)
1Yale University170-17679.7%Private: $190,000
Public: $64,878
2 Stanford University169-17484.1%Private: $190,000
Public: $64,383
3Harvard University170-17587.1%Private: $190,000
Public: $63,000
4 (tie)University of Chicago167-17393.6%Private: $190,000
Public: $65,000
4 (tie)Columbia University169-17396.8%Private: $190,000
Public: $65,000
6 (tie)New York University167-17287.2%Private: $190,000
Public: $60,000
6 (tie)University of Pennsylvania164-17189.6%Private: $190,000
Public: $64,000
8University of Virginia164-17292.3%Private: $190,000
Public: $64,009
9University of California - Berkeley163-17086.9%Private: $190,000
Public: $62,000
10 (tie)Duke University167-17089.6%Private: $190,000
Public: $63,000
10 (tie)University of Michigan -- Ann Arbor164-17087.3%Private: $190,000
Public: $62,000
12Northwestern University165-17184.6%Private: $190,000
Public: $62,000
13Cornell University164-16986.6%Private: $190,000
Public: $63,522
14University of California - Los Angeles164-17174.8%Private: $190,000
Public: $60,000
15Georgetown University164-16972%Private: $190,000
Public: $60,000
16 (tie)University of Texas -- Austin164-16972.7%Private: $190,000
Public: $52,996
16 (tie)Vanderbilt University162-16879.9%Private: $190,000
Public: $55,848
16 (tie)Washington University in St. Louis162-17083.8%Private: $190,000
Public: $62,000
19University of Southern California (Gould)162-16874.1%Private: $190,000
Public: $65,000
20Boston University 162-16873.4%Private: $190,000
Public: $60,609
21University of Florida (Levin)156-16671.6%Private: $80,000
Public: $45,817
22 (tie)University of Minnesota160-16677.8%Private: $130,000
Public: $55,466
22 (tie)University of Notre Dame161-16871.4%Private: $170,000
Public: $62,720
24University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill159-16460.2%Private: $123,250
Public: $58,000
25 (tie)Arizona State University (O'Connor)156-16668.1%Private: $90,000
Public: $58,600
25 (tie)University of Alabama158-16670.7%Private: $85,000
Public: $60,500
27 (tie)George Washington University159-16753.5%Private: $190,000
Public: $61,000
27 (tie)University of Georgia157-16677.9%Private: $100,000
Public: $57,297
29 (tie)Boston College160-16563.6%Private: $190,000
Public: $56,000
29 (tie)Brigham Young University (Clark)161-16865.9%Private: $105,000
Public: $59,460
29 (tie)Emory University159-16759.2%Private: $165,000
Public: $60,000
29 (tie)University of Illinois -- Urbana-Champaign156-16467.2%Private: $120,000
Public: $59,000
29 (tie)University of Iowa156-16367.1%Private: $115,000
Public: $55,687
29 (tie)University of Wisconsin -- Madison158-16569.7%Private: $82,500
Public: $56,000
35 (tie)Fordham University162-16667.3%Private: $190,000
Public: $65,000
35 (tie)University of California -- Davis158-16463%Private: $100,000
Public: $54,000
35 (tie)University of California -- Irvine153-16761.7%Private: $122,500
Public: $58,000
35 (tie)Washington and Lee - University157-16470%Private: $110,000
Public: $60,000
35 (tie)William and Mary Law School 161-16461.7%Private: $97,500
Public: $60,000
40Ohio State University (Moritz)158-16465.5%Private: $92,000
Public: $57,816
41 (tie)George Mason University157-16550.3%Private: $150,000
Public: $57,816
41 (tie)Wake Forest University158-16570.2%Private: $105,000
Public: $53,000
43 (tie)Indiana University -- Bloomington (Maurer)157-16457.4%Private: $102,000
Public: $57,000
43 (tie)University of Utah (Quinney)159-16361.2%Private: $85,000
Public: $52,000
45 University of Washington157-16552.9%Private: $90,000
Public: $66,500
46 (tie)Pepperdine University159-16447.8%Private: $85,000
Public: $61,000
46 (tie)University of Arizona (Rogers)161-16449.6%Private: $95,000
Public: $40,000
48 (tie)Florida State University156-16255.3%Private: $65,000
Public: $52,489
48 (tie)University of Colorado -- Boulder158-16461.5%Private: $102,000
Public: $60,000
50 (tie)University of California (Hastings)155-16140.8%Private: $100,000
Public: $59,725
50 (tie)University of Maryland154-16256.5%Private: $75,000
Public: $50,505

Back to top

LSAT Score Takeaways

Your scores are incredibly important to your law school career. On the whole, a strong LSAT score in or above the LSAT scores for the top 100 law schools will help you get into a top-ranked program, which in turn will help you graduate law school with a job and an impressive salary. Oh, and it’s pretty difficult to accurately predict your LSAT score without doing plent of practice. So, set aside some time, invest in Magoosh LSAT, and other LSAT books and resources, and start prepping. This is also the key to to improving your LSAT score if you choose to take it, so trust us, you won’t regret it!

Please let us know if you have any questions, additions, or suggestions by leaving a comment on this post. We’d be thrilled to start a conversation with you. And before you go, here’s some suggested follow-up reading for you:

Back to top

Magoosh LSAT has thousands of official questions. Start for free

Most Popular Resources

Author

  • Kristin Fracchia

    Dr. Kristin Fracchia has over fifteen years of expertise in college and graduate school admissions and with a variety of standardized tests, including the ACT, SAT, GRE, GMAT, and LSAT, with several 99% scores. She had a PhD from the University of California, Irvine, an MA degree from The Catholic University, and BA degrees in Secondary Education and English Literature from the University of Maryland, College Park. She was the recipient of the 2013 Excellence in Teaching Award and the Chancellor’s Club Fellowship from the University of California, Irvine. She’s worked as a high school teacher and university professor, as an independent college and graduate school admissions counselor, and as an expert tutor for standardized tests, helping hundreds of students gain acceptance into premier national and international institutions. She now develops accessible and effective edtech products for Magoosh. Her free online content and YouTube videos providing test prep and college admissions advice have received over 6 million views in over 125 countries. Kristin is an advocate for improving access to education: you can check out her TEDx talk on the topic. Follow Kristin on LinkedIn!