How to Get Into Stanford Law: LSAT Scores, GPA, and More

21 joint degree programs, 265 courses, 108 full-time faculty members…if the statistics weren’t enough to get you interested in Stanford Law School, then the gorgeous California law school campus should do it! But as a top-ranked program, Stanford Law School admissions can be tough. Here’s what you need to know, from Stanford Law LSAT scores to their curriculum and programs!

Stanford University building

Stanford Law School LSAT Score Range

With an admissions rate of around 10%, Stanford is one of the most competitive law schools in the country. One of the most crucial factors in admission (but not the only factor!) will be your test scores.

The Stanford Law class profile shows that the 25th-75th percentile range of LSAT scores ranged from 169-174 last year, with a 50th percentile of 171. This isn’t surprising, for a top-tier law school, but it also means that you should go for the gold when it comes to the test.

Just what are your chances of getting into Stanford if your score falls outside of the Stanford Law LSAT range? It depends—Stanford doesn’t practice cutoffs and makes exceptions for low scores when students bring exceptional other talents to the class. Stanford also seems to not put as much importance on test scores as Harvard, one of its main rival schools. This means you shouldn’t let a lower LSAT score keep you from applying!

With that in mind, let’s look at a few possible scenarios for LSAT scores.

174-180: Apply to Stanford, and don’t look back! Your LSAT score definitely puts you in a competitive position for admissions. Since you’re above the 75th percentile, you don’t have to stress too much about your LSAT. Instead, focus on rounding out other parts of your application. (Stanford is known for turning away students who test well, but have otherwise uninteresting profiles!)
 
173-172: You’re in range for Stanford, and decidedly above median. Since Stanford doesn’t look at only your LSAT, though, you should still aim to impress the admissions committee with a persuasive personal statement and targeted letters of recommendation.
 
171: This score still puts you in a great place for Stanford, since you’ll be at the median. Consider writing a diversity statement to give more context to your application.
 
169-170: You’ll be just below median with this score, but still at or above the 25th percentile mark. While you should have some other schools in mind besides Stanford, you still have a great shot. (After all, let’s think about it – a 169 LSAT, while on the lower end of Stanford’s range, is still in the top 4% of all LSAT takers!)
 
165-168: You’ll need to do some more work here to convince Stanford that you belong on campus next year. Make sure other components of your application show that you’ll bring something to Stanford that no one else can bring.
 
164 and below: You still have a chance at Stanford – but your odds in this range will have greatly diminished. If you’re serious about realistically attending Stanford, consider retaking the LSAT.

There’s no doubt about it: Stanford Law LSAT scores are a tough hurdle to entry. But if you’re motivated—and you put together a stellar application in all other respects, as well—you just may be part of next year’s class!

What to Know About Stanford Law School

Admission at Stanford Law is tough—even beyond the Stanford Law LSAT scores. What do you need to know about the school? Take a look!

Class Profile, GPA, and Acceptance Rate

For a law school as competitive as Stanford’s, making sure your ducks are in a row with admissions statistics is the first step in applying! Here’s a quick overview, including Stanford Law LSAT scores and the Stanford Law School acceptance rate.

CategoryAdmission Statistic
Acceptance Rate10.5%
LSAT Score (Median)171
LSAT Score (25th-75th percentile)169-174
GPA (Median)3.89
Class Size 173
Student/Faculty Ratio4.4:1

(Sources: Stanford Law website, US News & World Report)

So beyond the Stanford LSAT scores, how can you make sure your application catches the admissions committee’s eyes?

First of all, the Stanford Law School GPA average is high: 3.89. The 25th-75th percentile range isn’t that wide, either: 3.77 to 3.96. However, this isn’t uncommon for a school with such high rankings (#2, according to US News & World Report).

At this point, though, it may be too late to do anything about your GPA. That’s OK! Do the best you can to get your test scores up into the Stanford Law LSAT range, and polish the other aspects of your application.

How to Apply

Stanford’s application requires a:

  • Completed Application for Admission, submitted electronically through LSAC
  • Nonrefundable $85 application fee, paid by credit card through LSAC. This fee can be waived in cases of extreme personal hardship, given a successfully approved SLS Application Fee Waiver Form (PDF).
  • One-to-two page resume of your academic, extracurricular, and professional accomplishments.
  • Personal statement of about two pages, correctly formatted, sharing information about yourself that is not readily apparent from the other application materials you are submitting.
  • Optional short essays, of which you can choose two from a list of four, at 100-250 words each.
  • At least two recommendation letters, and no more than four. Note that Stanford highly values school-specific letters of recommendation.
  • Checked box on the LSAC Letter of Recommendation form indicating whether or not you waive rights to access your letters of recommendation.
  • Valid LSAT or GRE score from an administration no later than January (LSAT) or February (GRE) or the year you’re applying. Scores must be in by the February deadline.
  • Completed LSAC Credential Assembly Service Report, including copies of all transcripts sent to LSAC.

(Source: Stanford Law Admissions website)

What is Stanford Law looking for?

As with any top law school, Stanford looks first and foremost for academic ability. You will need to prove that you are capable of handling the rigors of law school. Check out our post on law school numbers for more information about how important your LSAT and GPA are in the admissions process for all top law schools.

Stanford specifically wants to see well-rounded candidates. Strong academics alone are not sufficient. If you graduated from college with a stellar record but spent the last five years watching TV in a basement with a bag of chips, the admissions officers will wonder how you’ve been putting your talents to use. Likewise, if you had a rocky start in your college years but were able to move into a successful career as a political organizer, Stanford may be more forgiving of your earlier grades.

Stanford is known for being more focused on candidates’ outside-of-the-classroom experiences than other top law schools, so make sure your personal statement reflects your qualities and background beyond your LSAT and GPA (even when your scores are within the Stanford Law LSAT range!). After all, beyond basic academic ability, Stanford looks for excellence – how have you distinguished yourself from others around you? How have you maximized the opportunities given to you? How have you demonstrated your ability to inspire, innovate, and lead, in the words of Stanford Law School’s motto? Tailor your essay to Stanford to show how SLS fits into your educational and career goals.

Programs and Curriculum

Once you’ve made sure your test scores fall within the Stanford Law LSAT range (or GRE range!) and made it into the school, what can you expect to find?

First of all, keep in mind that Stanford offers three joint degree programs in 21 different areas. If you’re thinking about one of them, it’s a good idea to start early, as they can be an intensive experience!

Within the JD program itself, you can anticipate a solid foundation in 1L. The first semester will be filled with standard legal foundation courses, such as Legal Research and Writing and Federal Litigation, but the curriculum soon opens up to electives. You’ll take your first elective in the Winter quarter of 1L. By the time Spring rolls around, you’ll be taking 12+ credits of electives from 265 course offerings. Not bad for choice! And this choice of offerings will continue throughout your 2L and 3L years. (Source: Stanford Law website)

A Final Word on Stanford Law LSAT Scores and Admissions

Overall, Stanford is attentive to assembling a diverse and well-rounded class. SLS has referred to various application components as pieces of an individual candidate’s “puzzle.” Each admitted candidate, in turn, fills a piece of that class’s overall puzzle.

How can you become part of next year’s puzzle? In addition to targeting test scores within the Stanford Law LSAT range and bringing your GPA up as much as possible, make sure to highlight what makes you unique! In other words: Identify what makes you different from the other 3,800+ applicants interested in Stanford Law and be sure your application reflects those distinctions. Good luck!

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Authors

  • Rachel Kapelke-Dale

    Rachel is one of Magoosh’s Content Creators. She writes and updates content on our High School and GRE Blogs to ensure students are equipped with the best information during their test prep journey. As a test-prep instructor for more than five years in there different countries, Rachel has helped students around the world prepare for various standardized tests, including the SAT, ACT, TOEFL, GRE, and GMAT, and she is one of the authors of our Magoosh ACT Prep Book. Rachel has a Bachelor of Arts in Comparative Literature from Brown University, an MA in Cinematography from the Université de Paris VII, and a Ph.D. in Film Studies from University College London. For over a decade, Rachel has honed her craft as a fiction and memoir writer and public speaker. Her novel, THE BALLERINAS, is forthcoming in December 2021 from St. Martin's Press, while her memoir, GRADUATES IN WONDERLAND, co-written with Jessica Pan, was published in 2014 by Penguin Random House. Her work has appeared in over a dozen online and print publications, including Vanity Fair Hollywood. When she isn't strategically stringing words together at Magoosh, you can find Rachel riding horses or with her nose in a book. Join her on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook!

  • Catherine

    Catherine supports Magoosh’s future grad school students by unlocking tricks of the test prep and application trade. She specializes in the LSAT, but also brings her experience in test prep and higher ed admissions to Magoosh students. Catherine spends her free time checking out local farmer’s markets, reading food and lifestyle blogs, and watching Bravo. She is forever in search of the best Mexican and Italian food in any given city.

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