Pre-Law Advising|Loyola University Chicago

Pre-Law Advising


Selecting Law Schools

For information on the concentrations of different law schools, consult this chart (Microsoft Word). You can find even more information in LSAC's Official Guide to ABA-Approved Law Schools or Gary Munneke's Careers in Law.  These books are available on 3-Day Reserve at Cudahy Library.

If possible, apply to six to ten law schools, as this will increase greatly the likelihood that you will be admitted and have a choice as to where to attend. One of the biggest mistakes applicants make is applying to too few schools.

A sound approach to selecting schools to which you will apply is to group schools into categories based on a realistic assessment of your qualifications and an evaluation of the likelihood of admission. Apply to schools in each category, as suggested below:

  • Two to three "reach/dream" schools: Schools that are at the top of the list of where you would like to attend, but where the likelihood of admission is relatively low. Always go for your dreams. However, it is usually advisable to have no more than a few schools in this category.

  • Two to four "realistic" schools: Schools that you are interested in attending and that are likely to be interested in admitting you.

  • Two to three "safety" schools: Schools that you can "live with" and that are very likely to accept you for admission. One cannot overemphasize the importance of applying to "safety" schools. More than one-third of all applicants do not get into law school, often because they apply to just a few schools. Don't let this happen to you.

Comparing your LSAT score and your undergraduate GPA with those of students admitted to particular schools is a common means of identifying "reach," "realistic," and "safety" schools. The following table shows the LSAT scores and GPAs of students at the 25th and 75th percentiles of various law schools' entering classes; that is, the middle half of the entering classes fell within the ranges shown.

If your LSAT score and GPA are below the 25th percentile of a particular school, consider it to be a "reach" or "dream" school. If your numbers fall well within a school's ranges, it is a "realistic" school. If you are at or above the 75th percentile, the school is a "safety" school.

Schools to which Loyola applicants most frequently apply

InstitutionLSAT 25%ileLSAT 75%ileGPA 25%ileGPA 75%ile
Notre Dame1641673.283.69
John Marshall1521562.803.42
source: ABA/LSAC Official Guide (2008 edition)

Data on all U.S. and Canadian law schools can be found in the Official Guide to ABA-Approved Law Schools, which is available in print and on-line from the Law School Admission Council.

Important words of caution are in order. First, LSAT scores and undergraduate GPAs are by no means the only things law schools take into account when making admission decisions. Therefore, falling within or exceeding the above ranges does not guarantee admission; similarly, falling below the 25th percentile does not disqualify you from admission. Use these data only as a guide to selecting schools to which you will apply. Second, do not select a school based only on its LSAT and GPA data. You should consider a variety of other factors as well.

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