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Law School Admission Statistics

Applying to one or more law schools can be stressful and confusing in knowing where to apply, if your stats are acceptable, and if the education is affordable. Obtaining a law degree at the best law schools is usually highly competitive, where school officials reject many more applications than they accept.

Once a law school receives your application, the Law School Admission Council credential assembly service will ensure that they’ve received every transcript from all institutions you’ve attended in higher learning.

National Law School Admissions Statistics

Many of the challenges of the legal profession occur years before when potential student candidates are applying to the law school of their choice. The applicant must have a “good enough” grade point average and an LSAT score, at a minimum, based on the law school’s median range.

The student must submit an impressive personal essay and letters of recommendation that revealed their personality with others and writing/reading skills. Finally, they’ll need to ensure they can gather sufficient funds to attend law school or have what it takes to receive grant money and scholarships. Specific national law school admission facts and statistics include:

  • Top-ranked law schools look for specific factors when considering what potential student applicants they will accept, including their GPA and LSAT score
  • Most law schools, colleges, and universities consider student candidates with an LSAT score of 150 or higher, and the top 5 law schools require a 170 score or above
  • LSAT test scores are the best predictor of which applicants will pass or fail the bar exam
  • Many law schools have dramatically lowered their admission standards due to an abrupt decline in their annual revenue in the months following the start of the Covid-19 pandemic
  • Statistically, about 33% of all LSAT test-takers score between 156 and 180 on average, placing them at minimal risk of not being accepted at some law school

Only a few law schools in the US accept a person without an undergraduate degree and a good GPA, and nearly all State Bar Associations will not certify or license law school graduates who earn a law degree without first earning an undergraduate degree.

American Bar Association (ABA) Bar Passage Rates

In February 2020, the American Bar Association released data indicating that 90% of all recent law school graduates had passed their state licensing exam within the first two years after graduation. This rate jumped significantly (up 5%) from previous data.

  • In 2019, the US Department of Education changed Standard 316, requiring 75% of law school graduates who sit for the bar exam to pass within the first two years after earning their degree
  • In 2020, approximately 5% of all American Bar Association-approved law schools fell short of the simplified passage rates threshold of ensuring that their graduates passed the bar within two years
  • In 2017, 89.5% of all law school graduates who had sat for the bar examination pass it within two years
  • In 2016, 80.64% of all law graduates who sat for the bar exam passed within two years of graduating

Yale, Harvard & University of Southern California – Berkeley Statistics

Each year, families spend thousands of dollars on standardized test preparation, private tutoring, and other classes to ensure their child receives the best education ranking to attend law school. Many law school applicants are willing to relocate thousands of miles away to ensure that they get a degree from Yale, Harvard, Stanford, University of Southern California, and other colleges.

Getting a degree from a higher rank law school might ensure the graduate receives better job prospects, higher salaries, and a better life. Many alumni can attest that the acceptance rates at top law schools are meager and typically based on the student candidate’s ability to pass the bar exam after completing their law programs.

Typical law school admissions statistics for high-ranking law schools include:

  • Approximately 49% of Yale Law school students (graduating in 2023) are women
  • About 51% of all Yale Law graduates in the Juris Doctor class of 2023 will be students of color
  • The average age of all Yale Law Juris Doctor students is 25
  • Approximately 11% of all Yale Law school attendees are first-generation college students
  • In 2019, Yale University received 3626 applicants for their law school Juris Doctor programs, including 262 new offers
  • In 2019, Yale offered 221 student applicants a place in their law programs, and 84% accepted those offers
  • In 2019, Yale University Law students had earned their undergraduate degree at 82 educational institutions
  • In 2019, the median Grade Point Average (GPA) among new Juris Doctor students at Yale was 3.94 with a high of 3.99 and a low of 3.50, with approximately 25% of new student GPAs averaging 3.85
  • In 2019, the median LSAT score at Yale was 173, with a high of 176 and a low of 155, with approximately 25% of new student LSAT scores of 170
  • In 2019, Harvard received 7505 applications for their Juris Doctor program and made 968 offers of admission, where 502 new students accepted the offer
  • In 2019, the median GPA among new Juris Doctor students at Harvard was 3.88 with a high of 3.95 and a low of 3.78
  • In 2019, the median LSAT score at Harvard was 173, with a high of 175 and a low of 170
  • Approximately 80% of all new student class at Harvard Law school were at least four years out of college, 62% were two years or more out of college, and the remaining 23% were four years out
  • The new student freshmen at Harvard Law school in 2019 arrived from 17 countries, 49 states, and territories, speaking 58 different languages
  • In 2019, Harvard Law school students had earned undergraduate degrees at 164 different educational institutions
  • In 2019, 88 new law school students at Harvard were Phi Beta Kappa inductees, and 26 students were company founders and CEOs
  • In 2019, the median LSAT score at the University of California at Berkeley was 168, with a high of 170, and the lower 25% scored 163 on average
  • In 2019, the median GPA among Juris Doctor students at the University of California Berkeley was 3.81, with a high of 3.92 and the lower 25% averaging 3.65
  • In 2019, approximately 9% of all new students attending the University of California Law School were over 30 years of age
  • In 2019, the average age of a newly admitted University of California Berkeley law school student was 25 years old, ranging from 21 to 46 years old
  • In 2019, 66% of all newly admitted University of California Berkeley law students were female, 32% were male, and 2% were non-binary or trans
  • Approximately 56% of University of California Berkeley law school graduates in 2023 will be students of color
  • About 13% of all University of California Berkeley law students in the class of 2023 will hold an advanced degree, and 23% will receive a degree in a stem field

Many law applicants have received their undergraduate degrees from more than 8000 accredited educational institutions in the US.

Getting into Law Schools

The law school acceptance rates vary among colleges and universities competing to accept the best available student applicants. For example, Yale University, ranked number one among all law schools in the United States, had only a 10% acceptance rate and rejected 90% of all law school applicants, even those with an acceptable GPA and LSAT score.

Fulfilling all of the law school’s requirements can ensure that the law school will look at the applicant’s transcript grades, overall grade point average (GPA), and LSAT (law school admission test) scores. However, the law school acceptance rates are based not only on each candidate’s academic potential but also on the undergraduate’s major and classes attended.

Completing academic working undergraduate study helps showcase all law school applicants’ research and writing skills and the level of their time management skills.

All applicants must submit letters of recommendation that might show they built a close relationship with the teacher or professor in undergraduate school. This information carries just as much weight as test scores and helps the Law School Admission Council better identified the student applicants that will do well in their law programs.

Top 100 US Law Schools

US News Ranking /School Name /Acceptance Rate /LSAT Median /GPA Median /Applications 2020

  1. Yale University 10% 173 3.93 6969
  2. Stanford University 11% 171 3.89 9621
  3. Harvard University 18% 173 3.86 14165
  4. University of Chicago 22% 170 3.9 11992
  5. Columbia University 22% 171 3.7 16330
  6. New York University 33% 169 3.78 15760
  7. University of Pennsylvania 19% 169 3.89 13986
  8. University of Virginia 20% 168 3.86 15259
  9. University of California Berkeley 21% 166 3.78 13610
  10. University of Michigan Ann Arbor 28% 168 3.76 14479
  11. Duke University 23% 169 3.76 14590
  12. Northwestern University 23% 168 3.77 11110
  13. Cornell University 31% 167 3.74 11809
  14. University of California Los Angeles 30% 166 3.74 12803
  15. Georgetown University 25% 167 3.76 20337
  16. Vanderbilt University 38% 166 3.74 10245
  17. University of Texas Austin 22% 167 3.73 9605
  18. Washington University in St Louis 28% 167 3.67 8910
  19. University of Southern California 30% 166 3.76 9764
  20. Boston University 38% 163 3.67 10920
  21. University of Florida 62% 157 3.5 3881
  22. University of Notre Dame 35% 164 3.66 6101
  23. University of Minnesota Twin Cities 44% 164 3.79 5246
  24. University of North Carolina Chapel Hill 45% 161 3.49 3881
  25. University of Alabama 37% 163 3.76 2757
  26. Arizona State University 43% 161 3.63 3855
  27. George Washington University 40% 165 3.71 14197
  28. University of Georgia 33% 162 3.71 4183
  29. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign 46% 161 3.51 4895
  30. University of Wisconsin Madison 49% 161 3.54 3538
  31. Boston College 45% 162 3.56 9820
  32. Brigham Young University 40% 161 3.77 751
  33. Emory University 32% 165 3.77 8072
  34. University of Iowa 43% 161 3.61 2749
  35. Washington and Lee University 49% 160 3.41 6288
  36. Fordham University 35% 163 3.53 9166
  37. University of California Davis 31% 163 3.51 4955
  38. College of William Mary Law School 36% 163 3.69 8271
  39. University of California Irvine 27% 162 3.56 2250
  40. Whittier Law School 63% 148 2.85 869
  41. Ohio State University 50% 159 3.61 3182
  42. George Mason University 31% 161 3.59 5452
  43. Wake Forest University 56% 161 3.6 4284
  44. Indiana University Bloomington 53% 161 3.76 4391
  45. University of Utah 47% 158 3.57 1135
  46. University of Washington 27% 164 3.65 3999
  47. Pepperdine University 49% 159 3.6 3328
  48. University of Arizona 33% 160 3.51 2490
  49. University of Colorado Boulder 46% 161 3.6 4089
  50. Florida State University 44% 158 3.52 3161
  51. University of California Hastings 42% 159 3.5 6209
  52. University of Maryland 54% 157 3.46 3624
  53. Southern Methodist University 41% 161 3.63 3207
  54. Temple University 43% 160 3.5 4639
  55. Villanova University 49% 156 3.57 3177
  56. Cardozo-Yeshiva University 52% 159 3.42 5888
  57. University of Richmond 42% 160 3.51 2373
  58. Texas A&M University School of Law 20% 156 3.38 1646
  59. University of Connecticut 51% 156 3.34 2203
  60. Baylor University 29% 160 3.53 3400
  61. Penn State University (Dickinson) 0% 0 0 3645
  62. University of Nevada Las Vegas 32% 158 3.32 1259
  63. University of Tennessee Knoxville 37% 158 3.64 1568
  64. Tulane University 60% 159 3.42 3565
  65. University of Houston 38% 159 3.54 3434
  66. University of Missouri Columbia 59% 157 3.41 801
  67. Loyola Law School 42% 159 3.51 5069
  68. Northeastern University 35% 161 3.55 3919
  69. University of Pittsburgh 37% 156 3.36 2544
  70. University of Oklahoma 49% 157 3.56 992
  71. University of Kentucky 60% 155 3.42 1160
  72. Seton Hall University 49% 156 3.42 2929
  73. University of Kansas 66% 156 3.42 858
  74. Case Western Reserve University 42% 159 3.44 2732
  75. Wayne State University 52% 157 3.42 766
  76. St. John’s University 41% 158 3.54 2933
  77. University of Oregon 49% 157 3.48 1972
  78. University of Miami 54% 157 3.36 5180
  79. Loyola University Chicago 54% 158 3.34 3974
  80. University of Denver 45% 157 3.43 3021
  81. Georgia State University 28% 158 3.4 2185
  82. Drexel University 54% 155 3.31 1672
  83. University of Cincinnati 58% 155 3.59 1456
  84. Brooklyn Law School 52% 155 3.36 5030
  85. American University 59% 155 3.29 9049
  86. University of San Diego 40% 159 3.52 4659
  87. University of Nebraska Lincoln 62% 156 3.65 710
  88. University of New Hampshire 0% 0 0 907
  89. Lewis and Clark College 59% 158 3.32 2757
  90. Florida International University 29% 156 3.63 1442
  91. Chicago-Kent College of Law (IIT) 62% 156 3.36 3407
  92. Michigan State College of Law 46% 154 3.46 2634
  93. Howard University 43% 150 3.28 1486
  94. St. Louis University 65% 155 3.44 1560
  95. Rutgers University 48% 155 3.28 630
  96. University of South Carolina 59% 154 3.3 1875
  97. University of Arkansas Fayetteville 67% 154 3.37 880
  98. University of Hawaii 37% 154 3.27 611
  99. University of Louisville 68% 154 3.39 828
  100. University of Mississippi 48% 155 3.41 1238
  101. University at Buffalo 52% 154 3.44 1147

147 Golden Gate University 66% 148 2.94 1262

Law School Admission FAQs

Nearly every university and college in the United States provide online application information for their Juris doctor programs and begin accepting applications by late-summer every year. Many families have unanswered questions about applying, the percentage of student applicants making it into law school, and the acceptance rate at the schools they are considering.

Some of those frequently asked questions or answers below.

What percentage of students get into law school?

In the United States, the average acceptance rate declined in 2019 from 46.1% the previous year to 45.1%. Statistics show that 115 law schools in America had declines in their acceptance rates in recent years, and 35 schools had an acceptance rate of 30% or less.

In 2019, over 73% of all newly admitted law school students received a scholarship. About 75% of all law students in the United States were paying much lower for their education than the posted price.

What is the average acceptance rate for law school?

The average acceptance rate for law schools across the United States varies significantly between the highest rank schools and those considered less prestigious, requiring a lower GPA than average. The top 5 ranking law schools in the United States have very low acceptance rates, including Yale (10%), Stanford (11%), Harvard (18%), the University of Chicago (22%, and Columbia University (22%).

Other colleges and universities have a significantly higher acceptance rate like New York University (33%), Boston University (45%), University of Pennsylvania (19%), University of Virginia (20%), Northwestern University (23%), Georgetown University (25%), and Duke University (23%).

What is a good GPA to get into law school?

Only a very few law schools and colleges accept potential student candidates with an undergraduate GPA of 3.49 or lower. Most prestigious law schools require a GPA of 3.85 or higher.

However, statistics show that some undergraduates have been accepted at Yale and Harvard with a GPA score of 3.56 and 3.50, respectively, although they likely had a higher LSAT score, excellent recommendations, and an optimal personal statement.

What is a good LSAT score in 2020?

The higher the LSAT score, the better chances of being considered by the Law School Admission Council. Many law school applicants receiving offers for admission submitted their application with a median LSAT score of 163 and a GPA of 3.5 and higher.

More prestigious law schools in the United States, including Yale, Harvard, Stanford, and the University of Chicago, have made admissions offers to undergraduates with an LSAT score of 165 or higher.

The Cost of Attending Law School

In 2020, a US news report revealed the average annual cost of attending a public law school (out of state) at $41,726, including tuition and fees. In-state (resident) public law schools cost approximately $28,604 on average, including tuition and fees.

Over three years, a graduate has likely paid nearly $85,000 to cover the total cost of their law degree. Private schools are even more expensive.

The total cost of attending prestigious law schools, including Yale Law School, Stanford University, Georgetown University, Columbia University, Northwestern University, Stanford Univ., the University of Virginia, and the University of Pennsylvania, could cost up to $148,644.

Many graduates face mounting student debt loans during their first few years of practicing law while earning an average age of $122,960 (Bureau of Labor Statistics). Only the top 10% of all attorneys in the United States earn over $208,000 annually.

Paying for law school is just a part of enjoying a long career path in the legal profession. Data shows that approximately 23% of law school graduates stated that their legal education was worth the price.

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