Low GPA? How to Get Into Law School Anyway
If you have a low GPA and want to get into law school, you may be facing an uphill battle. Admissions officers at the top law schools put a lot of value on GPA’s, and even students with high LSAT scores may not win admission to top-tier schools if their grades are not within the range of what admissions personnel want to see.
For undergraduates planning to go to law school, the stakes are fairly high. A low GPA could mean acceptance to no law school at all—statistics show that about 40% of all law school applicants are not accepted anywhere. Or, it could mean acceptance only to bottom-tier schools. A law degree from a bottom-tier school could mean more difficulty finding a job when you graduate—on top of as much as $100,000 in student debt.
However, you do have some options when it comes to acceptance. If you have a low GPA and want to go to law school anyway, here are a few things you can do.
Score high on the LSAT
Getting into law school isn’t easy for anyone—but particularly not for applicants with low GPA’s.
Earn a Masters degree
When you’ve just graduated from a four-year Bachelor’s program, admissions officers have little other information with which to gauge your readiness for law school—other than your Bachelor’s-level GPA. If you go back to school to earn a Master’s degree, however, law schools have more to look at. If you can get into a good Masters program in a related topic and earn good grades there, you’ll strengthen your application for law school considerably.
Get some work experience
Maybe you can’t afford to go back to school and work on a Master’s degree. But work experience can help you get into law school too. Getting a job in an area similar to the area where you’d like to practice law can help. It can also help to demonstrate how your law school ambitions fit into your pre-existing career. If you’ve done well in a career for a few years, your low GPA scores may not make as much of a difference to law schools.
Talk to the admissions office
If you have strong LSAT scores and are struggling to get into law school with a low GPA, call the admissions offices at the law schools you’d like to attend. Explain your situation to the admissions officers and ask for suggestions as to how you can improve your application. Chances are the admissions officers can give you specific advice on what their schools like to see, conditions under which they admit students with low GPA’s, and other options available to you.
Getting into law school isn’t easy for anyone—but particularly not for applicants with low GPA’s. However, there are several things you can do to strengthen your application. Go back to school and earn a Masters degree—and get very good grades in your Masters program. Score above the average on the LSAT’s—and know the average scores of students admitted to the law schools you want to go to, not just the national averages. If possible, get a few years of work experience under your belt as well. If you do, you’re more likely to get into your personal top law schools.