How to Get Into Law School

How to Get Into Law School

Table of Contents

Many students currently enrolled in a college curriculum are curious about how to get into law school. There are many misconceptions about law school requirements.

We will review the various requirements for law school as well as law school prerequisites in our guide below. Ensure you give yourself a step above the competition by understanding the qualifications needed for law school.

Too Long, Didn’t Read: Understand how to get into law school and the various law school requirements with our in-depth guide below.

Take the first step and use our LSAT practice tests to begin your studies.

How Hard is it to Get Into Law School?

When learning how to get into law school, it is important to remember that law school is very competitive. In 2021, there were 71,112 applicants – this was a 12.2% increase from the previous year.

Of those 71,112 applicants, 48,586 were admitted. That means about 68% of applicants were admitted to a law school.

You can view our guide on how hard the LSAT is for more information on the specific test and its difficulty.

Law School Requirements

While getting into law school may seem like a daunting task, it can be broken down into 4 main requirements. The 4 main requirements for law school are:

  • An Undergraduate Degree
  • Admissions Testing
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Personal Statement

We will take a deep dive into each of the law school prerequisites and discuss them in greater detail below.

1. Undergraduate Degree

When you enter law school, you will be working towards your Juris Doctor (J.D.). This is a postgraduate degree, just like someone who would be attending graduate school or working on their master’s degree.

Since the J.D. is a postgraduate degree, one law school requirement is that you have earned a 4-year bachelor’s degree. It is also acceptable if you are on track to completing a 4-year degree if you plan on applying to a law school while still enrolled in an undergraduate program.

One unique thing about law school prerequisites is that there is no requirement for what degree you need when applying to law school. While some degrees may be more advantageous (which we will touch on soon), as long as you have a 4-year degree, you can try to get into law school.

The most important things when it comes to your undergraduate degree are going to be that it comes from an accredited institution and your GPA.

The accredited institution should not be a huge issue for students who attended school in the United States, but international students should verify with the law schools they plan on applying to that their institution is acceptable.

As far as GPA goes, law schools use this as a criteria during the application process. Law schools want to have the best reputation possible, and one way to do this is by remaining highly selective.

Law schools remain selective by only admitting students with high GPAs and high LSAT scores. When trying to figure out how to get into law school, a great first step is ensuring that you have a high GPA in your undergraduate studies.

What Degree Do You Need for Law School?

As alluded to earlier, you can receive any 4-year degree and still be eligible to get into a law school. The only true law school prerequisite is that the 4-year degree come from an accredited college or university.

With that being said, there are some degrees that may be more helpful than others when preparing for the law school admissions test (LSAT) or when you are actually in law school.

In the table below we have listed the most popular majors for getting into law school. We have listed the top 10 majors based on the total number of applicants admitted to law school. These numbers are directly from the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC).

It is important to note that these majors are not necessary to get into law school but are popular choices based on students in previous years.

Major Average LSAT Score Number of Applicants % Admitted Average GPA
Political Science 154.19 12,967 77% 3.42
Other 149.33 149.33 61% 3.26
Psychology 152.77 3,850 74% 3.39
Criminal Justice 146.57 3,637 59% 3.27
English 155.74 3,402 79% 3.50
Economics 159.70 3,235 83% 3.51
History 156.78 3,192 81% 3.48
Philosophy 157.88 2,300 81% 3.47
Arts and Humanities 154.99 2,223 75% 3.47
Sociology 151.10 1,992 68% 3.32

2. Admissions Testing

The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is the most popular admissions test for students looking to get into law school. However, in recent years, various law schools have announced that they will now accept Graduate Records Examination (GRE) scores during the admissions process.

The LSAT is made up of approximately 100 multiple-choice questions and consists of 5 sections. Learn more about the different LSAT sections and prepare for the exam with our free LSAT practice tests.

In terms of LSAT scores, the exam ranges from 120 to 180. An average LSAT score is 152, according to the LSAC. You can read and learn more about LSAT scores in our complete guide to what is a good LSAT score.

3. Letters of Recommendation

Another law school prerequisite will be submitting letters of recommendation. While these may not be as important as your grades and test scores, they can still be important and be something that gives you an edge over other applicants.

When it comes to letters of recommendation, it is important to ask individuals who you have established a connection with to write these letters.

Someone you have a relationship with will be able to better describe you as a person and paint a positive image of you to the law schools you will be applying to.

Your undergraduate years are a great time to find individuals to write letters of recommendation for you.

College professors can be a great resource when looking for a letter of recommendation – they can describe you as a student and describe your work ethic and personality in the classroom.

If you have been out of school for a while, and do not have access to a professor or two, a boss or colleague can be a solid option.

These individuals can describe you and your personality in a work environment, which can translate back to the classroom and law school.

4. Personal Statement

A personal statement can be thought of as a personal essay. This is an open-ended essay and provides you the opportunity to show the admissions committee a side of yourself that the hard numbers don’t show.  

The most important thing to consider when writing your personal statement is to make it personal. Do not write a standard response that thousands of other applicants will write. You want to stand out and describe yourself, your personality, and your beliefs.

It is also important to use proper grammar, writing, and punctuation guidelines when writing your personal statement. This is a great opportunity to showcase your writing abilities.

Steps to Get Into Law School

Now that we know the requirements for law school, lets review the specific steps you need to take to get into law school.

  1. Complete Your Bachelor’s Degree
  2. Take an Admissions Test – Most likely the LSAT, but the GRE is also accepted at some law schools.
  3. Request Your Official Transcripts
  4. Get Letters of Recommendation
  5. Write a Personal Statement
  6. Apply to Law Schools

Learning how to get into law school can be overwhelming, but with hard work and dedication, it can be done.

Your LSAT score makes up the majority of your admission chances, followed by your GPA. Focusing on nailing these two factors will put you in a great position to succeed.

How to Get Into Law School FAQs

What GPA do you need for law school?

There is no standardized GPA for getting into law school. The higher the GPA the better. With that being said, when looking at the top 10 majors based on number of applicants admitted for law school, the average GPA was 3.41.

Can you go to law school with any degree?

Yes. As long as you received a 4-year degree from an accredited college or university, you can apply and get into law school. International students should check with the law schools they plan on attending to see if their school is accredited.

What is the best way to get into law school?

The best way to ensure you get into law school is by working hard and focusing during your undergraduate years. If you can have a high GPA in your undergraduate years, and pair that with a high LSAT score, you will be in a great position to get into law school.

Authored By: Vincent Gullo
Authored By: Vincent Gullo

Vincent Gullo is a master's students at Tufts University working towards his Masters in Law & Diplomacy.

He is also an LSAT prep course teacher for Kaplan. Vince has helped students reach scores in the top 10% of all test-takers.