You may be wondering why getting a high LSAT score is so important to warrant an entire article devoted to the subject. Law school admissions are 99 percent decided by a composite score that takes into account your undergraduate GPA and LSAT score. It’s unlike many other admissions policies that rely on non-tangible factors such as leadership or work experience. What this means is that you can quite easily make your way up to a top law school simply by virtue of a high LSAT score, given that you don’t have an abysmal GPA.
At this point, you may be wondering why one really needs to attend a top law school. Well, the fact is, the US law profession is grossly over-saturated. There are way too many lawyers and too little jobs that pay decent wages to lawyers. Admittedly, there is a demand for law services for many poor folks who can’t afford to pay for legal services or for those in criminal proceedings. But these aren’t exactly clients that will pay you a living wage, let alone an above-average wage. Now, there is a very small number of big law firms in the country that will pay lawyers handsomely and where lawyers will be able to gain the experience to work on cutting-edge matters that make the headlines. These firms are often high-stakes corporate, litigation, or regulatory firms that are mostly situated in large metropolitan cities like New York City, Washington DC, Los Angeles, etc. But to get hired in one of these firms requires you to be enrolled in approximately the top 14 law schools in the country based on the US News rankings. The law profession is a pedigree-focused one and as much as you may have reservations or disgust toward such a system, it is not about to change anytime soon.
Of course, everyone going to law school has a different set of goals for law school. Some aspire to work in public service or become a public defender while others aspire to become corporate attorneys. Money is obviously not the most important factor in life. However, the reason why it might be a good idea to bump up that LSAT score to attend a top law school, even if you have no interest in working for “big law” firms, is that law school tuition at all schools have collectively gone up dramatically over the past couple years. Even if you simply aspire to be a public defender with low pay, there’s no way you’ll be able to pay back your law school loans in a reasonable time-frame. The current cost of attendance for US law schools is approximately $250,000 and is only going to go up every year from now. The law school game is rigged in that there is almost no way to pay back your law school loans unless you manage to work at a big law firm; and to do that, requires attending a top law school.
In many ways, the situation of the law market is a sad one. It’s a market where the chips are stacked against the feeble law students while the American Bar Association and the law schools are able to line their pockets. But if you have plans to attend law school in the near-future, this is nevertheless something you must keep in mind before making the huge commitment to pay for law school.