Law School Requirements

Image of stairs leading to Louisiana State University's Paul M. Hebert Law Center.

Law School Prerequisites

Is It Hard to Get into Law School?

The law school admissions process involves more than just taking a test and submitting an application. You'll need to acquire your college transcripts, earn acceptable exam scores, meet certain criteria, and complete various other tasks.

Some law schools also require mandatory entrance tests and interviews with alumni or admissions committee members to determine eligibility.

The Basics

What Prerequisites Are Needed for Law School?

Whether you dream of becoming a lawyer, attorney, or judicial clerk, your career path starts with meeting the minimum requirements for law school. While each institution has unique rules regarding test scores and necessary paperwork, most law programs share a few core entrance requirements, including:

  • An undergraduate degree
  • Qualifying LSAT or GRE scores
  • An application with all necessary fees paid in full
  • Your resume
  • A personal statement
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Your CAS or LSAT law school report
  • English proficiency exam results for international students

School-Specific Policies

Are There Different Requirements for Certain Programs?

Keep in mind that prerequisites for law school differ depending on where you apply. Some law school admissions committees are a bit more lenient when it comes to qualifications and test scores, while others have stricter policies regarding enrollment.

Researching your prospective schools' requirements thoroughly is crucial. Don't risk rejection by missing critical details like application and testing deadlines or transcript submission guidelines.

Degrees & Majors

Applying with an Associate Degree

Most law schools require a bachelor's degree to apply, though there are a few exceptions. Depending on the school and its admissions requirements, students with an associate degree or undergrads with 60 to 90 credit hours can submit an application.

The admissions process is usually stricter in these cases, with a high GPA and above-average LSAT scores often being essential for consideration.

Tips for Undergraduates

How to Increase Your Chances of Acceptance

Going above and beyond the basic requirements is the best way to stand out among other law school applicants. Admissions officers look at much more than just your test score and percentile ranking, they also consider volunteer work and extra-curricular activities.

Visiting law school campuses, landing an internship at a law office, and taking undergraduate courses relevant to a career in law are all impressive to admissions committees.

Majoring in fields that relate to a law career also has an impact on acceptance. While students of any major can apply for a law program, admissions officers look favorably on the following college majors:

  • Political Science
  • English
  • Business
  • Philosophy
  • Economics

LSAT Scores & Admittance

Is the LSAT Required for Law School?

While some schools have dropped this exam requirement, a high LSAT test score is still among the most important factors for law school admissions. On average, most students receive a score in the 150s, while most programs consider results in the high 160s and 170s as good or excellent.

The range of acceptable LSAT scores differs depending on where the school ranks among top law schools in the United States.

  • Top 10: 167 to 170 or better
  • Top 25: 156-160 or higher
  • Tiers 3 and 4: 151 and above

Other Academic Requirements

What GPA Do You Need to Get into Law School?

In most cases, a GPA of 3.0 or higher is sufficient to enter an accredited law school. Keep in mind that some schools might require a higher-than-average GPA for entry.

A superior GPA often indicates future success in law school, and students who display academic excellence in undergraduate courses have a better chance of attending the school of their choice.

How to Prepare for Law School

From learning how to study for the LSAT using practice tests & other online resources to acquiring letters of recommendation from mentors and professors, every effort you make right now brings you closer to meeting the prerequisites for law school. Remember that preparing for a law career starts long before you submit your application, so chart a course today to ensure your future success.

Study Resources

Online Test Prep

LSAT Study Guide

LSAT Sections

What to Expect on the LSAT

The GRE & Law School