What Does My LSAT Score Mean: 160-164
- Jun 03, 2022
- Admissions, General LSAT Advice, Law School, Law School Admissions, LSAT, LSAT Study Guides
We know that with the launch of our new score-related series, many Most Strongly Supported fans who aren’t within the 165-172 or 155-159 bands are waiting with bated breath for our next release. It’s happening, people. It’s time to talk about those in-between LSAT scores, the 160-164s. As with our last post in the series, we’re going to take a closer look into what different LSAT scores mean for you – the types of law schools (and law school scholarships) you might want to aim for, and how those factors can impact your later job prospects and potential salary range. Grab a snack and get to scrolling: the 160-164 review is here!
First off, if you’re in this score range, you’re already officially above the mean (and above median, though we can’t speak to mode – sorry stats fans). Within this score range, you’re besting 82-91 percent of your peers, putting you solidly into the top quarter of test takers! So, what does that mean in practical terms?
Let’s start with the good news: Scoring in this range does make you competitive for a variety of law schools. It’s not going to be sufficient for the very tippy top programs, but there are many law schools that would be happy to see scores in this range!
The following is a list of the schools with median LSAT scores in the 160-164 range for admitted full time student populations at these schools as of Fall 2021/Spring 2022. The universities of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and Iowa (ranked #23 and #28, respectively), are in sight for you if you’re near the top of this range, while several other high quality schools are options even if you’re at 160. Don’t forget, this list isn’t exclusive or exhaustive – you won’t see any top 20 law schools in the list given the score cutoffs, some schools in this US News ranking range actually have average admittance scores higher than 164, and some schools are excluded as their average entering score is actually lower than 160.
|Lewis & Clark College (Northwestern)|
|University of Utah – Quinney|
|Georgia State University|
|Case Western Reserve University|
|University of Miami|
|St. John’s University|
|University of Tennessee–Knoxville|
|University of California (Hastings)|
|Seton Hall University|
|American University (Washington)|
|University of Nevada – Las Vegas|
|University of San Diego|
|University of Pittsburgh|
|University of Denver (Sturm)|
|George Mason University|
|Texas A&M University|
|University of Washington|
|Florida International University|
|Washington and Lee University|
|William and Mary Law School|
|University of Maryland (Carey)|
|University of Colorado-Boulder|
|University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign|
|University of Wisconsin-Madison|
|Wake Forest University|
|Pennsylvania State University – University Park|
|Wayne State University|
|Pennsylvania State University Dickinson Law|
|Yeshiva University (Cardozo)|
|Ohio State University (Moritz)|
|Southern Methodist University (Dedman)|
|Temple University (Beasley)|
|University of Arizona (Rogers)|
|University of Iowa|
|University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill|
|University of Richmond|
|Florida State University|
|Loyola Marymount University|
|Pepperdine University (Caruso)|
|University of Houston Law Center|
Sources: U.S. Department of Education, U.S. News & World Report.
As you can see, you’ve got a lot of options! No, the T14 probably aren’t a good fit for you if you’re in this score range, but you’re still looking at a pretty solid (and lengthy) list of law schools. If you’re surprised that your dream program isn’t on this list, we recommend taking a look at the overall school rankings and seeing the average scores for the programs you were hoping to apply to – you may want to expand your list. That said, remember that these are average score values, so an exceptional application may squeeze you into a more prestigious program, even with your current LSAT score – though by the same token, having the average score isn’t a guarantee you’ll get in, especially if your application is otherwise lacking. If you’re hoping for more specific information on your admission chances with a certain score and your other metrics, you can always use the LSAC law school predictor – the safest and most accurate option, as it’s maintained by LSAC themselves.
While we’re talking admissions, we may as well address the elephant in the room: money. What can someone scoring in this range expect to see in scholarships? This data gets pretty complex, as most scholarships (both those specific to a program and those not associated with a specific school) rely on several metrics outside of LSAT score. With a score in the 160-164 range, your LSAT score may well qualify you for some $$ at some of the lower ranked law schools! If cost is a big concern for you, consider applying to schools with lower median scores than your current average (take a look at our 155-159 score post to see that list), where you may be more likely to get scholarship money for a score in the 160-164 range. While you’re equipped for admission into many programs, your biggest competition for scholarships offered by your program will be individuals who have LSAT scores significantly higher than the admissions median. With your score, to some extent you’re going to need to choose between program prestige and likelihood of financial assistance.
So, okay, scholarship info is a little less definite than we’d like to see. But what about that sweet, sweet cash awaiting you at the far end of the law school rainbow? Eventually (hopefully), you won’t even bat an eye at $14 cocktails or restaurants with three dollar signs next to their names on Yelp. In addition to money, job security is a big issue — how do these scores and schools correlate to immediate employment at graduation? Let’s take a deep dive into some of the schools listed above:
As you can see, there’s some variance from school to school across all of these metrics. Across the board, though, you’re looking at an average of a 55% chance at a job right after graduation. This means you’ll probably want to be a bit proactive, especially towards the end of law school, to ensure you are able to find a position. The good news is that compensation in both the public and private sectors isn’t maxed out; these figures represent median salaries and therefore there is a little room to shoot for the stars.
But how do those private sector median salaries compare to overall starting salaries? This data set is a bit older, but still very indicative of the distribution of JD starting salary for graduates:
Note that, with programs like the ones you’re looking at with your LSAT score, you may well have 6 figures in your future! That will of course vary depending on specialty, region of the US, etc. To make sure you’re getting the most out of law school, do a bit of research ahead of time on median salaries in the area of practice you’re interested in, and look at your program’s specific stats for future employment in that area. If you’re going into the public sector, it is worth it to do some in-depth research and figure out what option is going to do the best for you in terms of finding a job.
So, if you’re in this range of scores, you’ve got a range of options when it comes to school, your pay outlook as a lawyer is pretty darn good, but you might be in debt for a while if you don’t qualify for other forms of financial aid (or other help) to pay for law school and you aim for a school that has a median near your score. Your LSAT score may help schools forgive some small gaps if you’re applying to places with a significantly lower median than your score. However, your score isn’t going to be quite high enough to compensate for big gaps in GPA, so make sure you’re taking the time to refine every element of your application, and you’ll have decent odds of getting into a well-ranked school.
Not happy with where this article leaves you? Get access to a bunch of free LSAT resources when you create a Blueprint LSAT account. And when you’re finally ready to make the final jump into LSAT prep, we’ll be here to help!
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