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What Does My LSAT Score Mean: 173-180

  • by Liz Flagge
  • Jun 06, 2022
  • Admissions, General LSAT Advice, Law School, Law School Admissions, Law School Life, LSAT, LSAT Advice
  • Reviewed by: Matt Riley

We know that with the launch of our new score-related series, many Most Strongly Supported fans must be at least a tad curious about those incredible achievers who score above the 165-172 range. That’s right, we’re talking about those fabled LSAT scores at the tippity top and how they open golden gates upon golden gates – the most lauded law schools, the packed paychecks, and the outstanding occupations. So let’s all stop day-dreaming and get into the 173-180 review!

First off, if you’re in this score range, congratulations: you’re officially above the mean, median, and mode (you’re welcome, stats fans). In fact, you’re besting 99.4 to 99.9 percent of your peers – not bad at all. So, what does that mean for you sky-high, go-getters? 

Whelp, you can apply to pretty much anywhere with confidence. Scoring in this range makes you extremely competitive for a variety of great law schools. The cream of the crop is on the table here: the top fourteen, the top five, and even those elusive top three law school programs are within your reach!

The following table shows the schools with a median LSAT score in the 173-180 range for admitted full-time student populations as of Fall 2021/Spring 2022. These programs are the top three in the law world, hence their LSAT scores being so high. Remember, this list is far from exhaustive – you won’t see the rest of the top five law schools in the list because of the score cutoff. Some – nearly all – schools have been excluded as their average entering score is lower than a 173.

Schools with median acceptance scores between 173-180

Stanford University
Yale University
University of Chicago University
Harvard University
Columbia University

Sources: U.S. Department of Education, U.S. News & World Report.

As you can see,  this is a pretty exclusive list! If you’re surprised that big contenders like Stanford University or University of Chicago aren’t here, remember that this data is separate from overall school rankings (though there is of course overlap as more prestigious schools tend to have students with higher than average LSAT scorers). Feel free to check out that data and see if any other programs catch your eye. Also, just because your score matches these average values doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to get accepted. Applications take into account many factors, and LSAT scores are just one, albeit important, element of your application. 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. 

But what about that sweet, sweet cash awaiting you at the far end of the law school rainbow? Will you be living the Legally Blonde dream like Elle Woods, or a life more akin to her ex, Warner Huntington III? 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 the schools listed above: 

School Employed Immediately Median Private Salary Median Public Salary
Yale University 89.2% $190,000 $70,000
Columbia University 95.3% $190,000 $65,000
Harvard University 88.1% $190,000 $65,000

Sources: U.S. Department of Education, U.S. News & World Report.

As you can see, things are looking pretty good. Compensation in the private and public sector is all but maxed out. The lowest percentage of students with jobs straight after graduation is still above 88% percent. Here at the pinnacle, the correlation between LSAT score and salary isn’t obvious with our three measly data points, but if you check out our other entries in this series, it’ll be blindingly clear. On a similar note, those more familiar with our 165-172 post might’ve noticed that some of the top twenty law schools have higher employment rates and median public salary than Yale, Columbia, or Harvard. Regardless, I think we can all agree that these are some impressive stats. You’re at the top of your game and job outlooks reflect that.

Note that you should still verify that the school you’re looking at has the optimal prospects within your individual area of interest. Granted, having any of these star-studded universities listed on your resume will certainly help, but finding a personalized program should be a top priority. Whatever you choose, high LSAT scores and prestigious schools do make a difference whether you plan to go into the public or private sector. A difference of about $125,000 between sectors is also nothing to sneeze at, so be sure to consider what specific jobs you’re shooting for after graduation now while you’re still filling out applications. 

While we’re thinking of money, let’s consider the links between LSAT scores and scholarships. This data gets a lot more 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. However, we do know that, even with competitive law school admissions, schools have reason to heavily incentivize high-scoring applicants to attend their programs.

Namely, having students whose scores fall into this high range helps their statistics and, therefore, their rankings. Additionally, schools that offer full rides often lean heavily on LSAT scores as a deciding factor in awarding those scholarships. With a score in the 173-180 range, you will be an extremely compelling candidate for scholarships at many programs. You’ve worked hard, so even if the initial tuition looks steep, there are good odds that merit packages will help offset those price tags.

If you’re in this range of scores, the sky really is the limit. You’ve got your pick of the programs and paychecks, and there’s a good chance you’ll be able to pay off your student loans faster than your peers. But before you pick one of these top schools, make sure it’s one you would be happy to attend. With this kind of score, you can go anywhere, so all that’s left to do is make your choice.

Wondering how to score within this dream range? We can help! Enroll in our 170+ Course to get a guaranteed 170 score or your money back! Not ready to commit to a course? Get access to a bunch of free LSAT resources when you create a Blueprint LSAT account