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What Does My LSAT Score Mean: 165 – 172

  • by Liz Flagge
  • May 16, 2022
  • Admissions, Blueprint Products and Promotions, General LSAT Advice, How Would They Have Scored on the LSAT?, LSAT, LSAT Analysis, LSAT Preparation, LSAT score, score, what does my lsat score mean

Today we at Most Strongly Supported are starting something special: a new series of blog posts. Please, hold your applause, we’re sure you’re just as excited as we are. In this 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 have an impact on your later job prospects and potential salary range. Take a fortifying sip of whatever you’re drinking (we won’t judge) and let’s jump in. 

First up: 165-172. We’re starting at a pretty intense score range, but we know our Most Strongly Supported readers and you’re a pretty intense lot. Within this score range, you’re besting 93-99 percent of your peers – congrats in advance! So, what does that mean in practical terms? 

Top-Tier Law School Admission

Let’s start with the good news: Scoring in this range puts you in an excellent position to earn admission to a top-tier law school. In fact, this score range puts you within the median range at some of the top 14 law schools in the country.

The following table represents the school with median LSAT scores in the 165-172 range for admitted full time student populations at these schools as of Fall 2021/Spring 2022. The University of Chicago and Stanford University, both ranked as top 5 schools in 2023, are in sight for you if you’re near the top of this range, while several other top 20 schools are reachable if you’ve cracked the LSAT 170 score. However, there’s no need to stress. If you’re below that point, you still have quite a few options. Don’t forget, this list isn’t exclusive or exhaustive – for the most part, if it’s not here, it’s because the median score is below a 165! There are only 3 programs that have median scores above this list – Yale, Columbia, and Harvard. 

Schools with median acceptance scores between 165-172, 2022

University of Chicago
Stanford University
NYU
University of Pennsylvania (Carey)
University of Virginia
University of Michigan — Ann Arbor
Cornell University
Northwestern University
Georgetown University
Duke
UCLA
Wash U
Boston U
UT Austin
Vanderbilt U
UC Berkeley
University of Southern California (Gould) 
University of Notre Dame
University of Florida
George Washington University
Brigham Young
Emory
UC Irvine
University of Minnesota
University of Georgia
ASU
Fordham University
University of Alabama
Boston College
UC Davis

Sources: U.S. Department of Education, U.S. News & World Report. Top 5 ranking programs highlighted in green, top 20 highlighted in blue. 

If you’re hoping for more specific information on your admission chances with a certain score, you can always use the LSAC law school predictor – the safest and most accurate option, as it’s maintained by LSAC themselves. 

Higher Salary Potential

But what about that sweet, sweet cash awaiting you at the far end of the law school rainbow? Money may not be able to buy happiness, but it can definitely buy lots of things that have a direct correlation with happiness, like fancy coffee, well-tailored suits, and maybe a unicorn. 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:  

School Employed Immediately Median Private Salary Median Public Salary
University of Chicago 94.6% 190,000 66,393
Stanford University 88.5% 190,000 68,353
University of Pennsylvania (Carey) 91.1% 190,000 60,000
Georgetown University 83.1% 190,000 59,000
UCLA 77.9% 190,000 60,000
Wash U 79.3% 160,000 60,500
Boston U 73.1% 190,000 61,250
UT Austin 78.6% 190,000 62,000
USC (Gould)  76.2% 190,000 58,120
University of Notre Dame 72% 165,000 64,773
University of Florida 76.2% 80,000 50,000
George Washington University 71.2% 190,000 60,000
University of Minnesota 72.4% 140,000 65,000
ASU 70.5% 85,000 60,000
University of Alabama 71.7% 115,000 57,376
Boston College 68.7% 190,000 62,500

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

This data set is a bit older, but still very indicative of the distribution of JD starting salary for graduates: 

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

Note that if you’re planning to go into public sector work, higher LSAT scores and more prestigious schools start to make more of a difference in your prospects. There’s some variance, but employment right after graduation and salary (public and private) do trend with LSAT score and school. Keep in mind that $5,000 in public sector salary may not feel like much if you’re looking at private sector data, but a shift of income from $60,000 to $65,000  does make some difference in quality of life (or, let’s face it, could provide an extra $5,000 to put towards those student loans). 

Scholarship Opportunities 

Speaking of the student loans: what about your LSAT score 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, as it helps with 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 165-172 range, you will be a competitive candidate for scholarships at many programs. However, you should expect that the most competitive individuals will have LSAT scores significantly higher than the admissions median for a given program. 

So, if you’re in this range of scores, you should be feeling pretty good about yourself and your odds for admissions at most programs. Your LSAT score isn’t quite high enough to forgive every type of gap you could have in your application, but it will help out if you’ve got a slightly less-than-shiny GPA weighing you down. Furthermore, a 165-172 will make you competitive at many top programs if combined with a good GPA, as well as put you in the running for some substantial scholarship dollars. After you graduate, you’ve got better odds at getting a job right out of the gate, and you’ve got some pretty decent salary potential  to look forward to! 

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