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Is the LSAT the Only Way to get into Law School?

The LSAT (Law School Admission Test) is a standardized test and an integral part of the law school admission process. But is the LSAT the only way?

The LSAT is not the only way (anymore) to get into law school. More and more schools accept the GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) in recent years as well. The list of schools accepting the GRE is changing constantly so make sure to contact your preferred school for details.

Which law schools accept the GRE for admission?

Currently, more than 50 schools accept the GRE. This list is changing constantly so make sure to check with your law school of choice before you start your studies.

Here is a list (3,2020) of 50+ schools accepting the GRE:

  1. American University Washington College of Law
  2. Boston University School of Law
  3. Brigham Young University J. Reuben Clark Law School
  4. Brooklyn Law School
  5. California Western School of Law
  6. Chicago-Kent College of Law
  7. Columbia Law School
  8. Cornell Law School
  9. Florida International University College of Law
  10. Florida State University College of Law
  11. George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School
  12. Georgetown University Law Center
  13. Harvard Law School
  14. John Marshall Law School
  15. Kern County College of Law
  16. Massachusetts School of Law at Andover
  17. Monterey College of Law
  18. New York University School of Law
  19. Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law
  20. Pace University Elisabeth Haub School of Law
  21. Pennsylvania State University Dickinson Law
  22. Pennsylvania State University — Penn State Law
  23. Pepperdine School of Law
  24. San Luis Obispo College of Law
  25. Seattle University School of Law
  26. Seton Hall University School of Law
  27. Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law
  28. St. John’s University School of Law
  29. Suffolk University Law School
  30. Texas A&M University School of Law
  31. University of Akron School of Law
  32. University of Alabama School of Law
  33. University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law
  34. University of Baltimore Law School
  35. University at Buffalo School of Law
  36. University of California, Davis School of Law
  37. University of California, Hastings College of the Law
  38. University of California, Irvine School of Law
  39. University of California, Los Angeles School of Law
  40. University of Dayton School of Law
  41. University of Hawai’i at Manoa William S. Richardson School of Law
  42. University of Montana Alexander Blewett III School of Law
  43. University of New Hampshire School of Law
  44. University of Notre Dame Law School
  45. University of Pennsylvania Law School
  46. University of Southern California Gould School of Law
  47. University of South Carolina School of Law
  48. University of Texas at Austin School of Law
  49. University of Virginia School of Law
  50. Wake Forest University School of Law
  51. Washington University School of Law
  52. Yale Law School
  53. Yeshiva University Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law

Should you use the GRE or LSAT to apply for law school?

Harvard law school reported they do not prefer one over the other. However, annual law school rankings are usually compiled with LSAT scores, it is a bit like deciding to use a .com website over any other domain ending. Though you could do both .com websites still hold more credibility for historical reasons. The two tests are both standardized but both fundamentally different. While the LSAT provides a composite score the GRE is composed of three categories with separate results. I suggest you take sample tests and see which type of tests suit you the most. Magoosh offers 7-day trials of their preparation materials which you can find here for the GRE and here for the LSAT. Just go over there and try it out for free.

Which is harder, the GRE or the LSAT?

If both of these scores can get you into law school you might wonder which one is harder, the LSAT or the GRE?

The short answer is the LSAT is harder than the GRE. The main reason for this is that the LSAT is all about logical and analytical reasoning. This means that one is required to answer the question with the statement(s) that best support the given situation. The GRE, on the other hand, is more formula based. This means it is easier to prepare for it by memorizing the study material and then simply applying it.

Again I encourage you not to take my word for it and to try it out with the material I recommended in the previous section.

To better understand this let’s take a look at a question from each of these exams:

LSAT example question

The supernova event of 1987 is interesting in that there is still no evidence of the neutron star that current theory says should have remained after a supernova of that size. This is in spite of the fact that many of the most sensitive instruments ever developed have searched for the tell-tale pulse of radiation that neutron stars emit. Thus, the current theory is wrong in claiming that supernovas of a certain size always produce neutron stars.

Which one of the following, if true, most strengthens the argument?

  1. Most supernova remnants that astronomers have detected have a neutron star nearby.
  2. Sensitive astronomical instruments have detected neutron stars much farther away than the location of the 1987 supernova.
  3. The supernova of 1987 was the first that scientists were able to observe in progress.
  4. Several important features of the 1987 supernova are correctly predicted by the current theory.
  5. Some neutron stars are known to have come into existence by a cause other than a supernova explosion.

I don’t go into details about the solution here (you can find the explanation here) but you can see that you need to fully understand all the questions, the terms, the logic behind it to conclude that answer B is correct and why the others are wrong. There is no formula or you can apply and if you are not an astronomer you need to get to the solution by logic reasoning.

GRE example question

Now let’s take a look at a typical GRE question and you will immediately see the difference:

A certain pet store sells only dogs and cats. In March, the store sold twice as many dogs as cats. In April, the store sold twice the number of dogs that it sold in March and three times the number of cats that it sold in March. If the total number of pets the store sold in March and April combined was 500, how many dogs did the store sell in March?

(A) 80
(B) 100
(C) 120
(D) 160
(E) 180

 The correct answer is (B) because 100 + 50 + 200 + 150 = 500. As you can see you need to deduct the formula to use from the text. These kinds of questions can easily be practiced over and over with different scenarios. I took this example from here where you can find more questions like this and a detailed explanation for the answer above.

Related Questions

If I enjoy LSAT questions does that indicate that I will enjoy law school? – According to top-performing law students, the answer is clearly no. Just like with any other topics that require you to use logical reasoning to solve problems there are always basic, background, and supporting topics you need to understand which are not enjoyable (to you). I recommend to try it out and see if the law is the right field of study for you. Here is a free 7-day trial that will help you to get a feeling for the topic.

What GRE score is required for Harvard? – Harvard expects the same or even higher scores than the LSAT. On the LSAT, 170 equals 97.4%, 172 equals 98.6%, and 175 is 99.5%. To match those numbers using GRE Verbal scores, you would have to get Verbal scores of roughly 166/167/169.

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