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:
- American University Washington College of Law
- Boston University School of Law
- Brigham Young University J. Reuben Clark Law School
- Brooklyn Law School
- California Western School of Law
- Chicago-Kent College of Law
- Columbia Law School
- Cornell Law School
- Florida International University College of Law
- Florida State University College of Law
- George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School
- Georgetown University Law Center
- Harvard Law School
- John Marshall Law School
- Kern County College of Law
- Massachusetts School of Law at Andover
- Monterey College of Law
- New York University School of Law
- Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law
- Pace University Elisabeth Haub School of Law
- Pennsylvania State University Dickinson Law
- Pennsylvania State University — Penn State Law
- Pepperdine School of Law
- San Luis Obispo College of Law
- Seattle University School of Law
- Seton Hall University School of Law
- Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law
- St. John’s University School of Law
- Suffolk University Law School
- Texas A&M University School of Law
- University of Akron School of Law
- University of Alabama School of Law
- University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law
- University of Baltimore Law School
- University at Buffalo School of Law
- University of California, Davis School of Law
- University of California, Hastings College of the Law
- University of California, Irvine School of Law
- University of California, Los Angeles School of Law
- University of Dayton School of Law
- University of Hawai’i at Manoa William S. Richardson School of Law
- University of Montana Alexander Blewett III School of Law
- University of New Hampshire School of Law
- University of Notre Dame Law School
- University of Pennsylvania Law School
- University of Southern California Gould School of Law
- University of South Carolina School of Law
- University of Texas at Austin School of Law
- University of Virginia School of Law
- Wake Forest University School of Law
- Washington University School of Law
- Yale Law School
- 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.
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?
- Most supernova remnants that astronomers have detected have a neutron star nearby.
- Sensitive astronomical instruments have detected neutron stars much farther away than the location of the 1987 supernova.
- The supernova of 1987 was the first that scientists were able to observe in progress.
- Several important features of the 1987 supernova are correctly predicted by the current theory.
- 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?
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.
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).
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.