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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Median LSAT Scores for the 2015 U.S. News Law School Rankings

US NewsIn advance of Tuesday's release of the new 2015 U.S. News & World Report Law School Rankings:  here is a spreadsheet of the 202 ABA-accredited law schools by median LSAT scores for the law school class entering in Fall 2013 (which counts 12.5% in the forthcoming rankings).  Here are the Top 55 law schools:

Rank

Law School

Median LSAT

1

Harvard

173

1

Yale

173

3

Columbia

171

3

Stanford

171

5

Chicago

170

5

NYU

170

7

Duke

169

7

Pennsylvania

169

7

Virginia

169

10

Georgetown

168

10

Michigan

168

10

Northwestern

168

13

Cornell

167

13

UC-Berkeley

167

13

UCLA

167

13

Vanderbilt

167

17

Texas

166

17

USC

166

17

Washington U.

166

20

Boston U.

165

20

Emory

165

20

G. Washington

165

23

Alabama

164

23

Boston College

164

23

UC-Irvine

164

23

Minnesota

164

23

U. Washington

164

23

Washington & Lee

164

23

William & Mary

164

30

Fordham

163

30

Georgia

163

30

Notre Dame

163

33

Arizona State

162

33

Colorado

162

33

Indiana

162

33

SMU

162

33

UC-Davis

162

33

Wake Forest

162

39

BYU

161

39

George Mason

161

39

Iowa

161

39

North Carolina

161

39

Northeastern

161

39

Richmond

161

39

Wisconsin

161

46

Arizona

160

46

Baylor

160

46

Cardozo

160

46

Florida

160

46

Houston

160

46

Illinois

160

46

Ohio State

160

46

Pepperdine

160

46

Temple

160

46

Tulane

160

Jerry Organ (St. Thomas) analyzes the change in LSAT scores from the 2012 to 2013 classes among the 195 ABA-accredited law schools in the 48 contiguous states and Hawaii (thus excluding Belmont, LaVerne, UC-Irvine, and UMass):

[T]he entering first-year class average LSAT profile fell one point at all three measures [75th percentile/50th percentile/25th percentile] between 2012 and 2013, from 159.6/157/153.5 to 158.6/156/152.5.  The entering first-year class average LSAT profile fell roughly two points at all three measures between 2010 and 2013, from 160.5/158.1/155.2 to 158.6/156/152.5.

The average decline in median LSAT scores between 2012 and 2013 across U.S. News “tiers” of law schools was .98 among top 50 schools, 1.18 among schools ranked 51-99, .72 among schools ranked 100-144, and 1.13 among schools ranked alphabetically.

Notably, 133 law schools saw a decline in their median LSAT between 2012 and 2013, with 80 down one point, 38 down two points, 12 down three points, one down four points, one down five points and one down six points, while 54 law schools were flat and 7 saw an increase in their median LSAT.

In terms of schools experiencing “larger” declines in median LSAT scores between 2012 and 2013, five schools in the top 50 saw a three point decline in their median LSAT, five schools ranked 51-99 saw at least a three point decline (of which one was down four points), three schools ranked 100-144 saw a three point decline, and two schools ranked alphabetically saw large declines – one of five points and one of six points.

The average decline in median LSAT scores between 2010 and 2013 across U.S. News “tiers” of law schools was 1.54 among top 50 schools, 2.27 among schools ranked 51-99, 2.11 among schools ranked 100-144, and 2.79 among schools ranked alphabetically.  If one were to unpack the top 50 schools a little more, however, one would discover that the top 20 schools saw an average decline in their median LSAT of 1.05 between 2010 and 2013, while the bottom 15 schools in the top 50 saw an average decline in their median LSAT of 2.53.

In terms of schools experiencing “larger” declines in median LSAT scores between 2010 and 2013, three schools in the top 50 have seen declines of four or more points, nine schools ranked 51-99 have seen declines of four or more points, 11 schools ranked 100-144 have seen declines of four or more points and 17 schools ranked alphabetically have seen declines of four or more points.

When looking at the 2012-13 data in comparison with the 2010-2013 data, one sees that lower ranked schools have had more of a sustained challenge in terms of managing profile over the last few years, while schools ranked in the top 50 or top 100 had been managing profile fairly well until fall 2013 when the decreased number of high LSAT applicants really began to manifest itself in terms of impacting the LSAT profiles of highly ranked schools.

The overall decline in the LSAT profile of first-year students also can be demonstrated with two other reference points. In 2010, there were 74 law schools with a median LSAT of 160; in 2013, that number has fallen to 56.  At the other end of the spectrum, in 2010, there were only 9 schools with a median LSAT of less than 150 and only one with a median LSAT of 145. In 2013, the number of law schools with a median LSAT of less than 150 has more than tripled to 32, while the number of law schools with a median LSAT of 145 or less now numbers 9 (with the low now being a 143).

Update:  ABA Journal, Which Law Schools Have the Best LSAT Profiles? And How Many Are Struggling? Law Profs Have Answers

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2014/03/median-lsat-scores.html

Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

Comments

How do the median LSAT scores relate to US News ranking? Could you show that too?

Posted by: ec | Mar 5, 2014 8:51:57 AM

Wow, Suffolk Law is dumpster diving all the way to a 149 median. Exactly the same as New England. Sort of sad, Suffolk has produced some successful lawyers here in Boston. Looks like they are grabbing for the money before its all over.

Posted by: JM | Mar 5, 2014 9:30:12 AM

"How do the median LSAT scores relate to US News ranking?"

Comparing this list with the GPA list, it seems that median LSAT tracks much closer to the US News rankings than does undergraduate GPA.

Posted by: bigJT | Mar 11, 2014 5:42:05 AM