50 Hardest Law Schools to Get Into

July 11, 2019 by Sam Stebbins

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For those looking to leave their mark on the world, few careers allow for greater meaningful impact than law.

Laws are the foundation of society — and the implementation of new laws can have profound implications in people’s lives. As a result, law is one of a select few professions to require years of specialized education beyond an undergraduate degree. 

As with any type of higher education institutions, law schools vary in quality and selectivity. For many aspiring lawyers, getting into the right school can be critical for their career. 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data on LSAT scores, undergraduate GPAs of enrollees, and acceptance rates for over 200 top law schools from the American Bar Association to determine the hardest law schools to get into. Law schools are listed by the university they are associated with. 

Many of the most powerful people in the United States have attended the most selective schools on this list. All nine justices of the Supreme Court graduated from elite Ivy League law schools. Similarly, the last three U.S. presidents with law backgrounds were trained in those same institutions: Gerald Ford and Bill Clinton at Yale Law School, and Barack Obama at Harvard Law. In fact, most U.S. presidents have been lawyers. Here is each president’s path to the oval office

Law school is a massive investment of time and money, often costing over $150,000 in tuition over the course of three years. Because of the investment and high level of expertise, an education in law — regardless of the selectivity of the institution — is a pathway to many exceptionally high-paying legal careers. For example, law school is a necessary prerequisite for several of these 25 highest paying jobs in America.

Click here to see the 50 hardest law schools to get into
Click here to read our methodology

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50. University of San Diego
> Acceptance rate: 6.8%
> Applications for fall 2018: 3,511
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.53 out of 4.0
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 159 out of 180

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49. Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles
> Acceptance rate: 7.7%
> Applications for fall 2018: 4,012
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.58 out of 4.0
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 160 out of 180

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48. University of Iowa
> Acceptance rate: 8.4%
> Applications for fall 2018: 1,708
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.61 out of 4.0
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 161 out of 180

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47. University of Minnesota
> Acceptance rate: 11.2%
> Applications for fall 2018: 1,966
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.76 out of 4.0
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 164 out of 180

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46. Wake Forest University
> Acceptance rate: 8.1%
> Applications for fall 2018: 2,197
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.58 out of 4.0
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 162 out of 180

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45. University of Illinois
> Acceptance rate: 8.9%
> Applications for fall 2018: 1,380
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.65 out of 4.0
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 162 out of 180

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44. University of Houston
> Acceptance rate: 7.6%
> Applications for fall 2018: 2,596
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.61 out of 4.0
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 160 out of 180

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43. University of California, Irvine
> Acceptance rate: 7.7%
> Applications for fall 2018: 2,904
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.57 out of 4.0
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 163 out of 180

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42. University of Richmond
> Acceptance rate: 7.4%
> Applications for fall 2018: 1,908
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.59 out of 4.0
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 161 out of 180

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41. Ohio State University
> Acceptance rate: 9.3%
> Applications for fall 2018: 1,962
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.75 out of 4.0
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 161 out of 180

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40. Baylor University
> Acceptance rate: 6.8%
> Applications for fall 2018: 2,531
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.59 out of 4.0
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 160 out of 180

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39. University of Florida
> Acceptance rate: 9.4%
> Applications for fall 2018: 2,541
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.72 out of 4.0
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 163 out of 180

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38. University of Georgia
> Acceptance rate: 8.8%
> Applications for fall 2018: 2,354
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.67 out of 4.0
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 163 out of 180

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37. Pennsylvania State
> Acceptance rate: 6.3%
> Applications for fall 2018: 2,016
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.58 out of 4.0
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 159 out of 180

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36. Northeastern University
> Acceptance rate: 7.0%
> Applications for fall 2018: 2,809
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.6 out of 4.0
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 161 out of 180

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35. Fordham University
> Acceptance rate: 7.7%
> Applications for fall 2018: 5,319
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.6 out of 4.0
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 164 out of 180

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34. Indiana University Bloomington
> Acceptance rate: 8.6%
> Applications for fall 2018: 2,000
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.72 out of 4.0
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 162 out of 180

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33. University of California, Davis
> Acceptance rate: 6.4%
> Applications for fall 2018: 3,179
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.63 out of 4.0
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 162 out of 180

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32. University of Arizona
> Acceptance rate: 7.0%
> Applications for fall 2018: 1,627
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.7 out of 4.0
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 161 out of 180

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31. Arizona State University
> Acceptance rate: 8.1%
> Applications for fall 2018: 3,363
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.76 out of 4.0
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 163 out of 180

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30. Pepperdine University
> Acceptance rate: 5.2%
> Applications for fall 2018: 2,982
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.63 out of 4.0
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 160 out of 180

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29. Washington And Lee University
> Acceptance rate: 4.2%
> Applications for fall 2018: 2,914
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.51 out of 4.0
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 163 out of 180

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28. University of Washington
> Acceptance rate: 5.7%
> Applications for fall 2018: 2,946
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.69 out of 4.0
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 163 out of 180

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27. George Mason University
> Acceptance rate: 6.5%
> Applications for fall 2018: 2,435
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.76 out of 4.0
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 163 out of 180

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26. University of Notre Dame
> Acceptance rate: 6.4%
> Applications for fall 2018: 2,907
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.71 out of 4.0
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 165 out of 180

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25. Boston College
> Acceptance rate: 4.3%
> Applications for fall 2018: 5,251
> Median undergrad GPA of accepted students: 3.62 out of 4.0
> Median LSAT score of accepted students: 164 out of 180

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24. University of Texas at Austin
> Acceptance rate: 6.7%
> Applications for fall 2018: 5,580
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.74 out of 4.0
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 167 out of 180

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23. University of Alabama
> Acceptance rate: 7.6%
> Applications for fall 2018: 1,526
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.88 out of 4.0
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 164 out of 180

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22. University of Colorado
> Acceptance rate: 4.7%
> Applications for fall 2018: 3,581
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.71 out of 4.0
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 162 out of 180

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21. William & Mary
> Acceptance rate: 5.4%
> Applications for fall 2018: 3,579
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.76 out of 4.0
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 162 out of 180

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20. Emory University
> Acceptance rate: 5.8%
> Applications for fall 2018: 4,570
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.79 out of 4.0
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 165 out of 180

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19. University of Michigan
> Acceptance rate: 6.1%
> Applications for fall 2018: 5,698
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.77 out of 4.0
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 169 out of 180

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18. Boston University
> Acceptance rate: 4.8%
> Applications for fall 2018: 5,876
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.74 out of 4.0
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 166 out of 180

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17. University of California, Los Angeles
> Acceptance rate: 4.8%
> Applications for fall 2018: 6,243
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.72 out of 4.0
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 168 out of 180

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16. Georgetown University
> Acceptance rate: 5.5%
> Applications for fall 2018: 10,093
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.8 out of 4.0
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 167 out of 180

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15. Washington University
> Acceptance rate: 5.8%
> Applications for fall 2018: 4,151
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.81 out of 4.0
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 168 out of 180

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14. Columbia University
> Acceptance rate: 5.7%
> Applications for fall 2018: 6,957
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.75 out of 4.0
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 172 out of 180

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13. New York University
> Acceptance rate: 5.5%
> Applications for fall 2018: 7,493
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.79 out of 4.0
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 170 out of 180

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12. University of California, Berkeley
> Acceptance rate: 5.0%
> Applications for fall 2018: 6,019
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.8 out of 4.0
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 168 out of 180

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11. Cornell University
> Acceptance rate: 4.5%
> Applications for fall 2018: 4,126
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.82 out of 4.0
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 167 out of 180

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10. University of Southern California
> Acceptance rate: 3.4%
> Applications for fall 2018: 5,695
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.78 out of 4.0
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 166 out of 180

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9. Duke University
> Acceptance rate: 4.1%
> Applications for fall 2018: 5,558
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.78 out of 4.0
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 169 out of 180

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8. University of Virginia
> Acceptance rate: 5.3%
> Applications for fall 2018: 5,631
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.89 out of 4.0
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 169 out of 180

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7. Vanderbilt University
> Acceptance rate: 3.4%
> Applications for fall 2018: 5,143
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.8 out of 4.0
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 167 out of 180

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6. Northwestern University
> Acceptance rate: 4.5%
> Applications for fall 2018: 5,313
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.84 out of 4.0
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 169 out of 180

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5. Harvard University
> Acceptance rate: 6.4%
> Applications for fall 2018: 7,551
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.9 out of 4.0
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 173 out of 180

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4. University of Pennsylvania
> Acceptance rate: 3.7%
> Applications for fall 2018: 6,413
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.89 out of 4.0
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 170 out of 180

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3. Yale University
> Acceptance rate: 4.7%
> Applications for fall 2018: 3,473
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.92 out of 4.0
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 173 out of 180

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2. University of Chicago
> Acceptance rate: 3.6%
> Applications for fall 2018: 5,110
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.89 out of 4.0
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 171 out of 180

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1. Stanford University
> Acceptance rate: 3.8%
> Applications for fall 2018: 4,360
> Median undergrad GPA of new enrollees: 3.93 out of 4.0
> Median LSAT score of new enrollees: 171 out of 180

Methodology

To determine the hardest law schools to get into, 24/7 Wall St. constructed an index using data from the American Bar Association. The index consists of a law school’s acceptance rate, the median LSAT score of newly enrolled students in fall 2018, and median undergraduate GPA of newly enrolled students.