Preparation for the Study of Law
Law schools do not stipulate minimum grade point averages, although they do provide statistics sufficient for candidates to evaluate their competitiveness. The HPPLC office has the most up-to-date statistics for all law schools.
The range of acceptable GPAs varies tremendously from school to school (generally corresponding to the school's ranking, with exceptions), from a bare minimum of around a 2.3 at schools with more open admissions policies, to a 3.7 or better for the more competative, "elite" schools. The median GPA for 2008-2009 (the last year for which we have statistics) was a 3.26. A higher LSAT score may be needed to compensate for a lower GPA (but note that the reverse is not necessarily true: a higher GPA often will NOT compensate for a lower LSAT score). It is important to take rigorous [e.g., upper level] courses, especially during your junior and senior years.. Any trend in grades will also receive close scrutiny. A bad semester or even year is not necessarily fatal, although it usually should be explained. A recent upward trend in grades can also be significant. HPPLC Prelaw Advisors can help you with such issues.
Having clear, realistic projected GPA information is important. For examples of some useful GPA calculators, including some that will help you discover what future grades you will need to achieve a given "Target GPA," click here.
Note that when you apply to law school the Credential Assembly Service (CAS) will recompute your GPA. The main differences with IU's system are that they include all credits and grades if a course is repeated-for example, if you "FX" a course the CAS will count the original "F" along with the new grade; and they will count an "A+" as 4.33. For more information on how grades are converted, see www.lsac.org.
For general information on GPA's consult the following HPPLC publications: