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The Great Law School Brain Drain

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The new US News law school rankings are out, and like we saw last year, LSAT and GPA numbers are generally down. LSAT numbers are getting the worst of it, as is to be expected since the numbers are scaled and compare only prospective law students.

Data for All Schools

#1-50 Data

#51-100 Data

#101-144 Data

Ranks Not Published Data

Synopses follow. Check back throughout the day as we post data for the remaining schools.

 

Overall Synopsis

Number of schools with a gain in both LSAT 25 and 75: 14

Schools with a loss in both LSAT 25 and 75: 78

Number of schools with a gain in both GPA 25 and 75: 43

Schools with a loss in both GPA 25 and 75: 68

 

Average LSAT 25 change: -0.81

Average LSAT 75 change: -0.43

Average GPA 25 change: -0.023

Average GPA 75 change: -0.011

This is the second year in a row that all four numbers have dropped (and only our second year checking, so who knows when it started).

 

18 schools had no loss in any of the four statistics. 4 schools posted gains in each of the four (Stanford, Tulsa, St. Louis, and Chapman). 2 schools had no loss but also no gain (Barry, and Florida A&M).

By comparison, 32 schools posted a loss in each of the LSAT 25 and 75 and GPA 25 and 75.

Last year, only 1 school had an LSAT 25th percentile of 143. Now 5 do, and one, Phoenix, has an LSAT 25 of 142, the 18th percentile of LSAT test takers.

 

 

Synopsis of Schools Ranked 1-48 (52 schools, because of a 5-way tie at 48)

LSAT 25th and 75th Percentile Changes

Number of schools with a gain in both LSAT 25 and 75: 3

Number of schools with a gain in 1 of LSAT 25 and 75: 5

Number of schools with a gain in one and a loss in the other: 6

Number of schools with a loss of 1 of LSAT 25 and 75: 13

Number of schools with a loss of both LSAT 25 and 75: 18

Number of schools with no change: 7

Average 25th Percentile Move: -0.77

Average 75th Percentile Move: -0.037

 

GPA 25th and 75th Percentile Changes

Number of schools with a gain in both GPA 25 and 75: 14

Number of schools with a gain in 1 of GPA 25 and 75: 2

Number of schools with a gain in one and a loss in the other: 19

Number of schools with a loss of 1 of GPA 25 and 75: 2

Number of schools with a loss of both GPA 25 and 75: 13

Number of schools with no change: 2

Average 25th Percentile Move: -0.010

Average 75th Percentile Move: +0.002

 

The biggest loser among the top 50 was the University of Georgia, which dropped -4/-1 for its LSAT 25/75. It's LSAT 25 dropped from 162 to 158, and remember that since the LSAT is on a bell curve, the further you go, the more significant a single point change is. That change represents a drop from the 86th percentile to the 75th. Georgia at least compensated for this loss by shoring up its GPA stats, with a 0.03/0.06 gain.

The school posting biggest across the board losses was BYU. It had a loss of -2/-2 for LSAT scores, and -0.11/-0.06 for GPAs.

The biggest GPA loss was at George Washington, with a -0.13/-0.12, and with its LSATs remaining the same.

 

 

Synopsis of Schools Ranked 53-98 (49 schools, because of a 4-way tie at 98)

LSAT 25th and 75th Percentile Changes

Number of schools with a gain in both LSAT 25 and 75: 5

Number of schools with a gain in 1 of LSAT 25 and 75: 6

Number of schools with a gain in one and a loss in the other: 4

Number of schools with a loss of 1 of LSAT 25 and 75: 15

Number of schools with a loss of both LSAT 25 and 75: 12

Number of schools with no change: 7

Average 25th Percentile Move: -0.35

Average 75th Percentile Move: -0.39

 

GPA 25th and 75th Percentile Changes

Number of schools with a gain in both GPA 25 and 75: 11

Number of schools with a gain in 1 of GPA 25 and 75: 4

Number of schools with a gain in one and a loss in the other: 10

Number of schools with a loss of 1 of GPA 25 and 75: 3

Number of schools with a loss of both GPA 25 and 75: 21

Number of schools with no change: 0

Average 25th Percentile Move: -0.0251

Average 75th Percentile Move: -0.0184

 

Biggest loser from this bunch is Missouri, with a -4/-2 LSAT, and -0.08/+0.04 GPA. The 2 point drop in Missouri's 75th LSAT of 161 to 159 represents a change from the 83rd to 77th percentile. The 25th LSAT drop from 156 to 152 is a change from the 67th to 52nd percentiles, a serious decline in admissions standards. You used to need to be in the top third to get in. Now you just need to be in the top half.

 

 

Synopsis of Schools Ranked 102-144 (47 schools, because of a 5-way tie at 144)

LSAT 25th and 75th Percentile Changes

Number of schools with a gain in both LSAT 25 and 75: 3

Number of schools with a gain in 1 of LSAT 25 and 75: 7

Number of schools with a gain in one and a loss in the other: 3

Number of schools with a loss of 1 of LSAT 25 and 75: 5

Number of schools with a loss of both LSAT 25 and 75: 28

Number of schools with no change: 3

Average 25th Percentile Move: -1.04

Average 75th Percentile Move: -0.55

 

GPA 25th and 75th Percentile Changes

Number of schools with a gain in both GPA 25 and 75: 9

Number of schools with a gain in 1 of GPA 25 and 75: 0

Number of schools with a gain in one and a loss in the other: 15

Number of schools with a loss of 1 of GPA 25 and 75: 7

Number of schools with a loss of both GPA 25 and 75: 16

Number of schools with no change: 0

Average 25th Percentile Move: -0.030

Average 75th Percentile Move: -0.017

 

The single worst LSAT 25 drop we've seen since UGA, Suffolk went from a 152 to 148, or 52nd percentile to 36th. You used to have to be in the top half, now you only need to be in the top third. Ouch!

Several other schools saw some nasty drops, but we're giving the biggest loser award for this group to Arkansas - Little Rock, with a -3/-1 LSAT drop, and a -0.13/-0.15 drop in GPA 25/75. Brutal, yet they jumped 6 points in the US News ranking. No accounting for taste.

 

 

Synopsis of Schools With Ranks Unpublished (46 schools)

LSAT 25th and 75th Percentile Changes

Number of schools with a gain in both LSAT 25 and 75: 3

Number of schools with a gain in 1 of LSAT 25 and 75: 5

Number of schools with a gain in one and a loss in the other: 3

Number of schools with a loss of 1 of LSAT 25 and 75: 12

Number of schools with a loss of both LSAT 25 and 75: 20

Number of schools with no change: 3

Average 25th Percentile Move: -1.35

Average 75th Percentile Move: -0.43

 

GPA 25th and 75th Percentile Changes

Number of schools with a gain in both GPA 25 and 75: 9

Number of schools with a gain in 1 of GPA 25 and 75: 5

Number of schools with a gain in one and a loss in the other: 11

Number of schools with a loss of 1 of GPA 25 and 75: 0

Number of schools with a loss of both GPA 25 and 75: 18

Number of schools with no change: 3

Average 25th Percentile Move: -0.029

Average 75th Percentile Move: -0.013

 

We've got two contenders for biggest loser among the unranked schools.

Western New England saw a -3/-4 LSAT 25/75 drop. The 25 score dropped from the 48th percentile to the 36th, and the 75th dropped from the 67th to 52nd. So, it used to be that to be in the top quarter of its class, you needed to be in the top third of applicants. Now you just need to be in the top half. But this awful LSAT plummet was at last not too terrible exacerbated by GPAs, which dropped a comparatively modest -0.01/-0.07.

Our other contender is Ohio Northern, with a -4/-2 GPA drop, sending its 25th rank from 149 to 145, from the 40th percentile to the 26th. Ouch! But just to add injury to injury, the GPAs here dropped an astonishing -0.22/-0.21. Someone get Ohio Northern some Quilted Northern!


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