In this comprehensive guide, we explore the top law schools that do not require the LSAT for admission, offering alternative pathways to a successful legal career. If you chose not to learn how to prepare for the LSAT, then you must double down on your other application components, like law school personal statement and law school letters of recommendation to boost your chances of acceptance. By following the tips and advice in this guide, you can increase your chances of getting accepted into a prestigious law school without the LSAT requirement and set yourself on the path toward a fulfilling legal career.

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11 min read

Do You Really Need to Write the LSAT? Top Law Schools That Don’t Require the LSAT Full List of Law Schools that Do Not Require the LSAT How to Avoid Writing the LSAT Benefits of Applying to Law School Without LSAT Requirements How to Maximize Your Chances of Law School Admission FAQs

Do You Really Need to Write the LSAT?

The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is a significant component of the law school application process in most law schools in the US and Canada and, some say, the most difficult component. Tyler Chiasson, a graduate of the Dalhousie University Schulich School of Law can attest to this saying “studying for and writing the LSAT is the hardest part” of the application process. Not only is the LSAT the most challenging step of how to get into law school, but getting low LSAT scores will, according to Chiasson, “make some schools inaccessible to you.” With all this pressure, it’s no wonder some prospective law students look for alternatives to the LSAT, such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), since there are now many law schools that accept GRE. Aside from that alternative, you can also choose to apply to law schools in Canada and the US that don't require the LSAT for admission. In this guide, we'll discuss the top law schools that do not include the LSAT as one of the law school requirements, the benefits of attending these schools, and tips for submitting a strong application.

Top Law Schools That Don’t Require the LSAT

1. Harvard Law School

Yes! One of the best law schools in the world gives you the option to avoid the LSAT. Applicants can submit the GRE or the LSAT, or a combination of both. The law school has stated that it does not have a preference between the GRE and LSAT, and that both tests are considered equally in the admissions process. However, applicants should keep in mind that the LSAT is still the more commonly accepted test for law school admissions. But you can avoid the LSAT by writing the GRE, which is usually considered a slightly less intimidating test.

2. Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law

You can complete an interview instead of submitting an LSAT score, so be sure to start practicing your interview skills with sample law school interview questions. The interview is conducted by a member of the law school's admissions committee and is used to assess the applicant's potential for success in law school.

3. University of Iowa College of Law

Offers an alternative admission program that does not require the LSAT for applicants who have strong academic records and demonstrated potential for success in law school – which means that it is not a great choice for those who are trying to figure out how to get into law school with low GPA. The program requires applicants to submit two law school optional essays and participate in an interview with a member of the admissions committee.

4. University of Wisconsin Law School

The University of Wisconsin Law School accepts the LSAT and GRE for admission. You must submit a personal statement, resume, two letters of recommendation, and transcripts. The school uses a holistic review process, considering factors such as academic achievements, leadership potential, and work experience.

5. Wake Forest University School of Law

Wake Forest takes a holistic approach to admission, evaluating applicants based on academic achievements, personal qualities, and potential for success in law school and the legal profession.

6. St. John's University School of Law

St. John's Law accepts LSAT and GRE scores, with required materials including a personal statement, resume, two recommendation letters, and transcripts. The school assesses candidates based on academics, individual qualities, and professional potential, with a focus on public service commitment.

7. University of Maryland Carey School of Law

The University of Maryland Carey Law accepts LSAT, GRE, and GMAT scores. Using a comprehensive review process, the school considers academic achievements, work history, and leadership skills. This is where your law school extracurriculars will really help make a good impression. The program requires applicants to submit an additional essay, two letters of recommendation, and participate in an interview with a member of the admissions committee.

8. University of Hawaii at Manoa William S. Richardson School of Law

The William S. Richardson School of Law permits LSAT and GRE scores. Admissions value academic success, individual qualities, and diverse experiences, with an emphasis on public service commitment and understanding Hawai'i's unique legal context.

9. Southern Illinois University School of Law

Southern Illinois University School of Law allows LSAT and GRE submissions. Prospective students must provide a personal statement, resume, two recommendation letters, and transcripts. The school evaluates candidates based on academic accomplishments, personal characteristics, and legal career potential, encouraging applicants to showcase public service commitment and unique experiences.

10. Georgetown Law School

Georgetown law admissions now accepts applicants' GRE scores in lieu of the LSAT, for those who prefer the GRE or want to avoid taking the LSAT. Students can also choose to submit both GRE and LSAT scores.

Working on your law school personal statement? Check this out:

Full List of Law Schools that Do Not Require the LSAT

Here's a more comprehensive list of law schools that either waive the LSAT requirement or accept alternative tests such as the GRE. Keep in mind that the list is subject to change and may not be exhaustive, as law schools may update their admission requirements over time.

  1. Harvard Law School
  2. Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law
  3. Georgetown University Law Center
  4. University of Iowa College of Law
  5. University of Wisconsin Law School
  6. Wake Forest University School of Law
  7. St. John's University School of Law
  8. University of Maryland Carey School of Law
  9. University of Hawai'i at Mānoa - William S. Richardson School of Law
  10. Southern Illinois University School of Law
  11. Yale Law School
  12. Columbia Law School
  13. New York University School of Law
  14. University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Law
  15. University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School
  16. University of Virginia School of Law
  17. University of Chicago Law School
  18. Cornell Law School
  19. Duke University School of Law
  20. Stanford Law School
  21. University of Michigan Law School
  22. University of Southern California Gould School of Law
  23. George Washington University Law School
  24. University of Texas at Austin School of Law
  25. University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law
  26. Washington University in St. Louis School of Law
  27. Emory University School of Law
  28. University of Florida Levin College of Law
  29. University of Colorado Law School
  30. Boston University School of Law
  31. University of California, Irvine School of Law
  32. Fordham University School of Law
  33. University at Buffalo School of Law
  34. Texas A&M University School of Law
  35. University of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce School of Law
  36. University of Dayton School of Law
  37. University of Massachusetts School of Law
  38. Mitchell Hamline School of Law
  39. Vermont Law School
  40. Suffolk University Law School
  41. St. Thomas University School of Law
  42. University of Akron School of Law
  43. University of Baltimore School of Law
  44. University of San Francisco School of Law
  45. New England Law | Boston
  46. Pace University Elisabeth Haub School of Law
  47. University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law
  48. CUNY School of Law
  49. University of St. Thomas School of Law - Minneapolis
  50. California Western School of Law
  51. Southwestern Law School
  52. Golden Gate University School of Law
  53. Thomas Jefferson School of Law
  54. Western State College of Law
  55. Whittier Law School

Please note that it's essential to check each school's specific requirements as some law schools may waive the LSAT requirement only under certain conditions or for specific applicant categories. Additionally, some law schools may accept GRE scores alongside the LSAT but not entirely waive the LSAT requirement.

To ensure you have the most accurate and up-to-date information on law school admission requirements, consult the schools' websites and contact their admissions offices if you have any questions. 

How to Avoid Writing the LSAT

As you can see in our list, some law schools have increasingly accepted alternative standardized tests like the GRE and GMAT, or allow students to supplement the lack of the LSAT score with extracurriculars, essays, and interviews. Here’re the top alternative ways to get into law school without writing the LSAT.

Take Other Standardized Tests

Research whether your chosen law schools accept the GMAT or GRE. GRE is a widely accepted test for graduate school admissions but now there are several law schools that accept GRE. There are four GRE sections that measure your verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing skills. Some law schools may require a minimum GRE score for admission, so be sure to research each school's requirements. Alternatively, you can choose to write the GMAT. The GMAT is primarily used for MBA applications but is now accepted by a growing number of law schools. There are also four GMAT sections, which test your analytical writing, integrated reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and verbal reasoning. Similar to the GRE, some law schools may require a minimum GMAT score for admission.

Write Supplemental Essays

If you want to avoid standardized tests altogether, consider law schools that require the submission of supplemental essays instead of an LSAT score. As you could see, some law schools can ask for optional essays like the law school diversity essay, or “why this law school?” essay. Research which of the schools you want to pursue offer this substitution. But you shouldn’t count on your essays turning the tide for you if you apply with low LSAT scores to a school that requires the LSAT. Aaron Schulze, who graduated from the University of Texas School of Law, says that an “applicant’s ‘numbers’ (GPA and LSAT) were always the most significant factors,” in admissions decisions. Your essays and personal statement are important, but, Schulze concedes, they’re not “weighed the same” as a high GPA or LSAT score. Ultimately, great essays might make a difference for schools that don’t consider the LSAT or GPA, but they won’t make much difference for schools that do consider the LSAT, or other test scores. 

Ace Law School Interviews

Research whether your top-choice law schools will offer an interview to replace an LSAT submission. Most law schools invite applicants for interviews, but if you are trying to avoid the LSAT and you get invited to an interview instead of submitting an LSAT score, be ready to discuss why you wanted to skip this test. You should also consider professional interview consulting, since, as Brittany, a recent law school entrant found, “doing Q & A with strangers is not the easiest thing in the world.” Brittany went with BeMo to practice with all-important mock interviews, which were based on her written application materials, such as her personal statement and diversity essay. Based on her materials, Brittany discovered that her mock interviewers were able to help her come with answer to personal questions, which are often asked during real law school interviews. 

Getting ready for a law school interview?

Benefits of Applying to Law School Without LSAT Requirements

As we already mentioned, there is one major disadvantage of pursuing only schools that do not require the LSAT: they are the minority. Which means that you will be limited in the number of schools you can apply to. However, there are some significant benefits to avoiding writing the LSAT:

How to Maximize Your Chances of Law School Admission

Law school acceptance rates are insanely competitive! For this reason, they are a good (some say best) barometer of where you are most likely to get in. As Aaron Schulze, a graduate of the University of Texas Law School, recounts, “I spent a considerable amount of time researching and finding all the metrics (i.e., average GPA, average LSAT, extracurriculars, etc.) for the schools I was interested in.” Why? For Aaron there were many reasons.

Initially, he was unsure of where he wanted to practice law, so he “wanted to apply to recognized, more notable programs with a reputation both in-state and out-of-state,” to keep his options open. Only, he quickly found out that “these programs were more competitive.” These circumstances may not apply to you, but doing what Aaron did is something you should consider; he “divided my school list into categories of how likely my acceptance would be based on comparing my numbers with the school’s statistics.” And if you’re trying to get into law school without writing the LSAT, then you must do extra work to be a string candidate. To increase your chances of admission to law schools that do not require the LSAT, focus on the following aspects of your application:

Know your chosen schools inside and out

Make sure you do thorough research into the schools you’re applying to in order to know exactly what they are looking for and what kind of experiences, skills, and event from your life to emphasize in the application and interview. You must convince the admissions committee that you are the perfect candidate for their school.

Strong academic record

Maintain a high GPA and demonstrate your intellectual capabilities through coursework, research projects, or academic awards. Truth be told, it’s usually your scores that affect whether you are admitted or not. “My GPA and LSAT got me most of my acceptances,” says Aaron Schulze, a graduate of the University of Texas Law School. A high GPA can often overshadow a lack of an LSAT score or a low LSAT score. For most law schools, a competitive GPA typically falls in the range of 3.5 to 3.9 on a 4.0 scale. Top-tier law schools may have even higher median GPAs, while some schools may accept applicants with lower GPAs.

Relevant work experience

Gain experience in the legal field through internships, externships, or volunteering to show your commitment to pursuing a legal career. This advice comes straight from a practicing lawyer, Tyler Chiasson, who graduated from the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University. Tyler says that the only thing that he would do again if he was reapplying to law school is “I would get hands-on work in a law firm environment by interning as an assistant or something similar.” Tyler’s reasoning is that “law school does very little to prepare lawyers for actual practice.” So if you really want to prepare for being a lawyer, he recommends that “being able to show actual, directly law-related experience would be a huge asset.” Remember that commitments that have nothing to do with law are just as important. In your application, make sure to emphasize the skills and lessons you learned that can be applicable in the legal profession.

Compelling personal statement

Write a strong law school personal statement that highlights your reasons as to why you want to be a lawyer, your unique experiences, and your reasons for pursuing a legal education. Make sure to stick to the word count and follow any other requirements for the submission. Here’s what our admissions expert Aaron Schultze, JD, had to say about tailoring your personal statement for each law school you apply to:

“I applied to about four or five law schools. Though the story of my personal statement remained relatively constant, each school has its own length and formatting rules. I tailored my personal statement to fit the guidelines set by each school. Since I tailored my statements specifically to each school, I had many different versions.” – Aaron Schultze, JD, the University of Texas School of Law

So make sure to review each schools’ requirements for personal statements - you do not want your personal statement to get chucked because of inattention to detail.

Impressive letters of recommendation

Obtain letters of recommendation from professors, employers, or other professionals who can attest to your potential for success in law school and the legal profession. Though they may not fully compensate for an otherwise poor application, they can give you a huge boost if the rest of your application is strong! Our expert Tyler Chiasson, JD, shares that his LORs definitely helped him get accepted:

“[Though I had good GPA and LSAT], I also had strong letters of reference from professors, [which helped a lot]” – Tyler Chiasson, JD, Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University

Impress during your interview

If you are invited to an interview, despite not writing the LSAT, take this opportunity to really shine. This is the last step before admissions decisions are made, so make sure you prepare for the most common law school interview questions, like “tell me about yourself” and “why do you want to be a lawyer?”, as well as other questions that may come up during the interview. 


1. Do all law schools require the LSAT?

No, not all law schools require the LSAT. An increasing number of prestigious law schools are accepting alternative standardized test scores or waiving test requirements altogether.

2. What alternative tests do law schools accept?

The most common alternative test accepted by law schools is the GRE (Graduate Record Examinations). Some schools may also accept the GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) or other standardized tests.

3. Is it easier to get into law schools that do not require the LSAT?

Not necessarily. While these law schools may not require the LSAT, they still maintain a competitive admissions process. They may accept alternative standardized test scores, and they will evaluate applicants based on other factors, such as academic achievements, work experience, personal statements, and letters of recommendation.

4. Will not taking the LSAT affect my chances of admission?

It depends on the law school and its specific admissions requirements. Some schools may place a higher emphasis on the LSAT, while others focus on a more holistic evaluation. Research each law school's requirements and consider reaching out to their admissions office for clarification on their policy.

5. Do I still need to take a standardized test if the law school does not require the LSAT?

Some law schools may still require an alternative standardized test, like the GRE or GMAT, while others may waive testing requirements altogether. Check each law school's specific admissions requirements to determine what tests, if any, are required for admission.

6. Are there benefits to taking the LSAT even if it is not required?

Taking the LSAT can still be beneficial, as it is a widely accepted test, which means you will have more choice in terms of applications.. Additionally, a high LSAT score may make you more competitive for scholarships or financial aid at some law schools.

7. How do I choose between the LSAT and alternative standardized tests?

Consider factors such as your test-taking strengths, the specific requirements of the law schools you are interested in, and the potential benefits of taking a particular test. You may want to consult with a law school admissions consulting expert or take practice tests to determine which test is best suited to your abilities.

8. Is the GRE easier than the LSAT?

The difficulty of the GRE compared to the LSAT can vary depending on the individual test-taker. The GRE tests verbal and quantitative reasoning, analytical writing, and critical thinking skills, while the LSAT focuses on reading comprehension, analytical reasoning, and logical reasoning. Some students may find the GRE more manageable due to its broader range of content, while others may prefer the law-specific focus of the LSAT.

To your success,

Your friends at BeMo

BeMo Academic Consulting


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