July 2, 2024

Measuring “Up”: The Promise of Undergraduate GPA Growth in Law School Admissions

Diversity Programs
Research and Data


Law school admissions emphasize Law School Admission Test (LSAT) scores and final undergraduate GPA (UGPA) despite these measures’ racial and ethnic scoring disparities. Using a sample of 5,599 recent law school students from 14 law schools, we compare the predictive power of UGPA growth to that of final UGPA and LSAT scores in law school admissions. We find that UGPA growth is positively associated with first-year law school GPA (1L LGPA) and negatively associated with first-year (1L) non-transfer attrition. Furthermore, our findings indicate that, unlike final UGPA and LSAT scores, UGPA growth does not substantively vary by race/ethnicity. UGPA growth might be a viable metric to consider as law schools examine how to recruit diverse cohorts without considering race.

Executive Summary