According to The Law School Admission Council’s statistical report, 315,606 LSAT scores were reported from June 2014 to February 2017, 85 of which with a perfect score.
That means less than 0.1 percent of the 315,606 scores were a perfect 180.
BYU student Craig Maughan, a senior studying electrical engineering, received a perfect 180 score on his LSAT in June.
The Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) is a standardized exam with possible points ranging from 120 to 180 and weighs heavily in law school admissions. Even if a law school hopeful received good grades in their undergraduate programs, a poor score on the LSAT could prohibit admittance to law school. A good score on the LSAT can open doors to decent law schools or even renowned Ivy League law programs.
The LSAT is a weighted-question test, meaning a test taker can miss one to four questions and still have what appears to be a unblemished score, or a 180.
About one BYU student every other year scores a perfect 180 on the LSAT, according to Kris Tina Carlston, director of the preprofessional advisement center at BYU Law School.
Brent Dunn, a BYU alum who has taught LSAT prep for over 20 years, said Maughan’s test was especially remarkable because no questions were missed to accrue his perfect score.
Maughan said he was initially interested in engineering as a high school student and hadn’t thought of a career in law practice until he interviewed a lawyer for a church project.
“I think I imagined his job to be like ‘A Few Good Men’. You know, like where someone is yelling in the courtroom, but he turned out to be a patent attorney,” Maughan said. “He started talking to me about how he had studied mechanical engineering as an undergraduate and then went into law school.”
Maughan hopes to be admitted to a law school in which he can blend his knowledge of electrical engineering with his law degree.
Maughan said he studied approximately 250 to 300 hours for the exam. Maughan attributes much of his LSAT success to his supportive family and said because the test isn’t about what one knows but rather how well one reasons, his experience with the engineering program helped him in his test preparation.
Maughan said he assisted in test prep for friends who took the LSAT this past Saturday.
“I shared some of the study tips and test-taking strategies that helped me,” Maughan said.
He said he also gave tips for being calm on test day and spiritual preparation he found beneficial.
Maughan said he is planning to go into technology policy and regulation, though he isn’t shutting himself down to opportunities practicing other types of law.
He said his number one choice of law schools at this moment is Stanford University, the second best law school in the country according to U.S. News and World Report. He is applying to many schools and will find out his school acceptance status in the coming months.