Many law schools use what is known as an “admission index” or “index formula” to sort through the applications. This “index” usually includes your undergraduate GPA and LSAT score, with some combination of additional factors. The relative weighting of this index is matter of policy left up to the individual schools. Some schools provide applicants with a description of their decision-making process, while others are more guarded about this information.
In many cases, applications are placed in different categories according to their score on the admissions index. Applicants who are almost guaranteed admission are placed in one category; those whose chances are good but not certain are placed in another category, and so on, for marginal admissions and rejections.
Most law schools publish statistics on the number of applications that they receive as compared with the total number of first-year admissions, and also the ranges of LSAT scores and undergraduate GPA’s of successful applicants.
Competition for positions exists along the whole spectrum of law programs. Only a very small percentage of candidates have such high LSAT scores (say, 165 and above) and GPA standings (3.6 and above) that they are practically assured admission to a top law school in the U.S. or Canada. However, even in this preferred group (which makes up only about 5% of applicants), competition for places at particular schools is still going to be quite tight.
Law schools often try to have a diverse combination of first-year students. This would not be possible if they admitted only those who score highest on the LSAT or those who have the highest GPA’s.
The important thing to remember is that your suitability for admission may be judged according to the impression made by any part of your application, given that there might be many other candidates who will have a similar GPA and LSAT score applying to the same school.