Wheeling Jesuit University

Smith Sets LSAT Score at Wheeling Jesuit

Dr. Thomas Michaud, pre-law academic advisor, announced that Wheeling Jesuit University student Jeff Smith placed in the 98th percentile nationally on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) exam. Smith’s score set a Wheeling Jesuit University record for the highest score ever on the LSAT exam.

Smith, a psychology and philosophy major, took the LSAT with the hopes of making a positive impact in the world of law.

“Last summer, I wasn’t planning on taking this exam,” Smith said. “I enjoy experimental psychology, as well as philosophy, and wanted to be a psychology professor. But, I am interested in national education reform, trial law and the relationship between law and medicine and believe that I will really enjoy law school. I hope in some small way, I will be able to change some aspects of law that I don’t agree with.”

Smith, the son of Richard and Barbara Smith of Mt. Pleasant, Pa., plans on attending law school at Pitt, Duquesne or West Virginia University.

Although Smith is pleased with his high score, he credits those at Wheeling Jesuit who helped him academically.

“While the framework for my intellectual growth began at Wheeling Jesuit with Dr. Bryan Raudenbush and Dr. Peter Pagan, Dr. Michaud and his experience in assisting pre-law students made a tremendous difference in both my achievements on the LSAT exam and preparation for my legal education.”

Smith wasn’t the only student on the Wheeling campus to rank nationally on the LSAT this year.

In September of 2002, Michaud had announced that Timothy McKeen scored in the 97th percentile nationally. McKeen’s score was the highest until Smith took the exam.

“These scores deserve recognition because the LSAT is one of the most challenging standardized exams for admission into graduate and professional schools,” Michaud said.

Michaud added that,“2002-2003 has been a remarkable year for pre-law at Wheeling Jesuit. Prior to Tim McKeen breaking the Wheeling Jesuit record for the LSAT score last summer, the previous record stood for four or five years. Now in one year the old record and new record have been broken. The bar keeps getting higher and higher.”

Michaud believes that McKeen’s and Smith’s performances are strong testimonials to the diligence, desire and talent of Wheeling Jesuit’s pre-law students. “A healthy competition has developed among the pre-law students and that energy is generating better and better LSAT performances.” Along with Smith, a number of other Wheeling Jesuit students took the LSAT in December 2002. Their scores, averaged with the students’ scores from the test last summer, gives Wheeling Jesuit around a 75th national percentile ranking for this year.

McKeen, who now holds the second highest LSAT score said, “I’m glad that Jeff did well on the LSAT. Although I’m slightly disappointed that I am no longer the WJU record-holder, records are made to be broken. I’d like to thank all of the professors and others who have helped both of us utilize, to the best of our abilities, what God has given us.”

Michaud says that he “can’t imagine a university of our size doing much better than what we are doing when it comes to educating students for law school and the LSAT.”

Wheeling Jesuit has maintained a 100 percent acceptance rate for full-time day students since 1992, and more than one-third of those students have received full or partial tuition scholarship offers. Michaud noted that “a number of students have graduated in the top five percent of their law school classes. Many of them are now successful practicing attorneys in Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania.”

The average score on the LSAT for all Wheeling Jesuit pre-law students since 1992 has been around the 66th percentile nationally. The average grade point is approximately a 3.4. Michaud added that these data are significant because they are the two most important criteria which law schools use for admission.

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