A splitter is a prospective law school
student whose LSAT
score and GPA
(as calculated by LSAC
) vary significantly from one another, such that his or her numbers are "split" between high and low marks. More recently, two specific categories of splitter have been defined: the "traditional splitter
" (high LSAT, low GPA) and the "reverse splitter
" (low LSAT, high GPA). The traditional splitter is considered much more common, while the reverse splitter will frequently try to retake the LSAT for a better score. When used with no qualification, "splitter" usually refers to a traditional splitter, but can refer to either or both (when speaking generally).
The criteria for referring to someone as a splitter can vary based on the person asked, the applicant's goal law school(s), how competitive the admissions cycle is, and a number of other factors. One rule of thumb, however, is that a splitter will have one number above the 75th percentile of his/her target school, while the other can be below the 25th percentile (to an extent).
The status of being a splitter is a matter of great concern to law school applicants, and a subject of extensive discussion every admissions cycle. However, some individuals, especially after being admitted, will wear the term as a badge of honor.