Law schools are increasingly warming up to the Graduate Record Examination as an alternative to the Law School Admission Test.
Kaplan Test Prep’s 2017 law school admissions officers survey found that of 128 law schools surveyed across the United States, 25% say acceptance of GRE scores is “an admissions policy they plan to implement.” That’s a 14% increase from last year’s survey. Forty-five percent say they have no plans to implement the policy, and 30% are unsure.
“Our survey finds the clearest sign yet that there is a shift toward greater GRE acceptance among law schools, but there’s still much uncertainty since one ruling from the American Bar Association could put an end to the practice,” says Jeff Thomas, executive director of pre-law programs for Kaplan Test Prep.
The findings don’t necessarily undermine the importance of the LSAT, Thomas says, adding that applicants should be prepared to do well on both tests.
“Firstly, most applicants will still have to take the LSAT, as only three law schools accept the GRE this year,” he says. “And even if you rock the GRE, but bomb the LSAT, law schools will see your LSAT score. You can’t only send the score you want to the schools you want. You will not be able to withhold your LSAT score. That means that while a high GRE score could mitigate against a weaker LSAT score, it will not be overlooked entirely. Plan on taking the LSAT.”
Among the schools announcing plans to accept the GRE: Harvard Law School, Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, and Georgetown Law. University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law was the first law school to accept the GRE, giving prospective students more options for admission.
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Sources: Kaplan Test Prep, Poets & Quants