The LSAT may no longer be a requirement to get into law school.
On April 13, the American Bar Association committee recommended dumping the accreditation standard that mandates schools use a standardized test in admissions, Law.com reports.
If approved by the ABA’s Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar and the ABA’s House of Delegates later this year, law schools would largely start accepting the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) and other alternative exams for acceptance.
“I’m delighted by the result,” Dan Rodriguez, dean of Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, tells Law.com. “I and many others have been saying in recent months that the decision to let schools fundamentally have a choice about which test to use in considering applicants, and how to use that test, is best made by the law schools.”
Schools Accepting the GRE
So far, 16 schools currently accept the GRE alongside the LSAT, according to The Princeton Review. Here are all 16 schools now accepting the GRE from applicants:
- Brigham Young University Law School
- Brooklyn Law School
- Columbia Law School
- Florida State University College of Law
- George Washington Law School
- Georgetown Law
- Harvard Law School
- John Marshall Law School
- Northwestern University School of Law
- John’s University School of Law
- Texas A&M School of Law
- University of Arizona College of Law
- University of Hawaii School of Law
- Wake Forest School of Law
- Washington University School of Law
- Yeshiva University Cardozo School of Law
What Will This Mean for Students?
A new survey from Kaplan Test Prep found that, out of 2,000 pre-law students surveyed, 39% are against law schools accepting the GRE.
“The LSAT is an exam for a specific profession and teaches skills that are required for law school success,” one survey respondent says. “I imagine that students who submit an application with only a GRE score will be subject to higher scrutiny.”
On the other hand, 33% are for it with 28% saying they’re unsure.
“Currently, I am interested in several different grad schools that accept the GRE,” one survey respondent says. “Also, the GRE tests knowledge rather than just skills. The GRE, in general, is easier to study for and still a strong predictor of how a student will do in law school.”
While the ruling could get rid of the accreditation standard that mandates schools to use a standardized test in admissions, that doesn’t necessarily mean schools will opt to admit students with no standardized test scores. Under ABA standards, schools need to prove that they aren’t admitting students who have little chance of graduating and passing the bar exam, according to Law.com.
“The schools are still going to have to show that any test they use is valid and reliable, and the LSAT has been shown to be,” Kellye Testy, the president of the Law School Admission Council, tells Law.com. “It’s opening the door for schools to think about alternatives, but the value of the test isn’t just to the schools, but to the applicants.”