The University of Southern California Gould School of Law is the latest law school to accept the GRE in lieu of the LSAT.
USC’s acceptance of GRE scores from applicants marks an important and historical stride in legal education — now nearly half of the country’s top 20 law schools have begun accepting the GRE as an alternative to the LSAT, Law.com reports.
“USC has a long history of encouraging interdisciplinary studies, and we hope that students with an interest in multiple disciplines will consider pursing joint degree programs that include a law degree,” USC law Dean Andrew Guzman said in an announcement.
20 TOTAL LAW SCHOOLS NOW ACCEPT THE GRE
USC joins the footsteps of 19 other ABA-accredited law schools that now accept the GRE, according to The Princeton Review.
Among the law schools making the change:
- 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
- Illinois Institute of Technology College of Law
- John Marshall Law School
- Northwestern University School of Law
- Pace University School of Law
- John’s University School of Law
- Texas A&M School of Law
- University of Arizona College of Law
- University of California, Los Angeles School of Law
- University of Hawaii School of Law
- University of Pennsylvania Law School
- University of Southern California Law School
- Wake Forest School of Law
- Washington University School of Law
- Yeshiva University Cardozo School of Law
WIDENING THE APPLICANT POOL
The main reason why law schools are embracing the GRE as an alternative test is to reach a wider applicant pool.
For one, the computer-administered GRE is offered almost every day of the year at more than 1,000 testing centers across the country and scores are viewed immediately upon completion, according to a report by The Economist. Compared to the LSAT, which is only offered four times a year, is paper based, and scores are given three to four weeks after an exam.
Eulas Boyd, dean of admissions at Brooklyn Law School, tells The Economist that the switch to the GRE allows more versatility and career options for students.
“For us as an industry to require a test that only qualifies them for law school might not be realistic anymore,” Boyd tells The Economist. “It’s pretty short-sighted for us to say that you need to prove your fidelity to a legal career by taking the LSAT now and preparing for months, as opposed to a test that could potentially qualify you for several careers.”
Kari Van Sickle, director of admissions at Brigham Young University’s J. Reuben Clark Law School, tells The Economist that the acceptance of the GRE is also an effort to widen the applicant pool.
“We’re always trying to find innovative ways to encourage more students from different backgrounds to come to law school,” Sickle tells The Economist.