LSAC Announces Partnership With Microsoft
The Law School Admission Council (LSAC) has announced a technology collaboration with Microsoft to use thousands of Microsoft Surface Go tablets when the LSAT goes digital next July.
PRNewswire reports that LSAC and Microsoft are collaborating on a number of initiatives to make the law school admission process more effective and efficient.
“Legal education and the legal profession need to keep pace with technological advancements,” Kellye Testy, president and CEO of LSAC, tells PRNewswire. “With the breadth of their solutions and their commitment to privacy, security, accessibility, and inclusion, Microsoft will be a tremendous help to the legal education community as we navigate these accelerating changes.”
Transition To Digital Format
LSAC is planning to make the exam digital for the July 2019 exam, but that doesn’t mean everyone will be taking the exam on a computer.
According to LSAC, it plans to have some test takers assigned to pencil-and-paper tests and other to digital tests as it transitions to fully digital.
Additionally, LSAC plans to offer all July test takers the option of seeing their score before they decide whether or not they want to cancel it. If they do decide to cancel their July score, LSAC says, they can retake the LSAT through April 2020 for free.
“The structure of the test sections and test questions will not be any different than the paper-and-pencil LSAT, and we’ll be providing free online tutorials, so we don’t think test takers will have any problems moving to the digital version,” Testy says. “In our field tests, candidates found the Digital LSAT easy to use. That said, we wanted to provide additional options for those who register for our July transitional test.”
Microsoft officials have pointed out the positives of the digital transition.
“There are clear and profound opportunities for the legal profession to use data and digital technology to support its timeless and important role in society,” Brad Smith, president of Microsoft, tells PRNewswire. “Microsoft is excited to partner with the LSAC on its digital transformation.”
LSAC’s decision to partner with Microsoft through this transition is a strategic and well-thought out matter in regard to the exam process and security.
“Microsoft’s leadership on accessibility was one of the reasons LSAC selected the Surface Go as the tablet for the Digital LSAT,” Troy Lowry, senior vice president of technology products and chief information officer at LSAC. “Surface Go is a great device, and it includes Windows 10 capabilities like a built-in screen reader, text and icon magnifier, and many other accessibility features. LSAC and Microsoft are working together to ensure the Digital LSAT on Surface Go provides a wide range of accessibility features and functionality for test takers who need them.”