ABA Cautions Law Schools Over Using GRE
A new report commissioned by the ABA warns that law schools should be careful about placing the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) on equal footing with the Law School Admission Test (LSAT).
According to the report, researchers stated that more data is needed around whether or not the exam can accurately predict first-year grades, Reuters reports.
“The Center for Advanced Studies in Measurement and Assessment (CASMA) finds the results in the ETS Research Report ETS –RR-18-26 (Klieger et al., 2018) to be an insufficient basis for a clear recommendation that the GRE and LSAT can be used interchangeably and successfully for admissions to any/all law schools,” the researchers state in the report.
LESS THAN 1% OF FIRST-YEAR LAW STUDENTS APPLY WITH GRE
In 2016, the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law became the first law school in the nation to accept the GRE score in lieu of the LSAT. 71 law schools have since followed suit in allowing applicants to submit GRE scores for admission.
Despite the growing popularity of law schools accepting the GRE, however, ABA data shows that less than 1% of first-year law students applied to law school in 2020 with the GRE.
WHAT BOTH SIDES HAVE TO SAY
Supporters of the GRE argue that the exam will help law schools diversify their admissions by opening up the applicant pool.
“The GRE is offered almost every day of the year at more than 1,000 testing centers across the country,” according to Economist Education. “The test is computer-delivered, and students can view their preliminary scores immediately upon completion. By contrast, the paper-based LSAT is offered just four times per year; scores take three to four weeks to arrive.”
“We believe this change will make the admissions process more accessible to students who have great potential to make a mark here at Georgetown Law and in successful legal careers but who might find the LSAT to be a barrier for whatever reason,” William M. Treanor, the school’s dean, says in an interview with The New York Times.
Supporters of the LSAT argue that the LSAT already provides law schools a predictable and standard format for admission to law education.
“It provides a common measure for all applicants,” said Christina B. Whitman, a professor at the University of Michigan Law School and chairman of the board of trustees of the Law School Admissions Council, which oversees the LSAT, tells The New York Times. “How else could admissions directors evaluate students, like me, who attended massive state universities.”