ABA Approves a New Law School Admissions Test
A new law school entrance exam developed by the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law has been approved by the American Bar Association.
The JD-Next program will now join the LSAT and GRE as approved law school admissions exams, Reuters reports. While the test’s approval currently applies only to Arizona Law applicants, University of Arizona law dean Marc Miller says other schools can request ABA permission to use the exam when admitting students.
REDUCING RACIAL SCORE DISPARITIES
Proponents of the JD-Next program say that the exam aims to capture applicants’ law school aptitude without producing racial score disparities seen in other standardized exams, such as the LSAT. According to a study conducted in 2019 on the LSAT, the average score achieved by Black test-takers was 142 out of a total possible score of 180. In comparison, white and Asian test-takers obtained an average score of 153.
The JD-Next program includes an eight-week online course and is designed to give prospective law students a taste of law school while also gauging their ability to learn and retain the material. Throughout an eight-week online program, JD-Next participants dedicate half their time to reading legal cases and the other half of their time learning about contracts.
According to research by the University of Arizona, JD-Next participants on average saw a .20 of a point increase in their first-year law school GPAs compared with classmates who didn’t complete the program.
Miller, the Arizona law dean, says he expects more than 3,500 people across nearly 40 law schools to participate in the program this summer, however Arizona is the only school that will use the JD-Next program to make admissions decisions. JD-Next is currently free to participants and schools.
“I hope that many schools at least consider JD-Next as an option,” Miller says. “What’s the downside?”
Comments or questions about this article? Email us.