ABA Votes to Eliminate LSAT
The LSAT will no longer required in law school admissions.
The American Bar Association (ABA) voted last Friday to eliminate the testing requirement in law school admissions. The rule change, which will need to be approved by the ABA’s House of Delegates in February, would go into effect in fall of 2025 in order to allow law schools time to plan for new admission standards, Reuters reports.
“The goal is to open up innovation—finding other ways that might complement the current admissions processes to move us ahead in legal education on diversity and a host of other considerations,” Councilmember Daniel Thies says.
The ABA has received nearly 120 public comments regarding diversity as a central topic in the testing debate. Critics of the LSAT argue that the standardized test acts a roadblock in bringing diversity to the legal field. But supporters of the LSAT argue that getting rid of it could actually hurt underprivileged aspiring lawyers.
“If law schools abandon the LSAT or other validated tests in their admissions processes, something else will take its place,” Erwin Chemerinsky, the dean of University of California, Berkeley School of Law, and Daniel Tokaji, dean of the University of Wisconsin Law School, write in a joint letter. “It is quite possible—we think probable—that greater emphasis will be put on GPA, written or verbal recommendations, the reputation of undergraduate institutions, admissions officers’ familiarity with those institutions, or other subjective factors that are more subject to privilege and bias than test scores.”
STUDY SHOWS MOST LAW SCHOOLS WILL CONTINUE USING LSAT
While the ABA may have voted to get rid of the LSAT, law schools may not even abandon the standardized test. A recent survey by Kaplan found that nearly half of the 82 law school admissions offices surveyed indicated that they are either “very likely” or “somewhat” likely to continue requiring a standardized admissions exam even if the ABA drops its testing mandate.
“Irrespective of how this vote goes on Friday, it doesn’t necessarily mean that anything in admissions is actually going to change,” Jeff Thomas, Kaplan’s executive director of legal programs, said prior to Friday’s decision.
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