Majority of Prospective Law Students Support The LSAT
A majority of pre-law students believe law schools should require a standardized test for admissions.
A new survey by Kaplan Test Prep finds that 58% of aspiring lawyers say law schools should require all prospective students to take a standardized admissions test. 36% say they shouldn’t and 6% are not sure.
Current Proposal To Eliminate LSAT Requirement
The news comes on the heels of the American Bar Association’s Monday announcement, where it withdrew a proposal to eliminate its requirement that schools must use the LSAT for admissions, Law.com reports.
“Today’s decision gives us all time to work together to consider how to proceed in the best interests of applicants and law schools to promote access and equity in law school admission,” Law School Admission Council president Kellye Testy tells Law.com. “While law school applications are on the upswing, LSAC is eager to partner with our member schools to provide greater flexibility and creativity in admissions while ensuring fairness, access and transparency for all candidates.”
Arguments For And Against The LSAT
Supporters of the LSAT argue that the LSAT is a fair predictor of law school performance and passage of the bar exam.
“The LSAT puts all students on a level playing field. GPAs vary tremendously based on school and major so the LSAT is a good way to score all students,” one student interviewed by Kaplan says.
Yet, those against opposed to the LSAT requirement argue that the test doesn’t truly measure law school success.
“I don’t think standardized tests are really measuring a student’s ability to excel at a law school. It’s just measuring how good you are at taking standardized tests,” another student interviewed by Kaplan says.
Law Schools Opening To GRE
As of July 2018, 23 law schools have announced that they plan to accept the GRE in lieu of the LSAT for admissions, according to The Princeton Review.
Below is the updated list of all schools that now accept the GRE from applicants:
- Brigham Young University Law School
- Brooklyn Law School
- Columbia Law School
- Cornell 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
- New York University Law
- Northwestern University School of Law
- Pace University School of Law
- St. 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
Yet, despite the number of law schools opening up to the GRE, experts say the ABA’s decision is unlikely to sway the majority of law schools to follow suit in lifting the testing requirement for admissions.
“In fact, we expect many will stick with their own admissions test requirement, be it the LSAT, GRE, or GMAT, as admitting students unlikely to complete their legal education (as measured by high dropout rates and/or low bar passage rates) would risk the school losing its accreditation,” Jeff Thomas, executive director of pre-law programs at Kaplan Test Prep, writes.
“In that sense, standardized tests act like a safeguard against bad admissions practices that can have long-term ramifications for both law schools and their students.”
Sources: Kaplan Test Prep, Law.com, The Princeton Review