Now, why exactly do we need the LSAT?

(Reuters) – Jane is applying to the Colleges of Law, Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Business Administration and Architecture. If I applied to school before business school, and my dental application is the fourth, when does Jane take all the required entrance exams?

Answer: She just has to take the LSAT. Accredited from other professions do not impose entrance exams in Unified Graduate Schools, according to to the American Bar Association.

Should the law follow suit? I don’t mean to abolish the LSAT (and its tortured logic games) entirely, but instead allow individual law schools to decide whether or not to order the test as part of the admissions process?

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This is the proposal now pending before the ABA Council on Legal Education, and it has drawn a torrent of comments from ardent advocates and opponents of the LSAT.

As it stands, ABA Standard 503 requires applicants to the JD program to submit scores from a “valid and credible admissions test”—usually the LSAT, but scores of schools now accept the GRE.

Many who urge the ABA to keep test requirements in place argue that the LSAT is the single best predictor of academic success in the first year of law school. Considering the cost of legal education – According to US News – The average private law school tuition fee in the 2021-2022 school year was $53,000, while the state’s public school tuition was about $30,000 – it doesn’t benefit anyone to lose, sans dinars and heavily indebted.

As the Admissions Board of the Faculty of Law in comments In the words of the ABA, making the test optional “will effectively deprive many law school candidates of the single most important information they need to make a resource-intensive decision to enroll in law school: their likelihood of success.”

So… law schools offer applicants who bomb the LSAT a known disapproval, and spare them future heartbreak?

Perhaps not surprisingly, many commentators who have struggled with the LSAT don’t see it that way.

For example, one man He said “ADHD and Generalized Anxiety Disorder” has led me to perform below standards on the LSAT, despite having an average score of 3.9 and is confident of his ability to succeed in law school.

Others point out the cost of preparing for the individual exam, which can easily be as high as $4,000.

One test taker “I don’t come from money, so I was at a huge disadvantage because I couldn’t enroll in a prep course or have a private tutor” Wrote. “Instead, I had to rely on cheap and ineffective prep books for most students.”

Another identified herself as an African American woman He said She was “not sure I could get high enough grades to be taken seriously in the majority of schools,” adding, “I just want to get in.”

Indeed, proponents of making the LSAT optional hope that it will lead to greater diversity in the legal profession. according to comments Provided by the AccessLex Institute, citing a “historically disadvantaged population of race and social economy,” the average LSAT score for black test takers was 1,422. For white and Asian applicants, it was 153, with Hispanic applicants getting an average of 146.

However, making the test optional is not likely to be a panacea. As AccessLex notes, emerging research about enrolling minority students at undergraduate institutions that no longer require the SAT or ACT has yielded mixed results and “limited evidence of diversity gains.”

This, to me, points to the biggest hurdle in canceling the LSAT. What do you replace it with?

Test scores do not imply “a greater reliance on self-assessment in acceptance (which can easily be influenced by bias),” according to 20 comment pages Signed by more than 50 law school deans and admissions administrators.

It could also mean more reliance on the average bachelor’s degree — which admissions officials say may be overrated at private colleges, favoring wealthy applicants. Likewise, the perceived prestige of a college school would loom larger, again favoring wealthy applicants.

Valid points, yes, although you also think admissions officials can take into account such variables when evaluating applications.

Despite some manual comments (one confirmed That making the LSAT elective would result in a “terrifying proposition for legal education and students”) the proposition in the end seems modest to me. Most law schools will likely continue to use the LSAT in their admission decisions. The world will go on as we know it.

But why not give some creative legal educators the flexibility to look beyond the LSAT?

It is not as if without the exam, admission will be offered optional. Every law school still has to commit to an extension ABA rule Restrict enrollment to students “who appear to be able to satisfactorily complete the legal education program and be admitted to the bar.”

What we do know is that the current system is not working well for a large subset of applicants, who remain underrepresented in the legal profession.

As the Association for Clinical Legal Education put itif we want “a more diverse profession that can better meet the needs of modern clients – we can’t keep doing the same thing and expect different results.”

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