LSAT requirement should be eliminated, ABA committee says

Education

(NewsNation) — An American Bar Association committee recommended eliminating standardized tests, including the LSAT, as a requirement to get into law school.

“Among other changes, the SRC is recommending the elimination of the requirement that law schools use a valid and reliable admission test, although law schools of course remain free to require a test if they wish,” a memo released this week by the ABA’s strategic review committee said.

Recommendations made by the committee include requiring law schools to identify all tests it accepts in their admissions policies so applicants can know which ones are accepted.

“Eliminating the requirement of a “valid and reliable” admission test also eliminates some of the challenges inherent in determining which tests are in fact valid and reliable for law school admissions,” the memo said. “Although of course law schools must still show that their use of an admission test, should they choose to require one, is consistent with sound admission practices and procedures.”

In the memo, the strategic review committee pointed out that the ABA’s Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar is the only accreditor among law, medical, dental, pharmacy, business and architecture institutions to require an admissions tests.

According to Law360, the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar will vote on whether to approve the revisions for public notice and comment. Spivey Consulting, a law school admissions consulting firm, noted that there are a series of steps the recommendation would have to go through before it is actually finalized.

Spivey Consulting said in a blog post that the move to eliminate the testing requirement isn’t surprising. Some states, it said, are eliminating the test requirement for admission to college. However, it said law schools would likely still at least accept standardized test scores, and that applicants would probably still choose to take them.

Standardized tests offer some advantages to students, Spivey wrote, including scholarship money and more certainty in estimating their chance of admission to different law schools.

Applicants “are unlikely to change their behavior en masse unless admissions offices eliminate the current incentives to take a standardized test,” Spivey said.

Standardized tests have been a topic of conversation for a while in the law community. According to The Hill, the ABA Council previously voted in November to allow law schools to accept Graduate Record Examination results in addition to LSAT results.

And Reuters reports that Law School Admission Council is piloting a program to let law students apply for schools without taking a test. Under the program, undergraduate students at participating colleges and universities would complete a tailored curriculum then be able to apply without the LSAT.

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