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Proposal to eliminate standardized test requirement for law schools moves forward

Posted at 2:31 PM, Apr 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-20 21:37:43-04

The requirement that American Bar Association-approved law schools require applicants to submit a standardized law school admissions test as part of their application could soon become optional. 

The Standards Review Committee of the Council of the American Bar Association's Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar advanced a proposal to eliminate the requirement that law schools order applicants to submit a standardized admission test score as part of their application.

This discussion of the current ABA requirement that law school applications include a "valid and reliable test" has been growing in recent years. 

For more than fifty years, the Law School Admission Test, or LSAT, has been the only test used by schools.

Two years ago, the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law was the first school to announce it would accept the Graduate Record Examination, or GRE, for incoming law students. The decision was based on a study that showed that UA law students performances on the GRE is a valid predictor of their first-term law school grades.

Following the UA's footsteps, nearly a dozen other law schools in the country, including Harvard and Northwestern, have also announced they would accept the GRE for law school applicants.

Those who support removing the requirement argue that the new option will open opportunities for law schools to innovate with respect to putting together an entering class that serves well the program and missions of schools.

A decision will be made by the Council of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, which meets May 11 in Washington, D.C.

If the council approves the changes, the earliest they could go before the ABA House of Delegates for its concurrence would be August.