By Robert Channick
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) The LSAT was created at the urging of law schools 70 years ago and became a requirement for applicants to gain admission. But its hold on the admissions process has been loosening in recent years.
Admissions tests, long an ominous and pressure-filled requirement for application to law school, may soon become entirely optional.
A proposal working its way through the Chicago-based American Bar Association, which is the accrediting body for law schools, would eliminate the requirement of a “valid and reliable test” such as the LSAT, and, more recently, the GRE, as part of a law school’s admission process.
The rule change was adopted by the council of the bar association’s legal education section at a Friday meeting in Washington, D.C. But prospective law students may still want to keep a supply of sharpened pencils on hand.
The proposal awaits an August review by bar association delegates before it can be finalized. And many law schools may not be so quick to abandon the LSAT as a primary admissions tool.
“I would expect law schools to continue to rely on an admissions test as a fundamental piece of their admissions policies, and likely the LSAT would be the test of choice in the foreseeable future,” Barry Currier, managing director of ABA Accreditation said in a statement. “But the use of tests other than the LSAT, including the GRE, may add to the group of individuals who wish to study law, and that might be a positive development.”
The LSAT was created at the urging of law schools 70 years ago and became a requirement for applicants to gain admission. The half-day standardized exam is now given six times a year at designated centers, up from four exams in previous years.