Hey there, future lawyers: how would you like to apply for law school without taking the LSAT?
Yeah, seriously. No more LSAT requirements for entering law school. That’s the recommendation being proposed by the American Bar Association.
A “substantial portion” of the ABA committee believes the rule should be repealed, Polden [Santa Clara University law school dean and the chairman of an ABA committee reviewing the standards] told the NLJ. He and officials from the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar pointed out that a small number of law schools already have been granted waivers by the ABA to admit some high-performing students from their own undergraduate institutions who haven’t taken the test.
This isn’t to say that law schools have to listen to the ABA. In fact, it may be because the ABA is listening to law schools that the proposal is even being batted around.
The refusal of the Massachusetts School of Law to require the LSAT was among several disputes that led to years of fighting with the ABA over its refusal to accredit the nontraditional law school. The ABA won the court battle, and the Massachusetts School of Law opted to operate without ABA recognition or an LSAT requirement. The Massachusetts School of Law requires all applicants to have interviews and to take an essay test it has developed, and argues that its method helps to identify talented students who might not have earned great LSAT scores.
That and because law schools put so much emphasis on the LSAT score. They want raise their ranking in the US News and World Report law school rankings, which the ABA has criticized for placing undue emphasis on LSAT scores.
What do you think? Is the LSAT anachronistic, or is it an appropriate filter to entry into the practice of law?
- Speaking of Wealthy Organizations that Benefit from Unnecessary Rules… (volokh.com)
- ABA Considers Dropping LSAT Requirement for Admission to Law School (abovethelaw.com)
- American Bar Association May Drop LSAT Requirement (huffingtonpost.com)