Law Schools May Go Test-Optional
Law schools are making a whole lot of noise this week. As our readers know, the law schools of Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Georgetown, Michigan, UCLA, UC Berkeley, and Northwestern have all opted to boycott the annual US News & World Report law school ranking by refusing to report their data. These law schools, of course, will still be ranked by the publication; their ranks simply won’t be determined by the self-reported data but instead by publicly available data. And if this wasn’t big enough news in the world of law school admissions, an American Bar Association panel has opted to lift a testing requirement in the law school admissions process. This potentially rather significant change, however, is subject to approval by the group’s governing body.
As Scott Jaschik reports for Inside Higher Ed in a piece entitled “Big Step Toward Test Optional in Law School Admissions,” “The Council of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar voted to lift the testing requirement starting in the fall of 2025. Currently the ABA permits the law schools it accredits to use either the Law School Admissions Test or the Graduate Record Examination. The proposed revision, which could be a significant change in law school admissions, now goes to the ABA House of Delegates for approval. The next meeting of the House of Delegates is in February.”
But if these law schools really do choose to go test-optional, which seems like a very real possibility, will students with great LSAT or GRE scores really enjoy no advantage over students who don’t submit scores? Of course not. All else being equal, law school applicants with great test scores will always enjoy an advantage over applicants with no test scores — test-optional or not.
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