The Ivy Coach Daily

June 21, 2022

The LSAT in Law School Admissions

A piece up on Inside Higher Ed urges law schools to resist doing away with the LSAT.

Just as so many of America’s universities went SAT/ACT optional in undergraduate admissions in recent years, America’s law schools could soon go test-optional as well. Indeed, the American Bar Association is presently weighing whether or not law schools across the nation should be allowed to not require standardized test scores in the admissions process (neither the LSAT nor the GRE). Of course, just because the ABA says law schools can go test-optional doesn’t mean they will, but it will surely inspire some schools to take the leap. In fact, Ivy Coach’s famously accurate crystal ball hereby predicts it will be a top-ranked law school — like Yale Law School, Harvard Law School, or Stanford Law School — that takes the plunge first. The rest will soon follow their lead. But will law schools be better off with test-optional admissions policies?

Ben Paris believes the answer is no. In fact, he argues in a piece for Inside Higher Ed entitled “Keep the LSAT,” the LSAT is different than the SAT or ACT. It’s not like just any old standardized test. As he writes, “There’s something special about the LSAT: it’s actually a really good test. I say this from my own 25-plus years of experience preparing people for the LSAT and many other tests, and it’s not just me: the LSAT is widely respected in the test-prep community because it measures important skills in a sophisticated and fair manner. Not everyone agrees, of course, but it’s very difficult to engage with the LSAT without emerging with some level of respect. To do well on the LSAT, you need to: Analyze arguments, draw sophisticated inferences, determine the relevance of evidence, identify assumptions, spot logical flaws, and recognize similarities and differences between arguments. Along the way, the LSAT also requires you to comprehend complex texts on unfamiliar subjects and reason abstractly.”

It will be interesting to see if our nation’s law schools soon do away with the LSAT requirement much as so many universities did away with the SAT/ACT requirement. And will it be the top law schools that do away with the requirement first? Or will it be second or third-tier law schools that set the precedent? Only time will tell how this all will unfold. So stay tuned!

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