Thursday, January 13, 2011
The LSAT is a rite of passage for aspiring lawyers, but could go from mandatory to voluntary under proposed changes to the ABA's law school accreditation standards. The committee reviewing the standards is leaning toward dropping the rule that law schools require J.D. applicants to take a "valid and reliable admission test," chairman Donald Polden, dean of Santa Clara University School of Law, said on Wednesday. "A substantial portion of the committee believes that provision should be repealed," said Polden, noting that about 10 law schools already have waivers from the ABA allowing them to admit some students who haven't taken the LSAT.
Much of the committee's LSAT debate has focused on the proper role of the ABA in the regulation of law school admissions, said Loyola University Chicago School of Law Dean David Yellen, who sits on the standards review committee. "I think an accrediting body ought to ensure that law schools are producing students who can enter the practice," he said, noting that he personally is on the fence about the LSAT requirement. "Is taking a standardized test the only way to determine if someone should be able to go to law school? Schools ought to be able to decide how they want to admit students."
Yellen said committee members have also questioned whether the ABA should be making rules that financially benefit the Law School Admission Council—the organization that administers the LSAT. "It's a wealthy institution," Yellen said. "So many people take the LSAT. Why is the ABA ensuring its future success?" ...
Both Polden and Yellen believe that most schools would continue to require the LSAT, in part because it is the most reliable way to measure applicants against each other and make merit-based financial aid decisions.
- ABA Journal, LSAT Would Be Optional Under Possible ABA Accreditation Change
- Above the Law, ABA Considers Dropping LSAT Requirement for Admission to Law School
- American Lawyer, The Last Days of the LSAT?
- The Careerist, Kill the LSAT? Are You Nuts?
- Inside Higher Ed, ABA May Drop LSAT Requirement
- Law Librarian Blog, Heil Myself: The Legal Theater Works on Its New Musical -- Auf Wiedersehen LSAT, Guten Tag Legal Skills
- Legal Blog Watch, Will the ABA Make LSATs Voluntary?
- Leiter's Law School Reports, ABA Considers Dropping LSAT Requirement for Law School Admissions
- New York Law Journal, Hasta la Vista, LSAT?
- The Volokh Conspiracy, Speaking of Wealthy Organizations that Benefit from Unnecessary Rules...
- Wall Street Journal Law Blog, Is the LSAT Going to Go the Way of the Dodo?