TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Monday, January 24, 2011

U.S. News to Continue to Use LSAT in Rankings, Even if ABA Makes LSAT Optional

U.S. News Logo Robert Morse (Director of Data Research, U.S. News & World Report), LSAT Will Still Be Weighted Heavily in Law School Rankings:

There are serious discussions underway in the legal education community about whether the LSAT, which is now a mandatory requirement for admission to law school, will become a voluntary requirement. An ABA committee is considering proposing changes to the ABA's current law school accreditation standards that would allow law schools to make the LSAT optional. ...

U.S. News is watching closely whether, when, and how the LSAT requirement is changed since law school admissions data counts for 25% of our annual Best Law Schools rankings. The combined median LSAT of all full-time and part-time students entering into a J.D. program is one of the key components of our rankings. The U.S. News law school rankings methodology weights the LSAT at 12.5% of the overall ranking. In addition, the median undergraduate grade-point average of all entering J.D. students is weighted 10% of the overall ranking, and the overall acceptance rate counts for 2.5%. We believe that comparing law schools on their students' LSATs and undergraduate GPAs is the most direct way of determining which schools have enrolled the "best and brightest" students—and therefore will remain important criteria in determining which are the nation's top law schools. ...

It's likely that a very large proportion of law students will continue to take and submit the LSAT, even if it's made optional at some schools. It is important to note that the LSAT has been proven to be the best and most reliable predictor of first year success at law school. With that in mind, U.S. News will continue to conduct the annual law school rankings, and the LSAT will remain a heavily weighted factor.

Law School Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink

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