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Thursday, March 21, 2013

ABA to Keep LSAT Requirement for Law School Admission

LSATNational Law Journal:  ABA Panel Endorses Continued Use of LSAT in Law School Admissions:

It appears the Law School Admission Test is here to stay as a requirement to get into law school.

The ABA's Standards Review Committee, which has been evaluating the law school accreditation standards, caused a stir in 2011 when some members advocated dropping the requirement that schools use a "valid and reliable admission test"—in practice, the LSAT.

But support for change has waned over time. Now the ABA's Council of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar has primarily endorsed retaining the LSAT requirement. ... The council on March 16 followed the committee's recommendation and preliminarily endorsed retaining the LSAT requirement. The council is seeking public comment on that and other aspects of Chapters 2 and 5 of the accreditation standards, of which the LSAT requirement was the most controversial. (Those two chapters address law school governance and admissions.)

Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2013/03/aba-votes.html

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Comments

Amazing that the ABA hasn't f*cked *this* up yet.

The LSAT is one of the few uniform standards that provide something of bulwark against *even more* law school corruption.

But just give it time, the long-standing marriage of insatiable law school greed (in a time of rapidly declining applications) and liberal self-pleasuring (over the "cultural biases" of standardized metrics) will reassert itself in the syphilitic confines of ABA committee staffs (or is that staphs?).

Cries to do away with the LSAT will be heard again - to re-line the pockets of legal diploma mills and re-stroke the egos of blind social engineers.

Posted by: cas127 | Mar 21, 2013 7:57:40 PM

Why would liberals be against the LSAT?

IQ correlates with liberalism, and all standardized tests correlate with IQ.
http://pss.sagepub.com/content/early/2012/01/04/0956797611421206.abstract

As for "lining the pockets of diploma mills" . . . There is a requirement that people take the LSAT, not that they do well on it. Plenty of schools admit students with extremely low LSAT scores.

For example, Liberty University, and the many for-profit law schools.

Posted by: Anon | Mar 22, 2013 10:46:46 AM

"IQ correlates with liberalism, and all standardized tests correlate with IQ."

See "self pleasuring" - above.

"Plenty of schools admit students with extremely low LSAT scores."

But it is infinitely easier to maintain the facade of "prestige" (but still cash the checks) if there is no LSAT - or other uniform metric. Then admission (even 100% admission) essentially becomes a black box - opaque to the outside world.

Given the very recent historical behaviour of the law schools, it is hard to believe that most of them won't toss the LSAT/all placement stats/any objective measure of *their* performance the first second the fall in applications starts to bite (soon, soon) and the ABA/State Bars give them cover.

The majority of schools have befouled themselves over the last few decades - demonstrating business practices that they would eagerly attack and litigate against in others.

The LSAT (whatever its flaws) is one of the very few tools that draws the curtain back on the dirt in academia.

The very decline in LSAT scores that you reference exposes the fact that tuition/tax dollars are pre-eminent in the law school admission equation - not merit or prestige.

Posted by: cas127 | Mar 25, 2013 5:15:11 AM

First of all, why is it immoral or unethical for law schools to admit students with low LSAT scores? As long as the education the law school provide is good enough that a high enough proportion of the students they admit are capable of passing a bar exam within a reasonable number of tries, say 1 to 3 tries, or getting reasonably good jobs that don't require admission to the bar, what is the problem?

Is there a reason why every lawyer on the planet, including the ones who handle drunk driving charges or routine form-filling exercises (i.e., immigration matters) needs to be a genius?

If a law school can take someone with a low LSAT score and poor job prospects, and turn him into a decent lawyer who can pass the bar exam, serve clients, and earn a middle class income, that's commendable.

If all a law school can do is admit geniuses who can teach themselves everything anyway, how much value is the law school adding?

As for prestige, no one is going to be fooled into thinking that Liberty University or Charlotte Law School or any of the other for-profits are prestigious, even if they stop reporting LSAT scores and student GPAs, and no one is going to think that Harvard-Yale-Stanford-Columbia-Chicago aren't top of the food chain, no matter what.

If all law schools cared about was money, the tuition at Harvard-Stanford-Yale-Columbia-Chicago would be $100K+ per year and they would still find enough rich kids willing to pay it to fill their class.

What horrible business practices are you referring to? Except in crazy California, almost all of the lawsuits against law schools have been dismissed. Anyone can bring a lawsuit. That doesn't mean the defendant did anything wrong. That's how the justice system works--we listen to evidence before jumping to conclusions.

But you seem to have an ax to grind against the law schools, so why bother with facts or logic?

Posted by: Anon | Mar 25, 2013 9:24:42 AM