Thursday, August 8, 2013
National Law Journal, Don't Blame LSAT for Dearth of Minorities, by Karen Sloan:
Advocates for diversity in the legal profession have long identified the Law School Admission Test as a major barrier to black and Hispanic law school applicants because on average they score lower than do whites and Asians-Americans.
The blame is misplaced, University of Virginia School of Law professor Alex Johnson, Jr. argues in an article titled Knots in the Pipeline for Prospective Lawyers of Color: The LSAT Is Not the Problem and Affirmative Action Is Not the Answer [24 Stan. L. & Pol'y Rev. 379 (2013)] ...
The real reason why minorities are underrepresented in the legal profession is because they tend to “misapply” to law schools that are unlikely to admit them to due to their grades and LSAT scores, and because a disproportionate percentage of minority law grads take the bar exam in states with the toughest pass cutoffs, Johnson writes.
“Prospective law students should apply to law schools that they have a reasonable chance of being admitted to and there should be a national bar exam,” Johnson said in an interview. “If these things happen, we should have a more diverse profession. The test is not the problem because there literally is a law school for everyone.”
Other legal educators took Johnson’s conclusions with a grain of salt.
- Legal Ethics Forum, Don't Blame LSAT for Dearth of Minorities
- University of Virginia School of Law Faculty Q&A, Bar Exam Standards, 'Misapplication' to Law Schools Offer Obstacles to Minorities Seeking to Become Lawyers, Johnson Says