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

Monday, May 9, 2016

LSAC Backs Down (For Now) On Threat To Expel University Of Arizona For Use Of GRE In Law School Admissions

GRE Arizona Following up on my previous posts (links below):  National Law Journal, Opposition to Arizona Law School’s Use of GRE Fizzles:

The University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law will remain a member of the Law School Admission Council—for now.

The council, which administers the Law School Admission Test, informed Arizona law dean Marc Miller by letter Saturday that the Tucson law school will be allowed to remain in its membership ranks “for the time being.”

The council’s board of trustees at its meeting on Friday and Saturday discussed whether Arizona’s use of the GRE in addition to the LSAT violated the council rule that requires “substantially all” applicants to members schools take the law school-specific test. ...

“We understand the Accreditation Committee of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar will review the GRE study and address the validity of the alternative tests as well as other issues related to [the ABA admissions standard],” the council’s May 7 letter reads. “The resolution of these issues may well impact LSAC’s membership requirements.” Hence, the board decided to maintain the existing membership, the letter said.

Despite the council’s decision, Miller said that work remains. “We look forward to working with LSAC, the ABA Section on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, and our colleagues throughout legal education as we rethink the role of standardized tests in admission to JD programs and how best to achieve broad access and diversity in legal education and the legal profession,” he said.

Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:

Update:

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2016/05/lsac-backs-down-for-now-on-threat-to-expel-university-of-arizona-for-use-of-gre-in-law-school-admiss.html

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Comments

Were I LSAC, I would be sure to hold U of AZ's feet to the fire with regard to ABA Standard 503-3 and its interpretations: GRE cannot count for more than 10% of a class, the GRE scores must be at the 85th percentile or higher, AND the students must be either in the Top 10% of their college class or have an average of a 3.6 or higher through six semesters of classes. http://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/publications/misc/legal_education/Standards/2014_2015_aba_standards_chapter5.authcheckdam.pdf

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | May 9, 2016 8:30:22 AM

LSAC presumably uses its monopoly profit from administering the LSAT to support not just Bernstine's $600,000+ salary, but also the various other services that it provides to law schools on the admissions front. Arizona's move obviously threatens LSAC's financing model, but I don't think it actually threatens LSAC's existence all that much. All LSAC has to do is start charging law schools more for the services it provides (either in the form of user fees, or in the form of higher dues), at something closer to the actual price of providing those services. As it currently stands, LSAC is able to provide services to law schools at less than cost (I presume) because law school applicants are paying more than they have to in order to obtain a standardized-test score.

Posted by: Jason Yackee | May 9, 2016 12:18:45 PM

"as we rethink the role of standardized tests in admission to JD programs and how best to achieve broad access and diversity in legal education and the legal profession,”

Good grief, the same old tired cliches and obfuscation. The invocation of the "diversity" card in this context is particularly shameless. Legal education has never been more broadly accessible. Law schools just handed out acceptances to the incoming class of 2015 at the highest rates and lowest standards in history! It is quasi-open enrollment season, U of A's own admissions percentages have gone up tremendously...Where was U of A's concern about "standardized tests" and access 5 years ago. Give me a break!

Posted by: Anon | May 9, 2016 1:13:38 PM