TaxProf Blog

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

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Do We Really Want To Make It Easier To Go To Law School?

American Lawyer LogoThe American Lawyer, Do We Really Want to Make It Easier to Go to Law School?:

Can we cut through the bull about why law schools are now accepting GREs for admission? The fact is that applications are falling, and law schools are desperate for hot bodies to fill their empty seats. (Law schools that now accept the GRE include Harvard, Northwestern and Georgetown, reports The National Law Journal; the first school to do so was the University of Arizona.)

Not for one minute do I buy the argument that law schools are now realizing that LSATs aren't the end-all/be-all predictor of future success. As for the argument that allowing the GRE for law school admission will attract more hot commodities such as math and science types to apply: Puh-leeze.

If you're a bright young thing with quantitative or tech abilities, there are less painful ways to make a decent living. As any fourth grader in New York knows, the legal profession kinda sucks. They see how hard lawyer-parents work (compared to those hedge fund parents who have more fun and make a lot more moolah). And they know it's damn impossible to become equity partner in Big Law these days.

"The Golden Age for law schools is definitely over," says Paul Caron, dean of Pepperdine Law School. "Harvard and the other schools that have jumped on the GRE bandwagon are undoubtedly seeking to expand their pool of potential students." ...

So here's where I stand: Limit law school admissions to that awful, forbidding LSAT. Let there be more, not fewer, barriers to going to law school. (Perhaps include psychological testing, too?) That might sound restrictive and undemocratic, but people will be happier for it. Believe me.

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2017/08/do-we-really-want-to-make-it-easier-to-go-to-law-school.html

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Comments

To the writer, Vivian Chen, The Careerist, where is the proof that the LSAT is really that accurate a predictor of success in and after law school? The correlation between LSAT scores is highest in predicting that a student will possibly get through the first year of law school, and it isn't that high a predictor for that. It just happens to be better than any other test so far. It has a low correlation with gpa, class standing, bar passage, and ultimate success. So, I don't think the writer should be so high and mighty about schools trying to find other measures of suitability for law study.

Posted by: Ralph Brill | Aug 17, 2017 1:29:26 PM

Yes, clearly Harvard is hurting for students and desperately using the GRE. Obviously this author has spent exactly no time on any admissions committee anywhere.

Posted by: Diane Klein | Aug 18, 2017 7:29:44 AM

Plus Artificial Intelligence is coming, making junior lawyers less valuable.

Posted by: Ed Vidal | Aug 19, 2017 3:46:43 PM

Nothing makes lawyers feel more secure in themselves than less-qualified lawyers unready to take their places.

Posted by: Brian | Aug 19, 2017 4:33:33 PM

We need Laws written using normal language. Instead we get Law written in some alien language nobody understands. Having to learn "Klingon" to practice Law is absurd.

Posted by: Fisht | Aug 20, 2017 5:15:04 AM

Do We Really Want To Make It Easier To Go To Law School?

We should want to lay off faculty and close schools.

Posted by: Art Deco | Aug 21, 2017 11:43:46 AM